The Calgary Flames beat the Anaheim Ducks by a 2-1 score on Friday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
The adventures of Mike Smith
There’s two ways of looking at Smith’s game against the Ducks. On one hand, he made 25 saves en route to his 18th victory of the season. (That’s good.) On the other hand, his roaming out of his net in the second period led directly to the Ducks’ only goal. (That’s bad.)
— Sportsnet 960 (@Sportsnet960) February 23, 2019
Smith explained what happened on the puck miscue following the game:
There’s three things that happened. It kind of died on me coming around the boards. I broke my stick. And then I ran into Brodes on the way back in the net. So, three things like that happen it usually doesn’t end up going too well for you.
Judging by Twitter, there is some criticism of Smith’s propensity for playing the puck. Sometimes it results in the Flames leaving the zone with speed. Sometimes it results in turnovers and scoring chances for the other team. Well, it’s part of his game that probably won’t be going anywhere.
“I’ve let in plenty of goals that weren’t very good,” said Smith. “It’s one thing to let it in. It’s done, it’s over, there’s no sense of pouting about it. You’ve just got to worry about the next shot and keep going, keep playing it. I’ve played it well most of the season, I’m not going to let that one little play unravel me.”
Winning a different type of game
The Flames this season are the second highest-scoring team in the NHL. They seem at home in ’80s style run-and-gun games, for better or for worse. The playoff game is more of a 3-2, 2-1, grind-it-out type of hockey. Head coach Bill Peters praised his team for sticking with it in a pretty mucky type of hockey game.
“You look at it, shots are 6-5 in the first, and then it opened up a little bit with a period with a long change in the second,” said Peters. “And then all of a sudden tightens back up again. It was a grind. Not a lot of room out there. They defended hard, I thought we did a good job in our own D zone. Credit to the guys for sticking with it, showing some maturity in that regard. We didn’t open ourselves up, make ourselves vulnerable for any counters.”
For the curious, the Flames’ record when they…
- Score three goals or fewer: 10-15-6
- Score more than three goals: 28-1-1
If they’re gonna play deep into the playoffs, shoring up that first category would be beneficial.