After a pathetic effort against the Kings one night before, the Flames bounced back in a big way to return to the win column. Cam Talbot shone in his second start as a Flame, and the whole team looked closer to their best.
5v5 Player Stats
- Tobias Rieder led the Flames with 74.1% CF in the game, going 20-7 at 5v5.
- Derek Ryan was a team low 26.7% CF.
- Alan Quine led the team with 0.29 ixGF in the game.
- Adam Henrique led the Ducks with 75.0% CF.
- Max Comtois was a team low 25.0% CR.
- Only seven Ducks skaters were above 50% CF in the game
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
Now that is the kind of bounce back effort you expect to see out of this group. They were embarrassed against the Kings, and despite snapping the Honda Curse last season, it’s still a tough place to play in. The Ducks are off to a great start this season and have arguably the best goalie in the world, so the Flames going into their barn and leave with a pretty solid win is encouraging.
It was tough to lose both Sam Bennett and Andrew Mangiapane, which in turn forced the team to lose Oliver Kylington via AHL demotion, but Alan Quine was absolutely fantastic in the bottom-six last night. The line of Quine, Tobias Rieder, and Mark Jankowski was one of the best in the game, with lots of extended offensive zone time and lots of quality scoring chances. It’s probably the best any Jankowski line has looked all year.
Quine’s speed and skill were on display last night and he’s making a case to be here full time even just with one game in the bigs this season. It might not be possible to keep him due to cap constraints but when his waiver eligibility is restored, it won’t be easy to send him down again. This is peak flexibility time for the Flames in regards to their farm players who cleared waivers at the start of the year. This might be out there, but maybe the Flames opt to keep Quine over Rieder. Just a thought.
Talbot played an unbelievable game. He was clearly the best Flame on the ice and outdueled Gibson, which is really saying something. All signs are pointing to him starting his second straight game against the Capitals tomorrow night and he deserves it. Several saves will show up on highlight reels for weeks, and that performance may be the start of the true 1A/1B split in net that was expected at the start of the year.
And, finally, stick taps to Michael Stone for his bomb of a goal last night. If the Flames’ injuries last for a while, Stone will be in the lineup on a daily basis so it’s nice to see him at least contributing a little bit on the offensive end to make up for his defensive lapses. That’s a winning tradeoff, and hopefully he can continue to be serviceable going forward.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: Mikael Backlund with his second goal in as many games. He’s heating up at the right time.
Bad: Johnny Gaudreau didn’t look great last night. He wasn’t strong possession wise and didn’t look himself. Look for the top line to bounce back.
Beautiful: Talbot. That’s it. That’s the line.
Opponent: Washington Capitals
Standings: 1st in the Metropolitan
Season Series: 0-0-0
Photo by John Cordes/NHLI via Getty Images