Oh boy. This was an ugly one for the Flames. They started the game out ok, but a few bad bounces left them in an early hole. But when adversity struck, the team completely fell apart, and in the third period when they were down a defensemen, that was when the wheels really came off the bus. They looked frustrated, discouraged, and ended up being shut out for the second game in a row. If there is a proverbial “rock bottom” for the team, last night certainly felt like it.
5v5 Player Stats
- Rasmus Andersson had the highest CF% with 64.58% in 21:43 minutes of ice time.
- Oliver Kylington had the worst CF% with 34.15 in 15:34 minutes of ice time.
- Matthew Tkachuk, Andrew Mangiapane, and Kylington were all on the ice for an amazing eight HDCA.
Vegas Golden knights
- Cody Eakin had the highest CF% with 63.89% in 13:01 minutes.
- Nate Schmidt had the lowest CF% with 36.11% in 17:46 minutes.
- With 16 SCF and only five SCA, Cody Eakin had the highest SCF% at 76.19%.
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
There is one word to describe this game in Vegas: Frustration. The players look extremely frustrated, the fans are frustrated, and Brad Treliving has to be frustrated when he is calling up his top prospect in November to inject life into a team that put up fifty wins last season. Unfortunately for the Flames, frustration has not led to results, and the only result tonight was that the Flames got smoked by Vegas again. The team has not scored a single goal in over 130 minutes of hockey.
This game actually started alright for the Flames, with some decent energy in the first period, and the kind of pace you would expect to see from a team that lost the night before. It was the same old problems for this team, with a chance for the Monahan line on one end, no defensive responsibility or effort to get back from Gaudreau, and all of a sudden a bad pinch turned into a 2-1 for William Karlsson who picked the top corner. Travis Hamonic could do nothing to stop Karlsson, who let him rip it from the hash marks. Not much Cam Talbot could do.
There are a few thoughts from this game. The first and most obvious is that the top line hasto commit to playing defense. What has long been brushed off as “that’s just Johnny being Johnny” has now got to change. That line is letting up chance after chance on the rush, many of which are ending up in the Flames net and there is often no effort or proper positioning. The pitiful display from Monahan and Gaudreau on the fourth Golden Knights goal is symbolic of a total unwillingness to play defence. The top line allowed three rush chances against, and both Gaudreau and Monahan were -5 on the night. Not good enough.
I also question Bill Peters and his decision making. Specifically, he seems to have a really strong desire to roll four lines for most of the game. The problem is the fourth line is contributing absolutely nothing, and Peters has stacked his top lines with the talent on the team. The Flames need to find some form of depth scoring, and it might be time to try Elias Lindholm at centre to push some more scoring down the lineup. Their possession numbers are always decent, but nine minutes for the Mark Jankowski – Tobias Rieder – Michael Frolik line is too many.
Another area of worry for the Flames was the play of Kylington and Michael Stone in this one. They really struggled to move the puck and together got caved in possession wise. The Flames defensive depth all of a sudden went from an area of strength to a near crisis, as they lost TJ Brodie indefinitely this week, lost Hamonic midway through the this one to what appeared to be a lower body issue, and lost Kylington to concussion protocol towards the end of the game. While the extent of the injuries to Hamonic and Kylington remains unknown, the Flames are going to need their defensemen to really step up if this skid is going to come to an end.
If you are looking for a positive in this game, there are two that come to mind. Dillon Dube looked solid in this one, spending lots of time around the puck and having lots of possession in the offensive zone. Perhaps most impressive he made Milan Lucic look decent tonight, as Dube was excellent at establishing the cycle and winning the puck, which allowed Lucic to get in on the cycle himself and use his size to his advantage down low. That will probably be a combo that Bill Peters tries again.
Another positive for most of the game was the play of Talbot. He was very sharp early in the game and made a number of great saves to keep Calgary in the game. He got hung out to dry late, and the last goal in particular was a weak one, but nobody could blame this loss on the goalie.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLy
Good: Dube looked like a player who might be able to provide some offence in the bottom six. Talbot was also solid for most of the game.
Bad: The Flames top line continues to not score, and also not play any defence. They are in a slump right now but are not doing any of the little things to get out.
Ugly: The team has not scored a goal in 130 minutes and three seconds and counting. Yikes.
Opponent: Colorado Avalanche
Standings: 2nd in the Central
Season Series: 0-1-0
Photo by: Zak Krill/ NHLI via Getty Images