Game Takes: Flames 4 Hawks 3 (OT)

February 4th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

A funny thing these streaks.

The Flames won seven in a row, didn’t matter if they were in regulation or overtime it was seven in a row and the world loved them.

A loss in extra time occurs and sure the streak is over, but it’s points in eight straight and that’s great hockey. Lose another in extra time and now it’s that perspective thing; do you see things on the rosy side or are you looking for the rain clouds on the horizon? The former has it at points in nine, the latter a losing streak that is now two games.

You get the idea.

The Flames snapped a six game losing streak, which was puncuated by losing back to back games in heart breaking fashion in regulation time. A loss tonight and it’s a seven game losing streak, but a 4-3 win over the Hawks in overtime and suddenly the streak is snapped. Just in time for a six game road trip that begins on Tuesday in Chicago.

Oh and the win means the Flames have points in 14 of their last 16 games, that sound pretty good right? 🙂

Matt Bartkowski

Yeah the guy isn’t good.

Matt Bartkowski was last on the team in possession stats tonight with 33% which is quantifiabley bad. His cough up in the second period that almost handed the Hawks a 3-0 lead before Sam Bennett lowered his shoulder into the Hawk about to put the game away was visually bad.

But here’s the pickle. What are they to do?

The team needs a seventh defenseman. If said 7th defenseman was a young player it would be a waste of development. So you keep Matt Bartkowski who is an ideal 7th defenseman in that you don’t worry about the impact of him not seeing the ice. But a 7th defenseman needs to see the ice at some point or you run the risk of rust when or if you do need him.

But will you?

If the Flames suffer an injury to a left shooting defenseman and have to promote a lefty for an extended period don’t they go to the farm and bring up Tyler Wotherspoon? If they didn’t think that before I’m sure they’re thinking that now.

And if that’s the case? Bring him up now.

Gaudreau and the Kane Factor

Johnny Gaudreau was electric tonight, essentially taking the game over in the last half of the game along with linemate Sean Monahan.

But in his career, other than that amazing overtime goal last year he’s struggled against Chicago with only seven points in nine games, meaning there are 23 teams that he’s been more productive against.

Now the Blackhawks have been stellar for the duration of Johnny Gaudreau’s career, but I do wonder if lining up against Patrick Kane and wanting to put on a show has played a role as well.

For the record the top three points per game victims of Gaudrau thus far are;

  1. Montreal – 1.38
  2. Winnipeg – 1.30
  3. Detroit/Ottawa/Philly – 1.29

His nemesis? Toronto at 0.50.

Monahan 10 OT Winner

The streak nuker was provided by Sean Monahan, his 10th career overtime game tying him with Alex Ovechkin since Monahan came into the league.

The quiet player just gets himself in the right lanes in overtime and tonight was no different with a pass up to Brodie and then tracking late and taking the pass, not shooting into shin pads, waiting and then beating Glass high to the left top corner.

The guy you want with the game on his stick.

He tied a career record with eight shots in the game and should have had a hat trick if some of those goal mouth scrambles avoided skate blades and sailed in.

Brodie Gaff

Tough turnover for TJ Brodie trying to hold the line against Anthony Duclair.

Defenseman have to make a call, am I keeping this in or do I need to back off and he made the wrong call yielding a breakaway that snapped a two two tie a few minutes after the Flames had battled out of a 0-2 hole and tied the game up.

The boo boo disrupted an otherwise solid night for the defender who had two assists, four shots on goal, two blocked shots, a takeaway, and a corsi rating of 60%.

Road Trip Ahead

The Flames now hit the road for six games in 11 nights, a trip that travels from Chicago to New Jersey, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Boston and Nashville. Tough trip.

The Flames have been rock solid on the road, and are probably due a bounce or two so fingers crossed they can reel in a 4-2 trip or better to seize back a solid standing in the Pacific standings.

Standings Impact

The win tonight had them back in a playoff spot for about ten minutes before the Kings finalized a win in Arizona to move back in front of the Flames.

With the strength of the Central Division, you just know this has become a Pacific or bust season for the California teams and the Flames (as it looks like Vegas will never lose again).

The Kings win tonight, but the Ducks lost. The Flames are a point back of the Kings with even games played, and two back of the Sharks with the Sharks having a game in hand.


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The Flames stapled their fourth line to the pine for a good chunk of the third period, something we haven’t seen a lot this year.

Curtis Lazar had two third period shifts, Matt Stajan had five, Hathaway two, Troy Brouwer six, Bartkowski four, Andrew Mangiapane one, as Glen Gulutzan leaned heavily on the top two lines and top two defense pairings.

Given the way the Flames pretty much took over the game in the final frame, it may be something we see in the future much more often.

Looking forward to it!

Fancy Stats

The Flames had a 55% edge in five on five shot attempts tonight with slits of 49 / 55 / 63. Scoring chances finished 17-11 for the Flames but were 10-7 Chicago after two periods before the Flames ran the table with a 10-1 third period in scoring chances.

Individually the Flames had their best possession players right at the top once again; with Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano at 64%, Michael Frolik at 62%, Matthew Tkachuk and Dougie Hamilton at 61%. The other 60% men on the night were Brodie and Hamonic at 60% flat. Only four players got buried with the aforementioned Bartkowski joined by Curtis Lazar at 33%, Michael Stone at 38% and Sam Bennett at 45%.

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