Avalanche vs Flames coverage
Last night was an object lesson in why betting on hockey games is a bad idea. Sometimes the better teams loses. Sometimes the much, much better team loses.
Or I guess it would have been a lesson had this not happened the three other times the teams have met this season. But you know what I mean. Sigh. Seems my framing of contest a la Groundhog day in the gamethread was very apropos.
What more can be said, really? The teams were fairly equal in the first period, but after that the Flames dominated in every measure except the score sheet. They grossly out-shot the Avs. The managed a season high 29 scoring chances. To give that latter number some context, I find the usual total number of scoring chances in a game is about 35.
The Flames spent nearly the entire third period and overtime in the offensive zone. They fired (a season high?) 34 ES shots on net. But bounces and superior goaltending won the day for Colorado. Again.
As a Flames fan, I take solace in the fact that Calgary was by far the superior team. The only two guys in the red in terms of corsi were Bourque and Dawes and that's mainly because Sutter was sending out that line to take defensive zone draws against the Wolski trio for most of the evening. Iginla's line ate the scrubs alive in terms of possession and scoring chances, but failed to record a point. Iginla himself had multiple quality scoring chances from the slot, but spent the night firing them wide of the target.
Overall, that's two high value performance in a row from Calgary. I'm not sure I'm ready to declare that the players and coach have "figured things out" just yet, but ever since the 5-1 loss to Vancouver in December, the team has made a habit of out-chancing the bad guys. The next few weeks when the opposition ramps up a tad will give us some idea if there's any staying power in this recent surge or not. If there is, then we can safely say that pucks will start going in for the Flames on a more regular basis.
All that said...the PP still stinks.