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Calgary Flames (2) Vancouver Canucks (5): Opening Groundhog Day

Scoring

Team 1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Total
Team 1st Period 2nd Period 3rd Period Total
Calgary Flames 0 0 2 2
Vancouver Canucks 1 0 4 5

Recap

Welp, if you didn’t notice the new names on the backs of some of the jerseys and the suits on the bench, you’d swear you were watching the 2017-18 Calgary Flames. Tons of shots? Check. Lack of goals? Check. Played against a hot goalie? Check. Anemic PP? Check. I guess you really don’t need to read much more than that….unless you’re a masochist.

Calgary dropped their 9th straight (0-8-1) season opener in typical fashion with a 5-2 pounding at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks. From the puck drop Vancouver had more jump and it showed for almost 50 of the 60 minutes in the opening night contest.

The Flames weren’t without opportunities, but Dave Cameron’s garbage power play showed up to pay homage to him tonight. Calgary had 7 (!) chances with the man advantage, but looked as clueless as they were last season. Vancouver and Jacob Markstrom shut Calgary down and made what seemed like something that was surely going to be fixed….looked like more of the same.

Now, the game wasn’t without any good news for the Flames. Dillon Dube looks all the part and NHL ready. Austin Czarnik continued to show he has earned his spot on an NHL roster. Matthew Tkachuk had a solid game (goal), as did Mikael Backlund, so PART of the 3M Line showed. And the combo of Johnny Gaudreau (assist) and Sean Monahan (goal) did what they could to try and get the Flames back into the game late in the third. The problem is it was too late. Calgary showed life around the 10 minute mark of the 3rd, but just as Calgary gained momentum, Vancouver shut the door.

What you witnessed tonight isn’t the end of the world. It’s one game into the season and the Flames have MANY new faces to try and place in the lineup. Bill Peters mixed and mixed and mixed and mixed his lines all night long trying to get something going. The top line seemed best when James Neal was up with Gaudreau and Monahan (seeing Neal and Gaudreau assisted on Mony’s goal), but the bottom 6 was again an issue. The 4th line had little to no impact on this game and the 3rd was a mix of whoever Peters saw necessary at the time.

Sound familiar?

Scoring

Calgary Flames

3rd Period: Tkachuk (1) (Czarnik/Hannifin), Monahan (1) (Gaudreau/Neal)

Vancouver Canucks

1st Period: Pettersson (1) (Eriksson/Goldobin)

3rd Period: Goldobin (1) (Pettersson/Eriksson), Leipsic (1) (Beagle/Gudbranson), Virtanen (1) (Sutter/Tanev), Motte (1) (Granlund)

Final Thoughts

Good news? The Flames got some decent contributions on the night from the likes of Dillon Dube and Austin Czarnik, so there’s that. Travis Hamonic almost had his face broken while sticking up for Dube after he was rocked, but Hamonic isn’t the guy you want doing that. So if you look at game #1 of 82: Flames didn’t have a bruiser on the ice, so there was no recourse for a borderline hit. They out shot the Canucks 35-23, including 17 of the 35 in the 3rd period. Mike Smith (18-22, 4 GA) was victimized by bad defence at times, mainly from the Stone/Valimaki pairing. And finally, Vancouver just flat out played better in every facet of the game. Calgary has a few days to figure out who to put where and how to score on the PP before this same Canucks team comes to Calgary on Saturday. Also: might want to get used to looking at Elias Pettersson. He’s good…like REALLY good.

Flame Of The Game


NHL: Calgary Flames at Vancouver Canucks

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Smith (G). Yeah, seems weird when you lose 5-2 that the goalie is the best player, but he was tonight. Without his play early on, this game is over and over quickly. You can’t fault Smith for much of anything that happened tonight. It’s not like he didn’t score on the PP.

What’s Next?

10/6: Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks, 8 PM MT

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