The Flames haven’t won in Anaheim in years (13 years) and could’ve used a win to show themselves they stand a chance against what is likely to be their first round opponents.
The MO on Anaheim is simple, they’re a big team that will hurt you, they get away with a lot, and they can score. They’re a force, and the Flames have tried to stand tall against them but can’t win. Here’s why.
- The younger team needs to take a page out of the Ducks playbook and learn what they can get away with. The slashes, the hard crosschecks to the mouth, the slashes on the goalie, all of that goes uncalled, which is fine, but the Flames need to proactively play the same game, rather than reactively send a message. Learn from the enemy and one-up them within your system.
- The Flames tried to answer the bell but came up short. Sure, they tried to send a message to the likes of Perry, Kesler, Bieska, but they either lost their fights or went on the penalty kill. If there was a game to send a message, take an instigator to do it, this was it. Instead, again, they were reactive to the on-ice antics.
- I fully expect the Flames to come out in the playoffs fired up. The club will learn from their mistakes, and they’re going to improve from them. They responded tonight, and that matters, now they have something to prove.
- The special teams are in real trouble. a 5v3 and multiuple second period PPs with hardly a chance. Special teams are the critical piece that wins you a series, if the team can’t figure it out it’ll be lights out in a hurry.
- Gaudreau is not a playoff performer, he’s too small and it’s painfully obvious. Ferland can only get him so much room, and Monahan has to learn to do a bit of fighting too.
- Cam Fowler left the game with a knee injury after colliding with Giordano, who later had to answer the bell in a fight. The play looked innocent enough, but ended up being knee-on-knee, which believe it or not, pales in comparison to the Kesler stick work.
Kesler with a nice shot to Monahans leg pic.twitter.com/a2b1i2YoYr
— RaYrAy (@flamesfever) April 5, 2017
- Chad JOhnson left the game 5 minutes in with a groin injury, which means no rest for Elliott in the last two games.
The Flames didn’t put up the points for the victory, but they did prove to themselves they can pushback when called upon. Whether that translates into playoff success against the same team? Time will tell.