The Calgary Flames faced off against the Vegas Golden Knights for the second time this week. Reverse jersey night was in full effect as the home team opted to wear their white jerseys. The team wearing red couldn’t score and were ultimately shutout for the first time this season.
The game got off to a flat start with a turkey hangover of a first period. Nothing in particular really happened and while the Golden Knights did look better than the Flames, the game was scoreless after one.
In the second, things weren’t all too different. It quickly became a battle of goaltending despite neither team really having grade-A scoring chances. Late in the period, the Golden Knights scored to get the first goal of the game. Cody Eakin took a wrist shot from the blue line that was neatly tipped by Alex Tuch to beat David Rittich.
Vegas had all the momentum on their side and the Flames lacked the desperation. Heading into the third, Johnny Gaudreau got his first penalty of the season, and Vegas did not waste their opportunity. Colin Miller scored on a slap shot, making it 2-0 for the home team.
While the Flames did string together some chances, Fleury and his teammates were thinking “shutout”. Vegas put forth very good neutral zone pressure, keeping the Flames from gaining position for a lot of the game.
With under five minutes to go in the third, James Neal took a bad interference penalty that did not help the Flames in getting much needed late-game pressure. The game ended with some more penalties, Gaudreau took his second minor of the year along with Matthew Tkachuk and Deryk Engelland being given coincidental roughing penalties.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- In his return to Vegas, Neal posted the best CF% on the team at 60.0%
- The second pairing of Noah Hanifin and Travis Hamonic were close behind with 59.1% and 57.5%
- The rookie pairing of Rasmus Andersson and Juuso Valimaki posted the two worst CF%’s in the contest at 36.8% and 28.7% respectively
- Sean Monahan was on the ice for three HDCA, but no HDCF at 5v5
- Tomas Nosek posted a game high 73.7% CF%
- Ryan Reaves was close behind with a 70.0% at 5v5
- Eakin, assisting on the eventual game winner, had the worst possession rating on the team at 36.6%.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Czarnik – Ryan – Neal
Dube – Jankowski – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Valimaki – Andersson
Vegas Golden Knights
Marchessault – Karlsson – Smith
Pacioretty – Eakin – Tuch
Carr – Nosek – Carpenter
Carrier – Bellemare – Reaves
McNabb – Schmidt
Theodore – Engelland
Miller – Holden
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
The Flames were uninspired and did not look like they took the game very seriously. Playing like the way the did against divisional opponents is not good. One could argue that they just couldn’t solve Fleury, but the team on a whole didn’t look good or show many signs of trying.
Rittich was the only Flame that truly looked good. He was as sharp as he has been since being deemed the de facto starter. His team didn’t bail him out and the two goals he let in were hardly his fault.
The Pacific division is weak this year, and anything can happen come April. It seems all too likely that the Central will take five playoff spots, leaving the Pacific with three. That makes the points left on the table that much more important.
Every single game against Pacific opponents should bring out the best in the Flames, unfortunately, this was not the case yesterday. Calgary will have a chance to redeem themselves against the Arizona Coyotes, but they have to immediately turn things around compared to this game.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Gaud: Rittich was once again phenomenal. Stopping 26 of 28 shots that he faced, he easily made he key saved at the right time to keep the team in striking distance.
Bad: The top line looked like they missed their flight to Vegas, or were up too late the night before. Missed passes and poor execution had the normally dominant trio look very distant.
Ugly: Neal looked far better tonight, getting a few quality chances, but he still only has one point in the month of November. His goal on November 1st to be exact.
Opponent: Arizona Coyotes
Standings: 7th in the Pacific
Season Series: 0-0-0