The game was long over well before that brawl broke out. Jon Gillies sure didn’t deserve those extra powerplay goals against him, though. Pour one out for his save percentage.
Sure, somebody’s got to make a stop, but…
I’m not sure how anyone can really blame the goaltending for this one.
I mean, it wasn’t great. Nobody was particularly good. But Eddie Lack gave up five goals, and that’s never a good indictment on any goalie.
The question here, though, is which ones was he supposed to have? He wasn’t expecting T.J. Brodie to swing his stick around and score on his own net because, well, who would? He got caught suddenly facing Gustav Nyquist one-on-one thanks to the Red Wings’ quick zone entry and perfect plays in the slot, and Nyquist buried it. Anthony Mantha gathered his own rebound before Lack could even react. His team gave up a shorthanded two-on-one and Brodie was the victim once again. And then another Mantha tip, before he could even really get set to attempt to kill a penalty.
Maybe he should’ve had the Nyquist goal, and quicker reflexes wouldn’t have let Mantha score on him. But other than those…? Yeah, Lack had a bad game, for sure. But he didn’t exactly get anything resembling help from his teammates, either. Fluke accidents and poor defensive play did everyone in. For Lack to be that bad next game, the entire skating group in front of him would probably have to be just as bad all over again, as well.
Not a night to remember
Brodie and Travis Hamonic were horrible. There’s really no getting around it. They had their worst games of the season. In a game of mostly high to relatively decent corsi percentages in part thanks to score effects, they were still clinging to the very bottom of the barrel: 22.22% and 18.75% CFs.
Hamonic’s ice time was vastly shortened, down to just 15:54. Brodie, however, still kept up his big minutes: 21:27, in part thanks to special teams time. Brett Kulak got a bump in minutes, though, so that was nice to see; that’s the third game this season in which he’s played over 14 minutes.
Players will go through bad stretches, and Hamonic is coming off of an injury. We saw Brodie rebound nicely from his poor first game of the season to a four-point night; we know it’s in him to be better than this. But Hamonic? Well, when you consider how he didn’t have a great season last year… It’s a little concerning right now, to say the least.
The pairing, plus Michael Stone and Matt Bartkowski, are the Flames defencemen under 50% so far this season, but someone’s gotta be under 50%, and they’re hovering around 47-49% (except Bartkowski, who’s at a cool 44%), so things hopefully aren’t too dire – although Hamonic is still putting up the worst numbers of all the regular defenders.
Hopefully this game was an outlier for Hamonic and Brodie as much as it probably was for everyone else. They got victimized, and the puck went in against them. It’ll happen. It’s more important it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.
A special kind of bad
The Flames gave up four powerplay goals – although you can perhaps argue two should have never had the chance to be – and a shorthanded goal, all while scoring just one powerplay goal themselves.
The penalty kill has been in a free fall for some time now, and they’ve finally hit it: 31st in the NHL, with a 70.8% success rate.
The powerplay is faring a little better, tied for 19th at 70.5%, but fact of the matter is, special teams aren’t great at the moment. The powerplay didn’t seem to be as much of a momentum killer as it has been in the past last night – except for that shorthanded goal against, born of a total fluke. The Flames have allowed three now, though; that’s tied for the fifth most in the NHL.
At least there’s Johnny Gaudreau
Light of our lives, the only one that matters, Johnny Gaudreau scored two points to extend his point streak to eight games – the fourth time he has done so in his NHL career – and to further cement his position at third in overall NHL scoring. He has 26 points in 18 games, five back of Steven Stamkos for the lead.
He has 230 points across 250 games for his career. He’s sixth in scoring out of everyone selected in the 2011 draft, 12 points back of Brandon Saad; everyone ahead of him has played like, 50-200 more games than he has.
Like, if the night is going to suck, at least he can keep up his scoring pace. It means nothing for the team but it’s nice to have that.
What a stupid game
Seriously just bad. I don’t know what else to talk about with this one and I don’t really care to try. There was a new Mr. Robot last night and it was phenomenal. Thor: Ragnarok is still the best MCU movie to date and I should really go see it again. Lots of other things to focus on than a bad hockey game, one of 82 on a season, hopefully just a nightmarish blip on the radar.
It’s a new day! And so will be tomorrow! And they’ll probably play better on Saturday! Hooray.