After six years long years, and only two years into a promising rebuild, the Flames brought playoff hockey back to Calgary. This city has been largely on pause since the playoffs began, today being no exception with fans spilling into the streets around the Dome early for the late Sunday start. After getting worked in Game 2, and after the controversy at the end of the game that resulted in a Bob Hartley $50,000 fine, many wondered what the Flames had in store.
Turns out it was entire and total domination. The Calgary Flames throughout the year haven’t been a very good possession team, but tonight the controlled play from the get-go. 5v5 play was controlled by the Flames, and their relentless pressure lead to countless Canuck turnovers. If the Flames can keep up the pace this series is going to be over quick. They also need to stay out-of-the-box as the league’s second least penalized team are doubling their per game average of minor penalties.
Here’s an some post game thoughts:
— TJ (@985TJ) April 20, 2015
Like a blind squirrel that occasionally finds a nut, tonight’s opening scorer was none other than Brandon Bollig. Somehow without playing a regular shift during the regular season, he’s factoring into the playoff picture. That means once or twice a game he will do something stupid, and wind up in the penalty box. Today was no different on that front. The only difference tonight was he score a goal.
Vancouver quickly responded however, and the energized playoff fans at the ‘Dome briefly lost some of their energy.
Calgary responded in the way they knew how, relentless pressure, and it paid off.
TJ Brodie scored with 5 minute sleft in the first period; Sam Bennett with the perfect screen in front again. Flames lead 2-1, and they would hold a lead for the rest of the game.
After a scoreless second period aAnd killing off some untimely penalties, Sam bennett got himself on the scoresheet with his first NHL goal, and a clutch one at that. Then Vancouver got frustrated and lost their minds taking stupid penalty after stupid penalty. On a 5v3 gaudreau found Monahan who potted the fourth goal. Although Vancouver made it close late in the third they never came close as the score would generously suggest.
End of games antics however should raise eyebrows at NHL head office. This time it was the Canucks losing their cool and taking instigator penalties. Although, the scoresheet will will change, initially Alex Burrows got an instigator after hitting Gaudreau from behind. Bieska then went after Ferland punching him repeatedly in the head before Ferland got moving. Bieska, not quite the coward Burrows is, stated after the game he didn’t know who Ferland was and said he had zero impact on the series thus far. His punches to Ferland’s head speak otherwise.
Of course you wouldn’t expect anything else than garbage to come out of a Canuck mouth. Richardson the entire game was bitching about a ‘highstick’ he took to the face. Replays clearly show a puck did the damage. Either he’s an idiot or a liar. Oh yea, one more on Bieska, way to grow some balls. But remember, it’s the Flames who are the goons….
— Steve Macfarlane (@MacfarlaneHKY) April 20, 2015
Doesn’t matter though, regardless what the league decides (we can expect Hamhuis to get a one game suspension for a blow to the head of Bennett late, but not Burrows), the Calgary Flames stood tall next to each other and couldn’t be contained when they played 5v5. Cheers to Game 4, hopefully they come out flying and Vancouver packs it in!
Notes: Corey Potter out and Tyler Wotherspoon in to play his 5 minutes. Granlund out and Raymond in, this one did a lot of good. But Bollig still in, well that leaves you scratching your head.