Flames In 5: Show What You’ve Got

Dec 12, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (91) plays the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 12, 2022; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Calgary Flames center Nazem Kadri (91) plays the puck against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports /
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Another five-game segment turned into another disappointing result. The Calgary Flames couldn’t get out of their own way this week, reaching the 30-game mark with a 13-11-6 record.

It’s safe to say that the Calgary Flames didn’t have a good time this week. The team finished this segment 1-1-3.  They won against the Minnesota Wild, lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets, and lost in extra time to all of the Leafs, Canadiens, and Canucks. The fact is that the Flames didn’t really play well at all in this segment.  And I would say that their best game of the segment came against the Canucks with a 58% xGF percentage. All other games were sub-50% for xGF, with the game against the Leafs being the worst at a woeful 42%.

Dec 14, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks right wing Conor Garland (8) during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 14, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom (25) makes a save against Vancouver Canucks right wing Conor Garland (8) during the overtime period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports /

Now 30 games into the season, this isn’t how we expected the Calgary Flames to be. They’ve shown some troubling signs that were staples of their success from last year, including a noticeable drop in shot quality. They have a great track record of getting shots through from the point, but can’t get the puck into the dangerous areas of the ice. The tweet below from Tony Wolak sums it up nicely, but let’s get into the top performers and worst performers.

MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAYER – JACOB MARKSTROM

Lo and behold, Jacob Markstrom is starting to round into form. The fact is that criticism at the beginning of the season about Markstrom’s game was warranted, as he was below average most nights. Considering how great he was last year, having him as a liability in the net wasn’t ideal for the Calgary Flames. This past segment, however, he had started against Columbus, Montreal, and Vancouver, and performed admirably in all of them. He averaged a .927 across the three games and was particularly spectacular against Montreal, sporting a .971 and giving the Flames a chance despite playing dreadfully in front of him. If Markstrom can continue providing above-league-average goaltending, it will mask a lot of the team’s problems, particularly around scoring. It’s a lot easier to win a 2-1 game versus a 4-3 game.

LEAST IMPRESSIVE PLAYER – THE CALGARY FLAMES

To be honest, I had trouble picking just one player.  So I chose the whole team. Is that fair? Probably not. But after dreadful performances against Columbus, Toronto, and Montreal, this team needs a reality check. They’re still very much in the playoff picture thanks to the tire fire that is the Pacific Division. Only 5 points separate the Flames from the second-place Los Angeles Kings, but they need to start picking up points quickly. Games against weak teams like the Montreal Canadians and Columbus Blue Jackets are perfect opportunities to do so, but the team decided it didn’t want to play those nights.

During this stretch, we’ve seen some terrible hockey from a team that’s supposedly one of the best in the league. They need to take their fate into their own hands and show the league what they’re capable of before time runs out.

Flames -147. 9 PM ET. 14-15-1. . 13-11-6. 99. Friday, December 16. 112

THE TAKEAWAY

I feel like a mother after their kid won’t pick up after themselves with the way I’ve been nagging the same points over and over for this team. It’s getting exhausting to watch as a fan, having a team with so much potential get pissed away through poor performance after poor performance. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this team needs an identity. Whether or not they choose to adopt one will determine whether or not we watch the Flames in late April.

NEXT 5 GAMES: St. Louis, San Jose x2, Los Angeles, Anaheim.

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