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About Last Night #51: Flames come out of break on low note, lose first shootout of the season to Blues

Calgary Flames hockey is back! After a lengthy bye week and All-Star break, the Flames finally returned to action on Tuesday night. Hosting the defending Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues, the Flames looked to buck the trend of poor play after the All-Star break early. In easily one of the most back and forth games the Flames have played all season, the hometown team unfortunately came out on the losing side in a 5-4 shootout loss.

Statistical Breakdown


Team Stats

5v5 Player Stats

Calgary Flames
  • In his first game as a Flame, Buddy Robinson led the team in CF% with a 76.5%, was on the ice for 5 HDCF and 0 HDCA, and registered 3 iHDCF. Not too shabby.
  • Milan Lucic had a rough night in terms of possession, posting a 26.3% CF% in 12:49 of 5v5 icetime
  • Noah Hanifin was on the ice for 8 HDCF and only 2 HDCA at 5v5
  • Robert Thomas led his team in CF% with 63.6%, while only five Blues skaters posted CF%’s below 50%
  • The Blues were buried in terms of HDCF, with Alex Pietrangelo on the ice for 7 HDCA and only 1 HDCF
  • No Blues skater posted more than 1 iHDCF at 5v5
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick

Thoughts on the Game

The Flames may have lost the game in a shootout, but after a lackluster loss against the Senators and a lengthy break, the effort is far more positive than recent games. Fans became accustomed to poor efforts after the All-Star break, and this game was definitely an exception. The Flames dug themselves out of an early hole, and while they did eventually give up their lead twice, it doesn’t feel as concerning. The Blues are an excellent team, and the Flames held their own. It’s one game, but here’s to hoping it’s a sign of things to come.

Although Cam Talbot didn’t have his strongest game in recent memory, keep in mind this was his first start since January 11th. That is more than two weeks off for a goaltender, so obviously there was some rust. He came into tonight with four straight wins, but clearly it was the right call to give him some game action. You can probably pin the loss on a few easy goals let in by Talbot, in addition to a poor shootout, but at the same time it’s never truly on one player. Talbot will rebound, as he has already proven this season.

Buddy Robinson made his Flames debut last night and compared to expectations he was a welcome surprise. He clearly has some skill, was able to play key minutes at 5v5, and even some PK work. That being said, I don’t foresee the Flames having extensive success if Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have him on their right side. While he is a right handed shot, it seems unlikely that he is the best fit with the Flames offensive duo. This is the key area the Flames need to upgrade on as soon as possible, and perhaps at the trade deadline. He probably has earned himself at least one more game, but how much after that remains to be seen.

The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLY

Good: The Flames PP was firing on all cylinders last night. Scoring on two of three opportunities, the team needs to keep the momentum going. The PP in OT could have been the difference, but when was the last time the Flames had one of those opportunities?

Bad: Far too many odd man rushes were given up last night against a skilled Blues team. Whether it was a bad pinch or bad turnover, the entire defensive corps looked a little rusty.

Ugly: Nothing truly ugly about last night’s game, but safe to say that Oliver Kylington did not have his best night.

Next Game

Opponent: Edmonton Oilers
Record: 26-18-5
Standings: 3rd in the Pacific
Season Series: 2-0-0

Photo by: Gerry Thomas Getty Images

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