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.



  • The GREAT WW

    “Backlund was also pretty strong.”
    Seriously; what game were you watching?!
    I know he had a “””goal”””” and all, but Backlund was horrible!!!

    WW

  • Play Jankowski

    Why is Jankowski benched? I know we have depth, and the coach is crazy about Dube. But an injured Dube is now better than Jankowski? To be honest the reason I think Jankowski is sitting is because Tree didn’t draft him. If he was Tree’s guy Jankowski would be in.

    • SGRietzey

      He might not have drafted him, but Tre was the one who actually signed Jankowski and he played 72 games last year. If it were a matter of “Tre didn’t draft him” as you believe, I’m pretty sure at least the latter doesn’t happen, if not the former as well. He was under no obligation to actually give him a contract.

      What I’d say is far more likely is that a) they want a good look at Dube to see if he can stick, and b) probably don’t want to pay Derek Ryan $3M a year, especially this early in the season, to sit in the press box. I had this concern when we picked up Ryan as I’m sure they didn’t bring him in with 4th line duties in mind either, but optics being what they are I don’t think he’s sitting for any stretch.

      I think people also need to temper the “Janko as 2C” expectations. Jankowski had a good rookie season, but he was in a pretty sheltered 3C role and offensively, a bit streaky (take out a meaningless 4-goal game and his totals are solid but not exactly outstanding). When he gets back into the lineup, expecting him to improve to the point that he pushes an established 2-way 2C down the lineup is unrealistic. Over the course of the season, sure, it could happen, and all the power to him if that comes to pass. A more realistic expectation would be that he shows he can drive play and contribute offense more consistently, be defensively responsible, and hold his own if needed to move up the lineup. If that can happen, a push for 2C next season is a lot more reasonable.