73Flames lose
Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames sing the blues in St. Louis

The Calgary Flames had their win streak halted at two games. They suffered a one-sided 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at the Enterprise Center.

The Rundown

The good news is the Flames opened the scoring! The bad news is everything that followed. A Dillon Dube forecheck created a turnover. Sam Bennett couldn’t beat Jake Allen, but he fed James Neal for a quick wrist shot that made it 1-0.

The Blues tied things up very quick, as the Flames got caught watching Jordan Kyrou on a zone entry and he was able to feed a wide open Alex Steen to make it 1-1. A little later Rasmus Andersson coughed up the puck due to pressure from Jaden Schwartz, which allowed Brayden Schenn to feed David Perron for a one-timer and a 2-1 lead.

Later in the period Mike Smith made an initial save on Robert Thomas, but he booted out a rebound right to a charging Joel Edmundson and he buried the rebound to make it 3-1. Sean Monahan drew a penalty shot late in the period but hit the post. Shots were 14-8 Blues in the first, chances were 9-5 Blues.

The Blues went up 4-1 in the second period as Smith mishandled a Blues power play dump in, allowing Perron to tap in a pass into a wide-open net. He completed the hat trick off a decent little passing play later in the period to make it 5-1. Shots were 11-10 Flames but chances were 7-6 Blues.

The Flames attempted to make a game of it in the third period as David Rittich game into the net to mop up. Austin Czarnik’s initial scoring chance was stopped, but he fed Derek Ryan for a one-timer from the face-off circle to make it 5-2.

A Mikael Backlund pass went off Bennett’s skate as he drove the net and beat Allen to make it 5-3. Because the hockey gods hate Bennett, Backund got credit for the goal.

But that’s as close as the Flames got. Shots were 15-8 Flames, chances 13-6 Flames.

Why the Flames Lost

Tons of iffy defensive zone play, both at even strength and on the penalty kill. They just couldn’t get organized enough in their own end and they were prone to turnovers. Neither are good things against the Blues.

And Smith wasn’t great at all, allowing five goals and making only 19 shots.

Red Warrior

Let’s give it to Bennett, who was pretty dang good. Backlund was also pretty strong.

The Turning Point

There are two, really:

  • At the end of the first period, down 3-1, the Flames get a penalty shot and a power play. They don’t score on either.
  • In the second period the Flames get an extended two man advantage. They don’t score.

If the Flames hit the scoresheet on either of those moments, it’s a much different game.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Giordano 80.0 60.0 1.850
Brodie 75.0 66.7 1.050
Lindholm 69.6 50.0 1.265
Bennett 69.2 14.3 1.475
Backlund 63.0 25.0 1.550
Ryan 55.0 57.1 1.255
Dube 54.6 0.0 0.645
Tkachuk 54.2 75.0 1.100
Czarnik 52.2 75.0 1.150
Peluso 50.0 50.0 0.225
Neal 50.0 14.3 0.750
Andersson 48.0 62.5 -0.225
Hanifin 46.4 11.1 0.225
Frolik 45.5 50.0 -0.200
Gaudreau 44.4 50.0 -0.025
Monahan 44.4 55.6 -0.065
Valimaki 42.3 66.7 -0.475
Stone 41.7 11.1 0.050
Smith -1.850
Rittich 0.800

This and That

The Flames special teams had some tough sledding. Their power play was 0-for-4, while their penalty kill went 4-for-6 (allowing a pair of Perron goals).

Dube got his first NHL point with an assist on Neal’s goal in the first period.

Up Next

The Flames (2-2-0) finish off their road trip on Saturday evening when they visit the Colorado Avalanche.

  • everton fc

    What to do if Rittich has a good game in Colorado?! I say keep him in net.

    Peluso should be sent back to the “A”. Prout provides more “functional toughness”. He was never on the ice specifically for fighting, in his day (note, he’s not even 30 yet, but clearly, at best, a #7). Peluso never fought a guy who simply played “dirty”. And he doesn’t line guys up for big hits. He may be a great guy, but he’s obsolete. The cost of trading Ferland, who is still scoring goals, in Carolina. I’d rather Lazar here – he brings energy and character on every shift. Or give a kid like Foo, or Klimchuk a chance – heck, Lomberg would add more to the 4th line, than Peluso. Actually, Foo might be just what this 4th line needs, in terms of generating offence.

    Peters would be wise to insert Hathaway, now. No matter who sits, on that 4th line. Hathaway-Jankowski-Ryan. Or Frolik-Ryan-Hathaway, if they are not convinced Jankowski’s more than an extra forward – in fact, with Czarnik wowing the coaching staff (I’m just okay, w/Czarnik thus far), and w/”Doc” Ryan here, where does Jankowski play, unless Ryan’s moved to RW, and you go with Frolik-Jankowski-Ryan as your 4th line, which may be what needs to happen. But do we bench Frolik for Hathaway? Whatever the conclusion, just get Hathaway in the line up for some 4th line spark.

    People have asked about Andersson’s speed – can he skate at this level. That will be determined in the next little while. I’m not convinced, either way. Valimaki’s the better defenceman. Judging from what Stockton’s Finest says about our current “D” in California, we don’t have the depth we had, when Kulak was here. That might prove a very bad move, by Treliving. Kulak is certainly better than Stone and Prout. And maybe even Andersson, at present.

    I am happy to see Bennett doing well. I’d keep him around. Ryan scoring – about time. Gaudreau getting roughed up this season – ask yourself, if you were coaching against the Flames, how would you play our best guy. He’s small. Slight. You’d obviously play him physically. You’d frustrate him, as he has a reputation for being easily frustrated.

    My deepest concerns remain;

    Goaltending
    Secondary scoring

    I think Valimaki’s here for the season, and for his career. Kylington at a -5 in two games means we get to see what type of defenceman really is. Stone playing w/Hanifin is all-wrong. Stone should be our #7.

  • cberg

    Flames forgot to skate the first two periods whereas the Blues were desperate and flying. The third period was very much like the Nashville game and the results were good.

  • L.Kolkind

    Bennett has been looking like the player we drafted him to be so far! I say reunite him with Backs and switch Tkachuk over to that RW, which Tkachuk played in London. I think Czarnik has looked good with them but Bennett has been better and has earned more ice time. If you want to send a positive message that playing hard and battling through adversity will reward you bumping up Bennett is the way to do it. He has been playing hard hockey all year, big hits grinding in the corners and creating offensive chances him and Tkachuk on the same line should produce results.