Friends, sometimes you go to work and you just don’t have it. On Wednesday, the Calgary Flames trekked to Winnipeg to play a pre-season game against the Jets. After a decent enough first 10 or 15 minutes, the Flames just did not have it against the Jets.
The Flames lost 5-0 to Winnipeg.
Who was playing?
The Flames iced a pretty NHL-ready line-up.
Jonathan Huberdeau – Elias Lindholm – Tyler Toffoli
Andrew Mangiapane – Nazem Kadri – Dillon Dube
Radim Zohorna – Adam Ruzicka – Blake Coleman [A]
Milan Lucic – Kevin Rooney – Brett Ritchie
MacKenzie Weegar – Chris Tanev [A]
Nikita Zadorov – Rasmus Andersson
Noah Hanifin – Michael Stone
Dan Vladar started for the Flames, backed up by Dustin Wolf.
Not dressed for the Flames, but still in camp: Jacob Markstrom, Connor Mackey, Nicolas Meloche, Juuso Valimaki, Sonny Milano, Cody Eakin, Mikael Backlund and Trevor Lewis.
How did they do?
The Flames had a ton of chances early in the opening period, really carrying play for the first chunk of the game. You could make a good argument that the Flames had more chances in the first half of the game, but the Jets generated better chances.
Midway through the game, the wheels fell off for the Flames.
With Andrew Mangiapane in the box serving a minor penalty, the Jets had a nice passing sequence from David Rittich to Sam Gagner, which ended with Gagner finding Kyle Connor with a pass that got past a sprawling Rasmus Andersson. Connor roofed it past Dan Vladar to make it 1-0 Jets.
The Flames immediately took a too many men bench minor and soon after, a bit of nice passing and a Mark Scheifele tip of a Nikolaj Ehlers pass made it 2-0 Jets, via two power play goals in 44 seconds.
Dustin Wolf came into the game for the second half and didn’t fare much better. The Flames couldn’t connect on a power play and an errant pass bounced to Dominic Toninato as he left the penalty box. He beat Wolf low glove-side on a breakaway and made it 3-0 Jets.
Connor made it 4-0 late in the period off a nice feed from Ehlers. Ehlers added a power play goal in the third period to make it 5-0 Jets.
The Flames tried in vain to break David Rittich’s shutout bid, but it was for naught.
Who looked good?
The Mangiapane-Kadri-Dube line was very fun. Despite giving up two goals, Vladar was really strong in net.
But this is a game to build upon for the Flames. Their special teams weren’t very good – getting out-scored 3-0 by the Jets, and that doesn’t include an errant pass that led to Toninato’s goal – and Winnipeg’s key players were just that much sharper than Calgary’s for the balance of the game.
The team in red and white will be hoping for a bounce-back game next time out.
(If you’re curious about how Radim Zohorna looked: he was fine. He wasn’t particularly good or extremely bad, but he was merely one of many Flames skaters were looked completely adequate.)
This and that
Early in the game, Darryl Sutter and Kirk Muller decided to get weird and rock out with three blueliners on the second power play unit.
The Jets won’t be happy with a couple sequences in this game. In one, Nikita Zadorov reacted to getting checked by Scheifele by cross-checking him in the upper-body. (Scheifele was fine.) In another, Nazem Kadri drilled Cole Perfetti in a fairly dangerous position and was called for boarding.
The Flames conclude their pre-season calendar with a game with the Jets on Friday night at the Saddledome.