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A Disturbing Trend: Giving Up The Opening Goal

The Flames love playing from behind apparently.

NHL: Florida Panthers at Calgary Flames Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames just dropped a key Western Conference contest to the Nashville Predators by the score of 4-3. What’s more disturbing than the actual loss and lack of effort is the Flames current trend of giving up the first goal of the game. Calgary has given up the opening goal in their last 6 games and they’ve lost 4 out of those 6. Nashville. Edmonton. New Jersey. Winnipeg. All losses. The Flames’ two wins in that sandwich of yuck were a 5-2 dismantling of the Panthers and a 3-2 sinking of the Sharks.

Playing from behind is one thing if it’s every now and then, but the Flames have made it an art form. Chad Johnson seems to have taken over the Karri Ramo “let in an early softie and try to settle in” mentality. All 4 goals he allowed against Nashville should have been saves and when you’re team comes out flat and you allow early goals it’s a recipe for disaster.

The Flames have Edmonton next and whether or not they were looking ahead to Saturday’s BOA, Calgary needs to get their head on straight and come out the aggressor. The Flames desperately need to reverse this recent trend because this team doesn’t seem to have the mentality to play from behind. Thursday night seemed like an aberration as the Flames pumped in 3 goals in the final 4 minutes after laying an egg in the prior 56. Playoff teams either score early and often or have the skill to overcome an early deficit. Are the Flames one of those teams? Time will tell, but as of right now it doesn’t look like Calgary is built to handle those situations. No one is saying all is lost and the season is over, but Calgary can’t keep giving up the opening marker if they want to be successful and make the playoffs.

Here’s a look at all the goals the Flames have allowed to open their last 6 games.