The Calgary Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers by a 5-2 score on Saturday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The Flames keep rolling along
The Flames have kept banking points. They’re 10-1-2 dating back to the Christmas break. While they haven’t play incredibly tidy defensive hockey, they seemed to tighten up a bit against a fast, desperate Oilers club.
“That was as tight as we’ve been in awhile,” noted head coach Bill Peters. “I didn’t think we gave up much five-on-five. So, a good night.”
Calgary keeps getting contributions from a lot of players. David Rittich registered another big win. Mark Giordano tied Brent Burns for the NHL defensive scoring lead with a three point night. A lot of other Flames made key contributions.
Peters credited the team’s overall play and disposition for Saturday’s big win.
“Got a lot of guys finding a way to make positive contributions in a team win,” said Peters. “And that’s what our guys are all about. It’s about the two points, each and every night. We’re hungry for points. We want to win. We know how to play. Sometimes we deviate a little bit, but we do know how to play, though, and when we play the right way we’re a good team.”
Backlund hits a big milestone
Longtime Flames center (and alternate captain) Mikael Backlund isn’t a huge offensive contributor, as his primary role leans on his two-way play. So for him to hit 300 NHL points in his 589th game with a goal and an assist was pretty big for the locker room, as relayed by our pal Pat Steinberg.
Couple of points for Mikael Backlund tonight, which gets him to 300 for the career.
Coach Peters: “The guys were genuinely happy for Backs. He does a lot of heavy lifting, he does a lot of stuff that’s under the radar. Those are the types of guys you win with.” #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) January 20, 2019
This was a weird game, in the sense that referees Graham Skilliter and Garret Rank called a lot of penalties. The game featured 19 minor penalties and just 32:37 of five-on-five play. Our friends at Scouting The Refs track penalty-calling by referees: Rank came into the game having called a ton of penalties, while Skilliter was slightly below the league’s average per game.
As you would expect, with the Flames playing their second game in as many nights, that really mucked up player usage. A lot of players had erratic usage, and it impacted the fourth line in a very pronounced, peculiar way. Two fourth liners ended up playing more on special teams than at even strength, and the other one barely played.
- Derek Ryan played 4:55 of even strength, 4:00 of power play and 3:13 of shorthanded time.
- Garnet Hathaway played 4:00 of even strength and 4:31 of shorthanded time.
- Andrew Mangiapane played 4:34, all even strength, and only had eight shifts.
Just to make the game even more quirky from an officiating standpoint, there was a review of an on-ice “no-goal” call in the first period and a coach’s challenge on a Flames goal in the second period.