The Calgary Flames launched their 2018 season opener in grand fashion. After getting their faces beaten in, literally, in Game 1 versus the Vancouver Canucks, they sought revenge at home. In a rare home at home series to start the season, the Flames had a chance to redeem themselves after the embarrassing opener.
The talk leading up to the game centered around two things. The Calgary Flames looking like the old Calgary Flames with an inept power play, and the team being pushed around at will by the opposition. In response to the second, and also in response to Hamonic getting his face punched in (out week to week), Dalton Prout drew into the lineup. Not to be outdone the Flames called up Anthony Peluso too. Fans had mixed emotions, the latter having not played in a meaningful NHL game in over 3 years. The former may bring toughness, but lacks skill and speed. All in all fans \ wanted to see Gubranson getting his face punched in, but most understood that wouldn’t solve the bigger issue, the on-ice product wasn’t putting up wins.
Despite controlling most of the play for the entire season opener, Calgary wasn’t rewarded on the scoresheet. The same storyline looked to be playing out after 2 periods of play in the home opener. THe PP looked weak, having given up a SH goal. The goaltending looked weak too. The new-look Calgary Flames certainly controlled the puck and dominated five-on-five play. But they couldn’t seem to figure out putting the puck in the net.
Fortunes turned in the third period, however. The team stuck with the game plan and were rewarded. Momentum started the shift after the Flames had a goal turned back midway through the second period. With the ‘Dome into it, the shift gave the Flames new life, and more importantly, the puck was going in. Mike Smith was also making clutch saves. In the words of Grant Fuhr, it’s not how many saves you make, it’s about the save you make at crucial moments. Smith stood tall when the Flames D had to ice Stone and Prout, victimized basically every time they were on the ice.
With so much player turn over the Flames will need a few games to get used to each other and the system. This win at home certainly helps quell some unrest. It also helps key players are starting to show up in big ways. Lindholm, who was a -4 in the season opener, put up two goals. Matthew Tkachuk had a career-high four assists. Mark Giordano with a three point night as well.
It’s something to build from, which the team can use in preparation for stiff competition come Tuesday in Nashville.
Here are the highlights for your review (compiled by https://www.reddit.com/user/Galaxy91122).
|1st||00:12||Even||Elias Lindholm (1) Tip-In, assists: TJ Brodie (1), Mark Giordano (1)|
|1st||13:15||Even||Elias Pettersson (2) Wrist Shot, assists: Nikolay Goldobin (2), Loui Eriksson (3)|
|1st||16:38||Short Handed||Brandon Sutter (1) Snap Shot, assists: none|
|1st||17:08||Even||Mark Giordano (1) Wrist Shot, assists: TJ Brodie (2), Elias Lindholm (1)|
|2nd||02:52||Power Play||Elias Pettersson (3) Slap Shot, assists: Alexander Edler (1), Bo Horvat (1)|
|2nd||09:31||Power Play||Johnny Gaudreau (1) Wrist Shot, assists: Sean Monahan (1), Matthew Tkachuk (1)|
|2nd||16:58||Power Play||Bo Horvat (1) Tip-In, assists: Elias Pettersson (2), Alexander Edler (2)|
|3rd||09:27||Power Play||Sean Monahan (2) Snap Shot, assists: Johnny Gaudreau (2), Matthew Tkachuk (2)|
|3rd||14:28||Power Play||Elias Lindholm (2) Wrist Shot, assists: Johnny Gaudreau (3), Matthew Tkachuk (3|
|3rd||18:22||Even||Austin Czarnik (1) Snap Shot, assists: Mark Giordano (2), Matthew Tkachuk (4)|
|3rd||19:24||Short Handed||Michael Frolik (1) Wrist Shot, assists: none|
Notes: Although not on the scoresheet, the young players in Valiamaki and Dube are showing signs of progression. 4th line minutes tonight was around 7 minutes, which is incredibly low….