Lest we get too negative around these here parts about the Edmonton Oilers, let’s just lay something out here.
The Edmonton Oilers were the better team than the Calgary Flames tonight.
Alas, there aren’t any points for the “better team,” and the Flames were the team that scored more goals, en route to a 4-1 home victory over the aforementioned hockey team from Edmonton.
The Oilers generally out-played and out-shot the Flames. But they were also key contributors to three of the four goals against themselves, which made all the difference in the world.
The first period was full of pep and action! The game was mostly Oilers, with the Flames content to parry and joust with them at the blueline…until Paul Byron made a nice rush up the wing. He flung the puck at the Oilers net. It ping-ponged. Confusion abounded! Nobody (in an Oilers sweater) knew where the puck was. Joe Colborne collected the puck and calmly tucked it past Victor Fasth to make it 1-0. 1:24 later, the Flames scored again. This time, it was the product of a never-ending offensive zone shift by the Flames. Heck, the Oilers line got hemmed in and could not clear it. The Flames even changed lines mid-way through this shift. Anyhow, Johnny Gaudreau took advantage of the n-th Oilers D-zone whiff and calmly tucked the puck behind Fasth to make it 2-0. 16 seconds later, he received a nice outlet pass from T.J. Brodie off the face-off (with a nice intermediary tap by Jiri Hudler so he didn’t have to break stride), entered the Oilers zone and beat Fasth again. Ben Scrivens came in after that. It was 3-0 after 20. Shots were 9-7 Flames.
Nothing really happened in the second period, which was a monument to the concept known as “Score Effect.” The Flames had no interest in over-exerting themselves, so they dumped the puck in a lot and generally let the Oilers buzz around the perimeter and tucker themselves out. The Oilers carried the puck in and did their best to generate chances, in any way they could. Nobody scored goals. Shots were 13-3 Edmonton, but primarily due to Calgary not giving a darn about trying to score.
The third period was two periods, split in half by Edmonton’s lone goal. The Flames continued to hang back for the first chunk of the third. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins tipped home a Justin Schultz shot to make it 3-1. Not interested in playing a competitive game, the Flames began to push back. In another shift where the Oilers got hemmed into their own zone, Brad Hunt chased Matt Stajan behind his net, opening up Curtis Glencross for a nice back-handed feed from Stajan for a one-timer tap-in to make it 4-1. That was basically the game. Shots were 15-7 Calgary, an indication that the Flames had the game well-in-hand and didn’t feel like letting the Oilers back into it.
WHY THE FLAMES WON
The Flames took advantage of the Oilers mistakes, without making too many of their own. They managed the game pretty well and when it looked like an ember of hope existed after the visitors scored a few minutes into the third period, they did their best to extinguish those embers quickly.
Johnny “Hockey” Gaudreau bolstered his Calder chances with a pair of goals in the opening frame, including the game-winning tally.
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
SUM IT UP
The Flames won!
Calgary (19-15-3) will return to action on Monday night when they’ll host the Los Angeles Kings, the defending Stanley Cup champions, in a return engagement from that thrilling OT comeback prior to the Christmas break. Based on that alone, I bet it’ll be worth the price of admission.