Game Takes: Flames 4 Hurricanes 3

February 4th, 2019 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Talk about showing up your old boss!

The Flames and Hurricane’s played a spirited game on Superbowl Sunday afternoon, and it was the former players who put the boots to their former club; on both sides.

Dougie Hamilton put up a goal and an assist to go with Micheal Ferland’s two helpers on the Carolina side in a 4-3 matinee loss. Not to be out done Derek Ryan, not in a trade, but a free agent signing had a goal an an assist as well, to go with additional goals from Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, whose marker was the game winner.

At the end of the game Lindholm could be seen mocking the Carolina crowd with their goal, a response to the boos he received on the afternoon no doubt, and a pretty good sign these players have moved on to their new cities.

Line Up Changes

A change in goal with David Rittich returning to the pipes after Mike Smith took the loss in Washington. Additionally Travis Hamonic couldn’t go with a lower body injury meaning Dalton Prout was forced into action. No changes up front in the forward ranks.

Hamonic Injury

Pretty clear the impact of missing Travis Hamonic on the roster, and the overall slotting of the Flames defense. With the ice time dolled out last night you can pretty much see how things are working in Bill Peters head. Rasmus Andersson has graduated, he’s getting more and more minutes anyway, but with Hamonic down on the right side he’s had to elevate to a top four defenseman and with seven or eight more minutes than Prout he’s clearly the man.

Oliver Kylington on the left side, and behind Mark Giordano and Hanifin only picked up 11 minutes and wasn’t on either special teams. Prout had 15 minutes of ice time, three plus of which was killing penalties.

Trade Deadline

Which brings us to the trade deadline.

If Hamonic’s injury is serious at all they need to acquire some depth. What about Michael Stone? How close is he? And if he is close how close is that to what his normal game would be with the final third of the season and the playoffs looming?

Do the Flames need a left and right shooting defenseman at the deadline? Is 11 minutes from the final pairing enough as it will put a lot of wear on the top four including a 35 year old at the top of the pyramid.

Mikael Backlund Level

Mikael Backlund’s eye popping goal in Washington was nice and all, but his overall play since Christmas has been the real eye candy for a surging team that is finally getting some scoring from their depth.

After a super unproductive November, Backlund has been flying including 10 points in his last nine games, a stretch that includes four goals. On the season he now has 30 points in 49 games putting him on a 82 game pace for 22 goals and 28 assists, and another 50 point season. He missed two games with injury so he’ll have to up the production a bit to hit that 50 point mark.

Today it was shocking he didn’t add to his point totals as he had three or four blue chip chances that could have made this game a laugher by midway through the second period.

On a new contract, it wouldn’t be best to see a decline in his production so it’s a good sign to see Backlund churning away.

TJ Brodie Afternoon

This isn’t a dump on the player, as TJ Brodie was one of the better Calgary players in the Washington game, but TJ Brodie had a rough afternoon in Carolina.

A brutal first period giveaway to put the hosts up quickly, and then almost a repeat of the same play in the third period with the game still in doubt.

Keep it quiet TJ!

Special Teams

Winning teams win the special team battles, and it’s certainly been the case of late for the Flames as they’ve rolled through their schedule. Tonight it was a tying goal in the first on a powerplay, a deflection by Lindholm, a huge goal at the time. In the second they added to a 2-1 lead with a shorty by Garnet Hathaway set up by Derek Ryan.

When the dust settled the Flames were 1/5 with the man advantage, killed all four Carolina advantages and added the short handed goal for gravy.

4-3 win and +2 on special teams. Have to like the coaching changes in Calgary this fall and winter.

Standings Implications

Only three games on Superbowl Sunday, and none of the other two meant a lick to the Flames.

So with that it’s two points for the Flames on the Jets and Predators for the conference and the Sharks and Knights for the division with no outside interference.

The Flames are back to a three point lead on the Jets with Winnipeg having a game in hand. The Predators are seven points back having played one more game. Calgary has a seven point lead on the Sharks with San Jose playing the same number of game. The Knights are now 11 points back and have played an extra game.

Is that it for Vegas? I know if the Flames were 11 points back of a team I would consider that somewhat done.

Other fun numbers …

The break line for securing a Pacific Division playoff spot and avoiding the wildcard race is the Canucks who are 19 points back of the Flames. 19 points!

The Oilers are now 22 points back in the scorching race for premacy in the province.

Counting Stats

Chart Leaders
Points – Derek Ryan 2
Shots – Mikael Backlund 6
+/- – Noah Hanifin +2

Rittich 34/37 .919 save percentage

Fancy Stats

The Hurricanes are always a possession team, and had the best of the numbers though once again I wonder if their “high danger” chances just pass the precipice of the definition compared to some of the chances that Calgary had thwarted. In terms of five on five shot attempts the Hurricanes had 55% of the share with period splits of 65% / 50% and 50%. Scoring chances were 54% Carolina and the high danger chances 55% (11-9).

In all situations it was 54% Carolina in shot attempts and they led with 52% of the scoring chances and 53% of the high danger chances.

The Flames gave up double digit high danger chances against once again, something they’ll need to clean up.

Individually the Flames were led by the 3M line who chewed up the Hurricanes to the tune of 57-61% as a trio. Giordano, Brodie and Mark Jankowski also had good afternoons. Calgary’s first and fourth lines were shredded five on five by Carolina.




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