Two big games against divisional rivals and two big wins. Starting Saturday against the Oilers. The Flames met the Oilers push with a come-from-behind victory against their provincial rivals. Oilers fans were losing their minds over the play of Matthew Tkachuk when they should’ve been focussed on two points. Why the beleaguered franchise chose this night of al night’s to get up in a huff is beyond me. The events of the game spiralled downward after a cheap Oilers hit, unlike what they sad Oiler media types would have you think.
It was a slew foot on Tkachuk which set everything off. Before that Bennett had a nice clean check on Nurse, who like a baby needed to fight over it. How he didn’t get an additional two minute is beyond me. Tkachuk returned to the game (after concussion protocol) and tried to fight Draisaitl but it got broken up. Still in the first, McDavid put Backlund in a headlock after taking a “high hit” and took him to the ice which led to the scrum with Tkachuk jumping in to help his teammate. Oilers didn’t like that one bit so they later sent out their 4th line plug to fight Tkachuk.
The momentum started to push towards Calgary in the second, and they pulled away in the third. Two points Calgary, and a fired coach for Edmonton.
On Monday the Flames came out against the Las Vegas Golden Knights. THey’re a team finding their way after a storybook season .The last time these teams met Mark Jankowski scored four goals and TJ Brodie took a high hit from Ryan Reeves. None of that played a factor in the game, especially considering Calgary lacks grit and size, but they make up for it in speed and skill (which in some games will come back to bite them.) Led by the top line, the team put in 5 goals in the first period alone.
All this winning makes fans forget the fact just 10 games ago they were blown out at home 9-1. Calgary is still a team relying on their top two lines for points and will win or lose on their backs. If that third and fourth line can figure out how to score, we’re in business. Secondary scoring and goaltending are problems right now. Although Big Save Dave Rittich is carrying the mail with authority for the time being. You wouldn’t know it but the record this year compared to this time last year is the exact same. The difference is Mike Smith. The team overall seems better, and they are responding to their new coach and the system. Yet that elusive consistency is going to be the key moving forward. It’s the key factor preventing the Flames from solidifying their place at the top if the division.
The team will play Las Vegas again on Friday. A tough test for them tomorrow at home against Winnipeg. A few more wins strung together will turn this skeptic into more of a believer.