Game Takes: Flames 6 Jets 3

October 7th, 2017 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Early October can make for some cathartic moments.

A loss in Edmonton is just a single game, we all get that. But what if you add a loss in your home opener to the Jets and go down 0-2 on the season?

More than a few Calgary fans wondered just that with a date on Monday in the Honda Center and the Jets leading 3-1 in the second period and pushing to add to their lead. Could the Flames bury themselves at the start of another hockey season and dig themselves out? How likely is it to pull that feat off in back to back seasons.

Instead the Flames come roaring back, alleviating some of the concerns from a stoic start on Wednesday night by turning back the Jets 6-3 in a wildly entertaining game on Saturday night.

Now go win at the Honda Center dammit.

The Flow

The Flames came out rough, sand paper rough, a complete mess. They didn’t complete a pass in the first three minutes and looked all kinds of tight. Things settled down and started to tip the Flames way when a Calgary powerplay resulted in a breakaway for Brandon Tanev who beat Mike Smith to make it 1-0. The Flames tie it a minute later when TJ Brodie takes a pass from Johnny Gaudreau (get used to those two names) with his one timer beating Mason for a powerplay goal to tie things up. The Jets go ahead again on a powerplay of their own when Mark Scheifle takes a pass in the slot and hammers one past Smith. The Jets round out the first period scoring when Patrick Laine finished a play that hit the crossbar from the point to make it 3-1 Winnipeg. Tough start.

The second period looked to more of the same thing as the Jets piled on the shots and chances, equalling the imbalance and the first and threatening to add to their two goal lead. Instead however, Mike Smith stands tall keeping the game in reach and enabling the Flames four goal outburst. Seconds after Sam Bennett is robbed by Mason, TJ Brodie puts a puck on net from the point and has it beat Mason through a screen and it’s 3-2 Winnipeg. Four minutes later on a powerplay Micheal Ferland ties things up when he hammers home a rebound on a Mark Giordano point shot, and it’s 3-3. The Flames score the game winner when TJ Brodie wades his way through traffic and then feeds it to his right for Gaudreau to hammer into the empty net and it’s 4-3 Calgary. To close out the period new linemates unite when Sean Monahan finds Kris Versteeg in the slot and it’s 5-3 Calgary through 40 minutes.

With a two goal lead to protect you had this hope the Flames wouldn’t sit on their lead and instead keep pushing they way they finished the second. Clearly they were of like mind as the 3M line starts the third and takes it straight to them, adding to the lead when Mikael Backlund tips home a Dougie Hamilton point shot to finish the onslaught and give the Flames a 6-3 lead. From there the Flames to continue to push for TJ Brodie’s hattrick goal but come up empty despite some great chances; 6-3 final.

Possession Stats

1st Period – The Flames trailed by three, but had a 21-15 edge in 5 on 5 shot attempts, 25-18 in all situations..
2nd Period – Ironically the Flames lit up the second, but were even in 14-14, 25-20 all attempts.
3rd Period – All Calgary in the third with 18-9 five on five and 27-9 including man advantage situations.

Players – Only three players under the 50% mark for the Flames in corsi events five on five tonight; Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland. The rest of the team was in the black. Leaders included Curtis Lazar at the top with 74%, followed 10% behind by Bennett, Brodie, Backlund, Tkachuk and Michael Stone. Good to see players like Lazar and Stone get into the positives. Troy Brouwer on the fourth line? 63%. Tell me how bad the Jets played tonight.

Three Stars
1. TJ Brodie: Pretty cool night for the Flames rearguard. Two goals and two assists and a building chanting his name in pursuit of the hat trick..
2. Johnny Gaudreau : Just took over the game in the second and third periods. Put up a goal and three assists as he had points on the Flames first four goals, most with new center Sam Bennett.
3. Mike Smith : Gave up three goals on 28 shots, but didn’t really have a chance on any of them. Biggest contribution was his performance in the first half of the second period when he shut the door, queuing the comeback.

Big Save

The Mason save on Sam Bennett on a Gaudreau set up was larceny, but the impact save of the game was Mike Smith on Bryan Little in the second on a one timer chance from the slot. That goes in and I’m not sure the comeback happens.

The Heel

Had to change the title of this as GOAT has become a very different thing of late, so now the the “heel” of the game goes to Steve Mason for giving up six goals on 45 shots. Sure it’s 45 shots, but the man has given up 12 goals in a handful of days to start the season as the big free agent acquisition for the Jets. And I thought Brian Elliott had a tough start.

Mr. Clutch

Glen Gulutzan hands down. His mid game adjustment got two lines going and has potentially changed the complexion of the team going forward. Not to take anything away from Curtis Lazar, who had a great game, but he’s a place holder for Jaromir Jagr. Anyone else imagined a Gaudreau/Bennett/Jagr line?

Odds and Ends

Lots of long faces around the city with the word that Jaromir Jagr wasn’t going to suite up tonight because of his deep involvement in line rushes and powerplay utilisation in the practice on Friday. In the end he went back to his original words which was he thought it would take a few skates and not just one or two before playing in a full fledged game. At least they’re not putting the old third line back together with Troy Brouwer, instead leaving Brouwer on the fourth line and inserting Curtis Lazar to play with Bennett and Versteeg. … I guess one could wish they had moved sooner on Jagr so he could have had some preseason games with the club but I actually like the patience of watching the young kids perform before making any decisions. … Also interesting to see Mark Jankowski put up two goals and an assist last night as the team continues to find a move that will get him up from the farm. Have to think the Knights have to move on their defenseman to remove the log jam across the circuit. … Home openers are great, and they did a heck of a job with the screens around the entry point where the Flames came in numerically. The big fail however was the massive rolls of toilet paper that they hung from the rafters in all four corners of the building which were meant to act as additional screens. Instead many fans ending up watching the jumbotron and the player introductions through gauze pretty much killing the feel of the opening. … Crucial bounce back game for the team’s second pairing as they went from victims to aggressors in their first home game. TJ Brodie stole the show, but Travis Hammonic had a solid nights as his mainstay. The plan has always been Hammonic playing rock to Brodie’s flash and it was certainly the case tonight. … That’s two games in Flame’s silks for Mike Smith and clearly Brad Treliving is proving he knows what he’s doing so far. Solid between the pipes and a huge addition to the transition from his own zone. … Have always thought that a little time away form Johnny Gaudreau would do Sean Monahan some good. When you play with a guy that controls the pace it’s too easy to sit back and watch things happen rather than go get it yourself. Kris Versteeg is a pretty good replacement on the line, but it should get Monahan pushing the envelope on his own. … The win coupled with the Oilers loss moves both Alberta teams to 1-1, setting up an interesting battle with the 1-0-1 Ducks on Monday night. Will that be Jagr’s first game with the Flames? God I hope so, as a distraction from the other story line is badly needed.

Next Up

The Hex Dome, as the Flames travel to Anaheim to try and end their drought at the Pond. Game time 8pm on Sportsnet.


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

Giordano – Hamilton
Brodie – Hamonic
Bartkowski – Stone


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