The Calgary Flames didn't have the start they were hoping for on this extended road swing. Losing 4-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday night was rough.
It's the same old story with this team so far this year. Lots of shots but not necessarily of the high-danger variety. Not enough finish. And definitely not enough saves from the goaltender as they want to see.
The Flames have played a lot of tough teams and have the toughest first quarter schedule in the NHL this year, so as long as they're hanging near a playoff spot and are able to string some wins together in the less challenging windows, they should be fine.
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About that third goal. Jacob Markstrom made no excuses after a floater got past him unseen at a critical part of third period in Tampa. With a save percentage under .900 and a goals-against average over 3.00, he says he needs to be better.
The 4-1 loss to the Bolts was brutal. Despite outshooting the hosts by nearly double, the Flames forwards continue to lack finish. They made one of the best goalies in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy look even better.
NHL Trade Talk, News & National Hockey Now:
Montreal Hockey Now: The guys in Montreal were going nuts. The goals didn’t stop. Just as wild, if not more, than the San Jose-Detroit game was the Montreal Canadiens game. The Canadiens eventually fell short, 6-4.
Speaking of the Habs and their potential trade bait, Josh Anderson is suddenly an analytics darling beside former Calgary Flames centre Sean Monahan and Evgenii Dadanov.
Vegas Hockey Now: Still can't help but wonder what he'd have looked like in the Flaming C. For his 1,000th straight game, watch the Vegas Golden Knights honour Phil Kessel.
San Jose Hockey Now: No, Sharks GM Mike Grier has not yet asked Erik Karlsson to waive his no-trade clause.
Karlsson was on the ice for nine goals on Thursday. On five straight Karlsson shifts, there was a goal scored. It was a wild one at the SAP Center, as the San Jose Sharks lost to Detroit, 7-4.
Speaking of those Detroit Red Wings, Nicklas Lidstrom was named the best Swedish player ever.
Dallas Hockey Now: Scott Wedgewood had to be taken off the ice on a stretcher (Update: he’s OK), and the Dallas Stars beat Florida, 6-4.
Sportsnet Video: More NHL trade talk. Jim Rutherford is not a happy camper as Canucks losses pile up. Feels like an if not when situation for a big deal. Analyzing the Vancouver Canucks’ trade chips.
NYI Hockey Now: Scratched for two straight games, it seems 33-year-old lightning rod Josh Bailey has lost his spot in the New York Islanders lineup.