In what was a franchise record setting start, the Flames scored three goals in the first 3.23, but end the period tied with the Bruins. The visitors scored a fourth goal just seconds into the third, but a Matthew Tkachuk fight and a number of good chances late could not give them the win.
5v5 Player Stats
- Although he did not hit the scoresheet, Sam Bennett posted a team high 63.2% CF
- Sean Monahan posted a team low 44% CF in exactly 17 minutes of icetime
- Michael Stone was on the ice for six high-danger chances against and zero for. For the record, Oliver Kylington was on the ice for the most Flames’ high-danger chances with three and posted a team high 75% in this category.
- Charlie Coyle posted a game high 70.8% CF and potted a goal. He was also on the ice for six high danger chances for and none against
- Jake DeBrusk posted a game low 30.4% CF. All but six Bruins were under 50% CF in this game
- David Krejci was underwater in this one, posting a 32% CF and on the ice for 7 scoring chances against, and four high-danger chances against
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
Like a trilogy, this game had three distinct phases. In the opener, the Flames started out absolutely flying. They scored three quick goals, and allowed three themselves in a high speed, fast paced first period. It looked as though the Flames had a chance against a very strong Boston team.
They then allowed a quick one early in the second, and it felt like the game slowed down completely. Neither team was in any sort of rush to do, well, anything. Both teams played a steady kind of game and neither team created nor allowed many chances of substance. For a team like the Flames that are chasing a playoff spot, the urgency was completely lacking in this part.
Then in the third, the light went on for the Flames and they realized that they should probably try to win this one. The team pushed back hard, led by Bennett and Dillon Dube. And although they did try to push, they were unable to put the final goal past Jaroslav Halak. There were seven goals on 41 collective shots on target between the two teams.
A couple of keys in this one. The Flames actually looked good for stretches, especially in the first. They had a number of quality scoring chances, especially early on. And more than that, they were scoring on that. It felt as though The Hockey Gods were finally coming around to the Flames’ side for the first time this season. Things were beginning to look up.
But you have to be good to be lucky, and when you’re down in a game, the onus is on you to generate quality scoring chances to give yourself a chance to win. And fundamentally they did not do that. Tkachuk fought defenceman Jeremy Lauzon (who was drafted with the pick that the Flames sent to Boston in the Dougie Hamilton trade), but even that did not inject energy into the lineup. Not only that but the line shuffling that Coach Geoff Ward has grown accustomed to doing did not do much either. Nothing the Flames tried could get them going. Credit Boston for playing a heavy defensive game in the second, but whatever it was that they did, the Flames simply could not beat it.
The other key to this game was the Flames really need their defencemen to get back to full health. Missing Mark Giordano and Travis Hamonic the last few games has put a huge strain on the defense, where T.J. Brodie, Rasmus Andersson and Noah Hanifin are holding down the fort, but then the team has to elevate Stone to the top four which has not worked out well at all. This is the same Stone who has struggled to feature in more than one contest per month prior to this injury spell. He has simply not been good enough for this Flames team, and maybe this is a sign that the Flames look for a depth defenceman at the deadline.
While the Oilers did end up losing, that is not an excuse for the way that the Flames played the middle of this game. There was minimal fight and desperation until late in the game. It felt like the type of game the Flames should have won had they put up more in the second. Hopefully an easier test against the already eliminated Detroit Red Wings will help the Flames pick up points in their bid for the playoffs.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the UGLY
Good: Always great to see Mikael Backlund scoring like the elite star that we know he is. He potted two for the Flames in this one
Bad: Cam Talbot faced 8 high danger chances and stopped only four of them. While you cannot expect your goalie to stop all of the most dangerous chances that they face, you have to hope they will stop around 80% of them.
Ugly: What could have been if the Flames played a full 60 minutes of hockey
Opponent: Detroit Red Wings
Standings: 8th in the Atlantic
Season Series: 1-0-0
Photo by: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images