Calgary Flames show glimpse of their potential in season-opening loss
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“We deserved coming in with a tie game after the second and we just took too many penalties. We didn’t play as a unit. We went to a stretch game, I don’t know if we were panicked or didn’t communicate enough. You can’t do that against a good team, they’re going to punish you.”
After the game, the Flames couldn’t quite explain the drop-off in their performance between the first period and the rest of the game.
They took a lot of penalties, yes, but they were also losing battles along the boards and weren’t really sustaining pressure in the Jets’ end of the ice.
“I think we got off our game, I think we did good in the first,” said first-line centre Elias Lindholm, who had a goal and an assist in the opener. “We were getting pucks deep, coming with speed together and, you know, those were the things we didn’t do in the second and third and we lost a lot of pucks on the O-zone blue line and they’re quick in transition. Overall, I didn’t think we played good enough to win.”
Ultimately, the Flames got a point on the road. That’s not a bad result.
If anything made it frustrating, it was that the Flames showed such a tantalizing glimpse of their potential in the first 20 minutes. If they can sustain that over a full 60, they’re going to win a lot of games in the North Division.
They’re going to need to cut out stretches like the one they had in the second period, though, and they’re going to need to do it fast.
“The biggest thing for us in the second and third, we weren’t winning as many battles and races as (in the first period) and also, we got disconnected,” Flames head coach Geoff Ward said. “We started trying to make the long pass way too much.