Canucks 2, Flames 0 Recap

Derek Leung

The Flames fell to the Canucks after being shutout for the second straight game.

The Flames may need even more time to work themselves out of their holiday break.

The game started off with a big enough event, as Brian McGrattan threw a hit on Andrew Alberts that ultimately knocked the defenceman out of the game with a concussion. McGrattan immediately answered the bell against Sestito in a spirited tilt that only came to an end when they almost skated into Alberts, who remained on the ice. (So you fight to avenge your teammate, and almost cause further damage to your teammate in the process? That's... odd.) Alberts was eventually helped off and McGrattan's night was over 2:43 into the game.

The Flames' penalty kill has done fine work as of late, and tonight was no exception: Calgary was able to kill off the entire resulting major, and spent a fair amount of time in the Canucks' zone during the kill. However, unlike the previous majors they have taken this season, the Flames failed to score. (They actually remain a +2 in goal differential after committing major penalties.)

The relatively uneventful period came to an end, but not before Henrik Sedin sprang Jannik Hansen, who was able to roof one over Reto Berra. The Flames finished the period with two shots on net.

The second period was less eventful. TJ Galiardi drew a penalty, but the Flames were unable to capitalize. The Flames had six shots on net in the second.

The third period is when it looked like there might be some life to the Flames, as they generated chances right away. Eddie Lack stood tall when he needed to, however, and the game was pretty much over after Shane O'Brien gave the puck away, resulting in a Mike Santorelli goal in the dying minutes. Calgary tried to come back and at least not get shutout, but it was not meant to be as Lack picked up the second shutout of his career, and the Flames left the Saddledome having failed to score for the second game in a row.

Some thoughts:

  • The Flames are 0-5 in the third jerseys. The third jerseys should be burned.
  • I don't think McGrattan's hit is really suspension worthy, but I wouldn't complain if he gets suspended. He's a great enforcer, but a spot for an enforcer takes away a spot from a deserving prospect, a goal scorer, or a better defensive player. Maybe a game or two without him will result in Hartley realizing it's okay to leave him sitting out more often (but probably not).
  • After a scrum in front of the Flames' net Ladislav Smid punched Ryan Kesler for no apparent reason, which was awesome. Completely inconsequential moment, but fun for a rivalry.
  • TJ Brodie is great. He singlehandedly brought the puck out of his own zone and into the Canucks' more than once. He was one of the better Flames, and was on the ice for the second most shot attempts at 15, second only to Mikael Backlund's 17.
  • Speaking of Backlund, he must have been feeling a bit of the injury suffered against the Oilers, as for the first time in six games he failed to play 20 minutes, and had the second-most minutes for a centre. Matt Stajan played about two more minutes than he did.
  • Sean Monahan and Joe Colborne seem to have swapped places, as Monahan played mostly with Jiri Hudler and David Jones. Again: he should seriously be playing at the World Juniors right now. Colborne, meanwhile, did have a pretty good scoring chance, but if guys like Galiardi, Jones, and Sven Baertschi - Baertschi especially - can be repeatedly scratched for not producing, why can't Colborne? He's still young and you can see some talent there, but he's just not doing anything, and he hasn't been doing anything in most games.
  • The goals against were stoppable, but Berra deserved better. He's shown improvement and has stopped 54 of 57 shots for a save percentage of .947% over the past two games. The Flames were outshot the entire game, and still had a chance to tie it. Berra was part of that. I expect he'll start next game.
The Flames will host the Philadelphia Flyers on December 31 for the final game of 2013.
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