A Net With No Sure Bets Part 1 – League Tendencies

May 29th, 2020 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

You don’t need a week of study, a big spreadsheet and an ability to sort and decipher data to come to the conclusion that the Calgary Flames have been miserable at drafting goaltenders over their existence … but it certainly helps to identify just how painful their lack of success has been.

Recently we’ve seen an Athletic article looking at the 1990 draft and the Flames taking Trevor Kidd while moving up in a trade with New Jersey, leaving the Devils to settle for Martin Brodeur. It’s a painful example of missing out on a solid goaltender, but merely scratching the surface when it comes to misery for the Flames. At least Trevor Kidd played!

The true mission of looking into the data however, wasn’t to hang the Flames out to dry, they’ve done that just fine on their own. Instead it was to see what other teams are doing? What is the frequency of goaltenders taken per draft per team? Do the successful teams draft a lot of them? Very few? Do they draft them high in the draft or in later rounds?

We will tackle these and additional issues in a three part series

Part 1 – League Tendencies
Part 2 – Team by Team Performance
Part 3 – Flaming Failure
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Game Takes: Flames 3 Coyotes 2

March 7th, 2020 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

They all won’t be pretty.

However, a playoff team needs to be able to grind one out every so often. To get a lead, protect it by playing well defensively, and wind down the time to a regulation win.

That’s exactly what the Flames did in turning aside a desperate Arizona Coyotes club by a score of 3-2 at the Saddledome on Friday night.

Three assists by Matthew Tkachuk, a huge momentum changing powerplay goal by Johnny Gaudreau in the first period, and a good turn by backup goaltender Cam Talbot was the difference in a huge two points in the Pacific race for the playoffs.

On to the Vegas Knights at the Dome on Sunday.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Jackets 2 (OT)

March 4th, 2020 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

That felt like a loss until it didn’t huh?

The first game back from a successful elongated road trip generally doesn’t go well. The home team comes out flat, falls behind and then chases the game for the remainder of the evening … usually with a less than satisfying result.

Tonight that was pretty much the script, until, well … it wasn’t.

Andrew Mangiapane wins a battle behind the Jacket net, spilling the puck into the slot where Elias Lindholm finishes things with eight and a half minutes to go. Then it was on.

Calgary pulls the goalie with 2.5 minutes to go and pretty much controls the play until a Mark Giordano point shot is deflected by Matthew Tkachuk and just like that it’s overtime.

Calgary has the better of the play in overtime, and finally find the winner when Johnny Gaudreau makes a great play rimming the puck to TJ Brodie, setting up a play where Brodie finishes and the comeback is complete.

Huge two points.

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Game Takes: Flames 3 Panthers 0

March 1st, 2020 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A sleep walk win in Detroit, a monster victory in Boston. A game that slipped away in Nashville, followed by a slip in work ethic in Tampa.

Today the Flames concluded their five game road trip with a 3-0 victory against the Panthers, pushing their five game junked to a very respectable 3-1-1. When looking at the schedule ten days ago I thought they needed eight points in six games, a stretch that began in Calgary against the Bruins. They didn’t get eight, but they did get seven, and as a result they climbed back into a Pacific playoff spot for the time being.

Now can they win on home ice? The Flames have been terrible at the Saddledome, but have 11 of their final 15 games in Calgary and will have to bring some of that road magic home … or else.

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Game Takes: Predators 4 Flames 3 (OT)

February 27th, 2020 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Well that sucks!

Well the result anyway. The effort for the second straight road game was on point as the Flames likely deserved better in losing 2-1 and 3-2 leads including the last one with 1/10 of a second left on the clock before bowing in overtime.

A positive spin is the point earned and a 2-0-1 record through the first three games of the five game road trip, and the fact that Nashville was likely yearning for the regulation win on the night with the home side advantage and recent run.

The Flames avoided a Noah Hanifin injury, welcomed Mark Giordano back, and saw yet another explosive game from Mikael Backlund as the team takes the road trip to Florida for their final two games.

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