Game Takes: Flames 2 Wild 1

April 9th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well not the season many of us had in mind when Brad Treliving shocked the hockey world by reeling in Dougie Hamilton on draft day from Tampa in June of last summer.

The Flames coming off a great playoff run that had them knock off the Canucks, then fall to the Ducks in the second round were expected to be a force in the weak Pacific Division and to battle with the Kings for home ice in the first round of an expected playoff series. Instead it was an October face plant, terrible special teams, and some historically bad goaltending as the Flames were pretty much on ice by Halloween, their season over.

So with the season lost they took to the ice for the final time this season in Minnesota, and with a 38 year old goaltender playing out the string they came from behind with a spirited third period to beat the Wild 2-1 and at least end their campaign with a good taste in their collective mouths.

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Game Takes: Flames 7 Canucks 3

April 7th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You know when you have that miserable round of golf? Double after double, missed putts, two shanks out of bounds; a terrible experience you’ve shot 10 strokes over your average game and you think you’ll never play again.

And then you drop a 23 foot putt for a birdie on the 18th hole and you are tempted to just head back to the first tee and do it all again!

Well hockey seasons can be like that too. With the Flames annihilation of the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday, and a spirited overtime loss to the Kings on Tuesday the team was certainly in a late season, lottery pick position killing groove. Tonight was even more of the same as they were fast fast fast on the puck all night, a track meet running the Canucks out of town to the tune of 7-3. This one wasn’t close, and without a strong start from Ryan Miller the Flames would have put up double digits.

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Game Takes: Kings 5 Flames 4 (OT)

April 5th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Once again there won’t be a obscenity laced tirade from the media room at the Saddledome, Bob Hartley seething through his teeth uttering words like “eradicate” and “you’d think 200 days together and you’d learn”.

From the moment the Flames “knew” they wouldn’t make the playoffs there have only been a handful of true face plants, most of those aided and abetted by some pretty shaky goaltending. The team night in night out with heads held high, showing ready and able to make each and every game a battle.

Tonight against a cup favourite was no different with the Flames scratching and whacking their way to a disappointing 4-3 overtime loss at the Saddledome, in a game they led with just 40 seconds to play.

Tough loss for the team, but salvation in the standings I suppose. Another great effort.

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Game Takes: Flames 5 Oilers 0

April 2nd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The name changes for the Edmonton Coliseum over the years has been helpful in that it helps define eras in Edmonton.

When the building was called Northlands it was a terrifying spot to play hockey, with future hall of famers lighting the lamp with ease and blowing out many a visitor that would visit Alberta’s capital city.

However the two more recent incantations, Skyreach and Rexall were exactly the opposite. Teams came in and had their way with the Oilers, nobody more than the Flames who ran their record to 15-3-1 in their last 19 visits to the pill box, ending their history in the building with a convincing if somewhat embarrassing 5-0 blow out win over the Oilers.

The Flames were paced by Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund, two players that will be key in building new memories at the new Roger’s Place next year when it opens.

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Game Takes: Kings 3 Flames 0

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

Just amazing how different a game can turn out when both clubs have a goaltender. Amazing. Not that a 5-0 deficit isn’t an interesting way to start a game in California, but tonight a different approach with both a push from the road team to start and a flawless first period goaltending performrance leading way to a much more interesting game.

Did the Flames win? Of course not, they played the highly tuned L.A. Kings readying for a return to the playoffs, but with a steady but not spectacular (he didn’t need that to stand out from the previous evening) Joni Ortio in net the Flamers were full marks for being in it from whistle to whistle in a 3-0 loss to the Kings on Thursday night. A disallowed goal here, a clanging goal post there and things could have been different.

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