The Flames started this one off very slowly. A number of defensive breakdowns and they were down 2-0 on goals from Devin Shore and Gustav Nyquist. From there the Flames applied some pressure, but the Jackets played a strong defensive game through the second, and held the Flames mostly to the outside.
It seemed that this would be another game where the team started slow and just could not get anything going, However, with under ten minutes left in the third period, Andrew Mangiapane stripped Zach Werenski of the puck behind the net, beat another Blue Jackets’ skater and fed Elias Lindholm in front who put the puck through Joonas Korpisalo and into the back of the net. From there the Flames pressed, and with the net empty, Mark Giordano put a slap pass off of Matthew Tkachuk‘s stick and the Flames tied the game at two.
The Flames secured the first point to send the game to overtime. In the extra frame, with just seconds left, Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan pressed hard and Korpisalo made a couple of incredible saves, but the puck went back to T.J. Brodie who fired it past the sprawling Blue Jackets’ netminder to give the Flames the 3-2 win.
5v5 Player Stats
- Lindholm had a phenomenal game, posting an 88.9% CF
- Tkachuk and Mangiapane posted the lowest CFs for the Flames at 42.9% and 44.8% respectively.
- Only three other Flames players were below 50% CF- Mikael Backlund, Derek Forbort, and Erik Gustafsson.
- Ryan Murray and Emil Bemstrom were the only Jackets’ skaters above 50% CF, posting 54.8% and 52.6% respectively
- Not a great game for defenceman Scott Harrington, who posted at 27.3% CF
- Nyquist and Eric Robinson each had two high danger scoring chances, and were probably the most dangerous Jackets’ players
Stats courtesy: Natural Stat Trick
Thoughts on the Game
Hockey is a funny sport, and as much as we try to make sense of it, so much of it is luck dependent. Sometimes the better team comes out on top, and sometimes a team plays a lackluster game and still manages to win. The Flames were the latter.
In the Flames’ first game back after a long five day road trip east, they were not as sharp or focused as they needed to be. It felt as though breakout passes were not hitting, passes were made into skates, and they were turning the puck over left, right, and centre. On top of that, just minutes into the game, Tkachuk blocked a shot off of the inside of his leg and struggled to get off of the ice. Although he did manage to return, nothing was really going right for this group.
The Jackets, on the other hand, played a very strong, structured defensive game. They did not take the game to the Flames the way a team like Boston would do, instead they kept the Flames out of their zone, forced turnovers in the neutral zone and executed on their chances. When the Flames did manage to get into the offensive zone, the Jackets kept them to the outside, and limited scoring opportunities. And when they could not do that, Korpisalo was there to shut the door.
The Flames played an excellent final ten minutes of hockey. Starting with Mangiapane stealing the puck from Werenski and Lindholm putting it in fivehole and ending with Brodie scoring the game winner in overtime, the Flames took the game to the Jackets and finally looked like the team that they were all of last season. And somehow that was enough. The Flames had glimpses of greatness in the second period, but really only dialed it up in that stretch at the end of the game. While it is great to get a win, that is simply not good enough down the stretch.
Finally, the Flames top line had themselves a game. Posting a combined 92.9% CF, they were absolutely flying. Gaudreau and Monahan were on the ice for two of the three Flames goals, and Lindholm scored the first goal for the team. After a not great first half of the season, this line has been absolutely on fire of late. Both Guadreau and Monahan are posting an expected goals for per 60 of over 3, which is massive.
Was this a perfect game for the Flames? No. However, the Flames have had their games, such as the one in Nashville, where they were the better team through most of the game and were unlucky to lose. This time, The Hockey Gods pulled through for them.
The Gaud, the Bad, and the BeautifuL
Good: In the dying seconds of overtime, Gaudreau and Monahan pressed hard and were unwilling to give up on a loose puck. Even after Korpisalo did everything he could to keep the puck out, they did not quit. This spirit was key to the Flames’ victory in this one
Bad: Dillon Dube was the only Flames’ player who played less than 10 minutes of icetime, and was stapled to the bench in the third
Beautiful: The never-give-up attitude that the Flames displayed, especially in the third. We need more of that
Opponent: Arizona Coyotes
Standings: 5th in the Pacific
Season Series: 2-1-0
Photo by: Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images