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In another weekend matinee against the St. Louis Blues, the Calgary Flames looked for a repeat performance following a big 7-2 win against the Blues just a week ago. Mike Smith started in the Flames crease and Jake Allen in the Blues’.

The Flames didn’t start out the game on the right foot. They looked slow, a little discombobulated, and not sharp in their last game before the Christmas break. The Blues on the other hand, came out flying. Their forecheck was excellent, they forced the Flames into making bad passes, and were quick to exit their zone. The Blues opened the scoring just 4:06 into the game with David Perron scoring a pretty terrible goal on Smith. Once again, Smith let in a softie. What else is new.

They’d add to their lead midway through the period with a powerplay goal off the stick of Tyler Bozak. Fortunately, the Flames would respond before the first buzzer with a powerplay goal of their own from Matthew Tkachuk. The Flames headed to the dressing room down just one goal after 20.

The tide really turned in the second period; tt was all Flames for basically the whole 20 minute frame. In all situations, they led in Corsi (27-11), scoring chances (17-5), and high danger chances (7-3), but scored exactly zero goals on Allen. The Blues regained control of all three of these metrics in the third, adding a third insurance marking goal in the process, en route to a 3-1 win over the Flames. The last goal was easily stoppable as well but Smith floundered, eliminating any chance of a patented Flames comeback.

The Flames are off until the 27th and now on a three game losing streak, this break is a great chance to recharge their batteries.

Statistical Breakdown

Team Stats

All Situations 5v5 SVA 5v5
CF 55.4% 58.7% 52.8%
SCF 60.0% 64.9% 58.7%
HDCF 50.0% 50.0% 43.5%

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames

  • Mark Jankowski led the Flames with 90.0% CF in the game (9-1).
  • Only three Flames players finished below 50% CF, one of them being Gaudreau at 48.5% CF.
  • Rasmus Andersson was the worst Corsi player on the team at 29.4% CF.

St. Louis Blues

  • Former Flames Chris Butler led the Blues with 71.4% CF.
  • Jaden Schwartz was a team low 16.7% CF.
  • Robert Thomas led the Blues in SCF% at 80.0% and HDCF% at 100.0%.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Line Combinations

Calgary Flames

Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund –  Bennett
Frolik – Jankowski – Neal
Quine – Ryan – Hathaway

Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Kylington – Andersson

Smith
Rittich

St. Louis Blues

Schwartz – Schenn – Tarasenko
Steen – O’Reilly – Perron
Maroon – Bozak – Thomas
Nolan – Barbashev – Sundqvist

Edmundson – Parayko
Bouwmeester – Bortuzzo
Dunn – Butler

Allen
Binnington

Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff

Thoughts on the Game

The Flames really didn’t play that well through 60 minutes in yesterday’s game, and the Blues capitalized on the fact that the Flames had Smith in net admirably. The Flames have had excellent first and third periods so far this year, but yesterday’s game saw them start out super slow in the first, play a tremendous second, and fizzle out in the third. At least this team was able to put together a solid second period, something they haven’t really done all year.

The obvious topic of conversation here is that the Flames are heading into the Christmas break in first place, but on a three game losing streak. That type of streak is very unlike this Flames team. They have very rarely lost multiple games in a row this year and the only other time they lost three consective games was in October where they dropped decisions to Montreal, Pittsburgh in that 9-1 drubbing, and Washington. After that skid, they went on a four game winning streak so hopefully they’ll be able to bounce back after the break and string a few wins together. The Pacific Division is getting tighter and tighter as the season goes on and the Flames need to bank as many points as possible, especially against lesser opponents. At this point, they should be able to qualify for the playoffs but it’s all about fine tuning your game so that come April, you’re in a good position to make a run.

I’m sick and tired of Smith. He let in two pretty bad goals yesterday and yes, the Flames didn’t show up like they should have as a team, but how many times must I watch Smith give up iffy goals? He’s the only black mark on this team right now (and that’s saying a lot with how bad James Neal has been) and he’s the biggest piece holding the Flames back. In our Sunday Census, we asked who the Flames should target at the deadline and a large portion of people wanted Sergei Bobrovsky. That’s who I voted for. The Flames need help in net and Bob could take them into the elite, contender status.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly

Good: Michael Frolik returned to the lineup. He helps the bottom-six tremendously.

Bad: Dropping three games in a row is not something that good teams do, especially to teams that are out of the playoff picture like Dallas and St. Louis.

Ugly: Well, Smith was in goal and when that happens, it’s tough to choose anything other than the softie that he probably let in. The first and third goals were #notgood. This guy needs to stop starting games.

Next Game

Opponent: Winnipeg Jets
Record: 24-10-2
Standings: 1st in Central
Season Series: 1-0-0


 

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