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Quotable: the Flames lose to the Jets 3-2

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Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 year ago
The Calgary Flames couldn’t fully come back after allowing three first period goals. They lost 3-2 to the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night in the second of three games this week in Manitoba’s largest city.
Here are some selected quotes from the post-game media addresses.

Mark Giordano

Sometimes when the Flames get down by a few goals early, they open up their neutral zone play too much in an effort to try to generate offense – rather than try to chip away, they try to score all the goals they need at once. Against the Jets, they weren’t perfect, but they didn’t really open up too much.
That’s where you have to get to. We have a good enough team where we can come back if we’re down one or two, and we have to stick with our game. I mean, once we start cleaning this up where we get the lead ourselves in the first period and stick to our game, that’s when we’re gonna really be at our best but I think, especially against Winnipeg… If you don’t transition quickly against them, they literally have five guys in the neutral zone. You gotta try to break that down and the only way to get through that is to put pucks behind their D and forecheck.

Derek Ryan

The Jets managed to avoid giving up too many good scoring chances to the Flames for much of the game, but the Flames managed to make adjustments and generate good looks – particularly in the third period.
They’re pretty tight in and around the neutral zone, so I thought that in the first period we were pretty disconnected, kind of stretching out a lot, not giving our D many options. Then when we saw having success, whether it was in the second or later in the third there, I felt like we were more of a cohesive unit, coming back, supporting each other. We know their systems and their structure in the neutral zone, we know how to beat it, we just tend to get away from it at some points of the game and I think it’s pretty indicative that when we are focusing on that, doing the right things in the neutral zone, getting it behind their D, we have more success. But when we get a little stubborn, then that’s when we get into trouble.
Later on, Ryan was asked to explain what he meant about “stubborn.”
I mean that the structure that we’re successful in through the neutral zone isn’t a pretty game. It’s usually making sure we just get pucks behind their D, and we get stubborn in that we like to try to carry pucks through their neutral zone forecheck and their forecheck, they have three guys spread across the blueline, it’s pretty hard to carry pucks in. We do it sometimes, we create offense, but we get stubborn, we want to do it more often and I think that’s when we turn pucks over. And I don’t know what the analytics are, but I think Winnipeg’s probably one of the best teams in the league at that transition game in the neutral zone, and we feed that, we fuel that with those turnovers. So that’s what I mean by that.

Geoff Ward

The Flames head coach concurred with his players regarding what the Flames didn’t do well initially and what they improved during the game: their neutral zone play.
I thought the first period was a little bit loose. But at the end of the period chances were fairly even, just they were able to get the lead. Probably wasn’t the start we were looking for, but for me I think the second period was a little bit more… I don’t want to use the word “frustrating,” but I thought that our execution in the second period, some of the things we were doing didn’t allow us to get through the neutral zone very clean. We cleaned that up in the third, our game started to turn and we became much more dangerous, much more effective.

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