What have the Calgary Flames been up to in the last 2 weeks? Mostly winning. After getting blown out at home against Pittsburgh, the team has only lost three games since. Although there are the same questions lingering about the team (secondary scoring and goaltending) their position at the top of the Pacific Division is widening. You can’t argue with winning so perhaps some of the heat surrounding consistency can come down. Fans like me just aren’t used to the expectation of winning games night in and night out.
Just passed the quarter mark in the season, the Flames have a three-point cushion with a game in hand at the top of the division. On a day where the expansion franchise in Seattle was confirmed, Calgary played an early game in Columbus. The final score is so far this year’s highest scoring game coming in at a 9-6 victory. Although Columbus seemed to dominate most five-on-five play, Calgary capitalize on their chances including the PP.
Those lingering questions including secondary scoring were nonetheless evident even in a high scoring game. Lines 1 & 2 factored in for 8 of the 9 goals. When the top two lines are clicking they seem to be unstoppable; each had 4 point nights tonight. But going down the lineup there are questions. The likes of Bennett, Ryan, Hathaway were all benched the entire third period tonight.
Defensively with Mike Stone out indefinitely with a blood clot, there’s quickly a problem with depth. Kylington looked out of place in the past two games, still getting his feet wet, and Dalton Prout is a hot mess on skates. That’s 6th D spot is clearly Valiamki’s, but he’s still out with a LBI. Although the Flames are winning, they may want to shore up the D issue later in the season.
Is Mike Smith Back?
David Rittich started but was pulled after the first. He carried the mail for a couple of weeks as Smith faltered. Smith has had a good week and took over in the second tonight. Yet there are still question marks around who will be the clear number one goalie.
Smith is more consistent that’s for sure. His save against Chicago saved two points…
— Mike Pfeil (@mikeFAIL) December 3, 2018
What’s for certain, however, is that this year’s Flames is a different team than years prior. This team is not only better, but they’re buying into a system that seems to be working. Night in and night out there is an opportunity to win with this roster, and although there will be bad games here and there, it might be time for fans to get used to winning ways, something that hasn’t happened in a very long time.