5:45 Mark Jankowski (6) from Bennett and Hathaway. 1-0 CGY.
3:56 Mark Giordano (5) from Gaudreau and Hamilton. 2-0 CGY.
15:47 Matthew Tkachuk (7) from Bennett and Jankowski. 3-0 CGY.
18:47 Mark Giordano (6) from Stajan and Brouwer. 4-0 CGY.
19:47 Sam Bennett (5) from Hamonic and Jankowski 5-0 CGY.
6:48 Markus Granlund (7) from Edler on the PP. 5-1 CGY.
11:09 Micheal Ferland (13) from Bennett and Hamilton on the PP. 6-1 CGY.
Having lost 3 straight games despite playing some strong 5-on-5 play, the Flames headed into Vancouver to play against rookie sensation Brock Boeser and some other guys. With Mike Smith playing the night before in a 2-0 loss to the Nashville Predators, David Rittich made his third career start.
The game commenced with a raging start, as there was over 4 minutes of continuous play right off the opening faceoff.
The Flames opened the scoring just under 6 minutes into the game. A great forecheck by the third line resulted in 21-year-old-and-actually-good Sam Bennett making a beautiful pass out in front to Mark “the Janitor” Jankowski, who snapped a shot past Jacob Markstrom to put the Flames up 1-0. Jankowski’s sixth of the season meant we would not be suffering the same goalless fate as we endured the night prior. Nothing close to that, as it would turn out.
The first period was generally of a very good pace and surprisingly fun to watch hockey. The Flames took a 1-0 lead into the dressing room, leading the shot clock 9-7 after one.
The Flames started the period making themselves even less popular in Vancouver than they already were, as Mark Giordano’s shot hit Brock Boeser in the foot. Boeser crawled all the way to the bench from his own end and did not return. A tough break for the Canucks, as Boeser has been having a phenomenal rookie season.
With the game at 4-on-4, Johnny Gaudreau fed Mark Giordano the puck, who caught the Canucks defense flatfooted and was able to get behind everyone and put one over Markstrom for a 2-0 lead. Not long after, Giordano rang a shot off the crossbar. He was firing the puck throughout the night and he was well rewarded for it.
Late in the period, Sam Bennett fed the Yung Villian, Matt Tkachuk, who continued his excellent working of antagonizing Canucks fans by scoring against them yet again. It is like he knows how anguished Canucks fans are that Jim Benning passed on him to select Juolevi, and he does his best to dig the dagger a little deeper every time he has the opportunity.
The onslaught continued. After some excellent work on the forecheck as a Flames penalty-kill ended, an aggressive effort by Matt Stajan and Troy Brouwer resulted in Giordano alone in front of the net for the second time of the night, and Giordano scored once again to put the Flames up 4-0. The assist was Matt Stajan’s first point of the season, in his 24th game. Probably very relieving to get on the scoresheet.
With seconds left in the period, Bennett blasted into the offensive zone with speed and wristed one past Markstrom, to put the Flames up 5-0. A full out rout was on and it was beautiful to witness.
After 2 periods, the score was 5-0 Calgary and they led in shots 19-13.
The Flames did not relent in the third period. Despite heading into the period with a 5-0 lead, they blitzed the Canucks ceaselessly.
Former Flame Markus Granlund scored on a Canucks powerplay to finally get the Canucks on the board, finally giving the home fans a little to cheer about. However, that was it for the good times in Vancouver.
On their 5th powerplay of the game, Micheal Ferland jammed in a rebound to put the Flames up 6-1, finally breaking an 0-for-23 drought on the powerplay. Funny how things can change if you actually make changes.
The Flames outshot the Canucks 19-4 in the third period, cementing a dominant 6-1 victory.
Flames 3 Stars
1. Sam Bennett: His first 4-point night since that 4 goal game as a rookie, Bennett had a phenomenal game with each of his points being primary. Bennett has been on a tear since a horrendous start to the season. He also finished the game with a 69% CF%.
2. Mark Giordano: The captain scored 2 beautiful goals by knowing when to jump up into the rush, really helping destroy the Canucks confidence.
3. Mark Jankowski: The Janitor had a 3 point game and was second on the team in even-strength CF%, with a whopping 71% CF despite only 14% offensive zone starts.
Thoughts from the Game
- Patience is a virtue and waiting for Sam Bennett to figure it out has been a worthwhile endeavour. After 0 points in his first 15 games of the season, he has 5 goals and 10 assists in his last 19. He has become a force of late. Hopefully this Bennett sticks around because it adds so much depth to the scoring.
- A reason to believe this dominant Sam Bennett may stick around is because of his line mate. Mark Jankowski and Sam Bennett have been virtually inseparable since being put together. With Jankowski’s 3-point game tonight, he sits at 11 points in 26 games. After a slow start to his time in the NHL, he appears to have found his game. The Flames have scoring depth because of Janko’s emergence.
- Johnny Gaudreau’s second period assist was his 40th point of the season. After 61 points in 72 games in what would be considered a down year for somebody of his calibre, he is on pace for 96 points.
- Mark Giordano brought it tonight. The dude is 34 and is still among the NHL’s elite of defensemen. I love it.
- Glen Gulutzan finally showed some creativity with his powerplay deployments and it paid off. They were actually creating some opportunities tonight. Of particular note was that Mark Giordano took T.J. Brodie’s spot on the top powerplay unit, a big upgrade. Also, by the end of the game, Matthew Tkachuk was on the first unit with Micheal Ferland on the second unit. The status quo was clearly not working so it was good to see the Flames finally try some new things.
- Jaromir Jagr was on the 4th line with Stajan and Brouwer again. He made many nice plays to set up his linemates for some high-quality chances, but not entirely surprisingly, they failed to convert. Still, I marvel at the excellence of Jagr’s play.
- David Rittich did not have a ton of work in front of him tonight, but he played very solid when called upon. He plays with so much poise as a young goalie and the Flames should probably increase his workload to keep Mike Smith fresh as the season moves along.
After breaking open the floodgates, the Flames will hope to continue putting pucks in the net on Wednesday when they host the St. Louis Blues. A good challenge but if the Flames keep on their game, they should fare well.