It was another game where the Flames struggled to put anything on the board until the back half of the third period. They had their chances, including a stellar look from Andrew Mangiapane in the opening few minutes of the game, but couldn’t get anything by Ben Bishop until too late. Outside of an okay Sean Monahan goal, the rest of the team was silent. Too many missed opportunities, penalties, and turnovers sealed the Flames’ fate in this one.
5v5 Player Stats
- Monahan led the Flames with 66.7% CF on the night, accounting for 16 CF and just eight CA.
- Michael Stone was a team low 36.4% CF.
- Rasmus Andersson led the team with 0.85 xGF.
- Taylor Fedun led the game with 70.4% CF.
- Radek Faksa posted a game low 27.8% CF.
- Seven Stars skaters were below the 50% CF mark, compared to 11 Flames skaters.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
First and foremost, Cam Talbot deserves some love for his play in the Flames’ net last night. He hadn’t played in three weeks and really hasn’t had a lot of luck this season, but he came in cold and put up a great performance that gave the Flames a chance to win. The first goal he gave up was due to a scramble in front that may have dribbled in off a deflection from his own defender, and the second goal was a two-on-one that started 100 feet away and ended with a gorgeous Datsyuk-esque finish from Justin Dowling. Not much more he could do about either of those goals and even if he could, you’re not going to win games in the NHL scoring just one goal a game.
And, on that note, this marks another game where the Flames’ offense was utterly ineffective for 80% of the game. It’s becoming very frustrating watching this team fail to score a single goal until the last 10 minutes of the third period. It’s almost as if they’re waiting out the clock so they can stage a comeback, something that doesn’t even happen very often. It’s a really annoying trend and it’s not going to lead to many wins for this team.
I don’t know what is wrong, but the Flames could seemingly score at will last season. Now they struggle to get two in a game. It’s apparent that Johnny Gaudreau is struggling in a way he hasn’t through his NHL career thus far, but even Elias Lindholm has cooled off, Mikael Backlund has been almost invisible on the scoresheet (although he has been quietly excellent in literally every other way this year), and even Mark Giordano isn’t chipping in offensively the way we’ve expected him to. Something has to give, and hopefully the goals start coming.
The Stars are a fantastic team and one of the hottest in the NHL, but the Flames need to show up and finish their chances. Again, the were behind in Corsi, scoring chances, high danger chances, and expected goals. It’s not like they were robbed of a victory last night, they simply didn’t deserve the two points. That has to change.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLy
Good: Talbot was stellar in net. For the back-to-back coming up this weekend, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in net against the Vegas Golden Knights. They’re a tougher opponent than the Arizona Coyotes, but David Rittich hasn’t been all that successful in Vegas and maybe this is the start of a great run from Talbot.
Bad: Sam Bennett. Once again he took a dumb stick penalty in the offensive zone. He’s getting more and more frustrating to watch as the games go by.
Ugly: Not scoring for 50 minutes. You can’t expect to win if you can’t score. It’s turning into a pattern, and it’s a problem.
Opponent: Arizona Coyotes
Standings: 2nd in the Pacific
Season Series: 0-0-0
hoto by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images
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