Game Takes: Flames 8 Ducks 3

December 4th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When players come off injury they can ride a wave of adrenalin before sometimes crashing back down to Earth when the rust begins to show and the energy dips.

For Johnny Gaudreau, a season that has been fraught with frustration and angst from a contract stalemate, to a slow start to a freak injury was hoping to get kick-started again tonight, when the skilled forward made a surprise return to the lineup after only two plus weeks instead of the four to six that many expected. He didn’t waste much time in getting the Flames on the board and putting up a two point night as the Flames dismantled the Anaheim Ducks to the tune of a 8-2 clubbing on Sunday night.

Eight different players had multi point games as the local club served notice that that this recent upswing may not be a fleeting event.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Wild 2

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

A team on a 6-3-1 run could feel good about themselves, you could argue they should feel good about themselves.

Yet this team just can’t. Start the season in a hole and you don’t have the luxury to rest on your laurels, you just have to keep on digging. String wins together, find points in games where you don’t play well, make sure you find two points in games where you do have the edge and just keep chipping away.

The Flames found a way to get a point in Brooklyn on Monday, then got ahead and secured two points against the Leafs on Wednesday, but they had to keep it going. So a shoot out win over the Wild on Friday night was a great result for a team looking to climb back into the mix in the Western Conference standings.

With two points the Flames move back into a playoff spot, though their games played statistics suggest they still have some work to do. It’s coming, but more work is ahead. One step at a time.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Leafs 0

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

Most games have story lines coming in.

It might be a rivalry, a traded player returning, a futility streak or a win streak in a certain arena. When the Maple Leafs play anywhere in Canada it’s a circus, with 1,100 media in tow, they take over a city and cause chaos in whatever Canadian city they preside.

With the Leafs big win in Edmonton last night the Toronto vibe was upbeat as the high scoring young Leafs were set to carry on where they left off in Edmonton against a Flames squad that has struggled to score goals of late.

So colour everyone in the media surprised on both sides of the aisle when the Flames come out and score twice in a minute and then go on and shut out the Leafs in a 3-0 game on Wednesday night.

Sometimes story lines are just that … stories.

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Game Takes: Islanders 2 Flames 1 (OT)

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

Funny how things turn out.

The Flames coaching staff tired of nursing Sean Monahan along through a rough stretch in the young center’s career, consider scratching him altogether in Brooklyn, but dress him and play him on the fourth line, a rookie in his place. The game starts and the struggling player certainly isn’t lights out, but is competing so Gulutzan moves the center up back with his most recent line mates and wouldn’t you know it he hits the twine to secure the Flames a point in a 2-1 overtime loss in Brooklyn to the Islanders.

He isn’t fixed, but maybe just maybe the blood letting is finished for now. A return of Sean Monahan would certainly help the Gaudreau-less Flames stay afloat for the time being.

The points gives the Flames a 3-2-1 record on a six game road trip that is finally behind them. Six games in nine nights is a rough patch of schedule.

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Game Takes: Flyers 5 Flames 2

November 27th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

For much of the season Calgary Flames games were predictable; hang around in most games five on five but get your proverbial ass handed to you in special teams and lose the game. It’s a script they walked out most nights in the season’s first quarter.

On this long and arduous road trip we’ve actually seen a re-write to said script as the Flames have found their legs on the penalty kill, and with it some wins in some tough locals.

Tonight the script was further bludgeoned as the Flames won the special teams battle by scoring two shorthanded goals and a powerplay goal, but still lost by a score of 5 to 3 in Philadelphia.

The loss moves the Flames back to 3-2-0 on the trip, with things closing out tomorrow night in Brooklyn.

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