We’ve always known that the Minnesota Wild please boring hockey, that means a low scoring game, which maybe, just maybe, gives the Flames a chance, and all you need is a chance for 29th best team in a league of 30 teams.
Coach Gulutzan has taken the first month of the season to experiment with line combinations trying everything in the bag of tricks except for what works. The dismantling of the defense is one of the major issues with the team thus far, tonight featuring yet more line juggling. Scoring being another problem. Special teams being another. Goaltending being another. Well you get the picture.
Finally, Chiasson is off the top line and Brouwer moves into the spot. Somehow, the former is still on the top PP unit. Senseless.
With the Flames have lacked, apart from consistent play, is grit. The addition of call-up Hathaway and the return of Tkachuk, providing a much needed booster lineup.
Although the key players are starting to emerge particularly on defense, let’s give credit where credit is due, not 10 seconds in, all the way until the final buzzer, Chad Johnson was significant in goal, shutting down Minnesota For his first shutout of the season. Johnny Gaudreau, who left the game midway in the third period with a hand injury after taking repeated slashes, scored the only goal off transition on PP the boot.
No rest, but chance to keep the winning streak alive, tomorrow at home against Chicago.