5 things to watch as Flames look to eliminate the stars in Game 6

5 things to watch as Flames look to eliminate the stars in Game 6

DALLAS – The Calgary Flames had a chance to do something Friday night they haven’t done in seven years: win a series.

While it doesn’t seem like a huge task, just ask fans of Leafs or Oilers how difficult it is.

Since the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup in 1989, they’ve only made it past the first round twice, which is why Daryl Sutter repeated again Friday morning, “It’s not an easy thing to do.”

Nine players in the Calgary squad have yet to win a career playoff streak, which could change with a win in Game Six at the American Airlines Center on Friday.

said Johnny Godrow, who was only part of one streak he won with the 2014-15 Flames under Bob Hartley.

“It is difficult to finish the team’s season. They will fight hard.”

As it is, which is evidenced by the uncharacteristic number of hits he has taken so far in a series in which he also bounced from an illegal check to the head, as well as a flip-flop in Game 5.

“Totally in the jaw,” Goudreau said, shrugging it off.

“I play against these two great guys, (Gani) Hakanpa and (Eyas) Lendl, who are really great defensive players, so any chance they get to have a chance to put the body on us they do. It was tough at times, but I’m happy with the way he played. It has our team and our streak and we have a fantastic opportunity.”

Gaudreau’s line played without Matthew Tkachuk on him at times in Game 5, with Sutter changing his lines to land Tkachuk in Unit Three for an extended period of time.

After the match he said he didn’t like the pace of the top three on the team, so he made the change.

“These guys are still learning and he’s one of them,” said Sutter Friday when asked about 24-year-old Tkachuk.

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The Flames and Stars on Friday morning skated the same front lines as they started the last game, which doesn’t mean much because both coaches are quick to change lines mid-game.

The group of Mikael Backlund, Andrew Mangyapan and Blake Coleman responsible for the team’s third-half comeback in Game 5 is almost certain to be revived if the Flames need a goal or some sort of jolt.

Sutter’s management is as legendary as his ability to prepare players, but he admitted his preparation changes in the playoffs.

“First of all, you have to have a game plan for the series,” Sutter said.

“You have to be able to adapt during the series, which means you have to be able to adapt in terms of strategy and x and o’s, but you also have to adapt to the way the players play, and that’s probably the biggest.”

How long does it take to know when a player is ready for a game?

“Fifteen seconds…or less,” he said.

Sutter: Well-lubricated sound bite machine

Sutter certainly still plays his game in terms of delivering great soundtracks.

When asked how his team responded to the road runners, he quickly jumped.

“First of all, it’s exciting because there are fans out there,” he said.

“That’s the best part. I don’t care if they’re throwing beer at you or calling you whatever.”

“I still don’t get guys to pay $12 for beer and then throw it at you. Or pay $40 for a hat and throw it on ice. I don’t get it. Drink it for $12.”

I’d like to know how many American yards he can find a $12 beer.

Oettinger enjoys the challenge

Jake Oettinger has been the talk of the series with his ability to keep Flames at bay with a 0.956 save and 1.63 GAA, but Sutter insists the 23-year-old’s play shouldn’t surprise anyone.

“He was 30-15 years old in the regular season and nobody talked about him before the series started,” Sutter said.

“The MVP of the regular season. That’s a pretty impressive record. If I had 30 wins in the NHL, it would be in the top 10.”

However, Jacob Markstrom outperformed Oettinger, with a keeping ratio of 0.952 and 1.21 GAA to lead the series 3-2.

Given how much Flames netminder is taken for granted, Sutter was asked if Markstrom was the best player on his team in the series.

“When it’s over you’ll have one,” Sutter said.

“Maybe we’ll go to game seven and triple overtime, and then you’ll say (the match scorer) is the best player in the series.”

fair enough.

Asked about his announcement of his goal, star coach Rick Bowness laughed.

“I texted him last night and what I really love about Jake now, is that he loves this,” he said.

“He loves a challenge. He enjoys it and that’s what you want to see with the athletes. This is the playoffs, it’s exciting. We gave him the ball and he runs with it.”

Goals can help

When asked what he needs more than longtime flame-killers Tyler Seguin and Jimmy Bean, Bowness was candid.

“Goals would help,” he said.

“Really, they have to create more attacking. We need to score more goals. Markstrom was fantastic. You can see why he is Vezina’s candidate.”

“We have to put in more pucks next time and not miss our shooting options, which we did.”

Is Seguin sick?

“After 5 games of playing, if you’re not a little fussy, you’re not playing hard enough,” said Bowness.

“That’s the reality of a hockey game against a big team like them. If nothing hurts, you don’t stick your nose where it should be.”

2022-05-13 20:20:00

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