We knew the Anaheim Ducks we’re a good team, but we didn’t expect the Calgary Flames to play into their hands. Down one game already, in the best-of-seven series, the Calgary Flames entered game two after being badly outplayed in GAME 1. Coach Hartley said all right things in the morning skate, and even attempted to change the lineup, but hist changes weren’t good enough and in fact threw the Flames for a loop. Although small in stature, the one of the Flames’ most potent weapons is Gaudreau. Where did youheplay most of the game? On the third line. Is that how you get out of the second round in the NHL playoffs let alone win a game? Not a chance.
There’re a lot of? Coming into this game anymore coming out. The only cluster with goaltending, Kari Ramo stood on his head and deserves to start at home in Game Three. All GM’s in NHL should pay attention to the impending unrestricted free agent.
Here’s a brief run down of some postgame thoughts:
Calgary starts off running around the ice and getting caught early on repeated 2v1 attempts. The defence activating doesn’t work well when the forwards move up ice leaving the rear exposed to turnovers. It wasn’t for Ramo begin couldn’t blown out in the first 10 minutes.
The coach decided to start the game with two lineup changes. Ferland out with an obvious head injury (do we call them concussions in the post-season?), Raymond in in his place, and Wolf in for Shore. Wolf is size, that’s great, but didn’t factor much. Wolf even had time on the first line; that didn’t last long, and although Hartley was trying to find some spark, he was using a minor league player to do it. That’s a recipe for success.
The experiment with Gaudreau off the top line made zero sense. If there is one player who moves offensive play it is Gaudreau along with Bancklund (Backlund purely by Corsi stats). Sitting Gaudreau and burying him on the 3rd line isn’t a way to generate scoring chances. He eventually found his way back on top life but they were largely ineffective against bigger teams. YOu need size to complement skilled players if they are small and Calgary can’t do that. What we have are a bunch of fourth line players figuring out a way to drive to the net.
Some exceptional soft penalties complemented the first half of the game. Inexplicably the Flames are continuously in the box. Actually, not inexplicably, soft calls yes, but caught behind the play repeatedly and causing man advantages (apparently touching a player is holding in the playoffs).
In the second period Calgary started to pick up their pace and get their forecheck going. They left the Anaheim team chances to get out of high pressure situations, and consistently shot wide, but you had the sense that the team was developing and understanding that they could indeed skate the with Ducks.
The Flames certainly manage to May game of it but didn’t generate enough scoring opportunities. We will be in line for Anaheim will get their chances, we just need to be able to counter with some effective pressure. Line juggling isn’t helping the team find continuity.
Calgary will return home for a Tuesday and Thursday match against Anaheim. Why cannot we hope that they will take one of those games. We have to at least prove that we’re better than Winnipeg by at least one game. Kelly can go back to their game plan, and assuming that there aren’t as many injuries that are preventing them from actually performing, then the most certainly can get back into the series. But at this rate, with the lineup that they are running with, and the lines they’re running with, we might be out four.
Notes: Shore sits, Diaz is close, and Ferland out with head injury. Look for Wolf to come out and Shore in on Tuesday.