The Calgary Flames weren’t awful on Friday night against the Edmonton Oilers. But they weren’t quite good enough when they needed to be, as they dropped a tight-checking 2-1 loss to the Oilers in the front half of a home-and-home series.
Here are some selected quotes from the post-game media addresses.
The Flames had 5:21 in power play time spread across three man advantages. They had five scoring chances, two high-danger chances… and zero goals. In a razor-thin game, and with the Oilers playing really tight defense five-on-five, it might’ve been the difference.
I thought our power play was good tonight, though. I thought we generated more. I think we hit a post in the third… [Rasmus Andersson: Lindy hit a post.] Obviously you’d like to get one there. I thought our guys, especially our first unit, moved the puck around really well and had some looks. But again, 2-1 game, it’s obviously a tight-checking game, not much is given up. We feel like we can be better, we can generate more than that.
Rittich made this save on Leon Draisaitl in the third period.
Here's another angle of Rittich's ridiculous save on Draisaitl pic.twitter.com/9QODRKcATH
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) February 20, 2021
How did he do that?
… And about that save. I didn’t see that pass, I just saw puck on his tape and he had basically empty net, so I just jumped there and he hit me. That’s all.
As per tradition, Ward went with a short bench while chasing the game in the third period. Rookie blueliner Connor Mackey saw 1:23 of ice, with fourth liners Brett Ritchie (0:50) and Joakim Nordstrom (0:58) also being held back. Seeing zero shifts and zero seconds of action was Sam Bennett. Ward was asked about this post-game, as you would imagine.
We’ll keep that internal.
The Athletic’s Darren Haynes surmised that Bennett’s benching was in response to him not adequately checking Gaetan Haas on the game-winning goal late in the second period. Ward didn’t deny that, but only acknowledged that Bennett has been good on other nights (indicating that the benching was in response to his play in this specific game).
— Oilersnation.com (@OilersNation) February 20, 2021