Hockey games in Canada have once again become a weird novelty, as they’re not always guaranteed. But every once in awhile we get lucky and two Canadian teams get lined up and we can finally get the action we all crave.
The Flames and Senators faced off at the Saddledome on Thursday night after over a month away from home, while capacity was limited and concessions were not available. So needless to say, the Flames would have served the fans well by picking up a W since we couldn’t drink a smooth $5 pint.
Thursday’s game was the 15th career matchup between Matthew and Brady Tkachuk, each collecting 7 wins in the previous 14. The Thanksgiving Dinner conversation stakes were at an all-time high before the boys ever even hit the ice.
The way this game started served as a really good indication of how the rest would go, as the Sens were able to sneak their first shot of the night past Markstrom, no doubt cooling off from his hot start being kept on the shelf with all these postponements keeping him off the ice. Conversely, at the other end of the ice, Murray looked sharper than a tack, turning away a number of well-manufactured scoring chances by the Flames, including absolutely DENYING Ritchie on a 2-on-1 with Dube. The Flames controlled the puck well, created chances and got some good-looking shots and just could not find twine behind Murray.
Despite the loss, there’s some decent takeaways for the Flames, as freshly-minted All-Star Johnny Gaudreau continued to stay hot, assisting on the Flames lone goal and showing that he and Tkachuk being on the ice at the same time is always dangerous. Sometimes you don’t get the bounces, but the tandem of Johnny Hockey and Tkachuky Cheese (it’s his Twitter handle, seriously) are never not a threat. A huge question mark for the Flames right now is an ostensible lack of secondary scoring, and it’s shown in recent games that Gaudreau and Tkachuk, while pretty friggin’ good at hockey, can’t be relied on as the only sources of offensive spark for Calgary.
The Flames look to bounce back Tuesday at home, following another postponed game originally scheduled for this Saturday against Vegas.