The Calgary Flames beat the Colorado Avalanche by a 5-3 score on Wednesday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
Finding ways to win different games
The Flames have played better over 60 minutes than they did against Colorado, but once again they found ways to win. A year ago, this was probably the type of game these guys would lose. But the Flames just have a way of hanging around games and making adjustments. They’ve won track meets. They’ve grinded out close games. And on a night where they probably weren’t firing on all cylinders, they managed to get a big win once again.
Flames defender Travis Hamonic had a pretty astute assessment of the state of affairs following the game:
I think we had a good start. We kinda got a little flat, maybe we were stale in the middle part of the game I’d say. But we found a way. They have some good players. They’re a quick team. They were coming at us in waves, and really quick through the neutral zone I found they were. When you’re having those kind of nights, you’ve just got to simplify things and just keep it simple. And really just take the plays that are coming your way. Sometimes you can’t force things too much. And we’ve got some personnel that we know we can win in different manners, different ways. And we’ve seen it. You’ve just got to keep pulling forward. You’ve got to learn from it, take some of the mistakes that we made tonight out of the game, and move forward. But when you’re finding ways to win, that’s the sign of a good team.
Many saves from Big Save Dave
If we’re being honest, the Flames were out-played for large stretches of the game. Both Hamonic and head coach Bill Peters admitted post game that the team seemed to have trouble with Colorado’s speed at times.
But the Flames were bailed out by their goaltender, especially in the second period. They weren’t great and they gave up quite a few odd-man rushes and good scoring chances via turnovers. Flames forward Mark Jankowski tipped his hat to Rittich following the contest.
“He’s been a star a lot of games this year,” said Jankowski. “He’s been great for us, obviously, and tonight was no different. He held us in when maybe we shouldn’t have been in there and held the door tight for us for us to get a couple.”
Matthew Tkachuk hits his bonuses
Tkachuk is having a heck of a season. Through 45 games he has 20 goals and 51 points. His empty net goal against the Avalanche triggered the first of his Schedule A performance bonuses.
Per our friends at Cap Friendly, Tkachuk has $850,000 of performance bonuses written into his entry-level deal. Hitting 20 goals earned him $212,500. He can earn up to three more of those bonuses (for a total of $850,000) for amassing 35 assists, 60 points, 0.73 points per game (over a 42+ game season), finishing top six among team forwards in ice time or top three among team forwards in plus/minus.
Suffice it to say, Tkachuk’s in a strong position to max out his performance bonuses this season.