Post-Game: Flames torch Oilers in Battle of Alberta clash
Photo credit:Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports
By Ryan Pike1 year ago
The Calgary Flames played their first game in almost a week on Saturday night as they welcomed the Edmonton Oilers to town. The Flames weren’t perfect, but they were significantly better than Edmonton in a 5-0 rout of their provincial rivals.
The Flames had the puck a lot in the opening period but didn’t make great decisions with it. Cases in point: Matthew Tkachuk making a blind back-pass in the Oilers zone to nobody, leading to an Edmonton rush. Andrew Mangiapane also passed to Brett Ritchie instead of shooting, negating a chance. Whoops.
Shots were 10-7 Flames and scoring chances 15-6 Flames in the first period.
The Flames executed a lot better with the puck in the second period.
Dillon Dube’s attempted breakaway was caught by Caleb Jones. Mangiapane chased down the loose puck and fed Sean Monahan for a one-timer that beat Mike Smith to make it 1-0 Flames.
Off a rush, Noah Hanifin found Johnny Gaudreau just above the goal line. Gaudreau’s bad angle shot beat Smith high to make it 2-0 Flames.
On a power play, Mark Giordano’s shot from the point was blocked in front and ricocheted to Gaudreau. He fed Elias Lindholm in the slot and his shot beat Smith five-hole to make it 3-0 Flames.
The rout continued. Sam Bennett blocked a shot and skated into the Oilers zone. He passed to Mikael Backlund, just entering the zone. And he passed to Giordano, just entering the zone. Giordano’s shot beat Smith five-hole to make it 4-0.
Shots were 10-7 Flames and scoring chances 6-5 Oilers in the second period.
Both teams went into cruise control in the third period. Brett Ritchie made it 5-0 with a back-handed shot that beat Smith five-hole.
And that’s all the offense the Flames would need to capture two points. Shots were 12-3 Flames and scoring chances 8-3 Flames in the third period.
Why the Flames won
So, Edmonton was not good in this game. They looked tired and Smith looked really shaky. But you’ve got to beat the team that’s in front of you, and the Flames constantly won battles, made good decisions with the puck, and executed offensively. And they didn’t give Edmonton skill players much breathing room either.
The Oilers weren’t good, but the Flames were better than them.
Let’s go with Giordano, who had jump and looked at home playing on a new pairing with Chris Tanev.
But a lot of players in red had strong nights.
The turning point
The entire second period was a comedy of errors for the Oilers.
Data via Natural Stat Trick. Percentage stats are 5v5.
This and that
Tkachuk was crunched by Gaetan Haas in the second period. Tkachuk went to the Flames locker room, but returned for the third period and finished the game.
The Oilers had a memorial for Colby Cave earlier in the day. Regardless of your rooting allegiances, it was extremely well-done and worth seeking out. Cave passed away a year ago due to complications related to a colloid cyst.
The Flames (17-21-3) are back in action on Tuesday when they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs.
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