The Calgary Flames entered tonight’s game against the Vancouver Canucks looking to shake off a disappointing performance against Ottawa from last night. Micheael Ferland and Matt Stajan were out of the lineup while Freddie Hamilton and Tanner Glass came in.
1st Period: Calgary Flames 1, Vancouver Canucks 1
After a very undisciplined performance against Ottawa last night, you’d assume the Flames would avoid taking penalties early in tonight’s contest? Wrong! Calgary would take a whopping five minor penalties in the period. The only positives are that the Flames managed to kill off all five Canuck powerplays and even score a shorthanded goal in the process.
Mark Giordano would be sprung as the Flames broke out of the zone and throw a backhand past Jakob Markstrom. It was Giordano’s 100th career goal, coming 11 years after his 1st career goal. Vancouver would tie the game late in the period (somehow at even strength) when Derek Dorsett (ugh) took a one-timer from the slot that hit Mike Smith then bounced off Dougie Hamilton and in.
At even strength the Flames looked alright, but they played so little time there that it was hard to really gauge things.
First Period Stats
2nd Period: Calgary Flames 3, Vancouver Canucks 1
It’s amazing what can happen when the Flames play disciplined hockey. The period started off with chances at both ends before Matthew Tkachuk was nastily cross-check in the face by Erik Gudbranson. The play would send the Flames to the powerplay and Tkachuk briefly to the dressing room. The powerplay would never end up happening as Calgary would take a faceoff violation penalty on the first draw. During 4 on 4 T.J. Brodie would take a slashing penalty but the Flames would kill it off again.
Calgary would take the 2-1 lead when a loose puck in front of the Canuck net would squirt to a wide open Travis Hamonic and he would beat Markstrom for his first goal as a Flame. The Flames would then extend their lead to 3-1 with Sean Monahan deflecting a Dougie Hamilton point shot into the net late in the period.
Overall it was a much better period for the Flames as they limited the Canucks chances and started to establish good zone time of their own.
Second Period Stats
3rd Period: Calgary Flames 5, Vancouver Canucks 2
The early portion of the period would start off with Calgary focusing on shutting down any attempt of the Canucks to come back. Calgary would fail to score on an early powerplay of their own.
Then all hell would break loose for about a minute. On the powerplay Jaromir Jagr would register his point as a Flame when he set up Johnny Gaudreau who would score as his shot deflected off a Canuck. Needless to say, we were excited:
JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT! JAGR’S FIRST POINT!— Matchsticks&Gasoline (@MatchsticksCGY) October 15, 2017
The Canucks would strike right back with Brock Boeser being sprung alone on a bad neutral zone pinch by Dougie Hamilton. His shot would beat Mike Smith’s glove and just like that it was 4-2. Hamilton would make up for his mistake a minute later with a point shot finding it’s way through traffic and past Markstrom to make it 5-2.
Both teams would mostly just skate out the clock the rest of the way with Calgary being unable to capitalize on a few meaningless powerplays. Calgary wins 5-2.
Third Period Stats
Altogether, tonight was a solid bounce-back performance for the Flames after last night’s debacle against Ottawa. Calgary’s penalty killers held the fort in the first period after the team took five penalties and from there the Flames started to take over the game.
Mike Smith was solid yet again, making 27 saves on 29 shots and not having much chance on either puck that got by him. Calgary had goals from five different skaters including three from their back end which will be a big part of the Flames attack this season. It was really a solid performance from the entire team to get the victory and move to 4-2-0 on the season.
Flame of the Game
Mark Giordano (D): For the record I had Giordano as the Flame of the Game before he was chosen as the game’s first star on Hockey Night in Canada.
Giordano exemplified why he’s the captain tonight by steadying the ship, especially in a first period where everything could’ve fallen apart. With the Flames killing off five penalties in the period, Giordano gave the Flames hope by scoring a beautiful shorthanded goal which happened to be his 100th career goal.
He finished the game with a goal, a +1 ranking, five blocked shots, four shots on goal, two hits, and 24:34 of ice time including 6:26 on the penalty kill. The captain led his team to victory tonight.