Game Takes: Flames 3 Flyers 2 (OT)

January 6th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Good teams win games when they’re not firing on all cylinders.

Tonight the Flames had a terrible powerplay, kicked the Flyer first goal into their own net, and had a goalie gift wrap the other Philly marker, but found a way to come back and tie the game, and then win it in overtime on a goal by TJ Brodie.

The standings won’t remember how it went down, just the facts, as the Flames record win number 26 on the season and a 2-1-0 record on their four game road trip with the final game coming Monday night in Chicago.

Line Up Changes

Very little by way of changes from the loss in Boston to the game today in Philadelphia. No change on the blueline, no change up front depending on your view of who the second line right winger is to start the game between Sam Bennett and Michael Frolik.

In goal the big change, as the Flames welcome back David Rittich after two games on the IR with a lower body injury.

Keyser Söze

If you didn’t like Rick Ball before, you have to like him now. A Keyser Söze reference in the pre game part of the show (famous from the movie Usual Suspects, one of the best movies of all time).

The guy is good at his job, but more and more he continues to show he’s a pretty good dude overall as well.

Flyers Third Jersey Numbers

I like thinking outside the box. I like that the Flyers purposely do the odd coloured name bars on their jerseys, and aren’t afraid to shake it up when it comes to third jerseys.

I didn’t however, like their odd 3-D Flyer logo years ago, and I’m not sure I’m on board with the massive sleeve numbers in this version of the black Philly third.

As I said, have to give them credit for trying though.

Retaliation Calls

I get that referees look for retaliation on plays and tend to call them. So it doesn’t come as a huge surprise in the second period when James Neal was sent off for retaliating on the Provorov hit on Michael Frolik.

But during the same retaliation sequence Travis Sanheim stepped up and crosschecked Frolik. You couldn’t call one without seeing the other; they were in the same frame of reference.

So why on Earth would a referee seeing a retaliation from both sides choose to call one and ignore the other, completely wiping out the original call in the first place?

Simmonds Down

Now I’m getting to the whiny phase, and I’m good with that.

But I just can’t stand it when a player is down holding his head (Simmonds), but then sees there isn’t a call so gets up, grabs his stick, returns to the play and doesn’t head for a change.

What does that say? I’m really really hurt but I now I’m ok, nothing to see here? Or I want you to call something based on my over the top reaction but now that you’re not I’ll just get back to what I’m supposed to be doing? If that isn’t embellishment what is?

OT Goal Without 13

Johnny Gaudreau has been carrying a lot of offence of late, so seeing him out of a Flame’s goal is somewhat interesting in itself. But that spectacle is even more grabbing when it’s an overtime goal by the Flames when #13 is on the bench.

Yet that’s exactly what we saw tonight when the Flames marched  up the ice on a Flyer turnover and won the game on a Matthew Tkachuk pass to TJ Brodie.

Tkachuk has pretty soft hands in his own right, and Brodie did his best Mark Giordano getting up the ice impersonation, find the victory in a game that Calgary didn’t really find their “A” game.

Rittich Own Goals

3-2 overtime shut out?

Kind of feels that way doesn’t it?

David Rittich will officially have a night where he stopped 32 of 34 shots in posting his 21st victory of the season. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that line, a .941 save percentage is to die for in today’s NHL with goal scoring on the up. Yet neither goal were actually shots on a goalie.

The first goal was deflected off of TJ Brodie’s swinging skate and past a startled Rittich, and the second goal was all on the goaltender as he fed it straight to Travis Konecny for an empty net goal.

Nice doughnut Dave!

Standings Implications

Interesting to see the changes at the top of the Western Conference. The Jets having lost their most recent game have now tumbled to 5th place, but have games in hand on all the teams ahead of them. Calgary sits on top of the pack with 56 points, two points up on the Knights with Calgary having a game in hand. Nashville is three points back with even games played, and San Jose who beat the Lightning are tied with Predators in both points and games played. The Jets have three games in hand on Calgary but need to win two of them to pull even.

The best news for the Flames is the separation in the Pacific Division when it comes to playoff teams. With Calgary, Vegas and San Jose now pulling away from the rest of the pack dramatically, there shouldn’t be a big concern about wild card spots for any of the three teams. Calgary has Anaheim by 11 points with the Ducks having a game in hand, and Vancouver by 12 points with Calgary having two games in hand.

If you’re still concerned with the Oilers, who lost 4-0 in L.A. tonight, they’re 15 points back of the Flames and have two games in hand. Yeah that’s done.

Fancy Stats

A lot of the Flyer play damage was done with their powerplays in the first half of the game, so the Flames though out shot on the night had good underlying numbers five on five. Overall the shots were 34-32 Philly, but five on five the shot count finished 27-25 Calgary. Shot attempts five on five were 51% Flames on period splits of 53% / 52% and 50%. Scoring chances were 21-12 for the Flyers, but the high danger chances were super low at five apiece.

In all situations Calgary had 49% of the shot attempts, 38% of the scoring chances and 44% of the high danger chances.

Individually, the Flames were led by Matthew Tkachuk at 61%, a good deal ahead of the rest of the pack. Next in line was Sam Bennett at 56%, Noah Hanifin at 55% and Derek Ryan at 54%. At the other end of the spectrum was Austin Czarnik at 43%, with linemate Garnet Hathaway a bit ahead at 47%.


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