In what once looked like it would be one of the most critical games in the season, the Calgary Flames dropped a 3-0 decision to the Los Angeles Kings last night. Because of the monumental collapse of the local hockey heroes over the last few weeks, this game was utterly meaningless. Mike Smith looked decent for the second time since returning from injury, but the Flames were comprised of a gaggle of bottom six players and weren’t able to do any damage to the Kings.

With Johnny Gaudreau (prayers to the Gaudreau family), Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Kris Versteeg, and TJ Brodie missing from the lineup, this team really didn’t stand a chance against a healthy and determined Kings team.

Sam Bennett looked to create a few chances, but most of the Bennett related attention was directed towards his three bad penalties throughout the game. Rinse and repeat.

Player of the Game: Nick Shore

Statistical Breakdown

Team Stats

All Situations 5v5 SVA 5v5
CF 51.4% 52.6% 50.5%
SCF 51.0% 55.9% 55.7%
HDCF 28.6% 42.9% 42.6%

5v5 Player Stats

  • Bennett led the Flames with 78.6% CF.
  • Tanner Glass was the worst Flames forward at 40.0% CF.
  • The Flames generated just four high danger chances the entire game, at all situations.
  • Alex Iafallo led the Kings with 66.7% CF.
  • Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli were the worst Kings at 31.8% CF.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Thoughts on the Game

I’m tired. You’re probably tired, and the Flames are definitely tired. This season cannot seem to end quickly enough. In what was supposed to be a statement year with an all but confirmed trip to the playoffs, the year has morphed into what I imagine feels like those ten years in Edmonton. This team has given up, and I don’t blame them one bit.

On the morning show last week, Elliotte Friedman said that the Flames are probably experiencing a form of shock. It wasn’t just fans and media that expected better of this team. The players fully believed they were going to be among the best in the league. The way this season has unraveled has been frustrating for everyone, but the players more than anyone else.

The Flames were icing what was essentially an AHL team last night. Save for Mikael Backlund and the top defense pair, the roster was a group of players who belong on fourth liners and in the press box. They were not going to win last night and they may not win again this year. The focus needs to shift now to the offseason and what to do to recover from this terrible season.

I’m curious to see what happens because I don’t necessarily think any big changes are really required, but this is a league of impulsive people who think they know what they’re doing. My fingers are crossed that this season that was marred by a series of unfortunate events doesn’t derail what looked to be a a promising young team.

Moving Forward

What needs to be fixed? Having NHL players.

The Flames missing their top players have really exposed the nonexistent forward depth on this roster. Let’s fix that please.

What needs to continue? Mike Smith? 

He looked better last night. Let’s end the year on a high note.

Next Game

The Flames play host to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

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About the Author Karim Kurji

mechanical engineer | diehard flames fan | content creator @wincolumnblog

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