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Maple Leafs 5, Flames 3: Stick a fork in 'em

April 6, 2021, 10:42 AM ET [103 Comments]
Todd Cordell
Calgary Flames Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
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A few thoughts following another Calgary loss to Toronto:

1. The Flames couldn’t defend the net. Remember in the preview when I pointed out Toronto had four of the six leaders – over the last 10 games, anyway – in high-danger chances? That wasn’t hard to believe after watching last night’s contest. Calgary showed no ability to take away the most dangerous area of the ice. They routinely let Toronto’s forwards take the puck right to the doorstep and fire away. Flames players were pulled out of position much too frequently and they didn’t exactly make Leafs forwards pay the price to get to their spots. It was bad. Toronto netted five goals and four of them came from right in front of Jacob Markstrom.

2. CCF. Calgary can’t finish.. It’s almost hard to believe how consistently they come up empty-handed even when playing well. They generated a bunch of chances in the opening frame and, once again, had nothing to show for it. The game started to tilt towards Toronto in the 2nd period and, of course, they were able to cash in and make the Flames pay for it. Calgary did show good resolve for once, fighting back and tying a game up after trailing 2-0. But they didn’t get the end result anyway. They simply can’t score goals in bunches so if they fall behind multiple goals, it’s all but over. They’ll reach their quota just tying things up. Part of it is a lack of quality offensive personnel. Part of it is because the guys that are supposed to score, you know, do this.

3. Another lifeless showing. Johnny Gaudreau played more than 17 minutes. I’m pretty sure Ray Ferraro and Gord Miller spent more time talking about how they didn’t notice Gaudreau than anything he actually did. Gaudreau failed to generate a single scoring chance. Heck, he did not even record a single shot attempt. That’s far from ideal considering a) the Flames were trailing much of the night, meaning they needed to ramp things up offensively and; b) Gaudreau is by far the most talented player on the roster. I do think his linemates are hurting him, but I also think he should *probably* have more 5v5 points than Milan Lucic 40 games into a season.

4. Stick a fork in them. This team is toast. Not just by the eye, but statistically speaking. The playoffs are not happening. They’re not even going to sniff a spot. That means GM Brad Treliving should be selling off what he can now, and preparing for off-season surgery. In the meantime, the Flames should be experimenting to see exactly what they have. We know Sean Monahan is cooked, for example. Is Johnny Gaudreau in the same boat? Perhaps we should switch up the lines and find out! We’re dealing with a very small sample size but Gaudreau and Backlund have posted very strong numbers together this season. Maybe give them an extended run? What Darryl Sutter is doing right now isn’t working, anyway, so they might as well change some things up and see if they can find anything new that’ll work for next year.

Numbers via NaturalStatTrick.com and Evolving-Hockey.com

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The Flames are a mess
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