The Calgary Flames played an utterly horrible 20 minutes of hockey. Thankfully, they only gave up a goal and played much better from that point onwards, with T.J. Brodie tying the game in the second and the Flames winning the only way they know how: overtime.
By virtue of a nice pass from Johnny Gaudreau during the 3-on-3, the Flames beat the Nashville Predators by a 2-1 score and are back at .500 with a 14-14-2 record. Like many of Calgary’s wins, it wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done.
If you had watched the worst parts of Calgary’s game during the homestand and extrapolated it into a period, aside from some good goaltending, that was the first period. The Flames took nearly half the period to get a shot on goal. They spent the lion’s share of the period in their own end. The Predators scored just once, though, with Cody Hodgson beating Karri Ramo five minutes in. Shots were 12-5 and attempts were 28-8, both in favour of the Preds.
Thankfully, whatever ailed the Flames in the first got solved in-between periods, because they actually showed up for the second. The period was much more low-event, with the Flames having a 6-4 shot edge and slight (17-14) attempt edge. But they did a much better job making the Predators work for their space. A T.J. Brodie wrister from the slot beat Pekka Rinne mid-way through the second to tie things up.
Nobody scored in the third, but pace-wise it was quite similar to the second, in that it was kinda scrambly. Shots were 8-5 and attempts were 19-12, both in favour of Calgary. The Flames had a gift-wrapped opportunity to win in regulation late by virtue of a Nashville penalty with just over two minutes to go, but because the Flames (a) hate regulation wins and (b) have a terrible power-play, they didn’t generate much of anything and we went to overtime.
And in overtime, the Flames defended a couple Predator rushes, then Kris Russell and Johnny Gaudreau went in on a 2-on-1, with Russell converting Gaudreau’s pass for the tap-in and the win. Shots were 2-1 Flames in OT, while attempts were 2-2.
WHY THE FLAMES WON
The Flames won because they adapted and played a fairly smart road game after a shaky start. Granted, their power-play is still horrendous and their first period was bad enough that we shall never speak of it again under penalty of torture.
That said, they have to start winning some games in regulation.
Let’s go with T.J. Brodie, who was all over the ice (in a good way) for the bulk of the game before Johnny Overtime hit the ice in the extra frame.
And give some credit to Joe Colborne, who had good possession stats despite getting buried starts-wise.
The Flames are off tomorrow as they travel to their next destination, the great state of Texas, where they play the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.