Calgary Flames: Five Things That Are Not Working

Nov 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland (29) defends Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) as goalie Brian Elliott (1) looks on during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 1, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Calgary Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland (29) defends Chicago Blackhawks center Artem Anisimov (15) as goalie Brian Elliott (1) looks on during the first period at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 12, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) scores on a penalty shot in the second period against the Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott (1) at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2016; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Edmonton Oilers forward Connor McDavid (97) scores on a penalty shot in the second period against the Calgary Flames goaltender Brian Elliott (1) at Rogers Place. Mandatory Credit: Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports /

Puck Management

Even though the Calgary Flames struggled through the first few games of the season, their puck management wasn’t all bad. They were doing great in the neutral zone, not letting the other teams set up as much as they wanted to, and they were getting some good chances.

More from Flame for Thought

However lately, the Flames need to get better with the puck. And not just managing the puck, but knowing when to watch it and when to let it slide. In the game against the Anaheim Ducks, one of their keys to the game was to not always watch the puck. The night before in the game against the LA Kings, the Kings scored a goal because of poor puck watching. You have about three Flames in the corner trying to get the puck when there are open guys in the zone with nobody protecting them.

Now, back to the puck management, the Flames have the fifth highest number of giveaways in the league with 140. This goes back to what I was saying about the neutral zone, and how they need to be stronger in that area since that’s where most giveaways happen.

In the last few games, they seem to be doing better at that and not allowing as much as they once were. I mean, given that since November, they’re allowing on average nine giveaways per game, but still better than the start of the season.

The Flames are currently 15th for shots for, but they’ve gone down in that category. In October, they were third in that league with 290, but now in November, they rank 27th in the league with 106, and averaging just 26.5 sf/gp. The Flames have also only gotten five goals in their last four games. So something needs to change here.

Conclusion: Get shots in and stop giving away the puck.