The Calgary Flames won their third straight game and are looking like a different team. Their special teams may have been a bust tonight, but they still managed to keep the flame lit.
The Calgary Flames managed to keep their win streak going with a win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night. They are now 4-4-1 and are just one win away from being over 0.500. Is there something new in the water in Calgary?
Some things didn’t work well in the Flames’ favor tonight, but some things did. Let’s look at what didn’t work first.
The Calgary Flames went 0/2 on the power play tonight and had a mere 50% penalty kill. On the Senators first power play, they scored just about four seconds into it. Definitely a difference in what we’ve seen from them in the last two games. They went 3/8 on the pp in their last two away games against the Chicago Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues. They also managed to let in just one goal on six pp attempts from the opposing teams and that came from a 5-on-3 man advantage. So needless to say tonight was a bit of a disappointment for the special teams which finally looked to be getting better.
However, even though they couldn’t capitalize on their power plays, two of their goals came directly after their power play ended when they still carried that pp momentum. So even though they didn’t score, it was definitely a factor in two of their goals.
No discipline from the kids
Matthew Tkachuk and Sam Bennett both took offensive zone penalties in the first period which both led to goals by the Sens. As a young guy new to the NHL, you’re going to need some time to gain that experience. That inexperience was clearly shown tonight when they both took penalties that could have easily been avoided.
Sam Bennett now leads all Flames with most penalty minutes with 20. He’s also fifth overall in the league in that category.
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Tkachuk has been somewhat of a hot topic as of late. People are questioning, “Is he going to be sent down after the first nine games?” Nobody really knows quite yet what Brad Treliving and Glen Gulutzan are going to do about him. Today marked the ninth game of the season for the Calgary Flames, so people might start to be concerned. If you’ve read any of my articles at all or follow our twitter account, you know how we feel about the rookie (we love him). I’d really like to see him stay on the team and prove his position with the team. But I can’t control the coaching staff’s minds (I wish). I also noticed that Tkachuk didn’t get a whole lot of ice-time in the third period, so who knows what the coaching staff is thinking.
Alright, now onto what did work for the Flames tonight.
Goalies – on both teams? What is happening?
Brian Elliott has been absolutely on fire as of late (Haha. Get it. Cause he’s a Flame. I’ve made this joke too many times I’m sorry). In his last three games, he’s managed to save 85 of 90 shots giving him a 0.944 sv%. A huge improvement since the start of the season. He’s also managed to win a star of the game in all three games this week (If he doesn’t get a star of the week I’m suing the NHL). Also in back to back games for the new Flame, he’s beat two of his former teams. Killing two birds with one stone, but that stone is a hockey puck, and those two birds are the Senators and Blues. I’m sorry that made no sense. Moving on.
Now let’s look on the other side of the rink and that’s the Senators odd goalie situation tonight.
Their usual starting goaltender, Craig Anderson, didn’t play because of a personal matter. So they turned to their backup, Andrew Hammond. After the first period, Hammond didn’t end up coming back because of what was a supposed lower-body injury. So they got their backup of their backup, Chris Driedger, who made his NHL debut tonight. Definitely not the start he would like to remember, having let in four goals on 15 shots. I mean, this definitely worked in favor for the Flames, but this poor guy. Then I saw this tweet from Eric Francis and thought it was kind of funny, but also horrible for the Sens:
I almost felt bad for them. Almost.
No “teach me how to Dougie” puns today
That pun is used TOO MANY TIMES. But let’s talk about Dougie Hamilton for a minute. Hamilton had an impressive 3-point night with two goals and one assist, and had four shots on goal. I couldn’t decide if I wanted him to get a typical hat trick, or a Gordie Howe hat trick. Unfortunately, he didn’t get either, but he was definitely a factor in the Flames success tonight (clearly). He is now on a 3-game point streak and is tied for second among most points on the Flames. Let’s hope he keeps up whatever momentum he has going, because this is definitely the Dougie Hamilton the Flames traded for.
(To the tune of Alicia Keys ‘This girl is on fire’) Sam Bennett’s on firrreeeeeeeeee
I know I already mentioned Sam Bennett before and how he’s been a bit undisciplined as of late, but he’s making up for it with his scoring. Definitely better than what happened to him last season with his scoring drought. He is now on a 4-game point streak and has five points in those last four games. He started out on the third line tonight, but he is definitely proving himself as a #2 center-man and alongside Troy Brouwer, this is definitely a line to look out for in the NHL.
So there you have it. Some luck went the Calgary Flames way tonight and a few former Sens won against their old team.
Toss a few in the win column tonight.