Game Takes: Jets 2 Flames 1

April 5th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Glen Gulutzan was quite unimpressed with the effort the Flames put in on home ice in their most recent game, a 4-1 home loss to the Arizona Coyotes. He muttered that they worked hard to score, but didn’t work hard enough in playing defense on the night.

Tonight the depleted team moved to within one step of putting a bullet in the season, playing their final road game of the campaign, a 2-1 loss that featured a club that has trouble scoring, can’t find a powerplay goal, and can prove any shot clock meaningless.

The club plays their final game of the season on Saturday night, a home date against the Vegas Golden Knights.
Franchise History

Want a good example why the Flames shouldn’t move to Houston only to be replaced by an expansion franchise or another team move at a later date?

The Winnipeg Jets.

On the pregame show on the radio I heard the term “franchise record” or “franchise first” twice, and was left confused. Is Hellebucyck on his way to a Jets record or an Atlanta Thrasher’s record? Have the Thrashers never hosted a game one in the playoffs or the 80s Jets?

Too annoying. Don’t do it Calgary.

Audition 2018-19 2nd Line or 3rd Line? Hybrid?

The Flames were smart tonight in putting Nick Shore on the top line that used to feature Johnny Gaudreau and Micheal Ferland flanking Sean Monahan. By doing so they free up some experimentation on the second and third lines and what we could see next year.

Sure Matthew Tkachuk isn’t in the mix, and will be in October, but having Spencer Foo patrol the right side with Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett was a possible mix, so too was Michael Frolik playing with Mark Jankowski.

Foo looked solid against Edmonton, pretty noticeable against Arizona, and scored his first NHL goal tonight. If he can break into the top nine as a right winger next season the Flames have probably solved one of their problems.

A top flight winger and some trickle down effect would do some of the rest.

“He Aint No Hellebuyck Girl”

Interesting night for Jon Gillies in the Flame’s nets.

I don’t fault him for either of the Jets goals as they were both pretty deft tips not far from the lanky goaltender who was square to the shot. He did, however, look exceedingly sketchy handling routine shots to start the game, something we’ve seen on numerous occasions in his eight starts.

He did settle down though, making one wonder if patience is the key with the kid. The Jets certainly had to show patience with Hellebucyk over the years, with the stopper unready to handle the load until this season, ironically when the Jets added Mason to the fold to be their starter.

Goaltenders arrive when they’re ready. You can’t predict it.

Jets As The Model

Peter Loubardias was suggesting patience with the Flames, and that they’re not that far away. He suggested the mood in Winnipeg last April was to fire the GM, fire the coach, and alter the core, to which they did none of the above and then reaped the rewards this season.

That isn’t to say the Flames are the Jets, but there may be a lesson in there somewhere.

Gaudreau In Alone

For all the skill the kid has, Johnny Gaudreau simply can’t get it done on a breakaway.

Tonight’s attempt was somewhat odd, as he broke in and fired a shot towards the very middle of the goaltender. It may have been an attempt on the five hole but it was high and completely innocent as far as breakaway attempts go.

Frolik Frustrating Season

Man what a frustrating season for Michael Frolik.

He was off offensively, broke his jaw just after Christmas in San Jose. Came back and continued towards a career low shooting percentage and miserable offensive totals. And then tonight in a return to Winnipeg he fails on a breakaway and then later in the game topples and goes face first into the boards and exits the game.

He’s been a solid free agent signing by the Flames, but he’s had a tough season.

Next year he heads into year four of a five year deal, a deal that I liked by dollars but was worried by term. Hopefully he can support the third line (should he move down) and be a valuable member for another 24 months.

Powerplay Powerless Again

The Flames had their looks once again on the powerplay but once again they come up empty in a game where their penalty kill got it done.

Bottom line the ugly streak continues towards 2% in a game where a late powerplay goal would have sent the game to overtime.

Unreal run for the man advantage group.

Fancy Stats

Good night for the Flames on the road with a run down line up. They end the game with 53% with splits of 63 / 48 and 47%. Scoring chances were 24-17 Calgary and high danger chances were 6-1 for the Flames five on five.

In all situations the scoring chances were even at 18, and high danger chances were 9-3 Calgary for 75%.

Individually, the Flames were led by Curtis Lazar with 80%, followed by Matt Bartkowski, Rasmus Andersson, Garnet Hathway and Tanner Glass all in the high 60s; clearly the bottom half of the roster was carrying the play. The Gaudreau, Shore, Ferland line had a tough time all coming in with counts in the 30s.

Of late, it seems that whatever line Micheal Ferland lands on has a rough night.



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