Game Takes: Canucks 4 Flames 2

January 6th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Sometimes after a loss a coach can just walk in and tell his squad to let it go, ignore it, change nothing, leave your game as it is, bottle it up and bring it out again tomorrow night.

Hockey Gods can affect hockey scores, and tonight I’d say they caused about a 6 goal swing as a 4-2 for the Flames in Vancouver really should have been a 6-2 Calgary win if scoring chances, and edge in play had any thing to do with the result on the scoreboard.

The Canucks have been outplayed in many of their wins on this now 6 game streak, but none more than tonight where they really didn’t even show up. It was December 23rd again without logic.

Luckily these things even out over a season; tonight the Flames made a big deposit in that bank, I look forward to the withdrawals to come.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Avalanche 1

January 4th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When a team goes through a good spell winning hockey games against weaker foes there are always naysayers and fans/media quick with the caveats to downplay the success.

The bottom line in a very competitive NHL however (there are only two teams under today’s definition of .500) is picking up points, and you have to make hay when you can in a very difficult grind. So with wins against Arizona (3), Winnipeg (1), Vancouver (1) and Colorado (1) in the past several games the Flames had to make sure they didn’t look even a smidge past the Avalanche tonight at the Saddledome. Give up those points now and they just may be the two that keep you on the outside when the dust settles in April.

So what goes down tonight? About as easy of a win as you’re going to see at the Dome, reminiscent of that laugher against the Canucks before Christmas as the Flames cruise to a 4-1 win on home ice; their 11th win in their last 15 games, and 5 of their last 6.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Coyotes 2

January 1st, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

New Year’s Eve used to be a huge hockey tradition in Calgary.

The Flames, a powerhouse towards the end of the 1980s and into the 1990s had a blistering rivalry with the Montreal Canadiens and with that they’d visit Calgary each and every last day of the year. The games were made classic because the two teams had met each other twice in the Stanley Cup Finals, these games didn’t hurt at all towards that story.

So when the schedule came out in September and I saw Arizona on New Year’s Eve I was somewhat disapointed. Arizona? On New Year’s Eve? Seriously? Sure they used to be the Winnipeg Jets, but we have those clowns back now so that doesn’t matter. But then I pondered, maybe this was the best tonic after all. Play a brutal team on a night when there is too much going on; have the ability to keep one eye on the score while you’re busy doing other things that go hand in hand on the last night of year. Have the Flames run up the score and just relax and barely pay attention …

As it turned out the script was pretty much followed, though not without a hitch or two as the Flames stormed out to a 4-0 first period lead while not really carrying the play and then hung on for a 4-2 win on Saturday night.

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Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 1

December 29th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The Ducks are an experienced team. They know what it takes to win, they’ve been their to see both success and failure in the past decade of NHL seasons.

Their last time in Calgary was a rather embarrassing defeat where backup goaltender Johnathan Bernier had to stand in and face the onslaught with starter John Gibson unable to help out with digestion issues on the bench. Tonight the visiting Ducks were very much up for the challenge as the 8-3 loss in Calgary was the perfect motivation to play a perfect, patient, road game to the tune of a 3-1 victory on Saddledome ice.

The Flames played well, but were victim of the evening of the hockey gods after getting many a bounce in Denver on Tuesday night; things have a way of evening out, often quite quickly.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Canucks 1

December 23rd, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In an 82 game schedule there are plenty of games that don’t mean a whole lot, but still plenty that do but for different reasons.

The game before a break however, always has a special meaning for both players and fans as a loss before a break gives both the chance to stew on it for the four long days, generally feeling bad about themselves. But if you win that game, the family is more fun, the turkey more tasty, the presents more perfect. So really, it’s pretty selfish for a hockey team to give away those two points in such a game.

Yet that’s exactly what the Canucks appeared to do in getting massively outplayed in a decisive 4-1 Flames win on Friday night, sending the city and the hockey team into a break with a big grin on their collective faces.

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