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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Flames go bust in Vegas

The Calgary Flames have not won a game at the T-Mobile Arena yet. Their string of poor results in Vegas continued, as the Flames dropped an incredibly tight-checking game by a 2-1 score to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Rundown

The Flames got into some penalty trouble in the first period, taking three minors. On their second kill, with Garnet Hathaway in the box, the Flames gave up a goal. David Rittich made the initial save on Mark Stone, but the puck rebounded out to Shea Theodore and he leaned into a shot from the point that beat Rittich to make it 1-0 Golden Knights.

The Flames seemed to tie the game up a little bit later, though, but the goal did not stand. Marc-Andre Fleury’s got tangled up with Matthew Tkachuk at the top of the crease and though he made the initial save on a shot, he wasn’t able to get across to stop Johnny Gaudreau’s shot. Vegas challenged due to goaltender interference and the shot was ruled no goal.

Shots were 14-9 Flames and scoring chances 12-5 Flames in the opening period.

The visitors had a couple power plays in the second period that were not good. Not a lot of zone time or scoring chances. But just after their second power play expired, Travis Hamonic powered a slap shot past Fleury to get the Flames on the scoreboard and tie the game at 1-1.

Tkachuk backed into Fleury at the end of the period, setting off a bit of a scrum which featured Fleury (unsuccessfully) trying to goad Rittich into skating out to fight him. Shots were 14-9 Vegas and chances 8-6 Vegas in the second period.

Former Flames defender Deryk Engelland tilted this game in the third period, as his point shot found its way through traffic midway through the period to make it 2-1 Vegas. Rittich indicated he was interfered with, but it was Noah Hanifin grazing him while battling for position with Jonathan Marchessault.

The Flames battled, but couldn’t muster enough chances to draw back even. Shots were 15-11 Vegas and chances 6-3 Vegas in the third.

Why the Flames Lost

The Flames didn’t really dictate this game in any way, in the sense that Vegas seemed to decide the style and pace of this game. It was a bit of a grimy, systemsy game, and the Golden Knights were content to gum up the neutral zone and make the Flames chip and chase.

The Flames also didn’t really play with a ton of urgency until the third period, and by that time Vegas had seemed to figure out how to disrupt them. They couldn’t accomplish much of anything on their power plays, and the whole team seemed waiting for somebody – anybody – to kick things into a higher gear.

Red Warrior

Tkachuk was an absolute tyrant on the ice. He was mucking around, trying to get under the Golden Knights’ skin.

The Turning Point

In a tight game, Engelland’s shot from the point came at the exact worst time for the visitors.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Natural Stat Trick)

Player Corsi
For%
OZone
Start%
Game
Score
Frolik 65.2 50.0 0.500
Lindholm 58.3 55.6 0.275
Giordano 57.6 50.0 1.050
Monahan 57.1 80.0 1.100
Andersson 56.7 50.0 0.325
Tkachuk 55.6 66.7 0.925
Ryan 54.2 40.0 0.185
Hathaway 52.0 40.0 -0.035
Gaudreau 51.6 57.1 0.350
Mangiapane 50.0 66.7 0.050
Backlund 48.2 50.0 -0.070
Brodie 47.1 50.0 0.375
Hanifin 46.7 50.0 0.050
Prout 46.2 62.5 0.025
Hamonic 45.7 42.9 0.800
Jankowski 35.7 28.6 -0.055
Bennett 33.3 33.3 -0.185
Czarnik 29.4 33.3 -0.075
Rittich 2.100
Smith

This and That

Per Pat Steinberg: not only have the Flames never won at T-Mobile Arena in Vegas, they’ve never had a lead in any of their visits to the Strip. Yikes.

Up Next

The Flames (41-19-7) head to a different part of the desert, Phoenix. They play the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow night.

  • Sol Goode

    The Flames looked content to just hit the casino afterwards. Not a very good showing against a potential playoff opponent. I really don’t like our chances against Vegas if we meet them in the playoffs, their team seems to stick to their system much better than ours.

  • The Sultan

    Remember when the Flames were 7 points up on the Sharks with a game in hand? Good times.

    Flames are just too small to win the important games. They have no push back. Especially Johnny, watching him get crushed along the boards in the final minute of play made me realize this team will be lucky to win even one playoff game.

  • Skylardog

    Mangi showed little to nothing on the 2nd line.
    The top line looked better, at times, but will get slaughtered with those 3 defensively. Not a combination I would ever put together.
    Czar was invisible.
    Fro was slow and ineffective.
    Lindholm was just a shadow of himself compared to a couple of months ago (needs linemates)
    Backs is strugging.

    Have to say, and he is one of my whipping bags, but Ryan had some push. Not many others really did.

    Even the PP and the PK look bad.

    Need a shakeup with a plan, not just a minor adjustment to see if a guy with 6 NHL points can get the offense rolling again.

    I so try these days to be quiet until things actually happen, but….

  • Toma41

    Tkachuk with Johnny and Monahan the slow doesn’t work. Monahan the slow and tkachuk are way too slow for Johnny then tkachuk gets into these “fights” non stop and Johnny and Monahan the slow just watch. They don’t and will not stick up for him. Monahan plays like he is 5’6 160lbs and Johnny is 5’6 160lbs. Your average elementary school kid could beat on him. I don’t expect Johnny to fight though.

  • Hockey4life

    Please put Lazar in the line up tommorow night. And dare I say this….but I miss Neal. I don’t know why but I have a feeling he’s someone we really need right now.

    • ZZMiddle

      Jeeeez. Last year you guys wanted Lazar gone. Bashing the guy daily. Mangi. Foo. Calling for all the great AHL replacements. Now, its Mangi bashing, Bring back Lazar. Do you folks not see the madness in your thought processes? Too many opinions. Not enough INFORMED opinions. Tired.

  • Franko J

    How has this team managed to stick around at the top of the standings?
    I’m just baffled how they just fold when the expectations go up and the intensity increases.
    Tonight the house wins again. From what I’m watching I just don’t see how this team will a game in the post season against Vegas. Then again come Sunday when they play them at home might be a good indicator how they could win at least one game in the postseason. C’mon Flames clean it up!

  • Skylardog

    Quit whining about the called back goal.

    Tkachuk hooked Fleury’s stick (unintentionally) on the other side of the crease from where he went down, while in the crease. Go look at it again.

    Fleury did not get set after he fell.
    Tkachuk was not pushed into the stick.

    The Flames did not score enough to win.
    Ritter kept them in.

    The refs are calling it as they will in the playoffs.
    If we can’t fight through then we don’t deserve to go deep.

    • Beer League Coach

      Fleury should have been penalized for butt ending on that disallowed goal. Absolutely disgraceful that the NHL refs and war room could screw up a call as bad as this. Just like those accidental high sticking infractions, Fleury must be in control of his stick at all times. If not he should pay the consequences, just like Hamonic at the end of the first period.

      • Derzie

        The justification on the Fan960 this morning was that the refs awarded the call to Fleury over Chucky because they were tired of him making them look bad. In what world is that OK? Bettman is a clown for allowing/supporting this. We need to have stats on refs and the war room. Won’t get better unless the biases are there for all to see.

  • dontcryWOLF88

    Wasnt a terrible game…but if they can only score one or two a game then its tough to win. First line needs to start scoring, no two ways about it. They either figure that out, and get back to form, or all the pessimists will be proven correct.

    I think its a mental problem, personally. So much superstition in hockey, im feeling like they think they cursed themselves somehow.

  • calgaryfan

    Rittich played well, gave the Flames a chance to win. A lot of interference against Johnny tonight when he was nowhere near the puck. Vegas makes their checks and push the rules to the limit. Flames are going to see a lot of this type of hockey going forward.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    We have 3 key players that have sub standard skating ability. I realize that skating is not everything but when 2 of these skaters make up a team’s top line while the third is a rookie defender playing in the top defensive pair…it is a distinct disadvantage.

    I like the strides that Andersson has made but his poor skating has led to two clear breakaways in the last couple of games. He seems to lose body position along the boards and falls to the ice. Monny and Tkachuk can’t keep up with the play. I am tad bit concerned.

    • Derzie

      Fans saw that lineup and knew that there was too much ‘slow’ on one line. This is a rare one where the coaches did something that looks like a mistake. Every player has strengths and weaknesses. Every single one. The coaches job is to minimize the damge of the weaknesses and maximize the impact of the strengths. There is no doubt that every team in the league could be made beatable by making the weakest possible lines & deployments. BSD a 1st line center? That’s a start.

  • itsJOOZI

    Personally, I would love to see Doc have a run with Gaudreau and Monahan, he’s been playing really well, could possibly do damage if he had some firepower along with him.

  • Korcan

    My opinion on goaltender interference: if it is not clear cut when going to review, the goal should be allowed. The NHL wants more scoring, so instead of taking 4+ minutes dissecting the minute details and splitting hairs, just make it a rule of thumb that unless it is clear cut interference, the tie goes to the scorer. Because this is getting ridiculous.

    My same opinion applies to the offside rule as well. If it is not clear cut award the decision to the scoring team.

    • This was my thought on it too. It was called a goal, you take 3-5 minutes to decide then it isn’t clear cut. The original call should stand. Thought that was BS. If the shoe was on the other foot I would be cheering for sure (Vegas had it called back for example) but I wouldve still thought we were lucky rather than right.