Game Takes: Kings 3 Flames 0

March 26th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

I suppose it would have been foolish to expect anything different.

The Calgary Flames haven’t done a great job of scoring goals of late, but take the top three forwards out of their lineup and add in the knowledge that they’re playing for next year and it would be hard to imagine a back and forth game of fire wagon hockey in Los Angeles tonight.

We didn’t. And it wasn’t.

The Kings scored two second period goals, and added a third in the third; all on the powerplay to push aside the Flames by a score of 3-0 on Monday night.

The Flames had gumption. They played physical. Their effort couldn’t be denied. But they just don’t have the horses to push back.

Talk About Thin

Every individual would have their own set of criteria when ranking players on a roster form top to bottom, but there is little doubt in this case in terms of what the Flames are missing.

There best three forwards, both in terms of production and impact in a game, and their third best defenseman.

For a team that has a heck of a time putting the puck in the net at full strength, that’s a pretty scary proposition.

Defense Pairs ReConfigured Again

Gulutzan changed up the defense pairings again, after the 6-1 loss in San Jose.

Brett Kulak moves back to the third pairing, moving his partner Rasmus Andersson back to his natural side. Michael Stone goes up to the second line to play on his off side once again.

The Lefty Righty Thing

When you see defenseman transition the puck back and forth in their own zone or the neutral zone it certainly makes sense that coaches would prefer to have players playing their natural side. However in watching both Stone and Andersson play on their off side it’s very noticeable that the two players approach the adjustment differently and with distinctly different results.

Stone likes to stay square, so with a move to the left side he’s staying square and taking the puck off his backhand. As a result it’s a two touch process that puts him danger of a turnover. When Andersson played on his off side though he turns his body inward creating a pass target on his inside blade instead of his backhand. The result is a one touch catch with the draw back being his eyes and head turned away from looking up the ice.

Sam Bennett Penalty Parade

I get it that patience is running thin for Sam Bennett in Calgary, it only makes sense.

But his three penalties tonight were more about bad bounces and hyper aggression than a lack of discipline in my mind. The kid doesn’t like losing, in fact he hates it, and with that edge he brings more in these meaningless games than almost any player out side of captain Mark Giordano.

When this comes together he’s going to be a solid second line player in this league, and a huge asset in playoff series

Just hope it’s in a Calgary uniform.

Spirited Start

Have to give the Flames some credit for the way they started tonight’s game in L.A.. Sure they’re out of it and short staffed but they brought energy, and a bit of snarl in their first period on the road, out hitting the Kings 15-6 in a period that was played somewhat evenly.

Eliminated Officially

A loss in regulation tonight and it became officially over.

Sure there couldn’t have been a lot of Calgarians actually pining for the team’s playoff chances, but it’s when it’s official at least the narrative gets more straight forward the rest of the way.


Islander Odds

The Flames continue to sit 19th in the league standings, so the Islanders have the 12th best lottery odds in the circuit. The odd thing is how static that position has been. With teams battling for playoff spots seemingly jumping three teams one night and then getting passed by three others the next night the Flames have been pigeon holed between Carolina and Florida for the past ten days.

The Canes have won three in a row so they may over take the Flames this week, but then it’s a six point lead on the Rangers for the next threat.

Bottom line there just isn’t a lot of lottery risk for the Calgary pick going down the stretch.

Fancy Stats

You have to give the Flames a lot of credit for hanging tough in this hockey game. Glen Gultuzan said they’d have to play a tight game and keep the scoring low on the pre game show, and five on five they really got the job done. The Flames out shot the Kings 20-16 five on five, and only gave up four high danger scoring chances all night while generating three. That’s tight hockey folks. The shot attempts were 53% in the Flames favour.

In all situations the game changed with the Kings scoring three powerplay goals to put the game away. Overall the Flames were 51% in shot attempts but only had 29% of the scoring chances as the Kings ran up a 6-3 edge with the man advantage.

As I said above, Sam Bennett was more than needless penalties tonight. He led the team by a lap in terms of shot attempts with 79% including a 7-1 edge in scoring chances, and a 1-0 edge in high danger chances. A noticeable player tonight. Other guys with good nights included Nick Shore with 67%, Travis Hamonic with 64%, Curtis Lazar with 63% and Michael Stone with 60%. Tanner Glass was at the bottom of the pile with 40% on the night.

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