Flames In 5: A New Beginning

Oct 22, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20) and Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (91) battle for the puck during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 22, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Carolina Hurricanes center Sebastian Aho (20) and Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (91) battle for the puck during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Oct 20, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) guards his net against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 20, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) guards his net against the Buffalo Sabres during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Flames’ special teams and their goaltending won them the game, especially since Carolina had ample opportunity to end the game with a double minor in the last 5 minutes of the game. Jacob Markstrom, especially after a shaky start to the year, shined with some key saves in the last period to bring the team to overtime, where Tyler Toffoli ended the game. The hallmark of good teams and something that has plagued past Flames teams has been the ability to squeak out games where you don’t deserve the win – and the Flames did just that with this win.

4-0-1. SN1, SNW. 4-1-0. 112. . 9:00 PM PT. 92. Tuesday, October 25

Most Impressive Player – Nazem Kadri

Nazem Kadri came into a team that had reshuffled the entire core and looks like he fits right in. Not only has he started the year on a 5 game point streak, but he’s also looked like a natural doing it. He has fit right in on the second line between Mangiapane and Dube, forming a formidable line that has a 55.8% expected goal rate, and was much higher before the entire team got steamrolled at even strength by Carolina. Of course, who can forget his iconic goal against Edmonton as well.

Most Disappointing Player – Elias Lindholm

This isn’t to say that Elias Lindholm has played poorly because he hasn’t. He just hasn’t been noticeable, on the scoresheet or on the ice. He has two powerplay markers this year but zero even-strength points to show for it. He’s not shooting as much either, only registering 3 shots on goal at even strength. I think this is mostly due to all-new linemates, and finding chemistry with Toffoli and Huberdeau. I’m hoping that he can use these last few games to find his game, as they’re still 4-1 even without him performing very well.

Oct 13, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) during the face off against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 13, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames center Elias Lindholm (28) during the face off against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Takeaway

Overall, I’d say the Flames are worthy of their 4-1 record. They had great games against Colorado, Edmonton, and then Vegas and I expect them to build on that. After all, this team is still in an adjustment phase after the summer shakeup and they’ve played well as a group and they’ve done it against extremely tough competition. The next 5 games are all at home and against weaker opponents, if the team can play as they did in the first 3 games they’ll be in good shape.

Next 5-game segment: Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Seattle, Nashville, New Jersey.

All data taken from naturalstattrick and moneypuck.com

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