72Johnny Gaudreau
Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames cruise against the Blues

The Calgary Flames played a tight game on Saturday afternoon in Minnesota. They had a much easier time on Sunday afternoon in St. Louis. They scored four times in the first period and cruised to a 7-2 victory over the Blues at the Enterprise Center.

The Rundown

The Flames were all over the Blues in the first period, and it basically decided the game. They opened the scoring on an early power play, caused after the Blues tripped up TJ Brodie behind the Flames net. Matthew Tkachuk jammed in a rebound off a Mark Giordano point shot to make it 1-0.

A little while later, the Flames cashed in on a Blues power play. With Tkachuk in the box, Elias Lindholm pressured the point man into a turnover off the draw, then beat Jake Allen on the ensuing breakaway to make it 2-0.

Giordano beat Allen with a slap shot through traffic on another power play following a too many men call on the Blues. That gave the Flames a 3-0 edge.

And Alan Quine jumped on the rebound off a Noah Hanifin shot, getting to the loose puck before a Blues defender to make it 4-0 Flames.

Shots were 16-6 Flames and scoring chances 11-2 Flames in the first period.

Blues backup Jordan Binnington relieved Allen to open the second. The Blues got on the board early in the period, as Jordan Nolan took advantage of a bad Flames line change. His initial shot was stopped, but Oskar Sundqvist buried the rebound to make it a 4-1 Flames lead.

The Flames reinstated their four-goal cushioned later on in the period. Derek Ryan read coverage well and out-battled a pair of Blues defenders. He waited for Johnny Gaudreau to sneak into the zone, then fed him a nice pass. Gaudreau’s quick shot beat Binnington short-side to make it 5-1.

But the Blues added a late one after killing off a penalty. The Flames were a bit of confusion after a line change. Vince Dunn’s shot was blocked by Travis Hamonic, but the rebound went rght to Tyler Bozak and he tapped it in to cut the Flames lead to 5-2.

Shots were 16-9 Blues and chances 11-6 Blues in the second.

The third period was very low-event, as the Flames were content to kill the clock and get out Dodge with their two points. Gaudreau added an empty-netter with three minutes left in regulation to make it 6-2. Quine added a late power play goal to make it a 7-2 final.

Shots were 6-4 Blues and chances 8-0 Blues in the third period.

Why the Flames Won

There’s a great line in the film version of “Moneyball”: When the other team’s making mistakes, don’t get in their way. The Blues were awful early on, while the Flames were opportunistic and took advantage of their mistakes.

But give the Flames credit: the goals they got were because they out-worked the Blues in key situations when the game was up for grabs in the first period. Because they had their work boots on early, this turned into an easy afternoon of hockey for them.

They got timely goals in all situations and rock-solid goaltending. That’s usually a recipe for success.

Red Warrior

Lindholm had a three point afternoon, so he’ll get the nod. But from top to bottom, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a Flames player that didn’t have a decent afternoon.

The Turning Point

The Lindholm shorthanded goal was probably the big sign for the locals that this game wasn’t going to go their way. It was also a good sign that the Flames were feeling confident with the puck.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Backlund 75.0 50.0 0.815
Neal 72.2 50.0 0.375
Tkachuk 71.4 50.0 2.340
Lindholm 58.3 50.0 2.510
Giordano 55.2 25.0 1.975
Brodie 53.3 25.0 0.800
Gaudreau 51.9 44.4 3.025
Hamonic 50.0 60.0 0.125
Monahan 48.0 44.4 0.755
Hanifin 43.3 60.0 0.725
Kylington 42.9 50.0 0.000
Ryan 38.5 37.5 0.600
Andersson 37.5 50.0 0.100
Czarnik 33.3 16.7 0.500
Jankowski 31.6 25.0 0.190
Rychel 26.7 33.3 -0.510
Quine 25.0 20.0 1.480
Hathaway 23.5 37.5 -0.760
Rittich 1.100
Smith

This and That

Tkachuk’s goal was the first he’s scored in an NHL game in his hometown of St. Louis. His father, Keith, was in attendance.

In his return from the concussion protocol, Mikael Backlund played 18:10. Only the first line trio of Lindholm, Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had more ice time among Flames forwards.

Up Next

The Flames (22-10-2) are off to Texas. They play the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night in the finale of their three game road trip.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Today’s Takeaways:

    The Blues entered the NHL the same year the Leafs won their last cup. Do the Blues win their first cup before the Leafs win their next cup?

    Nothing against Rychel, but whoever let him wear Gilmour’s hallowed 39 deserves a steel-toed boot up the ying-yang.

    In the 1980s, the Flames acquired the likes of Mullen, Gilmour and Nattress from the Blues. Ditto for Conroy in the 2001. Wouldn’t mind the Blues keeping with tradition in the season of tradition and gift Parayko to the Flames when the lads leave for Dallas.

    If it were possible for a player to get two assists on the same goal, Ryan deserved them on Johnny’s goal. One for being so smart and the other for extra effort.

    O’ Reilly leaves Colorado just before the Avs got good. Then he leaves the Sabres just when they got good. Coincidink or not?

    Anybody miss JayBo? Thought not.

    Those who say that adding the Seattle Emeralds will dilute an already shallow pool might have their strongest argument in the form of #25 for the Blues—Chris Butler. How the devil can he still be in the NHL? Barman Bettman, your drinks taste watery.

    One thing the Flames showed me during their visit to the Show Me State is that Alan Quine is continuing to make a strong case as to why he should remain a Flame.

    • Albertabeef

      That number isn’t hallowed to me. Otherwise you could say the same with every jersey number who won a cup. I think it’s more hallowed to leaf fans even though he wore 93 there. He only played 266 games with the Flames and currently sits in 19 place for franchise in points. Hardly a top franchise celebrated player for the Flames. He’s just one of those 20ish players.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        14 and 12 are really the only untouchable numbers for me that should never be given out, outside of what is in the rafters.

        Not to mention Kerby Rychels father played for a long time against Killer, so it was likely a tribute if anything for Dougie. Both Killer and Warren are long time GMs in the OHL and are friends.

        • Albertabeef

          I’d like to see Tim Hunter in the “Forever a Flame” class. He is 4th in all time franchise playoff games played with 86. He was a playoff warrior and should get a little extra credit IMO. Probably never happen.

    • SGRietzey

      At least as shocking as Chris Butler still being in the NHL was that he posted a +/- of 0. Not that it’s a worthwhile stat by any means, but for him that’s basically winning the Norris.

  • The GREAT WW

    A lot of talk about Parayko being traded.
    Watching him all game I would have to think long and hard before trading Shillington or Anderson for him straight up.

    I think he would be on our third pairing if he played for us……and expensive….

    WW

      • Burnward

        He’s on “I got fat and lazy over the summer because I earned it and I played too much hockey the last few years.”

        I wonder though if he somehow is messing with his equipment. Both his stick lie and his skate grind seem off. He’s always on his heels.

    • The Great perra

      WW, Earlier you inquired about if I have ever skated…or been on ice. I am not a hockey player as rinks are a little scarcer in Mexico then in Canada. I do however compete in a different sport and will be competing near Calgary in my next bout. Please feel free to join me as a guest on Friday March 01, 2019 at the River Cree casino. I would love to meet up with you if you are intersted. I will be easy to spot, red shorts and well….the only mexican on the card. Hope to see you there Amigo.

    • Alberta Ice

      Just noticing the Lightning and Flames are one (+42)and two (+29) in goal differentials in the league. And we are even better in record than Canada’s team Toronto (LOL). Keep the wins rolling Flames!

  • HAL MacInnis

    I wonder if the Flames’ website will finally add Alan Quine to the player stats page. Maybe he needs a few more goals to show up on their radar. What a great call up he’s been. We badly needed some secondary scoring.

  • PasstheDube

    Great win. Awesome effort from a team playing back to back afternoon games ( what’s with that?). Speaking of effort how bout Derek Ryan on Johnny’s first goal? Hopefully he shows that kind of ability more often, not that I’ve been disappointed by his play to this point. This team is so deep. I mean Quine started the season in the AHL and now looks like a bonafide NHLer. If they could just get Neal going.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I think we may have something in Quine. He seems to be able to finish where Mangi and Czarnik struggle. All 3 of Quine’s goals have been goal scoring goals. If the goal against Edmonton was not called back he would be close to point per game level.

      • Stu Gotz

        Agree. Quine is a finisher! A few years ago he scored in double overtime with the Islanders and can make an impact. Flames top guys are producing. Nice to see a bottom 6 guy that can contribute. Could be a valuable addition as we move forward.

        • PasstheDube

          Hopefully Quine is gonna stay with the big club. At least for the time being. I agree he seems to have more ability to finish than Czarnik and Mangi. I think Mangi is not quite NHL ready yet. Unlike a lot of people on FN I’m not ready to give up on Czarnik yet. I love his speed and there has to be a reason so many teams talked to his agent. Hasn’t quite found his groove yet once he does he could be a valuable piece

  • MDG1600

    Flames were great today and I thought while basking in the glow of victory I might ask one simple question:

    Does James Neal think the hockey puck is a hand grenade? I mean seriously – he can’t take a pass without bunting it out of his reach.

  • RKD

    The team is playing at an elite level they can win a low scoring tight game and they can win a run and gun game and they can just annihilate a team with a boat load of goals. The scoring is pretty much coming from everybody.

  • KeepitReal

    Diesel looks very confident in net. His stick handling leaves a bit to be desired but its work in progress.

    We’ve seen some red light festivals this year with the Flames coming out on top. You’d think that this would bode well for wheel & peel Neal. He might be snake kitten but he simply can’t keep up and cannot extend a play to save his life. Maybe he’ll find another gear after Christmas.

  • Calgarycandle

    Tre made some big bets in the off-season. He hired Peters and Ward. He traded for a top-line RW or #2 in Lindholm. He gambled in the Hanifin for Hamilton swap. He acquired Ryan who seems to be acquiring a role and is contributing to scoring lately and Neal has been showing signs he could end his funk. Even the signing of Quine and Rychel give the team a bit more sandpaper combined with secondary scoring appear to be paying dividends. Peters is exceedingly creat like with 11 forwards/7 against Minny.

    The Flames are vying for top position in the league after 30+ games. Who would of thunk at the beginning of the season. Not me!

    Maybe it’s too early to be classed in the Elite conversation. Even the Rittich/Smith goalies gamble is suddenly smelling like roses. If Thursday’s Tampa games were played tomorrow it would be reminiscent of 04. It will my first live game and win or lose I expect masterfully played hockey.

    It’s a good day to be a Flames fan!

    GFG!!!

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        Neal setup the game winning goal yesterday and wired one just off a post…. He also took stitches today and still came close on the last Power Play a couple of times after coming back from injury.

        Man no one will give him just one freaking break on here. Ease up everyone. He’s on a career bad cold streak, he’s shooting 4.1% as a career 11.8% shooter, he’s also over 51.9% possession, so he isn’t a boat anchor at all. Things will get better and we don’t really need him right now anyway.

          • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

            He isn’t playing great we can all admit that, but to just discredit every little positive he’s done over that time and to keep piling and piling the negatives on is a little overkill. We’re currently T-2nd in the league, obviously Neal is fighting it, who cares.

            The fact that he can’t take or receive a pass right now is actually a huge positive for me, because maybe he is playing injured right now, which means this isn’t James Neal, I mean you don’t play 730+ Games in the NHL and score 500+ Points in the NHL if you can’t reiceve a pass.

            James Neal has also said that he changed sticks this year because Easton was bought out. Well James whatever stick you’ve been using the last four months. Throw them out and get something else!!!

  • freethe flames

    I have missed the last two games and only saw yesterdays hi-lights. My only thoughts from them is that Tkachuk should not be the guy seeking payback for a hit. Probably should be Bennett or Hathaway.

  • Joel Ottos Jock

    Pretty decent effort and game put forward by the good guys! Really liking the game of Kylington! The more he plays, the more confidence is beginning to build up. He is attempting elite, high level, skilled plays! Love it! He is still remaking responsible in his own zone. Quine is looking decent, so did Hathaway. Backlund looked well in his role tonight, despite the 3 game absence. Big fan of Rychel as well, would really like to see him stick are found as the 13th forward. Curious, what happens when Frolik comes back? I would like to have him traded, as zi dont see him accepting being theb13th man, nor the Flames paying that contract to send him to Stockton. Nice conundrum to be in! James Nealbis also looking better to me. He is doing the right things away from the puck, being phyçical, a leader, and playing the right way.

    • Luter 1

      Liked your comments until Neal being physical, leader…. This guy better have something wrong with him because if this is his game, well his puck handling, passing and receiving a pass, has to be the poorest on the team. He had a nice two on one with Matty and just threw the puck blindly 10 feet in front of him. His assist yesterday was a deflected bad pass. I’ve yet to see the guy make a pure play with anyone and has dragged down our skill guys when he’s had the chance to play with them.

  • Garry T

    Dallas at home! Not going to be as easy as Minny and STL. But, am hoping score. Is 4-2 Calgary and walk out of there with no injuries. The true test is going to be Tampa. I can’t wait for that one. GFG

  • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

    Edmonton goes 8-1-1 in their last 10 GP (mostly because their goaltenders have unsustainably stolen games) playing what will be their best Hockey of the year. Meanwhile we also go 8-1-1 in the same stretch, like it ain’t no thang (we would have beaten them with Gio and Backs). Calgary goal differential +29 (2nd in league), Edmonton -1 (T-16th). Calgary Corsi For 53.51% (5th in league), Edmonton 49.56% (19th).

    They can’t even gain ground on us in the standings when they overachieve!!!!

  • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

    Things I’ll never understand, after St. Louis’s season was ruined by sup par goaltending from Jake Allen last year.

    Why did they not address that this offseason and at least get more depth?!?!?!?

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        He cost them the post season last year!!!! He’s honestly Cam Ward 2.0. someone who played on really deep teams to start his career, but is a really mediocre goalie, even early in Allens career they were expected to go much deeper in the playoffs than they ever ended up going. Every time I’ve watched him even going back to junior I’ve never seen legit long time NHL starter. If you’re St. Louis at least get some insurance behind him in a 1B type like Colorado did with Grubauer.