After giving up eight goals to the Chicago Blackhawks two days prior, the Calgary Flames bounced back in a big way with a 6-4 win over the Anaheim Ducks yesterday afternoon. Andrew Mangiapane led the way with three goals in his first career hat-trick performance, and Cam Talbot out dueled Ryan Miller to record his ninth win of the season.
5v5 Player Stats
- Only four Flames skaters were below the 50.0% CF mark
- The new 3M line of Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, and Andrew Mangiapane all finished above 76.0% CF
- Tobias Rieder was the only Flame to finish below 50.0% HDCF.
- Backlund and Tkachuk both finished with 100% HDCF (10-0); Mangiapane finished at 90.9% (10-1)
- Devin Shore led the Ducks with 60.9% CF
- Only five Ducks skaters were above the 50.0% CF mark
- Zero Ducks skaters were above the 50.0% xGF mark
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
It wasn’t their best team effort, but after an embarrassing loss the other night, the Flames needed to win this one, and they did. It was really the new 3M line that got it done for the team. They were incredible all game long, led by Mangiapane’s three goals. It’s great to see Mang step up and complete that line after the Michael Frolik trade, and it seems like that line has not only rejuvenated the Flames’ top-six, but also allowed the duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan to get closer to their best selves by re-adding Elias Lindholm to their line.
The Flames definitely miss Derek Ryan, but they’re finally getting offense from all four lines, including Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski. The sore spot, which has been the case for some time now, is the defense. Alexander Yelesin has actually looked like a decent, serviceable bottom pair defender, which is more than you can really expect from a call-up in his first North American season. He’s the 10th defender on the depth chart. The Flames are battered on the blueline and it shows, but the offense is helping to make up for defensive shortcomings.
At this point in the season, it doesn’t matter how you get it done as long as you get it done.
Oliver Kylington did take some criticism, but his play of late has been quite good. He’s skating with purpose, and making better decisions with the puck. He’s still a work in progress, but he’s make real progress each game it seems.
With Noah Hanifin‘s struggles in playing actual defense, it’s honestly become a tossup as to who will be better on a given night, him or Kylington. It’s nice to see on Kylington’s side, but a bit concerning on Hanifin’s. Hopefully Hanifin can find his game, but his turnover on the Ducks’ second goal was truly atrocious. That kind of gaffe is something you can tolerate seeing in a junior game. It’s not something that should ever happen in the NHL. He needs to clean it up.
All in all a good win by the Flames. The Pacific is tight though, and they can’t be trading wins and losses. This is crunch time. They have to start stringing some wins together or they could fall out of the picture in no time. The last week has been a good start, and maybe this win over the Ducks will start a nice streak.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the Beautiful
Good: On a night that saw the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes pick up wins, the Flames kept pace and earned two points of their own.
Bad: The Flames’ defensive coverage was not very good in this game, as the first two Ducks goals were directly due to turnovers by the Flames D.
Opponent: Boston Bruins
Standings: 1st in the Atlantic Division
Season Series: 0-0-0
Photo by: Gerry Thomas