The Flames showed signs of life to start a game for the first time in ages, but still gave up too many good scoring opportunities in the first. The Blues snuck one by David Rittich midway through the frame and that’s how it was after one. In the second, the Flames kept pressing, but got caught on a bad change and Oskar Sundqvist scored on a breakaway. David Perron added to the later on the power play, making in 3-0 after two periods of play. Then the Flames really fell apart, surrendering two more en route to a 5-0 shutout loss.
5v5 Player Stats
- Dillon Dube and Derek Ryan led the way for the Flames in terms of CF% with 71.4%
- Matthew Tkachuk posted a team low 42.0% CF
- No Flames player was over 50% HDCF%
- Jaden Schwartz led the Blues with a 57.1% CF
- Only Five Blues were above 50% CF at 5v5
- Seven Blues posted a HDCF of 80%. Only three were under 50% in this category
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
This tweet summarizes the whole game. Like Sam Bennett, the Flames had moments when they looked excellent. They had moments when they looked terrible. They had moments when it looked like they were destined to score, but for one reason or another the puck just would not go in. Missed chances, bad bounces, pucks off the post, this game had them all. So much promise, shines of the team that was last season, but not enough. Not good enough.
This was a very open game. There were lots of chances going both ways, especially lots of odd man rushes for both team. Jordan Binnington (and all of his posts) were excellent for the Blues to secure the shutout, and Rittich really did all he could, especially early, to give the Flames a fighting chance.
There are only so many bad giveaways, 2-on-1’s, and mistakes that a team can make before the puck will end up in the back of their net. The Flames just kept giving them up. They were definitely not on the same page with one another. The top line was very disjointed, whether it was just a bad slump, not enough practice time, or something much deeper, they just haven’t been able to get it going.
The second line tried as much as they could to shut down the top players of the Blues, but even they did not look together. They had a handful of chances themselves, but they just could not put the puck in the back of the net. Michael Frolik played on this line tonight and looked ok. Not good, just ok. Not as good as Andrew Mangiapane normally does.
If you’re looking for a positive tonight, here is a big one. The Milan Lucic, Ryan, and Dube line looked outstanding. Controling play in the offensive zone, being aggressive on the forecheck, and giving the Blues players trouble in their own zone. They were one Dube post hit away from a goal, and could have had a couple more.
This line combined with the third pairing of Oliver Kylington and Brandon Davidson looked truly outstanding in the offensive zone, and the numbers definitely back it up. That being said, when the highlight of your team’s performance is three AHL call-ups (including Kylington), and Milan Lucic, something is going horribly wrong.
What it really comes down to tonight was the Flames looked sloppy. Passes that should have connected just did not, and they were outplayed by a Blues team that a year ago was at the bottom of the league. I don’t know what the Flames need to do to get out of this funk, but short of a Blues-esque turnaround, they may be booking tee times this April.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLY
Good: Dillon Dube and his eyebrows looked excellent all night. He is making a case for why he deserves to stay up in Calgary.
Bad: Zac Rinaldo had moments when he looked okay, but he took a penalty standing up for Mangiapane that resulted in a goal, and turned the puck over leading to another goal. Not a great look.
Ugly: Most of this game (and streak). This needs to end and it needs to end yesterday.
Opponent: Philadelphia Flyers
Standings: 5th in the Metropolitan
Season Series: 1-0-0
Photo by: Joe Puetz/ NHLI via Getty Images