Calgary Flames lose back-to-back games vs. Pacific Division

ANAHEIM, CA - DECEMBER 29: Mike Smith /

In two must-win games, the Calgary Flames couldn’t find the win in either of the games. Their playoff chances are getting further and further.

In two must-win games, the Calgary Flames were only able to walk away with one point out of a possible four. With a disappointing shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks last night, they had an even more disappointing loss vs. the Anaheim Ducks in a poor effort by the team.

After finally winning at the Honda Center for the first time in 13 years earlier this season, they’re not scared of this arena anymore. But maybe they should be again. The Flames lost 3-2 to the Anaheim Ducks and the space between them and a playoff spot keeps increasing.

Mike Smith, after getting the shutout last time vs. the Ducks and helping the Flames win at the Honda Center for the first time in 13 years, he would get the nod tonight. Let’s see how this game went down (but I don’t want to).

Related Story: The Decade Long Curse of the Honda Center

First period

Is it ok if I just skip this period? Are we all ok with that?

This was one of the worst periods I’ve ever seen. sloppy plays, horrible passes, clear giveaways, etc. The Calgary Flames took too many penalties and at one point, Travis Hamonic had somewhat of a clear lane to just shoot out of the zone but instead, he passed it right to a Duck. It was just sloppy all over.

The Ducks got on the board with a good chance by Ryan Getzlaf to set it up to Cam Fowler who put it in on the backhand early on in the game. The score remained 1-0 for the Ducks after twenty minutes of play and the Flames all owe Mike Smith a beer for making him endure that.

Matthew Tkachuk and Ryan Kesler got into a fight as well in that opening frame.

In 2006, Keith Tkachuk also fought Kesler. I think Ryan Kesler may be the only player in the NHL to fight both Keith and Matthew Tkachuk. A new Tkachuk may be in the NHL next year, he should fight Kesler too. A family affair.

The Ducks outshot the Flames 20-5 (yikes) and outcorsi’d the Flames (5v5) 18-6 (double yikes). Those 20 shots were the second most the Flames have allowed in one period this season. On two powerplay opportunities for the Ducks, they had five shots and five scoring chances. With less than a second to go in the game, Ryan Kesler almost got a goal, but nobody told him this wasn’t soccer and he’s not allowed to kick it in. The goal was taken away due to a kicking motion.

We’re not big fans of Ryan Kesler here at Flame for Thought, in case you couldn’t tell.

Second period

The start of the second period was much better for the Calgary Flames than the start to the first. I don’t know what happened during the intermission, but whatever was said to them, I agree. The Flames had a decent amount of chances in the first half of the period. They did take a penalty in that stretch, but the Ducks had just two shots and no scoring chances.

A little after that penalty ended, Matt Bartkowski came into the offensive zone, shot it, and Micheal Ferland got the rebound. The game is tied 1-1! The two assists? Bartkowski and Smith… I know. I have questions, too. That was Ferland’s 15th goal of the year which ties a career-high for him. He’s now also in the top 30 goal-scorers in the NHL this season.

ANAHEIM, CA – DECEMBER 29 2017: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA – DECEMBER 29 2017: (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

A little while later, the Flames kept applying pressure and were definitely the better team between the two. Especially the third line. The Flames also had a powerplay which looked quite good, but couldn’t find the back of the net. They only had one shot, but two scoring chances.

At one point, Sam Bennett had a wide open net and could have shot it in with his backhand, but for some odd reason, he didn’t. Twitter went nuts about it.

During the second intermission interview, Ferland said that head coach Glen Gulutzan spoke to the team and said they need to be better in the faceoffs. And they heard that loud and clear. In the first period, their faceoff win% was 39%. It was 54% in the second period.

Third period

The third period started, and like the first, the Calgary Flames looked decent. And as good as Mike Smith’s been all game, he took a dumb delay-of-game penalty early in the period by shooting the puck over the glass. The Flames would go on the penalty-kill. It only took seven seconds for the Ducks to capitalize on that powerplay, with another set up by Ryan Getzlaf and a nice wrist shot by Rickard Rakell. The score is 2-1 and the Flames have their work cut out for them.

That goal made the Flames lose everything they still had in them. They were getting beat in every way. They didn’t even get a shot on goal until around the 14:30 mark of the third period. When they were down a goal. They were getting outshot 41-16 at this point.

Late in the game, the Flames got a powerplay. But like they’ve been doing, they haven’t been capitalizing on their most important powerplays. And this one was no different. They had a few shots, but none were great chances.

Then there were about two minutes left so it was time to take out the goaltender. Even though the Flames couldn’t make anything happen on their powerplay, but sure, let’s take out the goaltender. That will make a great difference.

To be fair, they did have some decent chances in those last couple of minutes. However, as we know from the title of this article, it was to no avail. The Flames finished this game being outshot 41-23.

Next: Flames prospects at World Juniors 2018- Day three

The Calgary Flames lose their third game in a row and now have a big mountain to climb to get back in the race.