The Flames are having a WEEK. After taking on the Blues on home ice and coming away with a 7-1 victory, Calgary headed East to Columbus to take their shot at the Jackets, looking to ride the momentum of Monday’s win.
The Flames kicked off the scoring with Mikael Backlund snapping a goalless drought that he’s been working on since November 21st with a cheeky little half-clapper on the zone entry after collecting a careless Laine turnover. The Flames would keep the doors closed and carry a 1-0 lead into the intermission with Markstrom continuing to look sharp, alongside another strong defensive showing, holding the Blue Jackets to only a handful of shots.
Coming out for the 2nd frame, the action stayed largely defensive, with Markstrom making some absurd saves on the Calgary end of the ice, and Merzlikins getting absolutely peppered and holding down the fort for the Jackets. However, much like Monday, the Flames approached the end of the 2nd period with well over 30 shots on net, while holding their opponents to under twenty and Mangiapane (who the Flames refer to as Bread Man and I assume it makes Rangers fans SUPER mad) buried his 18th road goal of the season, and his 100th career point, to give the Flames a two-goal lead into the final minutes of the period. As well, the Flames top line of Gaudreau-Tkachuk-Lindholm, coming off a 10-point performance Monday night, were once again not to be toyed with, with Tkachuk burying a third Flames goal in the waining moments of the period to take a three-goal lead into the break.
Before moving on to the third period I want to point something out. Andrew Mangiapane has 18 goals on the road this season. When he scored his 18th road goal, the NHL Twitter page congratulated Breadman (suck it, Rangers fans) on his new career-best 19th goal of the year. He has scored ONE time in Calgary and is one tuck away from a 20-goal season. This kid is LETHAL on roadies. What a guy.
The third started much the same as the second ended, with the Flames finding the back of the net in the first 30 seconds with Johnny Gaudreau bring us the joy we deserve with a sikly toe-drag before sliding the puck back into the slot for Lindholm to put away for the Flames 4th tuck of the evening. Gudbransson would add another right off a faceoff win before Tkachuk would put away his second to put the Flames up 6-0 before the midway mark of the 3rd period, where the boys could reasonably just hem it in on the back end and cruise to a relaxing W… or not. The Flames would continue to force Merzlikins to make stops (which he was able to do) en route to putting up a franchise record 62 shots, 4th most by any team in regular season history.
The Flames are as hot as they can be without making some awful pun about the name Flames and the concept of heat. I won’t do it, cause they’re above it and the Flames Twitter admin has the bad jokes covered.
The Flames are an absolute wagon. I refuse to accept any argument to the contrary. Between Johnny Hockey (shoutout to Johnny Football getting on board and trying to snipe this nickname for himself), Tkachuky Cheese, and Markstrom (who leads the league in shutouts and deserves more Vezina votes), this team is primed to make a run, and I hope they do, because this core is going to be EXPENSIVE to try to keep locked in together going forward. Until that time comes, I’m gonna keep a close watch on these two little anklebiters pictured below and watch them absolutely torch any goalie they see for the foreseeable future.
The Flames are back in action in St. Louis tonight, hoping to carry on the thrashing they laid on the Blues a few days ago, and look for some fireworks because if I was on the St. Louis roster, I’d be pretty cheesed about what these dudes (again, pictured above) did to me on national television the other night. Cue up Lucic’s WWE walk-out theme music early.