Game Takes: Flames 3 Hawks 2

February 6th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

In the recent six game losing streak there were many games that the Flames could have had a better fate.

Tonight in a 3-2 win in Chicago the Flames were good, but also fortunate in riding the crest of two favourable goal reviews to a 3-2 come from behind victory over the Blackhawks on Tuesday night.

The win is a big one, as the six game skid is now replaced by a two game win streak as the Flames sweep the Hawks in back to back games and take the season series in a sweep. It’s also win one in game one on a six game road trip that is simply huge heading towards the trade deadline.
Stretch Drive to Deadline

Going into tonight the Flames had 30 games left on their schedule and 11 games until the trade deadline. The current cutoff expectation is 96 points so the Flames will need to win 18 of those games to get in. Prorated to the deadline they’d need to secure wins in seven of those games to give their GM the single to add.

Clearly every win is big so starting that journey with a win tonight is huge.

If the Flames turn in a .500 or close record you’d think they’d have to sit the deadline out.

A run of say three wins in 11 or thereabouts and perhaps they are sellers/

A big 11 games.

Jankowski and Kulak Back In

The plan in scratching Mark Jankowski the other night in Calgary was to give him that rookie look, a break from action to watch from above and take in the proceedings and achieve a reset.

He said all the right things, but when the puck dropped tonight he really wasn’t all that good.

A 38% corsi rating, only 10 minutes of ice time and a pretty messed up play where he lost his stick leading to a Chicago goal that was eventually over turned.

The kid is smart, he will eventually get it, but he and his linemates are in a serious rut.

Top Line Rolling

The team’s top line on the other hand is really feeling it.

They took over the second half of the game on Saturday night and they continued it into tonight from the drop of the puck, creating scoring chance after scoring chance.

In the end Gaudreau scored (I think), Monahan into an empty net, and Dougie Hamilton with assists from Monahan and Gaudreau as the line pretty much took care of all the scoring.

Gaudreau is feeling it, but so too is Monahan as the big center is playing with a little more edge (compared to his baseline) and creating quite a bit on his own. Sure he’s still a terrible interview, but he’s developing into a solid top line center.

Tkachuk Rough Game

Not used to seeing Matthew Tkachuk fighting the puck, but man did he ever tonight.

Couldn’t find his linemates with passes all night, too many in the skates, turnovers that created two on ones, a very rare off night of the Flame’s super sophomore who has been their best player since the turn of the calendar.

He left the ice for a spell in the second period, I think out of frustaration, but returned shorty after.

Powerplay Woes With 2 Extra Men

The Flames found the perfect way to demonstrate the hot jittery mess that has become their powerplay when they were given a two man advantage for 100 seconds in the first period.

They managed to win two draws and with that have possession of the puck for the first minute plus of the advantage but what did they have to show for it? Two well telegraphed shot attempts by Mark Giordano that was blocked and a Sean Monahan attempt to center that hit a Hawk. That’s it.

Despite there being only three Hawks on the ice there was no movement, save for the obvious flipping sides of the defenders which they did twice.

I know Dave Cameron isn’t a popular figure in Calgary but I can’t believe they are coaching the group to stand as still as possible with the man advantage; looks like nerves to me.

Bottom line they won in regulation so all is well, but with the game tied at 1-1 with minutes left the special teams battle was going the Hawks way once again.

Sam Bennett Worries

Is he spiralling again?

A super productive December where he and his linemates almost carried the Flames when every one else went dry has led to a competitive but fruitless January, and now a fruitless February.

Last year when he struggled he took a lot of penalties trying to be aggressive in order to turn things around.

I had hoped that a productive streak this season would turn the corner for the player and he’d never return to “those days” but maybe here we are again. Two silly penalties tonight trying to do too much is ample evidence that he’s starting to squeeze his stick too tightly once again.

Not a good sign.

I have to admit when I look at him on the ice I keep thinking “soon to be former Flame” and I cringe.

Standings Look

The Sharks lose tonight so the Flames move to within two points of 2nd in the division with even games played. The Flames win moves them a point over the Kings who were idle tonight and now have a game in hand. Calgary would be one point behind the Wild, who also won tonight in the wild card standings, and tied with both Colorado and Anaheim in points.

This is going to be a ride!

Fancy Stats

Edge to the Hawks in possession tonight with Calgary having period splits of 48 / 44 / 45 for a game total of 46%. Scoring chances five on five were actually in Calgary’s favour by a 6-5 margin as the Flames once again manage to keep the game to the outside and limit the blue chip chances in front of Mike Smith.

Individually, the top line was dominant with Micheal Ferland with a 66% rating, followed by his linemates at 61% (Monahan) and 56% (Gaudreau). The top pairing was also dominant with Mark Giordano posting 63% and Dougie Hamilton coming in at 61%. The only other player on the plus side was Michael Frolik at 55%. The fourth line got caved in with Lazar at 11%, Stajan at 25% and Hathaway at 29%.

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