A few weeks back, the Calgary Flames lost 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues are, in so many ways, what Calgary wants to turn into in a few years. The Blues are a deep, deep team. They’ve drafted well. They have good coaching. They have a team that can roll four good lines and hurt you in many ways.
They hurt Calgary in many ways tonight. The Flames lost 4-1. It was a game many expected Calgary to lose, and it provided many lessons.
Don’t give up early goals.
Calgary’s given up the first goal in 46 games this season. It’s never a good strategy, particularly against a team like St. Louis that defends well. They’ve managed 20 comeback wins after giving up the first goal, but it’s just not smart. (St. Louis scored 1:16 into the game and led the rest of the way.)
Don’t get wildly out-shot all the time.
We’ve been over this, but getting out-shot 43-19 is bad. You’re forcing your goalie to bail you out too much.
Don’t give up five-minute power-plays because of fourth liners.
Accidents happen. But when a guy that regularly plays south of 10 minutes per game takes TWENTY MINUTES IN PENALTIES ON ONE PLAY, it’s not a recipe for success. Brandon Bollig doesn’t have a reputation as being a dirty player, but for a guy that’s been in and out of the line-up of late, that’s not a great way to re-introduce yourself to the hockey world.
The good news is that Sean Monahan scored his 30th goal of the season, which is pretty great considering he’s just 20. The Flames had chances to get back into the game but just couldn’t break through against a team like St. Louis that is good and defends well.
WHY THE FLAMES LOST
St. Louis is good. Calgary gave up a goal early and the Blues defend well (in a structural sense). There’s no shame in losing to a good team in their barn, particularly a team like the Blues who are trying to get back into playoff form after a bit of a down-turn.
Also, the Blues dominated both puck possession and the face-off dot.
Let’s go with Monahan, for his 30th goal of the season. He’s been a great success story over the past couple of years. And with an assist on that goal, Johnny Gaudreau inches closer to a Calder nomination.
SUM IT UP
Calgary lost to a really good team. Ho hum. They drop to 42-29-7 after 78 games. They remain in the third position in the Pacific Division, a point up on both Los Angeles and Winnipeg.
They’re back in action on Saturday night when they visit Edmonton on Hockey Night in Canada.