56Matthew Tkachuk
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames outclass Coyotes

Over the past few weeks, the Calgary Flames haven’t been great but they’ve managed to win. On Sunday night against the Arizona Coyotes, they were probably the best they’ve been in a month. The Flames got contributions from everybody en route to a 7-1 win over Arizona.

The Rundown

The opening period was initially pretty sleepy, as Arizona didn’t generate a shot on goal until a power play midway through the period (and the Flames only had three shots at that point). The Coyotes woke up a bit and rattled of a bunch of shots but Mike Smith stood tall.

The Flames opened the scoring late in the period, as Andrew Mangiapane won a battle for a loose puck in the neutral zone with his speed. He entered the Coyotes zone and a couple passes later Mark Giordano’s wrist shot beat Adin Hill just inside the post to give the home side a 1-0 lead.

Just 68 seconds later the Flames added another one. Johnny Gaudreau was all alone in front but passed rather than shoot, which negated the scoring chance. But the Flames maintained possession and Gaudreau fed Sean Monahan in the slot with a pass from under the goal line. Monahan buried the feed to make it a 2-0 Flames lead.

Shots were 11-5 Flames in the first period, while scoring chances were 5-5.

The Flames added to their lead in the second period with an early goal and a late goal. On a bit of a broken rush play, the Coyotes were able to partially disrupt the Flames’ momentum but couldn’t grab the puck. Matthew Tkachuk pounced on the puck, drove the net and beat Hill to make it 3-0 Flames.

Later in the period, the Flames killed off a penalty and then spent some time in the Coyotes zone. On a bit of a scramble, Monahan fed Gaudreau at the side of the net for a tap-in and a 4-0 lead.

The Coyotes got one back late in the period on a power play, as Jordan Oesterle’s slap shot from the top of the circles (and with a few bodies blocking Smith’s view) cut the lead to 4-1 Flames.

Shots were 12-7 Coyotes and chances were 7-4 Coyotes.

The Flames just kept pouring it on in the third period. On a Mikael Backlund rush into the Coyotes zone a couple defenders ended up following him, leaving Tkachuk wide open for a feed at the front of the net for a tap-in to make it a 5-1 Flames lead.

A couple minutes later the top pairing and top line went to work cycling the puck in the Coyotes zone. Finally, Giordano’s slap shot from the point eluded Hill’s glove to make it 6-1 Flames.

The third line finally got into the scoring action a few minutes later. James Neal fed Sam Bennett as he drove towards the net and Bennett’s redirect beat Hill to make it 7-1 Flames.

The Flames went into cruise control from there.

Why the Flames Won

The opening frame was fairly even, but the Flames took control of it. They scored early, often, and were able to just roll their lines for the majority of this game. They didn’t have to rely on their special teams or their top line to be especially top notch, because everything seemed to be clicking for them.

Red Warrior

Let’s go sentimental and give it to the captain. Giordano had himself a game as he commemorated 800 NHL games. But beyond him, a lot of players had good games. This might’ve been the best Mangiapane has looked at the NHL level so far.

The Turning Point

The 2-0 goal was big, as it ensured that a bounce wouldn’t tie this game. From them, the Flames just rolled their lines and cruised and the Coyotes seemed to deflate.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Frolik 68.0 14.3 2.275
Giordano 64.0 40.0 3.650
Tkachuk 61.9 14.3 2.550
Prout 60.0 58.3 0.650
Lindholm 60.0 83.3 1.030
Backlund 59.1 14.3 1.845
Kylington 57.7 58.3 0.475
Brodie 55.6 40.0 2.400
Jankowski 54.2 55.6 0.825
Gaudreau 48.0 75.0 2.475
Mangiapane 46.2 44.4 0.775
Monahan 45.0 75.0 1.935
Ryan 42.9 33.3 0.770
Bennett 40.9 40.0 0.685
Hathaway 40.0 44.4 -0.150
Hanifin 34.6 33.3 -0.250
Andersson 34.5 33.3 -0.175
Neal 33.3 50.0 0.625
Smith 1.450
Rittich

This and That

This was the 800th game for Giordano and the 586th game for Backlund, tying him for ninth all-time.

The Flames are now 23-1-2 when leading or tied after two periods.

Garnet Hathaway was the only Flames skater who was even (everyone else was a plus) and one of five who failed to register a shot.

Up Next

The Flames (30-13-4) are off tomorrow. They’re back in action on Wednesday night when they host the Buffalo Sabres.



  • Sterls

    If Gio keeps putting up points the way he is he will score more points this season than he did the previous 2 seasons combined. He is almost single handedly replacing Hamilton and his production from last season. Unreal!

    • Albertabeef

      It helps to have a smarter partner who doesn’t just blindly shoot every chance he gets. Brodano is so much better balanced together and smarter in their puck possession.

      • Flint

        Did you say the same when Al MacInnis ‘blindly shot every chance he got’? Some defensemen are shooters and should be. Hamilton has flaws in his game but he scored 17goals which isn’t easy for a defender. Sure, MacInnis (in an era with much inferior goaltending) got in the high 20’s three or four times, but 17 wouldn’t have been a bad year for him many years too. He avg’d 19 goals a season.

        And keep in mind, Hamilton barely played what he should have on the PP. Criticisms of Dougie in his own end at times are overblown, but as an offensive defenseman? I think you’re not commenting honestly and objectively.

        • Canucks Suck

          who is afraid of Hamiltons slapshot though? MacInnis had a legendary shot, when guys move out of the way of your shot you are afforded the luxury of firing at will.

        • Albertabeef

          Please never compare Dougie to the great Al. Al would fake a shot and get everyone to wince and then pass. He was awesome like that :). I don’t remember getting as mad at Al playing defensive zone like I did Dougie either. Different times different styles of game play. When you have two high shooting defensemen on the same line it takes the puck away from your very talented and skilled forwards. Brodano has better balance and gives Johnny more time and space with the puck. That is probably what we want right? I look at the bigger picture honestly and objectively.

        • Skylardog

          Hamilton had the 10th worst shooting percentage in the NHL of players that scored 20 or more goals during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons. That is out of 279 players that scored at least 20 goals over that period.

          He had the worst shooting percentage in the entire NHL of those that scored 30 or more over that period. 168 players had 30 goals or more.

          The problem with Dougie is he shot for the sake of shooting, raising his Corsi numbers. He did this at the expense of passing to players that were open.

          He is the definition of a Corsi Clown. At 5v5, Dougie took the 5th most shot attempts over that period, with only Burns, Ovi, Tarasenko, and Skinner taking more. Burns at least had a burner, and a better shooting percentage, and more goals.

          At 736 Corsi shots at 5v5, Dougie led the Flames, taking 272 more shot attempts than Monahan, and 284 more shot attempts than Gaudreau. And we wonder why the GG Flames couldn’t score.

          On the current Flames, forwards are shooting, and we are succeeding. JG leads the Flames in 5v5 shot attempts, Gio is second, and Mony third. It is a far cry from having a defenseman lead the team by a large margin. Remember, Gio plays way more minutes (as did Hamilton) compared to the forwards. But Gio is just 6th in CFi/60 on the Flames, Dougie lead the Flames in CFi/60 in the GG era, if you exclude Foo’s 4 game contribution.

          Corsi Clown. In the dictionary, there would be a picture of Dougie next to it, but he skipped town before they could get a good picture at the exit interviews.

  • RKD

    Gaudreau 69 pts McDavid 67 pts
    Monahan 57 pts Crosby 55 pts
    Tkachuk 54 pts Stamkos 52 pts
    Lindholm 53 pts Oveckhin 50 pts
    Giordano 47 pts Reilly 44 pts
    Flames top dogs are ELITE

  • Pizzaman

    As for Gio, to beat up Shakespeare one more time – “some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon him”. Gio wasnt born great, he wasn’t drafted but he has achieved greatness. If only the NHL recognized it and “thrust a Norris trophy upon him”

    • Albertabeef

      Sad thing is he probably won’t win the Norris if that kid in T.O. keeps pace with him. His +/- might be enough to take it though. Flames are making lots of noise right now so he should be recognized. The Flames could earn themselves all but 3 trophies this season, the Calder, Jennings, and Richard. Okay there is a slight chance at the Jennings and Richard trophies but we have no rookies of Calder attention worthy performances. But our rookie D have been impressively reliable.

  • Off the wall

    I still can’t get over our goal differential this season. +40!
    That’s unreal.

    Even better is we’re maintaining a lead over the Pacific with SAN Jose and Vegas trying to catch up.

    It’s been a great season so far. Luvin our team!

  • Off the wall

    In a 7-1 victory one must always look for ALL positives.

    Here’s one for ya.

    James Neal has 2 points in 3 games. If he continues this torrid pace ( ok I took liberties with the torrid remark) he will have 32 points by season’s end.

    A third liner with 32 points. Not too shabby right?

    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      Neal actually had a couple of really nice feeds outside of just the assist. He hit Brodie I believe creeping in from the point in a prime spot, but Brodie fanned on the shot as well that should have been a prime scoring chance.

      I’ve noticed that line of Bennett-Jankowski-Neal has started to gain more chemistry and are looking for each other with heads up passes instead of just trying to drive the net. If they can turn into an effective third line we’re all set, considering how the top line is and the 3M line looking legit again.

  • Garry T

    I sure like this Tkachuk kid. He might be a keeper. Jesus, if Smith can play like he did, we might have ourselves a backup. Prout was helping him out tonight keeping the front open so he could see. Nice job Prout. The Jankowski Neal Bennet line is developing some chemistry! Keep it up boys. I’m for bringing up Foo, Rychel and keeping Mangi up. Stone goes to the Dr. Tomorrow and says he is ready to come back. If the Drs. say he is a go, maybe we sit tight at the deadline unless a great scoring forward gets offered to us. Great game boys. Go Flames.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      He battled through some really tough saves, but was still able to get part of the puck to deflect it. No juicy rebounds. He looked like the Mike Smith the last time we played the Yotes. I won’t get too excited about it, since he is yet to string together two good games in a row since early December.

      The good thing is that the Flames played better defensively in front of him than they have for BSD. Smith needs that, as he has something like the 2nd worst 5v5 SA%.

  • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

    I was at the game, Mangiapane was inches away three times from scoring a goal. He looked like a different player when he got that assist. Once he gets a couple more points under his belt he should take off.

    • everton fc

      Keep Mangiapane-Ryan-Hathaway together, for now. No need to touch the top 3 lines, at the moment; if we can get that 4th line going – if they can provide offence… We will be very tough to beat.

      • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

        Will be? We are second in the league, I would say we already are pretty tough to beat. I completely agree though. If lines three and four get going we are in for a LOOOOONG playoff run.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      I saw those chances and was amazed they didn’t end up in the net. One was a bang-bang play like Bennett’s goal. One was a shot in front of the blue paint and it deflected up and over the net. He looked possessed. That shift where he got the assist was one of his best as a NHL player. His hockey IQ is bigger than his body. He knows where he has to go. Once he gets a little stronger on his feet, he can become more of a force out there.

      • Brian McGrattan's Salute

        It’s likely just nerves, and lack of experience in the big league. Small adjustments for the different pace, size of defenders, and likely settling down his breathing. Confidence, and a few more points will do him wonders.

        Really loving Ryan as 4c. He’s a really great anchor (in a good way!) for that line.

  • Flamesfanforever

    When Smith is on his game, I like the way he handles the puck. Seemed so calming leaving the net and handling the puck. I bet that saves alot of wear and tear on the defence

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      Interesting that I saw puck handling in a different light tonight. I saw several occasions where Smith would have been better served by staying in his net or simply stopping the puck and leaving it for his D. I think it is in his head now that he ALWAYS has to play the puck where if any other player on the ice did that there would be a conversation back on the bench about playing a team game. I’m all for Smith handling it, but I think he may need to start thinking about “less is more”.

  • Afterburn

    Looking forward to Wednesday’s test. Buffalo has a decent team this year. Have been waiting for both San Jose and Vegas to cool off a bit to see Calgary extend there lead. Awesome season so far.

  • checkmeup

    Nobody was more happy for the trade of Dougie than Gio was. He spent the hole last season covering for Dougie’s mistakes. Most frustrating defenceman to watch since Dana Merzin