Calgary Flames forward Nazem Kadri didn’t have a great night against Chicago
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike7 months ago
It’s often been said that at crunch time, a team’s best players have to be their best players. Put more simply, it means that when the chips are down, a team’s stars need to shine brightly in order to decide key games.
On Tuesday night against the Chicago Blackhawks, forward Nazemi Kadri – the Calgary Flames’ highest-paid player this season – did not shine brightly at all in a 4-3 loss.
Three key sequences in the game centred around Kadri’s puck management decisions and execution – directly preceding Chicago’s second and third goals.
With the score tied at 1-1, the Flames had the puck in the offensive zone. Kadri gained possession of the puck from a teammate and skated towards the blueline, attempting a back-handed pass along the boards towards a teammate. Now, the teammate hadn’t cycled into place and Kadri’s pass didn’t have a lot of force on it.
The Blackhawks intercepted the puck and carried it through the neutral zone, with Joey Anderson dumping it into the corner of the Flames zone. Kadri chased down the dump-in, with Boris Katchouk serving as the only Chicago forechecker. Kadri attempted a pass below the goal line (behind the net) to Troy Stecher, but his one-handed pass attempt didn’t have much on it and Katchouk easily intercepted the puck.
Katchouk passed to Jujhar Khaira in the slot area, resulting in a scoring chance and a goal. Kadri was credited with two giveaways on the sequences leading to the goal.
“Just turned it over,” said Kadri to the media following the game. “Made a nice play. Y’know, ice was getting a little chippy there at the end of the period. Gotta simplify our game and just can’t make those mistakes.”
The other tough sequence was early in the third period, with the scored tied 2-2. The Flames completed a line change and then attempted to get some speed going through the neutral zone. A pass to Nick Ritchie was whacked away by Chicago’s Jarred Tinordi at the defensive blueline, sending the puck back into the centre ice area and creating some momentary confusion as the Flames’ skaters regrouped. Kadri attempted to corral the puck, but Andreas Athanasiou swooped in, grabbed the errant puck, and went in on an odd-man rush.
Nikita Zadorov was left back to defend against Lukas Reichel and Athanasiou and after a give-and-go sequence, Athanasiou scored to give Chicago a 3-2 lead. Athanasiou was credited with a takeaway on the sequence.
“Just a breakdown,” said Kadri. “We got jammed up in the neutral zone. Kinda came out of nowhere. Have to look at it to see what really happened but again, they got some skilled players, take advantage of mistakes.”
In a game the Flames had to win to set up Wednesday’s game in Winnipeg as a potential play-off play-in, Kadri’s stat line was hardly sparkling: 16:15 of ice time, three shots, two more that were blocked, three that mised the net, three giveaways, one takeaway, 50% face-off winning percentage, and a minus-2 rating.
Following the game, while not mentioning Kadri by name, head coach Darryl Sutter pointed the finger at turnovers as causing the loss.
“Frustrating,” said Sutter. “Turnovers cost us the hockey game for sure… Some of us didn’t manage the puck very well.”
Recent articles from Ryan Pike
- With an EBUG on the bench, Dan Vladar steals the show in Calgary Flames’ overtime win over Vegas
- Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames beat the house, triumph over Vegas with late overtime goal
- Calgary Flames sign emergency backup Dustin Nickel after Jacob Markstrom falls ill; Dan Vladar to start against Vegas