Just like that, 82 regular season games have come and gone. The Calgary Flames were in action against their provincial rivals last night for their final tune-up before the playoffs. Although the game had appeared to have little meaning for both teams, that actually wasn’t the case. Playing for some final bragging rights, Johnny Gaudreau‘s quest for 100 points, and Leon Draisaitl‘s quest for 50 goals were all major story lines heading into the night.
The Flames iced a lineup that included more regular faces than we have seen over the past few games, but still was missing the likes of Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk. That being said, the playoff roster is still unclear at this point in time.
Both teams got off to decent starts, with both goalies holding down their respective forts. The Flames and the Oilers both looked to be trying to feed Gaudreau and Draisaitl respectively to assist in their individual quests.
The Oilers would help their man achieve his marker first, as Draisaitl would sneak a shot short side on Mike Smith to earn his 50th goal of the season. The Flames would respond shortly after, as Mark Jankowski would deflect a shot past Mikko Koskinen. Gaudreau would pick up an assist, giving him 99 points on the season.
In the second period, the game would be put aside for a brief moment as Connor McDavid went hard into the net. Trying to maneuver around Mark Giordano, McDavid was tripped and went leg-first into the post. Having to be helped off the ice by his teammates, the game felt somewhat less meaningful after that. On the subsequent power play, the Oilers would extract a bit of revenge as former Flame Alex Chiasson would score his 22nd of the season giving the Oilers a 2-1 lead.
Darnell Nurse would add another goal in the third period, and the Flames were denied by Koskinen on every opportunity. The final game of the season goes to the Oilers, as the Flames dropped this one 3-1. Gaudreau would finish with 36 goals and 63 assists for 99 points on the season.
|All Situations||5v5||5v5 SVA|
5v5 Player Stats
- Austin Czarnik posted a game high CF% of 76.2%
- The Flames had seven players post CF%’s above 60.0%, while the Oilers had none
- A rare off-night for Mikael Backlund, as he was last on the team in possession with a 33.3%
- Gaudreau, Travis Hamonic, and Noah Hanifin were all on the ice for 5 HDCF
- Tobias Rieder may not have scored, but he led his team in CF% with 55.0%
- Only three players posted a positive possession rating
- Zack Kassian posted a game worst CF% of 28.0%
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Gaudreau – Lindholm – Neal
Tkachuk – Backlund – Dube
Prout**– Jankowski – Czarnik
Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway
Giordano – Brodie
Hanifin – Hamonic
Fantenberg – Andersson
Draisaitl – McDavid – Kassian
Lucic – Nugent-Hopkins – Rattie
Rieder – Cave – Chiasson
Gambardella – Gagner – Currie
Klefbom – Larsson
Nurse – Russell
Sekera – Benning
Stats courtesy: DailyFaceoff
Thoughts on the Game
Not much of a “battle” last night. Although some players put in some amazing efforts, it wasn’t the most exciting game to finish off the regular season. It seemed like more of a formality, which I’m sure the Flames were comfortable with.
I think last night was all about Gaudreau for the Flames. He played a whopping 27:22 of ice time last night, trying so desperately to get him the 100 points. I think in all honesty they may have been trying too hard, as some chances were looked over in favor of giving Johnny the puck. That being said, for a game that doesn’t mean much in the great scheme of things, it was an amazing sub-plot for the fans.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly
Good: Although he didn’t reach the 100 point plateau, 99 points for Johnny Gaudreau is a heck of an accomplishment. He keeps raising the bar every year.
Bad: Regardless of the rivalry, you hate to see McDavid go down hard like that. The game is better with him in it, and here’s to hoping it’s nothing major.
Ugly: The Flames went 0/3 on the power play, which puts them at 6.1% since March 1st. That is dead last in the NHL over that time frame. The Flames need this to get going, especially against the Avalanche.
Next Game – Game #1
Opponent: Colorado Avalanche
Standings: 5th in Central
Season Series: 3-0-0
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images