The last time these two teams met the Flames put in a stinker. Now it was Montreal’s turn to drop a turd. With two streak on the line, Montreal’s 6 game win streak, and Clagary’s 7, somebody was going home unhappy.
There were a few keys to this win, here’s the post-game including some thoughts on what’s lead to the Flames’ 8 game win streak.
- With the win the Flames pull into a tie for 3rd in the Pacific and two points back of Anaheim for 2nd. Ya, 2nd. it’ll be a race to the finish, but dare I say it, playoffs look like a guarantee.
- Speaking of things you shouldn’t say, this was Brian Elliot’s first shut-out as a Flame. He has backstopped the Flames to 8 straight and is the main reason why things have turned around.
- Gaudreau quietly had a 4 point night and Ferland looks strong on that top line wing.
- The win came at a steep cost. Look for Wideman to factor into next game as Hamilton left with a high ankle sprain, and Mike Stone left with a shoulder injury. That’s VERY bad news as the Flames, apart from Gaudreau, have been largely injury free all season.
So what can we chalk up the turnaround to? This read from FlamesNation is worth perusing. Essentially, by stats, the back-end is no better, if anything, it’s slightly worse off. But what the stats don’t point to is the obvious–wins. Everybody’s favorite whipping boy, Dennis Wideman, is out of the lineup for the win streak, and I think that, along with great goaltending, IS in fact the reason why the team has turned it around. Although the advanced stats say no change, the fact is this: Wideman’s per game giveaways that have lead to goals was enough to tip the team to cover his mistakes. Now he’s out, confidence is higher.
We’ll see what kind of lineup they dress Saturday against Winnipeg, which may be a good test at what kind of depth the tema has when next-man-up needs to factor in. There’s a good chance Wideman will be in the lineup.
How long Hamilton and Stone will be out is unknown at this time.