Back at it again only a couple of hours removed from last night’s game in Edmonton, the Flames (and their B team) took down the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 in a closer-than-the-score-says type of game.
There wasn’t much going on in the first period, and understandably so. This Flames team had played the previous night in Edmonton, and this was the first time for a weakened Jets team. After the first 20 had passed, the teams only had five shots apiece. This was odd, especially since both teams had a powerplay opportunity each.
The pace kind of picked up in the second period. While still mostly a dull frame, Calgary provided much in the way of excitement. Freddie Hamilton brought the first goal of the game by scoring immediately after the faceoff thanks to Garnet Hathaway creating the chance. Later on a 4-on-4 situation, Brett Kulak found himself in the right spot at the right time to turn a poor Jets behind-the-net clearance attempt into a goal for the good guys. Also, Chad Johnson did this:
— Ryan Biech (@ryanbiech) September 28, 2016
On the flip side, the Jets started to take over play. They had 16 shots to the Flames’ nine in the second period, and led in shot attempts 27 to 11.
The Flames took control back in the third period, saying “nah” to score effects and putting the pressure on the Jets. It paid off for them midway through the third when Micheal Ferland created a turnover and slipped it to Emile Poirier, who found Kulak in prime scoring opportunity.
And that final goal was pretty much the only thing to happen from there on out. The Flames won 3-0, but tied the Jets in shots 27-27, and lost the corsi battle 53-41.
Why the Flames won
With possession mostly being equal (especially at 5v5), this game mostly came down to goaltending, and that’s what the Flames were quite clearly better at. I would certainly say Johnson and Rittich do need a bit of work, but they were incredibly solid through-and-through. Good goaltending is always a major relief.
The Red Warrior
Tonight, we’re giving it to Chad Johnson for his amazing performance, especially more amazing save, and his beautiful new mask:
You could argue that the Flames have one of the top goaltending duos in the league (which hasn’t allowed a goal in preseason, FYI), but there is certainly no doubt that they have the best-looking tandem.
(Brett Kulak and Freddie Hamilton were runners up, and I’d love to talk about them more, but we have some stuff planned for them soon, so check it out then.)
The Flames will take the next two days off, presumably make some cuts, and then face the Vancouver Canucks at 7:00 p.m. MT on Friday. That game will be available on Sportsnet One, and presumably by stream from the Flames’ website.