About Last Night #5: Flames can’t win first game in Vegas, fall 6-2

Statistical Breakdown

5v5 SVACF%SCF%HDCF%xGF%
51.140.051.042.0
48.960.049.058.0

Team Stats

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames
VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS
  • William Karlsson posted a game high 77.7% CF.
  • Despite scoring the game tying goal, Mark Stone was a dismal 31.0% CF in the game.
  • Nick Holden led the Golden Knights with 100% HDCF going 5-0.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Thoughts on the Game

This wasn’t a good game. The Flames looked outmatched early on and were really quite lucky the score was only 1-0 after 20 minutes. The Golden Knights had a ton of great chances and David Rittich was strong in the first.

It was great to see Rasmus Andersson finally find the back of the net. Through five games this season, he has been absolutely dynamite for the Flames and looks to have gained a ton of confidence. He’s carrying the puck into the zone, making moves to get around players in both the defensive and offensive zones, and he’s utilizing his offensive instincts very well.

While his offensive prowess was once again on display tonight, especially on the power play, he was not as strong tonight defensively as he has been in other games. He looked shaky at times, and definitely struggled against the Golden Knights offensive pushes. While it is only one game, it is good to remember that he is still learning and growing as a defenceman in the league.

Johnny Gaudreau was on fire again tonight. He’s an incredible player and looks dangerous whenever he’s on the ice. The Flames’ top line is wicked and I don’t know why it’s happening now but back checking Sean Monahan is my favourite version of Monahan. That line is going to do damage this year, just like they did last season.

Unfortunately, this was probably David Rittich’s worst game of the season. His five hole was extra large in this one, as he let in two softies through the wickets to which the Flames couldn’t respond. It’s unfair to expect Rittich to stand on his head every night, so I don’t really hang this loss on him alone. I fully expect him to bounce back in a big way when he starts next, probably against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

The old saying that whoever loses the special teams battle usually loses the game was spot on in last night’s setback. The Flames technically didn’t allow any powerplay goals, though one did come right after a penalty had expired, but where they really shot themselves in the foot was not being able to convert on any of their four powerplay opportunities. It was refreshing to see the Flames have really solid powerplays with tons of chances from both units.

Through eight minutes of power play time, they had 22 shot attempts, 13 of which hit the net, eight being scoring chances, and three being high danger chances. They did everything they could but couldn’t find the back of the net. Had they managed to pot even one, perhaps that would have halted the Vegas comeback.

What it really came down to tonight was the Flames looked dynamite on the power play, but not as good at 5 on 5, and were unable to capitalize on their chances when they did come. They could not rely on Big Save Dave to keep them in it tonight, and did not make it easy for him, allowing a number of odd man rushes against. While Marc-Andre Fleury was very good for the Golden Knights, that does not excuse the Flames from allowing five goals against.

It wasn’t a great game, but hopefully the Flames can bounce back versus the Sharks.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the Ugly

Good: The Flames’ powerplay really looked good in this one. They didn’t score, but they had plenty of chances are they’re bound to go in soon.

Bad: Rittich had his first bad night of the season. The loss isn’t entirely on him, but it was tough to see him struggle the way he did.

Ugly: Squandering a 2-1 lead by allowing five straight goals. Not what you want to see.

Next Game

Opponent: San Jose Sharks
Record: 1-4-0
Standings: 8th in the Pacific
Season Series: 0-0-0


Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

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2 thoughts on “About Last Night #5: Flames can’t win first game in Vegas, fall 6-2

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