The Calgary Flames welcomed fans back into the Saddledome stands for the first time since March 8, 2020—a 5–3 loss against the Vegas Golden Knights. In their first preseason action of the 2021–22 campaign, the Flames faced off against the Edmonton Oilers in a game featuring neither team’s best players.
The Flames gave Mikael Backlund and Milan Lucic the alternate captaincies for the game, which indicates who they currently see filling out the leadership corps. Lucic started the game alongside Trevor Lewis and Brad Richardson on the second line, for what its worth.
The first period got underway with not very much happening in terms of the scoresheet. However, in Daniel Vladar‘s debut for the Flames, he got a taste of Flames brand hockey with 13 shots against in the opening period.
Midway through the first, Tyler Pitlick was injured, and despite trying to return for parts of the second, his night was over just two shifts into the second period.
In the middle frame, it was all Oilers. Five minutes into the period, James Hamblin—currently heading into the second year of his contract with the Bakersfield Condors in the AHL—broke the deadlock to put the Oilers up 1–0. Just 80 seconds later, former Flame Derek Ryan doubled the lead on the power play with Lucic in the penalty box.
As the period was wrapping up, Xavier Bourgault—the Oilers’ 2021 first-round pick—and Brendan Perlini added the Oilers’ third and fourth goals of the game. On Perlini’s goal, Erik Gudbranson had a particularly bad turnover failing to hold the puck in the offensive zone, leading to a partial breakaway. Gudbranson was noticeable many times throughout the game for all the wrong reasons.
Tried as they did, the Flames were flat and did not put together a good on-ice product at all. They were outplayed in every aspect of the game. With 14 penalty minutes served to the Oilers four, the Flames were shorthanded for nearly a third of the game and mightily struggled to get anything going.
The Flames mustered just 15 shots and 27 corsi compared to Edmonton’s 49 shots and 70 corsi. To say the game was lopsided is an understatement.
The game ended with the Oilers taking the first preseason game by a score of 4–0. Vladar and Adam Werner each let in a pair of goals while Stuart Skinner and Ilya Konovalov stood tall against the Flames’ paltry attack.
Game visualisations below. Many thanks to Evolving-Hockey.com for easy access to live NHL play by play data.
All situations corsi
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