Regardless of the unauthorized target, the Flames couldn't keep up with meeting the Oilers' Path

Regardless of the unauthorized target, the Flames couldn’t keep up with meeting the Oilers’ Path

The Calgary Flames built their reputation on Daryl Sutter for hockey – This strict style of observation and quality defense that stifles opponents and earns pucks back, making the burden of creating attack a struggle for their opponent. Against the background of that plan, Flames allowed to take the fewest goals during the regular season. They were strength.

The Edmonton Oilers could not be given any greater compliment than the way the Flames were reduced to play in the Battle of Alberta, chasing more and more insults to try to keep up with the top six simply unstoppable Oilers. There was a desperation we didn’t see from the flames, and by game five I kept thinking, “Just pick up the pass and fire it” rather than trying to rush one timer into a hot pass or one that was in a bad spot. Their usual poise disappeared.

A look at a few of these one-time in-game 5 timers:

In the end, little was left of Flames’ identity, not physical play, not goalkeeper, or Gaudreau-Lindholm-Tkachuk’s streak, arguably the best in the league in 2021-22.

The Flames played with aggressive impatience, leaving room for the two mixes to go back in the other direction. Oftentimes it became a track encounter, and with that style imposed on the series, Flames cooked up, ironically. Chances of rushing were 11-3 for the oiler in game five.

Apparently, there was also a target not allowed, but the stuff below relates to how the Oilers got the flame in a situation where no one gets in their way, which could mean the end of the series and their season.

How did the oilers do that?


McDavid Drysittel

I was tempted to skip this obvious point because you, the reader, are well aware of what Conor McDavid and Leon Drysittle do. But I couldn’t. how I can? Everything about Oilers hinges on this, two players combine to **check stats** – no, that can’t be right – **checks again** 29 points in five matches. They put all kinds of records.

The Flames got a lot better at slowing McDavid down in games 4 and 5, but it took all of their focus and attention, opening them up everywhere else.

Depth contributions from Kane, Hyman, RNH

In Game 5, Zach Heyman scored one goal and two assists for three points, was a plus 4, had seven shots, played nearly 24 minutes, led the team in strikes, had a big shot, and just not there. I can say so much more about this guy.

In the summer, I use a plastic paddle to stir up my kids’ pool and get the water out in a “whirlpool,” which is what happens when Hyman is on the ice. He’s a paddle, and he makes the play go in the direction he’s skating whenever he’s there.

With McDavid and Draisaitl getting all the attention – as they have in years past – the question arose of the Oilers’ depth: When these guys see the best defense, can you take advantage of the extra space or a weaker opponent?

Heyman said yes. Evander Kane: Yes. He’s on his way to threatening with the 19th most playoff goal ever (he’s got 12, so if the Oilers played two more rounds…?). Ryan Nugent Hopkins scored six points in five games. Nuge said yes too.

McDavid and Draisaitl were such a collegiate boxer who did so much damage to the body in the first rounds that their opponent started dropping their hands, while these guys were suddenly free to take shots to the head.

good training

I thought Oilers coach Jay Woodcroft showed a willingness to be flexible and walk away from what works if he’s not working on a particular night. Case in point: Kane was in an incredible race alongside McDavid, as mentioned above. It was easy to leave him in that role, no matter what. This is speculation on my part, but I don’t think Oil liked how Kane defended the Flames group early in the game, followed by his positioning past Andrew Mangiapane. Whether it was that or something else, Woodcroft bumped Kane out of that streak in favor of Hyman, who did…all the things I mentioned in the section above. It was the perfect change to a game that McDavid didn’t have an inch of room and couldn’t create much or drive gameplay. Hyman did it for that streak on occasion.

She also gave Woodcroft credit for sticking with what gives the team the best chance in the big picture: Mike Smith over Mikko Koskinen. After the first game, Smith could have been saved and is justified. Then Game 2 starts with two light pieces where you think he’ll have a hair trigger, but he stuck to Smith again. The Mike Smith Experience roller coaster includes the kind of heights you need to get from great opponents, and Woodcroft gave their team the chance to see that through.

Exposed weakness, sudden landing in the direction of the goal

The Flames coach, Daryl Sutter, gave a solid answer in the post game when he talked about their “inexperienced defence”. They don’t have men who saw deep runs playing D for them, and in the end, small defensive mistakes left enough room for the two players (miscommunication with Noah Hanifin and game-winner Elias Lindholm cost them) to expose them. In Game 5, Oilers had 18 slots against nine Flames.

The Flames needed to take care of Target to save them, but Edmonton had Jacob Markstrom’s number all year. He ended up posting only 852 saves in the series, and the wrinkle was supposed to be where Flames had a clear advantage. I haven’t heard much of you lately, but McDavid is in an awkward position on an OT winner and doesn’t get much of it. They needed more rescue from Markstrom.


When all was said and done, the Alberta battle was over because the best of the Oilers had their A-games, and that enforced all the flames that came next. Calgary was converted to counter-batting, when it was used to exit swinging.

In the NHL, the sport’s greats always find their way to the championship, becoming at some level all the opponents they can think of and the team around them free to rise. That’s what was happening to the Oilers, and regardless of their next opponent, this game plan has every chance of being effective in another round.

2022-05-27 17:17:00

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