This was actually a 7-1 blowout until the final 2 minutes.
You knew the Flames’ were due. A result years in the making, Calgary has spent seasons trying to get over the ‘Duck Demons’, consistently losing, and sometimes badly, to the bigger, tougher, talented Ducks. The storyline was perfect for a Sunday evening game too. The return of Johnny Hockey.
Gaudreau, originally slated to miss 4-6 weeks, has been practicing as of late, and made a surprise return to the line up complete with oven mitt sized gloves to protect his hands. His return gave the lines a bit of a juggle, but more importantly, gave the team as a whole extra life. Without their star Calgary has found ways to win, riding stalwart goaltending.
He opened the scoring with a lucky goal, and then was instrumental in the next 2. The ‘third line’ with Gaudreau, Bennet, Chaisson, combined for 3 goals. The PP was scoring, heck, everything was scoring, all music to the ‘Dome as the Flames heat up in December. If they can continue their run with solid goaltending, well, this is reminiscent of a couple of other playoff runs that ultimately began in December.
More Notes: The win did come at a cost. The big bodies on the Flames showed up and made their presence felt, and although not domineering, the toughness displayed will do wonders for team confidence. Ferland was lost after a fight in the first period, hopefully it’s not his head and just a knuckle. Chiasson took a few punch sandwiches to the mouth, but he returned. Engelland also involved briefly.
Lance Bouma is close to a return as well, and then he’ll promptly get hurt again, probably by running into the boards too hard.