You never want to call the second game of the season a “must win,” but after the Flames lackluster effort in Edmonton and with the looming Monday contest in Anaheim right around the corner, the Flames needed a good showing tonight. I think you could call it a success. Need to work out some kinks with your offence? Call the Jets. They’re more than willing to help. Calgary got 4 point nights from Johnny Gaudreau and T.J. Brodie as they routed the Winnipeg Jets 6-3.
1st Period: Calgary 1 Winnipeg 3
Well, the Flames put one in the net, so that was good. The rest of the period, not so much. Both teams came out hot with offence clearing being the main goal of both teams. Winnipeg was looking to recover from the pounding they took at the hands of the Maple Leafs and the Flames got to play the victim. Brandon Tanev opened the scoring by stealing a Kris Versteeg pass and cruising into beat Mike Smith, putting the Jets up 1-0.
Calgary would answer fairly quickly with a little game of give and go between Johnny Gaudreau and T.J. Brodie on the power play. Brodie would take the feed a fire a slapshot through a screen of Winnipeg Jets to tie the game at 1-1. Then came the curious case of Sam Bennett. Bennett giveth (HUGE hit on Jacob Trouba), Bennett taketh (dumb tripping penalty). Bennett’s 2 minute trip to the box would lead to a Mark Scheifele PP goal, beating a sprawling Mike Smith, putting the Jets up 2-1. And because this is the way the period went, the Jets would score quickly again.
Dustin Byfuglien ripped a shot that had Smith beat and hit the post, but Smith either lost the puck or thought it went in and Patrick Laine ponuced on the rebound and put home the Jets 3rd of the period. Oddly, the Flames best offence at times in the period came from Matt Bartkowski. That’s bad.
2nd Period: Calgary 5 Winnipeg 3
The Flames had some serious jump in the second period and no one epitomized that more than Johnny Gaudreau. The star forward began the period by foreshadowing what was to come when he fed Curtis Lazar with a beautiful pass that lead to some highway robbery by Steve Mason. But that was all Mason would rob in this period. Calgary poured in 4 goals and finished the second 20 with a 5-3 lead. Gaudreau got T.J. Brodie the puck and he wasted no time firing a shot at the Winnipeg net that would find it’s way to the back thanks to a Sam Bennett screen. Mark Giordano would take his second penalty of the period midway through and it didn’t hurt the Flames, it oddly helped.
Gio came streaking out of the box and took a pass from Gaudreau and fired a shot that Mason saved, but Micheal Ferland was there to collect the change and put home his first of the season to tie it 3-3. The offence just kept coming. Curtis Lazar drew a penalty and during the delayed call T.J.
Brodie found Johnny Gaudreau and he didn’t miss the mark putting the Flames up 4-3. The second period would end with Kris Versteeg putting one home on the door step with help from T.J. Brodie and Sean Monahan, giving the Flames a 5-3 lead.
Four goals in the second period weren’t enough for you? Well, the Flames were here to help. Sixteen seconds in to the third period Matthew Tkachuk fed Dougie Hamilton who fired a shot from the point towards the net and Mikael Backlund was positioned perfectly to tip home his first of the season. That goal put the Flames up 6-3 and there was no looking back. Calgary continued the pressure for the rest of the period peppering Steve Mason at every possible chance they could. The Jets would weather the storm, but they couldn’t climb back into the game and Calgary would win their home opener 6-3.
The Flames came out slow and found themselves down 3-1 after the first period. Mike Smith seemed a little out of sorts early, but he settled in and allowed the Flames to climb back in to the game. Worried about that top line and it’s lack of offence? You can rest easy for the night. Gaudreau had 4 points. Ferland had a goal. Monahan had an assist. Calgary looked fast and focused and they didn’t allow Steve Mason to get back into the game once the Flames started scoring. Calgary kept the pedal to the floor and didn’t let the Jets up off the mat. Curtis Lazar made the most of his chance to get on the ice tonight and had some real good scoring chances and even got some time on the ice with Johnny Gaudreau and they looked good together.
Flame(s) of The Game
Johnny Gaudreau/T.J. Brodie. Not sure how you could pick one or the other. Gaudreau had a goal and 3 assists and looked focused. He was fast and looked like the Johnny Gaudreau of old. Brodie had 2 goals and 2 assists and was looking for the back of the net all night long. Amazing what Brodie’s game looks like when he’s not paired with a human anchor to start the season.
Next Up: Calgary Flames @ Anaheim Ducks 10/10/17