Calgary Flames Post-Game: Out-matched Flames lose to fully-powered Oilers

Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
9 months ago
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So, you know how when teams play against the Edmonton Oilers, you think to yourself “Man, they better not let their third pair or fourth line get caught out there against Connor McDavid?” Well, the Calgary Flames brought a AHL-heavy lineup to Edmonton on Wednesday night, to the point where their usual third pair and fourth line were their most established players.
It went as you might expect. The Flames hung in there for a little while, but defensive miscues led to a 7-2 loss to Edmonton in the Flames’ second-last exhibition outing.

The rundown

The Flames got behind the eight-ball early. They took a too-many-men minor and then Martin Pospisil took a pretty flagrant tripping minor. The Flames killed off the 22-second five-on-three, but Connor McDavid fired the puck past Dan Vladar while a man up to give Edmonton a 1-0 lead.
The Oilers doubled up a bit later, as McDavid found Connor Brown all by his lonesome in the slot, and his one-timer beat Vladar to make it 2-0.
The Flames clawed back in the back half of the first period, though. They had a power play that they didn’t muster many scoring chances on, but just as the advantage ticked off the clock, Nikita Zadorov skated through centre ice and from just inside the offensive blueline he fired a wrister that eluded Stuart Skinner to cut the lead to 2-1.
Later on, Pospisil made a great individual effort in the Oilers end that led to a goal. He won a battle for the puck behind Edmonton’s net on a forecheck, then threw the puck to Walker Duehr in the slot. Duehr blasted the puck past Skinner to tie the game up at 2-2.
But the game got away from the Flames from there.
Lane Pederson made it 3-2 early in the second period, as a few Flames got caught flat-footed and unaware in the neutral zone and Evander Kane sprung his teammate on a breakaway.
After the Flames couldn’t score on a power play, the play went the other way and Leon Draisaitl powered a shot from the high slot past Vladar (through a bit of traffic) to make it 4-2.
Later on, the Flames’ defensive unit got a bit crossed-up in their own end. With McDavid in their zone. Duehr made a really nice defensive play to disrupt an attempted pass, but McDavid muscled Jordan Oesterle off the puck and fed it to Brown for his second of the game to make it 5-2.
A puck-handling miscue in the defensive zone led to a sixth Edmonton goal in the third period. Vladar played the puck at the side of his crease and attempted a pass to Nick DeSimone. It whooshed just past DeSimone… to Draisaitl, who fed the puck to Kane in the net-front area for a no-doubter to make it 6-2 Edmonton.
Raphael Lavoie finished a nice passing sequence, taking a feed from Dylan Holloway on the power play and putting it past Vladar to make it 7-2 Oilers.

Why the Flames lost

Let’s call a spade a spade: this was the Calgary Wranglers, plus a handful of established NHLers, facing 80% of the Edmonton Oilers. This was probably bound to be one-sided.
But the Flames lacked in the details of their game, in the sense that their play with the puck in the offensive zone and away from the puck in the neutral and defensive zones just weren’t quite up to snuff. It resulted in turnovers, penalties, and a bunch of Oilers goals.
At least it’s only pre-season, and it’s hardly the Flames’ opening night roster.
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Red Warrior

It wasn’t a great game for the red and white team, but guys like Yegor Sharangovich, Duehr, Connor Zary and Dryden Hunt had some nice moments here and there. Ilya Solovyov also had a few nice moments.

Turning point

The Oilers really took things over in the second period. The Flames were a bit disorganized, and the veteran-laden Oilers took advantage and never loosened their grip on this game.

This and that

Here’s how the Flames lined up:
Sharangovich – Ruzicka – Pettersen
Honzek – Dube – Hunt
Pospisil – Zary – Duehr
Ciona – Schwindt – Klapka
Zadorov – Oesterle
Gilbert – Poirier
Solovyov – DeSimone
Dan Vladar started for the Flames and went the distance, backed up by Dustin Wolf.
Samuel Honzek had zero shifts in the second and third periods, which led to a bit of a line blender for the final 40 minutes.
Two defensive pairs were mixed up in the third period, as Zadorov played with Gilbert and Poirier played with Oesterle.

Up next

The Flames are back in action on Friday when they visit the Vancouver Canucks to conclude their pre-season schedule.

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