Catching up is the wrong path to a winning season. The Calgary flames are proof positive.
Heading into their road clash with the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night, the Flames are on a miserable streak. Calgary has given up the first goal in six of its last seven games. It’s a bad trend and makes almost every outing an uphill battle.
“Our starts have been better overall,” forward Derek Ryan said. “I don’t know exactly what the solution is, aside from the cliches of being more prepared and being ready to go immediately. We have to find our legs sooner and be more mentally prepared.”
Also, in four of the last five outings, the Flames have fallen behind by at least two goals before scoring the score. That was the case in the first two meetings of this three-game game against the Jets in Winnipeg. The Flames pulled off a successful comeback in the opening game of this series, a 4-3 shooting win on Monday, but couldn’t find a draw in a 3-2 loss on Tuesday.
“We have a good enough team that we can come back to if we’re down one or two and stick with our game,” captain Mark Giordano said. “Once we fix this and start sticking to our game, that’s when we’ll really be at our best. Especially against Winnipeg, if you don’t transition fast enough, they literally have five guys in the neutral zone, and you have to analyze that. And the only way to do it is to put pucks behind his defense and get into the check. “
The Flames, losers of four of the last six games, aren’t the only North Division team struggling to find momentum. The Jets opened the season as winners in four of five starts, but have only two wins in their last five games.
Still, manager Paul Maurice is seeing signs of what he’s looking for in his squad.
“We have pieces of our game that look really good, that look different than what they had in the past,” Maurice said after Tuesday’s victory. “I’m starting to like our offensive game a lot. I don’t think I would have told you that in the last few years. Also, I really like what’s happening on our bench. The (Monday) night, even when the (Flames) take the lead, the leadership in our bench, the length of the shift is just right. And that’s the way it has been since we got to Ottawa. They’re playing for each other. I like where the team is going, I like the direction of culture of the team “.
Tuesday’s victory, even with something of a thrilling ending to a third period in which the Flames held a 17-5 shooting lead, was a step forward.
“Being able to take the lead and keep the lead was good for us,” said Maurice.
“We made it difficult for them to get into the zone that I thought,” forward Trevor Lewis said. “They had to skirt a lot of pucks, which led to a no-clean zone time. Getting in the lanes and blocking shots is huge, and getting those punts when we can.”
Notably, coming into the game, Flames forward Johnny Gaudreau has the longest active points streak in the league right now. Gaudreau has scored in all nine games, having racked up six goals and five assists in his career to start the season.
–Field level media
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.