Game Takes: Flames 4 Islanders 2

February 20th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Something had to give, right?

The league’s best defense in terms of goals against per game against the league’s second best offence. Would the Islanders be able to grind things to a standstill or would the Flames manage to turn it into a track meet?

Give the nod to the locals as the Flames badly out shot, out chanced and out played New York in a game that was tied 2-2 in the third period with the shots on goal 24-8 for the Flames. The right team won the game in the end, but it was in doubt a lot later than it should have been.

Calgary gets goals from Mikael Backlund, Travis Hamonic, Austin Czarnik and Johnny Gaudreau in winning their third straight game. It’s interesting how a team can go from four straight losses to points in five of their last six in just three games.

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Game Takes: Flames 5 Penguins 4

February 16th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When I saw the Flames schedule to end January and start February a bump in the road was very much expected.

Too many gaps in play, too few games in three weeks, and then a very road laden slate for the shortest month of the year. Add in the fact that the team was winning some games ugly heading into the all star break and you have the perfect recipe for a very good team going on a very minor skid.

Of late the team has lost four in a row, the caveat on that being two shoot out losses meaning they haven’t lost back to back regulation games since November, and with today’s 5-4 victory in Pittsburgh, they return home with a 1-1-2 record on a road trip with the hockey world thinking the Calgary sky was collectively falling.

Well it’s not.

And with the micro bump in the road hopefully coming to an end, the macro benefits of the light schedule should soon bare fruit, helping the team to a good final push towards home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

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Game Takes: Panthers 3 Flames 2 (SO)

February 14th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Lets get the first the big thing out of the way; the Flames suck at the shoot out. That’s nine in a row on the loss side dating back to November of 2017. That’s not good.

However before that there was a hockey game, and in it we saw the good and the bad of the Calgary Flames in a 3-2 shoot out loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.

The first half of the game was scoreless with the Flames almost playing for a scoreless tie. They didn’t give up much, but they didn’t generate much of anything in a game that almost appeared to be waiting for a gun to actually start. Then the Panthers go up 1-0 and Calgary literally takes over. They tie the game in the third period on a Mark Jankowski snipe, go down again and tie it again on an Elias Lindholm tip sending the game to overtime. The Flames out shot the Panthers by a margin of 23 to 6 over the last half of regulation time.

So where was that off the hop?

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Game Takes: Bolts 6 Flames 3

February 12th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well that was fun wasn’t it?

Sure they got a point in Vancouver, but it’s now a three game losing streak for the once conference leading Flames and this time they don’t have the “bad bounces” or “out played the opponent” crutch to lean on. The Flames and their goaltender were quite average tonight and average won’t cut it against the number one team in the league as the Flames went down whiffing by a 6-3 score in Tampa tonight.

Unlike recent seasons the Flames have had a tonne of good play thus far this season, giving them some room for a rough patch with some room to spare, but for first in the conference and division they’ve used up their lives as the streaking San Jose Sharks have taken both mantles.

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Stat Hack: Is David Rittich a Calgary Flame Weakness?

February 11th, 2019 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

It’s become the topic of day in Calgary, at least in hockey circles since the team came back from an extended break in and around the National Hockey League’s NHL all star game.

David Rittich was pulled early in a loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night, and then was out foiled by his counterpart Jacob Markstom in a loss on Saturday night despite the Flames having a 47-25 shots on goal advantage. The Flames are deep, offensively gifted and ready for what could be a deep playoff run, but is their Achilles Heel their goaltender?
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