Calgary Flames: How to get one back vs. Boston Bruins

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 13: Patrice Bergeron
BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 13: Patrice Bergeron /

After a rough loss to the Florida Panthers at home, the Calgary Flames will face the Boston Bruins for the second time in a week and hope to get one back.

After a successful road trip going 4-2-0, the Calgary Flames came home to a disappointing loss in front of their fans, losing 6-3 to the Florida Panthers. One of their losses on the road came against the Boston Bruins, who beat them 5-2. The Flames and Bruins play their second and final matchup today, for the second time in less than a week.

The Bruins have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL these last couple of months. They also have the best road record among any team in the NHL, going 16-6-4. This is versus the Flames, who are the second best on the road but have been struggling at home, at 13-14-3 at the ‘Dome.

So how can the Flames get one back vs. the Bruins today? Let’s check out three key points.

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Keep up the powerplay

In their last couple of games, the Calgary Flames have been great with the man-advantage. Something we haven’t been able to say in over a month. They scored two vs. the Nashville Predators and two vs. the Panthers. A reason for that? Dougie Hamilton, who got his first ever career hat-trick against the Panthers on Saturday.

With Dougie on that first PP unit and him moving closer to the net and somewhat in the faceoff circle, he gets a good wrist shot from those locations. Plant Matthew Tkachuk in front of the goalie for the screen and a potential deflection, and you’ve got yourself some powerplay goals.

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They’ve been much more effective when moving up and shooting somewhat in the middle and close to the net, rather than staying at the blue line and shooting slapshots from there. If the Flames can keep up their powerplay and keep up their effective special teams, we won’t be seeing as many one-goal games. Last time vs. the Bruins, the Flames were 0/5 on the PP. If they had also scored two PP goals then, we would have had a different game.

Don’t give them room to enter the zone

Against the Panthers on Saturday night, the first goal they scored came about a minute into the game with Mike Matheson easily got into the Flames zone and scored. Because nobody was on him. They somewhat backed off and let him easily enter the zone, which the Flames were doing far too often vs. the Panthers.

They need be more aggressive at their blue-line and better at puck control in the neutral zone. Don’t give them so much leeway to get clean entries into your zone and effectively set up. Be aggressive, especially against a strong Bruins team.

Be disciplined

Lately, the Calgary Flames are getting into old habits with their inability to remain out of the penalty box. In their last five games, they’ve taken at least four minor penalties in each of them. And while they’ve been decent on the penalty-kill, they’re still getting scored on. Last time vs. the Bruins, they went 1/4 on the PP.

Not only are the Flames taking unnecessary penalties, but they’re taking unnecessary offensive zone penalties. Albeit, not all of them are necessarily great calls, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Even if the Flames aren’t getting scored on while they’re down a man, it’s hard to be effective when you’re down a man. If the Flames can limit their penalties to two or three a night, their games will have much better outcomes.

Next: Flames home-ice woes continue, lose 6-3 to Panthers

Can the Flames struggling home-ice woes defeat the best road team this season? We’ll find out shortly.