108Elias Lindholm
Photo Credit: Russell LaBounty/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames score nine goals, beat Columbus

The Calgary Flames weren’t great in the first period of Tuesday night’s game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. But their talented players flipped the switch for the final 40 minutes. In a game that was defined by sloppy defensive play on both sides, the Flames beat the Blue Jackets by a 9-6 score.

The Rundown

The Flames opened the scoring early, with Johnny Gaudreau taking a drop pass from Sean Monahan and beating Sergei Bobrovsky with a wrist shot that made it 1-0 Calgary.

But the Jackets answered back. The Flames spent awhile hemmed into their own end and finally broke out, but they lost the puck in the neutral zone. Alexander Wennberg jumped on the loose puck and drove into the Flames zone. David Rittich made the initial save, but the puck rebounded into the slot where Zack Werenski buried it into the open net to make it 1-1.

Later in the period, with Mark Giordano serving a penalty, the Blue Jackets won a corner battle for the puck then fed Josh Anderson in the high slot. He used Mark Jankowski as a screen and beat Rittich inside the post (stick-side) to make it 2-1 Columbus.

Cam Atkinson made it 3-1 with 18 seconds left in the first period, beating Rittich with a wrister off the rush (on another neutral zone turnover) that found a hole in Rittich.

Shots were 14-9 Jackets and scoring chances 8-4 Jackets.

Mike Smith came into the game to relieve Rittich to start the second, and gave up a goal in the first minute of the period. Artemi Panarin fed Atkinson off the rush and Atkinson beat Smith over the shoulder to make it a 4-1 lead for Columbus.

Brandon Dubinsky got called for hooking 1:50 into the second. After that, the Flames seemingly flipped a switch and started burying every single good chance they had. 25 seconds into the Dubinsky penalty, Monahan deflected a Mark Giordano shot past Bobrovsky to make it 4-2 Columbus.

Less than a minute later, Elias Lindholm beat Bobrovsky off the rush after a nice feed from Travis Hamonic gave him a great lane to the net. That cut the Jackets’ lead to 4-3.

Midway through the period the Flames got another power play goal. Lindholm’s initial chance was stopped by Bobrovsky, but Matthew Tkachuk got a stick on the loose rebound in a scramble and scored to tie the game at 4-4.

Less than a minute later, Tkachuk found Noah Hanifin creeping into the slot with a crazy between-the-legs pass – the first time that move has actually worked in a competitive game – and Hanifin put it in the wide-open net to give the Flames a 5-4 lead.

Another minute later Gaudreau was stopped by Bobrovsky on a breakaway, but TJ Brodie swooped into the slot and bonked in the rebound to make it a 6-4 lead for the Flames.

But before the period ended Nick Foligno took advantage of a neutral zone turnover and beat Smith high on a breakaway to cut Calgary’s lead to 6-5.

Shots were 14-9 Flames and chances 6-5 Flames in the second period.

After killing off a spillover penalty from the second period, the Flames scored another power play marker in the third to make it 7-5. Giordano’s slap shot was blocked, but Monahan put the rebound past Bobrovsky.

The Flames got some breathing room off a really nice play. Giordano sprung Gaudreau and Monahan into the Columbus zone with a long pass. In two on two, Gaudreau waited out the defenders and then beat Bobrovsky five-hole to make it 8-5.

That ended Bobrovsky’s night, replaced by Joonas Korpisalo. Atkinson competed his hat trick with a deflection goal to make it 8-6, but Austin Czarnik made it 9-6 with a great individual effort to cap off the game’s scoring.

Shots were 7-6 Columbus and chances 7-5 Columbus in the third.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames were on their heels for the first period (or so) and deservedly trailed 4-1. But they made adjustments and really held their own for the rest of the night against a good team.

This game boiled down to this: the Flames’ best players were better than Columbus’ best players. They weren’t perfect – they gave up six goals, after all – but they were good enough to get two points. Case in point: the Flames’ power play out-scored Columbus’ 3-1.

Red Warrior

Let’s go with Gaudreau, who had four points and was dialed-in offensively. But Monahan, Lindholm, Backlund, Tkachuk, Giordano and Brodie all had strong games as well.

The Turning Point

Let’s go with that three minute stretch in the middle of the second period where the Flames scored three goals, swinging the game from being 4-3 Columbus to being 6-4 Flames. They held the lead for the remainder of the game.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.Hockey)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Jankowski 56.3 83.3 0.780
Hamonic 51.4 42.9 1.850
Tkachuk 50.0 100 2.400
Hanifin 48.7 33.3 1.250
Backlund 48.4 100 1.265
Lindholm 47.4 54.6 2.290
Andersson 47.1 100 -0.050
Bennett 46.2 50.0 -0.190
Brodie 46.2 41.7 1.150
Gaudreau 45.8 50.0 3.750
Neal 44.4 71.4 0.235
Monahan 43.5 46.2 3.360
Mangiapane 40.9 71.4 -0.350
Hathaway 40.0 25.0 -0.350
Czarnik 38.9 75.0 0.620
Prout 33.3 100 -0.550
Giordano 33.3 36.4 1.400
Ryan 12.5 25.0 -0.580
Rittich -1.150
Smith -0.950

This and That

The Flames’ five-goal second period was their fourth period with five (or more) goals this season. The other 30 NHL teams combined have done it three times.

Up Next

The Flames (17-9-2) head home tonight. They host the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      Noah Hanifin also has four more points than Dougie Hamilton and is three years away from prime. We have 33 Points from the trade, Carolina has 24 Points and Hanifins only getting better.

      That trade was so funny, I have some family friends in the scouting industry and they all said Calgary won the trade by a mile and the analytics community all said the opposite (except the few open minded ones that pointed out that Hanifins numbers are better than Hamiltons at the same age).

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        The unfortunate truth is that Ferland is prone to concussion and has two or three so far. Playing with JH and Monahan would have resulted in at least one more for him here. He also would be fighting more here. Love the guy’s game, but he is risking his wellbeing every night.

        I’m amazed that Lindholm has such low number in CAR. I figured he was as good or better than Monahan at the draft. Somehow we got him and another low pick in the trade. Hanifin is prone to mistakes, but has a nose for the net and doesn’t take dumb penalties. Our defense is set up better this season after the trade. Hanifin with a bruiser Hamonic, Brodie back to doing Brodie things with Gio. And all of a sudden Gio is back to Norris form. Brodie doesn’t make him better, he makes him more complete.

        Only downside to the trade is losing Fox. Guy will be another Tyson Barrie if he makes it to the NHL. Not good without the puck, but excellent on PP’s.

        • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

          Lindholm has definitely taken another step forward this season. I don’t think Carolina would have done that trade if they thought this was the player they were giving up. I watched him a fair bit in Carolina and he’s really improved his strength and play away from the puck this year. There have been a lot of nights this season where I think he is the play driver on that line, which is crazy to think. It’s also a lot easier to get up to play in front of more than 4,000 fans every night.

          I like the Kevin Shattenkirk, Keith Yandle comparison as well for Fox, as I like Barrie too much to say that at this point, but it’s accurate, I just like Barrie more than most (I still have his Kelowna days seared into my brain). Fox is likely going to be a Good to Elite PP Guy and 3-5 Even Strength Guy, nothing is a guarantee though with prospects. I personally think though that Hanifin is just scratching the surface and in two or three years time he could be a Top. 10 defender in the league. He is still one of the better 16-18 year old defenseman I have watched in at least a decade and he’s only 21 years old, so I don’t think we’ll ever be too worried about Fox. Especially if Lindholm is a 70+ Points Top Line Winger and Noah Hanifin is a 45+ Point Two-way Defender for the next six plus years, both in their absolute primes. I think without Fox the trade is an absolute steal for Calgary. I think even if Fox pans out Calgary still gets the best two players though, which is a win in any trade for me.

          How much better has Hamonic been this year with Hanifin? I think that says a lot about Hanifin compared to Hamilton. Hamilton was a great shooter and he put a ton of pucks on goal, but in the other two phases Hanifin is already twice the player.

          • Albertabeef

            Hamilton brought Gio down. Gio never had more than 27 assists with Hamy under GG and he has 24 already this season on pace for 70ish. That’s craziness. Maybe if we start screaming at those who vote for the Norris trophy to start paying attention to him now and for the rest of the season he might just have a chance at it.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            How much Lindholm has pepped up the games of Monahan and Gaudreau has been done to death. Less discussed is how Monahan and Gaudreau have been a boon to Lindholm’s game. It might just be as simple as these three guys are a perfect fit, and I’ll leave it at that until facts suggest otherwise. Be thankful Flame fans that Lindholm’s contract expired at the end of last season, for had it expired at the end of this season, you’re not getting him for under $5M AAV. No way!

        • The Doctor

          I liked Ferland, but he just didn’t work with Gaudreau and Monahan the way Lindholm does. I think the main reason is that Lindholm is more versatile and multidimensional, so for instance he’s a better playmaker than Ferland.

      • Mickey O'Reaves

        The analytics guys are just looking at numbers — without a frame of reference.
        Hamilton wanted out, he was never going to play here again. Ferland’s concussion history cuts his effectiveness in half. Fox was never going to sign here.
        Treliving got two highly touted players back, and signed them to excellent team-friendly long term deals.
        Now that is pretty impressive, when you frame it that way.

  • Rudy27

    I wonder if Bennett is playing through a shoulder injury. Seem to recall him favouring it a few games back, and his physical play has definitely dropped of the past couple of games.

  • Captain Ron

    Neal is lucky the team is scoring as much as they are without any real contribution from him. Otherwise there would be a lot more pressure on him than there is currently. He was brought in and paid to score and he is failing miserably right now.

  • Canucks Suck

    matthew tkachuk sucks that pass on the 5th goal was just utter garbage he isn’t worth any money and the flames should sign him out of pity *wink wink*

    now excuse me while I pick my jaw back up off of the floor