The final leg of the Flames’ annual fathers trip was an absolute wild one. Coming off their grinding win against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Flames and their fathers were in for a much greater emotional roller-coaster on Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets. In what was originally projected to be a showdown between two of the hottest goalies in hockey right now, the game was as far from that prediction as possible.
The Flames would open the scoring off of the stick of Johnny Gaudreau, but would then surrender three by the time the first period ended. A myriad of issues in the opening twenty, such as turnovers, forgotten assignments, and missed saves would sink the Flames.
Things continue to not look good for the visiting team, as David Rittich would be replaced in favour of Mike Smith at the start of the second period. The first shot Smith faced found the back of the net, and the Flames were looking at a 4-1 deficit.
This is only the beginning of the story.
A lazy penalty taken by the Blue Jackets would lead immediately to a Flames goal by Sean Monahan. Shortly after that, Elias Lindholm would execute a perfect toe drag and sneak a wrist shot past Sergei Bobrovsky. Then over the course of the rest of the second period, goals from Matthew Tkachuk, Noah Hanifin, and T.J. Brodie would help the Flames stun the Jackets to take a 6-4 lead. A goal with five minutes left by Nick Foligno would bring the Jackets back within one. The home team trailed 6-5 heading into the final frame.
The drama didn’t stop there.
The Flames would score two more in the first ten minutes of the third period; Monahan and Gaudreau each getting their second goal of the game and finally chasing Bobrovsky from the net. The teams would trade goals with Cam Atkinson‘s hat-trick marker and Austin Czarnik‘s first goal since October 6. The game concluded with a final score of 9-6 in favour of the Flames.
The strange win now puts the Flames three points ahead of Anaheim for first in the Pacific.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- It wasn’t a very pretty night for the Flames in terms of possession as only two players posted CF% above 50%: Travis Hamonic and Mark Jankowski
- Derek Ryan, who was on a recent hot streak, had a horrendous outing. Posting a 12.5% CF% in only 7:12 of ice time; easily having a game-worst performance
- Hanifin was on the ice for 5 HDCF, but also 5 HDCA last night
- Foligno led the way with a game-high 75.0% CF%, with his line mate Josh Anderson close behind with 73.3%
- Only three Blue Jackets posted a sub 50% CF%: Artemi Panarin, David Savard, and Brandon Dubinsky
- In addition to his prolific possession performance, Foligno was on the ice for 5 HDCF and 0 HDCA. Panarin didn’t fair as well, as he was on the ice for 2 HDCF and 6 HDCA
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Mangiapane – Ryan – Neal
Czarnik – Jankowski – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Prout – Andersson
Columbus Blue Jackets
Panarin – Dubois – Atkinson
Foligno – Jenner – Anderson
Dubinski – Wennberg – Bjorkstrand
Sedlak – Nash – Hannikainen
Werenski – Jones
Murray – Nutivaara
Harrignton – Savard
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
As marvelous as it was to see the Flames score nine goals in a single game, last night was a total mess. Games like those are simply fun to re-watch once, and then toss in the garbage.
The opening twenty minutes were dreadful for the Flames, as they simply left Rittich out to dry on the first two goals. The third one was a weak goal, but I can’t imagine the team was too pleased to let Rittich down after he has been so consistent to start the season. Small sample size tonight, but can’t dwell too much on his performance.
Smith didn’t really fare that much better to be completely honest. It’s true, he had the highest SV% of the four goaltenders who played in the game, but that really isn’t something to write home about. I was honestly surprised they didn’t go back to Smith originally, but in the end he records the “W”. I would think Smith starts against Minnesota, while Rittich gets Nashville on Saturday.
The offence has been on an absolute tear this season. With last night’s nine goal outburst, the Flames reached 100 goals on the season in their 28th game—a far cry from their usual offensive struggles the past few seasons. The win now gives the Flames points in 14 of the last 18 games. This team is for real.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Gaud: With Monahan and Gaudreau both potting two goals and two assists each last night, they have been on fire. Monahan has eight goals and six assists over his last ten games, while Gaudreau has six goals and ten assists over that same span.
Bad: After playing so well recently, Ryan and Sam Bennett were both noticeably absent in the third period of last night’s game. Perhaps Bill Peters wasn’t a fan of what he saw, but even after going up 8-5, can’t imagine a scenario where they both don’t get a little bit of leniency.
Beautiful: The Flames posted their fourth five goal period of the season last night. The rest of the NHL combined only has three total.
Opponent: Minnesota Wild
Standings: 5th in Central
Season Series: 0-0-0