The Calgary Flames won their last two games and overall, they are looking like a more solid and consistent team. Is it too soon to tell if the season is already starting to look better for this team?
The Calgary Flames are now 3-4-1, thanks to their last two games that resulted in wins. Everything about this team in those last two games is already looking much better than the first week and a half.
Let’s take a closer look on what exactly is better.
It was no question that the Calgary Flames struggled with their special teams, especially their power play. They registered only one goal in 25 power plays and that came in the first game of the season. That changed with the game against the Chicago Blackhawks on Monday night. Luckily for the Flames, the Blackhawks had a league worst penalty kill at 42.9%. When you have the worst power play team against the worst penalty killing team, I mean SOMETHING’S got to give. Someone’s special teams will improve.
And it did.
The Flames ended up scoring two power plays back to back that game, leaving everyone wondering, “Who is this team?” They went 2/5 on the power play that night, a big improvement over their last few games I’d say.
The game against the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night, they went 1/3 on the pp, again an improvement over their poor 4.0% power play before the start of the week.
Their penalty killing has been better too, the Blackhawks went 0/2 on the pp on Monday night. Then on Tuesday night, the Blues went 1/4, but let me just add that it was a 5 on 3 power play, so not the best situation to be in.
Now, let me just note that I DID put out an article talking about how Dave Cameron, the Flames pp coach needs to go. The day of the Blackhawks game. So I’m not saying it’s because Cameron read my article and knew they needed an improvement, but it’s because Cameron read my article and knew they needed an improvement.
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The Calgary Flames currently lead the league in giveaways, but that’ll definitely change if they keep up how they’re playing right now. In the first six games of the season, they had 75 giveaways. Seventy. Five. Giveaways. That’s over 12 giveaways a game. Do you even know how frustrating it is for fans to watch this happen?
The Flames have only had eight giveaways in their last two games. Which of course you want no giveaways, but 4 gv/gp is a lot better than 12.5.
And that way, it makes it easier on the goaltender because stopping a shot that comes on the breakaway is not the most ideal situation you’d want to be in.
The Moose Is Becoming More On The Loose
Before that two-game road trip in Chicago and St. Louis, G Brian Elliott struggled. A lot. Not necessarily his fault for all the goals that were let in, but his numbers were in no way good enough. He was 53rd and 54th overall for save percentage and goals-against-average, respectively. After these two games where he managed to get a star of the game in each one, he’s moved up a few spots. I mean, he’s still in the 40’s, but it just needs to be taken day by day, game by game.
Moose only allowed 3 goals on 57 shots, giving him a 0.947 sv%. Much better than his 0.839 sv% in the other three games he has played.
It seems like the new net-minder has finally got out of his slump and we can expect him to be starting the next few games until he has a bad game.
The Flames Are Being More Aggressive
The Calgary Flames are currently second in the league for blocked shots with 122. In the last two games alone they’ve had 37. A huge improvement.
The Flames are 10th overall right now for hits, however in the last two games, they’ve had 54. In the game against Chicago alone they had 35 hits. Against a fast well scoring team like Chicago, that’s pretty impressive.
The Flames have also been doing something well all season, and that’s their efforts. Right now they lead the league in shots for with 249 and they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
These are all definitely things Brian Burke expects from this fast young team. If they keep up this energy and this momentum, I have no doubt they’ll make playoffs.
They just have to keep playing a full 60 minutes every game.