Game Takes: Flames 3 Sharks 2

November 3rd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You can’t write this stuff.

Talk about a story book day for Matthew Tkachuk. The Flames tell him in a teasing way that he’s staying and not heading back to London and then several hours later the kid scores the Flames second and third goals in a clutch 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

The production is nice, the kid has skill and he will be a productive NHLer, but the small details have paved the way to his NHL employment as puck management, playing physical, and driving the play hasn’t gone unnoticed in either the coaching or management room of the Flames.

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Game Takes: Hawks 5 Flames 1

November 1st, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Like the last trip to Chicago, and the game a night later in St. Louis, tonight the Flames proved that a system shift is a very good fit for the club’s young roster.

Odd opening for a 5-1 loss no doubt but it was that kind of night for the Flames as they out hit, out shot, out chances and badly outplayed the Blackhawks despite what looked like a blowout in the Windy City on the scoreboard for the homeside.

For Glen Gulutzan and his coaching staff the message is easy, stay with it, clearly the team is picking up momentum and getting the new style of play down. The wins will come, though tonight’s outcome leaves on mouth a gaping with little explanation.

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Game Takes: Capitals 3 Flames 1

October 30th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When writing a game story, you’re always looking for that theme, that hook, the angle that sort of describes that key meaning to a hockey game.

Off the hop tonight the table was set around the idea that this was a great opportunity to see where the Flames are, and how far they’ve come in this young season against last year’s top NHL club in the Washington Capitals. Piling up three straight wins is nice, but can you do it again against a top club playing at the top of their game, something that may not have been the case last week in visits to Chicago and St. Louis.

Initially the answer was a resounding no, as the Capitals piled all over the Flames and had a first period that suggested the night might be a rout with Calgary fans feeling spooky about a lot more than tomorrow night’s hijinks. The Flames pushed back though and played a solid final 45 minutes in this one, almost pulling out the come back in a respectful 3-1 loss on Sunday night.

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Game Takes: Flames 5 Senators 2

October 28th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Good teams win ugly once and a while, they’re not all Rembrants.

The Flames gave up back to back powerplay goals in the first period and then relied on the veteran presence of Brian Elliott to hold them in it in the first half of the game before settling down, and wrestling the game away from the Senators in a 5-2 win.

Sometimes shots aren’t all that indicative of the play, that was certainly the case tonight as the Flames were the better of the two clubs in from the midway point in the second period on as the Flames generated play without directing pucks to the net.

Bottom line, three straight wins for the Flames, back to .500 before Halloween Night and potentially salvaging the upside of their season.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Blues 1

October 25th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I’m not an alarmist, never have been. I tend to underreact more than overreact to results in small sample sizes.

With that I wasn’t finding a bridge to jump from when the Flames floundered their way to a 1-4-1 start, their second straight season where October seemed a lot more spooky than it should with Halloween coming at it’s close.

Tonight the Flame’s walked out their new and improved game execution for the second time in two days on a death valley road trip that could have seen their season really getting piled on, and bested the Blues 4-1 in a building where they pretty much never win. The victory gives the team a 3-4-1 record and pretty much brings them right back into the mix.

So all is right in Flame’s land right?

Not so fast, I don’t overreact the other way either!

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