Calgary’s losing streak has stretch to seven games following a 2-1 home loss to the Dallas Stars.
The Flames generated one goal, which is never a recipe for success unless your goalie is godly. Jonas Hiller was merely good, so the local hockey heroes limp towards Christmas trying to snap their losing string.
The first period featured no scoring, but both sides generated some chances. The Flames had a shift mid-way through the period where their skill players really shined brightly, with some iffy execution and nice saves by Kari Lehtonen keeping things dead-locked at 0-0. Dallas also had some strong chances that couldn’t find the back of the net, occasionally preceded by wonky defensive-zone play by the Flames defenders. This would become a theme tonight. Calgary led in shots in the first by a 9-6 margin, but Dallas carried things in terms of shot attempts (16-12) and face-off wins (11-6).
Dallas opened the scoring in the second period. The pairing of Wideman and Russell really got hemmed into their own zone for awhile, unable to clear – and when they cleared, they couldn’t get far enough into the Dallas zone to get a change. This led to an icing, which led to a scramble off a face-off. Kris Russell couldn’t corral the puck, which led to Jamie Benn bonking the puck past Jonas Hiller to make it 1-0. Lance Bouma got propelled into the Dallas bench, got mad and then took an interference penalty that oddly resulted in several Flames chances. However, Calgary soon got a power-play and were unable to create much. On the ensuing rush back to the Calgary end as the penalty expired, Trevor Daley put one past Hiller to make it 2-0. Thankfully, the hockey gods answered the prayers of the Saddledome faithful: after whiffing on several really nice passing plays during the game’s first 38+ minutes, the Flames got on the board as Mark Giordano fluttered a knuckleball from the point through some traffic and past Kari Lehtonen. The score was 2-1 after 40. Shots were even at 8-8 in the second, but Dallas generally carried play, something evident by the shot attempts (25-18) and face-offs (15-11). The Flames pushed back in the later stages of the period, as mid-way through the period they had been badly out-shot.
The Flames pressed in the third a bit, but they never really generated an amazing scoring chance. The Stars did a good job disrupting things when the Flames got momentum going, and the Flames did a fine job occasionally over-passing or otherwise double-clutching to diffuse their own opportunities. Even with their goalie pulled and a late penalty, the Flames couldn’t grab another goal. Shots were 7-5 Dallas in the third. Shot attempts were 17-15 Dallas in the third. Calgary won 10 face-offs to Dallas’ 9. The game ended with a 2-1 Dallas win.
Overall, the Stars were driving possession more than the Flames.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
Again, the usual. And not the “bounces” usual. The other “usual.” The power-play didn’t generate much, nor did the team do much at eve-strength. The Stars’ better players out-played Calgary’s better players, so Dallas won and the Flames went away empty-handed.
In a game where the Flames got out-played, Joe Colborne was using his size pretty well. He was plus-1, had five hits and won 75% of his draws. And he was the screen on the lone goal! All in all a pretty solid game for #8 in a game where I literally had to go down the scoresheet wondering who to give this to.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
SUM IT UP
Flames lose! Again!
They’re back in action tomorrow night on Hockey Night in Canada against the hated Vancouver Canucks. It’s the late game, so the puck drops just after 8pm MT on the CBC (and Sportsnet 960 The Fan).