Calgary Flames 1 - Winnipeg Jets 5
1st: 2:24- Lindholm (9) (Tkachuk , Gaudreau )
1st: 16:19- Thompson (2) (DeMelo , Lewis ), 18:13- Scheifele (14) (Connor , Ehlers )
2nd: 3:31- Scheifele (15) (Ehlers , Connor ), 14:31- Copp (11) (Ehlers , Scheifele )
3rd: 1:04- Dubois (7) (Wheeler , Stastny )
It all started out so promising. The Flames came out of the gate faster and harder than they have in quite some time. Johnny Gaudreau drew a penalty just 33 seconds into the game and sent Calgary to an early powerplay. Gaudreau then helped orchestrate a mesmerizing passing play that lead to the gorgeous opening goal.
Quite literally everything from that point on was either enraging, or terrible. Pierre-Luc Dubois boarded Chris Tanev right in front of the referee, but the Flames emerged as the only penalized team from the ensuing wrestling against said Dubois. That would prove to be the turning point.
In another act of brilliance, the referees watched Nate Thompson kick the Jets first goal through Markstrom’s legs live and then on video a dozen times, and yet decided to double down on their incompetence from the earlier hit.
Mark Scheifele scored on the first of many two-on-ones, as Kyle Connor easily slid the one-timer set up past a ridiculously sprawled Michael Stone. It ended the first period at 2-1 Jets, and it was more or less over at that point. Scheifele and Andrew Copp added two more markers in the second, and the aforementioned Dubois added the final tally in the third.
Despite all the garbage that went on on the ice all night long, this game was over before it started. Dillon Dube and Jusso Valimaki stayed in the press box, and Andrew Mangiapane was demoted to the 4th line one game after potting the game winner. Nikita Nesterov remains in the lineup for unknown reasons, Michael Stone is just as terrible as he’s always been, Brett Ritchie started on the first line yet again, and Joakim Nordstrom played on a higher line than Mang.
It was unquestionably the worst lineup the Flames have iced all season, and this outcome was predictable the second these lines were posted. Even more comical is the new powerplay system, which has all three D pairs rotating through. This gave us the lovely experience of seeing Stone and Nesterov on a powerplay, and Mark Giordano and Rasmus Andersson being so lost with each other on the ice that they hypnotically could only seem to pass back and forth to each other.
For every miniscule iota of hope this team gives you (re. last game’s pretty solid victory), they sure seem to enjoy dropping the bottom out of your stomach the very next game. Mercifully this is the last games against the Jets for over a month.
The Flames are back in “action” Wednesday against the Canucks.