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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Game Takes: Ducks 8 Flames 3

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

This game story pretty much writes itself doesn’t it?

The Flames in Anaheim is guaranteed win night for the Ducks but announce to the world that your starting goaltender is Jonas Hiller and well a writer can pretty much take the night off and just alter the score from the box score post game.

The Flames always spend the first five minutes of every game in Anaheim in their own zone, and tonight was no different, but with a goalie fighting it you have a 3-0 lead and an easy coast to the finish night for the Ducks as they turn back the Flames by a score of 8-3, their 23rd straight against the Flames in Anaheim.

I hope that’s it for Hiller, winding down a season is hard enough but gifting teams big leads certainly isn’t the most fun hockey to witness.
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Game Takes: Flames 5 Coyotes 2

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

In the Chicago/Calgary game story I suggested the Flames should take a page out of Scotty Bowman’s playbook by suggesting the Flames shouldn’t look for a linemate for Monahan and Gaudreau but to build three lines with duos instead of trios. If you have a Monahan/Gaudreau duo on the top line and a Backlund/Frolik duo on the eventual third line then it’s the second line and Sam Bennett who needs a battery mate to take that step forward.

So call it good timing that Micheal Ferland stepped into the fray tonight, finding chemistry with Sam Bennett by assisting on both of Bennett’s two goals on the night to help power the Flames to a 5-2 win over the Arizona Coyotoes. One game is not a duo make, but a strong final 7 games for Ferland with Bennett could certainly help alleviate some of the summer doldrums from somewhat of a lost season for the big burly winger. - Full Article –

Game Takes: Hawks 2 Flames 1

March 26th, 2016 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

And so there it is, the Flames officially eliminated from the Stanley Cup Playoffs with the Wild’s win over the Avalanche earlier today.

So the done like dinner Flames take the ice with nothing but pride at stake against the Chicago Blackhawks, a club struggling themselves in recent times, essentially handing the division crown in the Central to the Dallas Stars.

Would the Flames mail it in? Think again, as the Flames outplay the Hawks, but can’t out finish them in a 4-1 empty net padded loss to the Hawks on Saturday night, their third last home game on the docket.

Next year, next year … next year…. . - Full Article –

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