The Calgary Flames had to follow the beautiful jersey retirement ceremony for Jarome Iginla, looking for their eight straight win against the visiting Minnesota Wild. It was a tough act to follow, but the Flames had been on a recent tear as of late and looked to continue their winning ways.
Unfortunately, the Wild got out to the early lead, as #12 on the Wild, Eric Staal, would give the Flames their first deficit in nearly seven games. Although the Flames were dominating play, the lone puck watching mistake they made ended up in the back of their net.
The score would stay that way until the second period, where the first line would finally start to look like themselves and connect on a goal from Sean Monahan. That would be Monahan’s 30th goal of the season, giving him back to back 30 goal campaigns. The game remained tied at one entering the third and final frame.
Although the third has been known to be their best, the Flames completely collapsed. Starting off with a fumble by Mike Smith behind the net, which after a few hit skates ended up in the back of the net. Shortly after a bad pinch by Rasmus Andersson would lead to an odd man rush, where Smith would have another sneak by him. The Flames would get within one, from a goal by Travis Hamonic, but another weak shot would get past Smith with a minute left.
That is where things ended, as the Flames’ winning streak ended at seven games; losing 4-2 to the Wild.
|All Situations||5v5||SVA 5v5|
5v5 Player Stats
- Johnny Gaudreau led the team in CF% with 77.1%
- Only three players posted negative possession ratings, with Garnet Hathaway posting a brutal 22.2%. Although he would receive a match penalty for intent to injure, and only play 5:37 at 5v5.
- Monahan posted 2 iHDCF
- Only two players posted positive possession ratings, with Matt Read leading the way at 56.0%
- J.T. Brown posted a game worst CF% of 18.8%. Yikes.
Stats courtesy:Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Monahan – Lindholm
Tkachuk – Backlund – Bennett
Frolik – Jankowski – Neal
Hathaway – Ryan – Czarnik
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Greenway – Staal – Granlund
Parise – Coyle – Niederreiter
Foligno – Eriksson Ek – Kunin
Fehr – Hendricks – Brown
Suter – Dumba
Brodin – Spurgeon
Seeler – Pateryn
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
What a way to clear the excitement out of the building. Although the Flames are still in an excellent position, last night was a poor way to celebrate Iginla. It’s not the end of the world, as the team actually played very strong, but we are allowed to be a bit sour after what happened.
The Flames were the better team by far, no question, but they lost the goaltending match-up. Let’s be clear, Smith has played very well over the course of the winning streak. No discounting how well he played over that stretch. Unfortunately, last night is unexcused. He is allowed to play the puck, but not when it comes at a detriment to the team. He simply needs to be able to prevent all three goals in the the third period. You hate to keep throwing him under the bus, but his bad games outweigh his good ones.
It’s almost unfair that when David Rittich has a night similar to Smith last night, he is benched or pulled immediately. Smith’s leash is long, and that is probably an issue come playoffs. You give Rittich the next start and let him roll with it for a bit.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Good: Another 30 goal season for Monahan, who has been consistent every season of his career.
Ugly: ..and whatever this was
Opponent: Toronto Maple Leafs
Standings: 3rd in Atlantic
Season Series: 1-0-0
(Photo by Terence Leung/NHLI via Getty Images)