A View From the Press Box
Good Stock from Stockton!
The Calgary Flames defeated the Nashville Predators 5 to 2 in home game 15 and overall season game 30 on Saturday night. With the win the Flames sit in first place in the Western Conference with 40 points. The Calgary Flames are 3rd overall in the NHL and have the third best goal differential (+23). The team has accumulated 19 of a possible 22 points in the last 11 games. Yes, the Flames are real hot right now!
Going into the game the Flames were missing some key players. Team Captain Mark Giordano (due to a 2 game suspension) and due to injuries: Mikael Backlund, Juuso Valimaki, Michael Frolik, and Michael Stone respectively. While the Predators were missing such star players as: Kyle Turris, Fllip Forsberg, Viktor Arvidsson and P.K. Subban. As a result, both teams played a cautious and conservative 1st period with the shots only 7 to 4 in favour of the Predators.
Oliver Kylington got the Flames started in the opening period with his first goal of his NHL career.
He scored at 1:12 with a nice shot and had an assist as well on the game winner to receive 1st star of the game. Kylington said “Amazing feeling. I think it’s the first time I touched the puck there so. When I just get it off my stick I just had a good feeling and then I saw the puck in the back of the net…happy feeling obviously.” “I just feel comfortable. I feel like…I can do what I’ve been doing and be the player I am. I’m not going to change anything I’m just going to adapt and learn and play my way and help the team win.”
Kylington’s goal was the start of the Stockton influence on the game. The depth of the talent in the organization was on full display tonight. Six players – Rasmus Andersson, Mark Jankowski, Andrew Mangiapane, Garnet Hathaway, Oliver Kylington, and Alan Quine have been developed with the Flames’ Stockton Heat farm team. Another player – goalie David Rittich makes it seven but he did not play tonight. However, he has been a strong contributor this season when called upon with an 8 – 2 – 1 win lost record, goals against 2.39 and save % .919.
Coach Bill Peter’s commented on his necessary roster changes. “Somebody has to pick up Backs’ minutes, ‘cause he touches the game in every aspect, so that changes things a bit. Same as Gio” said Peters of his team’s adjustments.” So I thought the guys did a good job with the opportunities they were given, I thought everybody did a real good job…”
Garnet Hathaway scored his 4th goal of the season at 6:03 of the third period to give the Flames a 3 – 2 lead which became the eventual game winner. Sean Monahan scored his team leading 18th goal on a nifty backhand goal. It was a goal scorer’s goal! As well he earned an assist to receive 2nd star with another strong performance. Alan Quine, just called up from the Stockton Heat scored at 12:12 of the third to seal the win for the Flames. He received the 3rd star of the game. Elias Lindholm scored an empty netter to make the final score 5 – 2. Alan Quine said “It feels like a fresh start for me. To score one in the first game in the 3rd period is an unbelievable feeling. Raz mad a good play to me and I was happy to put it in.” His 7th career goal, the recent call up from Stockton had scored 6 goals previously with the New York Islanders.
Coach Peters said “ Good to see Kyl get his first…real nice play too, early in the game…Quine, obviously has scored in this league before…those young guys when they come up they know how to play…they play the same way we play, so when they come up they just execute.”
The Flames management and coaching staff have done an admirable job in restocking, developing and strengthening the player depth and talent pool in the organization. This was so apparent in the Flames victory tonight! The combination of youthful enthusiasm and depth on the roster for positions and playing time is a nice problem for Coach Peters in the days ahead. He couldn’t resist smiling at the post game press conference. Things are going real good right now!
Notables: Calgary with 19 wins in their first 30 games; this achievement ties for the second highest win total through 30 games in team history. 40 points is the third highest through 30 as well. The Flames had 41 in 2009 – 2010 and 46 in 1988 – 1989. Top producers, the team have 4 players in the 30 point club. Johnny Gaudreau 39 points, Sean Monahan 35 points, Elias Lindholm 34 points and Matthew Thachuk 33 points respectively.
The Flames next home game is scheduled for Wednesday December 12th against the Philadelphia Flyers.