The Calgary Flames beat the Los Angeles Kings by a 7-2 score on Monday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
James Neal shines
When Flames fans thought about what James Neal was going to look like in a Flames uniform, they probably imagined what he’s looked like in the past handful of games. Against the Kings Neal didn’t play a ton, but he was physically engaged, was a presence around the net, and chipped in a couple of points.
It’s probably safe to say that he’s feeling like his old self after a few really, really long seasons of hockey.
“You don’t want to use it as an excuse, but you play a lot of hockey, play a lot of meaningful hockey, a lot of meaningful games, and sometimes you get so ramped up and you come down a little bit,” said Neal in his comments to media after the game. “So for me, I want to get back to where I know I can be, the player I can be. It was a little bit of a reset for me. Body’s felt great coming back. I’m skating a lot better, and I feel good around the net, feel good on pucks. More patience, hanging onto more pucks and getting shots, feeling a lot better.”
The kids are alright
With Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie, Noah Hanifin and Travis Hamonic given the night off, the Flames had three rookies in their lineup on the blueline.
They did pretty well:
- Playing his first NHL game since Nov. 23, Juuso Valimaki had an assist and a shot in 21:58
- Playing his first NHL game since Mar. 4, Oliver Kylington had an assist and two shots in 16:30
- Playing a day after playing 21:21 in an emotional win over San Jose, Rasmus Andersson had an assist in 17:39
The coaching staff feels they have 10 defensemen that can play in the playoffs. It was against a rather blah Kings team, but nothing on this evening did anything to disprove that sentiment.
Sam Bennett injury update
#Flames coach Bill Peters says Sam Bennett is “fine” and will play again before end of regular season. Good news on the hard-nosed winger.
— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) April 2, 2019