Game Takes: Rangers 4 Flames 3

February 9th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

It would be easy to lean on the blown lead narrative as the Flames, essentially perfect for 53 games with a third period lead have now blown three in the past two weeks, this time slipping a 3-2 lead in Manhattan into a 4-3 loss to the Rangers.

But that wouldn’t be accurate.

The game was lost in the first period when they came out completely unprepared and were out shot 20-8, but escaping with a 1-1 tie.

The rough start coupled with a terrible hold on third period in Jersey is a bad run of hockey for this team, though they did push hard the rest of the way and were pretty unlucky to come up empty.

The trip moves on.

Brouwer Face Break

Say what you will about Troy Brouwer’s time in Calgary, but the man is no shrinking violet when it comes to his pain threshold.

Taking a puck in the face on his first shift in Jersey and completing the game with a broken face is somewhat surreal, and a testament to his guts and team first attitude.

The Flames activated Curtis Lazar to replace Brouwer tonight, with Garnet Hathaway moving up the roster to play with Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski, leaving a fourth line of Lazar, Matt Stajan and Ryan Lomberg.

It worked!

No not the third line, nothing can save that trio these days, but the fourth line scored once, disallowed, and then scored again Curtis Lazar with his first of the season.

Treliving Interview

Brad Treliving was on Hockey Central today talking trade deadline.

He pretty much reiterated what Brian Burke said two days earlier but in the Treliving more vague, saying less fashion.

Wants a scoring winger, not for the first line, and doesn’t like rentals.

Sounds to me like they’re doing something but don’t expect a big fish.

Smith Music

I think the Rangers have figured out a way to stymie the Flames on the road. They played Mike Smith’s Saddledome great save music, by blasting the Hip’s Little Bones tune before the game.

Make Mike Smith think he’s in Calgary and presto! Four goals against. Brilliant!

Hamilton on the First Powerplay


When I was young I always had this view that those in authority, or those with the big job are there because they are smarter than everyone else and deserve it.

That theory gets tested from time to time.

Dougie Hamilton being a human goal machine in January but not seeing the light of day on a struggling powerplay was a head scratcher. He’s a right shot which they are in short supply of on the extra man units and he gets pucks to the net.

So it comes as no surprise that his simple wrister towards Matthew Tkachuk resulted in a goal tonight by the sophomore on the team’s powerplay. Sure they didn’t find the equalizer with the man advantage late and the goalie pulled but the traditional set up did look better than the failed 1-3-1 work we’ve seen of late.

I’m not, however, as sold on Michael Stone on the second unit.

What it Means

The Kings won and the Sharks were idle, so the Flames tumble out of the playoffs once again. Even in points with both the Sharks and Wild, but with an extra game played has them on the outside looking in.

The Wild play the Hawks tomorrow night, while the Sharks play the Oilers.

The Oilers at press time were down (shocker) to the Ducks by a 2-0 score. The Ducks trail the Flames by two points with even games played and will pull even in points but Calgary will have the extra game.

It Wasn’t Pretty

Curtis Lazar has played some pretty solid hockey of late so it was nice to see him finally get off the snide and score his first goal of the season. Over the last 16 games he’s averaged a corsi rating and scoring chance split of 51%. It’s not flashy but he’s getting it done.

I honestly don’t think he’ll ever have the processing speed to be a top six forward, but perhaps there’s still a third line future for him. If not a physical guy that won’t kill you on the fourth line would be an acceptable landing spot for the 2nd round expenditure.

Fancy Stats

Such a waste to come out that flat footed and take three first period penalties, a brutal expenditure of energy that would eventually catch up to them and seal the loss.

The Rangers had a first period edge of 66% in five on five shot attempts, 69% in all situations. Scoring chances in the first period were 13-3 New York (all situations, 7-2 five on five). The Flames mailed it in.

They did get their act together from that point on having period edges of 68% and 53% five on five and 71% and 65% in all situations for the final two periods. The final shot attempts finished 51.22% Calgary five on five and 56.25% Calgary overall. Scoring chances were 21-19 Calgary in all situations and 15-10 New York five on five (8-8 over the final two periods).

Individually, only two players finished under the break even point five on five as Mark Giordano was in an unfamiliar place in last at 44%, Garnet Hathaway at 47%. Brett Kulak was 73% to lead the team, with Sam Bennett in second place at 61%.

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