Game Takes: Flames 2 Ducks 0

October 9th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Where were you when, right?

One of those moments that Flame’s fans of this era will certainly remember for a long time. I bought my family 6 tickets to a game in Anaheim last Spring and I thought that would be the end of the curse. I guess that was arrogant.

In the end it took a solid effort from Mike Smith and 18 skaters to put to bed one of the oddest stories in NHL hockey over the past few years. a run of 29 games and a decade of heartache is finally over meaning we can now look elsewhere for the Flames road issue at hand.

Goals by Sean Monahan and Micheal Backlund and a great performance by Mike Smith has put the single most annoying story in Flames hockey to the gutter so we can finally move on.


The Flow

Not the best of starts for the Flames as they take two early penalties and have to kill off half of a five on three penalty. The Flames through some solid kill and some steady goaltending from Mike Smith get through it though, and then go on the attack. The Flames gain their composure and really take it to the Ducks over the last half of the period, erasing 7-2 shot lead to out shoot the Duc
ks 10-9 through 20 minutes.

The second period was more of a consistent period by both clubs with less swings in momentum and less fury sustained in both ends. Mike Smith had to be sharp when Ryan Getzlaf walked the puck of the corner, but he used his frame to block out the low shot and keep it scoreless. Gaudreau takes the puck off a broken stick through the neutral zone and feeds Sean Monahan who gets a great chance on Gibson, but is denied. Late in the period the Flames get a powerplay and go ahead when a Kris Versteeg attempt gets deflected to Sean Monahan who rips it past Gibson to give the Flames a 1-0 lead after two periods.

Can’t ask for more to start the third form the Flames as they put the pedal down and really push the play. The 3M line is rewarded when Matthew Tkachuk seals a guy on the board, springing Michael Frolik who dumps a pass into the middle for Michael Backlund who beats Backlund high for a 2-0 Calgary lead. From there the Flames get right back to it as the Monahan line has another few chances as well as a two on zip with Bennett and Lazar that end up without a shot. The Flames kill off a penalty and then go the attack again, but fail to get the game duster by Gibson to put things away. With three and a half minutes left Backlund takes another penalty making the final few minutes somewhat interesting. Once again the Flames don’t break, as they kill off the penalty and then the game and kill a 29 game losing streak in Anaheim.

Possession Stats

1st Period – Calgary comes from behind on the corsi events stage, out shot generating the Ducks by a 22-14 margin in the first, 25-20 overall.
2nd Period – The Ducks push back in the second and have a 21-14 advantage five on five, 22-19 in all situations.
3rd Period – The third period had the Ducks run up the shot clock but in actual five on five shot attempts it was the Flames that had the lead with a 18-13 edge. In all situations (Ducks powerplays) the edge was towards Anaheim by a 36-20 margin. Overall Calgary led 54-48 five on five.

Players – Only four players under water tonight as the Flames were solid five on five throughout the contest. The bottom three represented the third line as all of Sam Bennett, Curtis Lazar and Kris Versteeg got worked. On the positive side Matt Stajan led the way with 68%, followed by the top line of Gaudreau, Monahan and Ferland who were all around 67%. Some positive mention to Bartkowski and Brouwer who were also towards the top of the leaderboard.

Three Stars
1. Mike Smith: Winning a game to end that curse would have gotten you a game star regardless, but when you turn away 43 shots for a shut out you certainly march to the top of the list. Smith is looking every bit the great acquisition thus far on the season.
2. Mark Giordano : Just loved his game in his own zone. Didn’t hit the scoresheet but was lights out in blocking shots (7), and finding open teammates to clear pucks both five on five and when shorthanded.
3. Cam Fowler : Did all he could from the Duck’s side, in logging 25 minutes and staying even in the loss.

Big Save

Smith was solid so I won’t take anything away from him, but the Flames were very stable in their own zone avoiding the scrambles that give goaltenders greay or a lack of hair. Smith’s best save of the night to me though was the glove save late on Francois Beauchimin when he flashed the leather through a screen and took away a sure goal.

The Heel

Cory Perry. Sure he didn’t cost his team anything in particular, but man is his act growing hollow with the goalie skates through the crease, and his backing into Smith. Give Smith credit for not putting up with it however.

Mr. Clutch

TJ Brodie. Didn’t end up at the high side of the shot attempt argument but posted a solid 26 minutes of action in leading the team in ice time and helping end this stupid damn curse that has taken up way too much of our lives in the past few seasons.

Odds and Ends

Can’t say enough about that win against the Jets, especially coming from behind, for the psyche for a match up in Anaheim. Bad enough to be going into a barn that you haven’t won in 29 games in any circumstances, but really a nail biter if the club had lost their first two starts of the season and needed a win to avoid an 0-3 start. … Glen Gulutzan gets a lot of credit for his line manipulation in the middle of the second period against the Jets by switching Johnny Gaudreau and Kris Versteeg between lines one and three, the Gaudreau/Bennett/Lazar line carried the play the rest of the way, and the Monahan line chipped in a goal as well. Tonight he starts with the same look, a huge opportunity for Lazar to cement himself before Jaromir Jagr makes his first appearance. … Did that look last long? Hell no! Gulutzan moved back the status quo early as he figured the lines weren’t gelling all that well in the second. … Just a great overall calmness to the Flames play tonight. They didn’t carry the play throughout, the Ducks are a good hockey club, but when the Ducks put on the pressure the bend level of the Flames was less frenetic than in past seasons. They pushed puck out of harms way, took hits, made plays, and distributed the puck up the ice. … Just what you want to see from the Flames defence this season. TJ Brodie with 26 minutes, Mark Giordano with 22, Travis Hamonic with 21, Dougie Hamilton with 18 and Micheal Stone with 17. That’s a solid top five. Matt Bartkowski hit the ice for only 10 minutes in a great minute distribution from the back end. … So the Oilers lose tonight, meaning their golden season of happiness launched on opening night has now been met with back to back losses to the Canucks and Jets while the Flames piled on said Jets and ended a curse in Anaheim. See pro sports can be fun! … Guessing Jagr won’t play on Wednesday but will on Friday at home against the Senators. With Mark Jankowski lighting up the AHL you have to wonder what the long term plan for Treliving will be. Truthfully the fourth line of Stajan, Brouwer and Glass has actually been somewhat solid in back to back games, but Jagr is coming in, and Jankowski should be up here. Clearly a trade will be needed at some point. … Speaking of Treliving, you have to think he’s sleeping pretty well in the wild fires in Anaheim near Disney as Mike Smith has been the team’s best player through 180 minutes of hockey thus far this season. The guy seems unshakeable with a club that actually plays defence.

Next Up

The Flames move on to L.A. to take on the Kings on Wednesday night, game time 8.30pm on Sportsnet.


Tkachuk – Backlund – Frolik
Versteeg – Monahan – Ferland
Gaudreau – Bennett – Lazar
Glass – Stajan – Brouwer

Giordano – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Bartkowski – Stone


All content is property of and cannot be used without expressed, written consent from this site.