Game Takes: Flames 4 Hurricanes 1

January 14th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You hate to head into a five day break on a roll, the players, the coaching staff, management … they’d all love to just keep on chugging with the team playing well. What’s the point in taking a break from success?

On the other hand, the mental side of the game in a long season suggests taking a five day break with a seven game win streak to keep you feeling satisfied is exactly what the doctor ordered.

With the Flames beating the Canes 4-1 on Sunday afternoon they get just that; a five day break to feel good about what they’ve accomplished and who they are for the second half of the season.

Sure beats a skid into the break and the demons appearing in one’s thoughts every few minutes.

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Game Takes: Flames 4 Panthers 2

January 12th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

For the past several seasons the Flames have been in search of a goaltender that could steal them some games; post a tonne of saves and drag them to two points on the nights where they weren’t at their best.

So imagine their surprise this season to find two of them.

The exploits of Mike Smith in the Flame’s cage this season have been well documented; the fiery former Coyote goatlender has been everything Brad Treliving imagined and more in consistently giving the Flames a chance to win night in and night out.

Since promoting David Rittich however, the Flames found they had a backup they good count on to spell Mike Smith in back to back games; tonight however he went beyond the regular call for a backup and stole on in Florida turning aside 41 shots to run his record to 4-0-1 in games he’s started.

Perhaps they should stop taking their goaltenders for granted however.

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Game Takes: Flames 5 Bolts 1

January 11th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When you head into the third period with a two goal lead for the third straight game, things are going well.

This time however, they had a different plan to take the win home. Rather than sit on the lead and muck your way to a late win or an overtime victory the Flames completely altered their tact; they doubled their lead!

Brilliant!

With the lead doubled Mike Smith and the Flames were able to cruise to a 5-1 win in Tampa Bay tonight, pushing their win streak to five games and climbing into a Pacific Division playoff spot though the Sharks do have games in hand.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Wild 2

January 9th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

When two good playoff assuming hockey clubs get together you predict a war, and a back and forth see saw battle.

So it didn’t come as a huge surprise that an even first period would lead to a dominant Calgary second and a 2-0 lead followed by a huge push back third period that resulted in an overtime game in a game between the Flames and the Minnesota Wild.

The puck bounced Calgary’s way in the end as a Johnny Gaudreau turnover led to a Minny breakaway that was denied by Mike Smith sending the puck back up the ice for Gaudreau to set up Dougie Hamilton for his second straight game winner in the Flame’s second straight 3-2 win.

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Digging into the Powerplay

January 9th, 2018 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The halfway point of a season is pretty darn good time to have a healthy look at things both good and bad on a hockey club.

The sample size is approaching somewhat trustworthy levels, and the midpoint of anything is certainly as good a time as any to hit the refresh button on things hurting a hockey club.

It won’t come as a surprise to any one that the Calgary Flames have struggled on the powerplay this season, but what do the numbers say when you drill down into situations, timelines and trends?
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