Flames vs Ducks coverage
Like so many of the Flames efforts recently, Sunday night's game against the Ducks was a mixed bag. The club finally broke out of it's terrible scoring slump, beating Jonas Hiller four times (including an impressive 3 for 3 on break-aways!) and the PP actually looked semi-capable for the first time since around this time last season. So there's that.
On the bad side of the ledger, the Flames lost to a middling team lacking half of their top six forwards. Calgary frequently looked over-matched whenever Getzlaf/Perry took the ice and that was with someone named "Matt Beleskey" on their line (the trio were a combined +27 in terms of corsi). To be fair, they beat up on almost everyone else, but that's not much of feat considering the Ducks total lack of depth.
One of the primary reasons Calgary lost, however, was the play of Curtis McElhinney, who visibly struggled for most of the evening. At least two of the goals (Artyukhin and Ryan) were shots from non-scoring areas. His play in the last two contests hasn't been above board and raises the question of whether the Flames will have to chase a more capable back-up/insurance policy heading into the final portion of the season.
I haven't tallied the scoring chances yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were roughly even, especially at even strength. The Flames final 6 on 4 to end the game likely put them over the top, but that's not indicative of the play overall. Up front, the new fangled lines were just okay - Jokinen, Lundmark and Nystrom were okay when they were matched against comparable lines, but were throbbing liabilities whenever Carlyle got creative. Iginla and Conroy were matched against Getzlaf most of the evening and the result was, well, not terrible. Iggy ended up +3, but that was mainly because he happened to be on the ice pretty much every time the club scored on a break-away. I was mostly unimpressed with his play otherwise, although Jarome has certainly had worse evenings this year. At least he broke his pointless streak with an assist the Lundmark tally.
Overall - meh. The team probably played well enough to win, but the game could have gone either way. That's a step forward from the steaming heap they served up against the Preds and but sizable step back from the hockey they were playing just a week ago.