Lack Of Discipline Proving Costly For Flames
Andrew Mangiapane took two penalties and watched from the box as Connor McDavid scored the game-winner for the Oilers over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
A lack of discipline has been one of the Calgary Flames’ biggest weaknesses this year.
On Tuesday night in a tightly contested 2-1 loss to their provincial rival Edmonton Oilers, a third-period penalty proved to be a turning point.
The Flames were dominating five-on-five possession play in a tie game with a little more than a dozen minutes left when Andrew Mangiapane took his second infraction of the contest.
This one was a reach-around holding call as he went into the boards behind Oilers defenceman Darnell Nurse.
An unnecessary offence. One that Calgary Flames head coach noted in his post-game press conference.
“You look up holding in the dictionary? That’s holding. So then you put it in whose hands?” Sutter said of the penalty that gave Connor McDavid extra space to score the ultimate winner.
“Mang (Mangiapane) takes two penalties — one’s a slash, one’s a hold.”
Sutter emphasized the finality of the two-man penalty show with a clicking noise.
The third Oilers powerplay was due to a too-many-men call that Sutter said was unlucky after they passed the puck to their bench.
Mangiapane admitted afterward it was tough coming onto the ice out of the box after the Oilers took their first lead of the game — the only lead they’d need.
“Yeah it sucks. You don’t want to put your team down a man. It’s tough,” Mangiapane said, adding he wasn’t sure what happened on the play or why he clung to Nurse.
“I’ll have to watch it again and figure it out.”
As a group, the Flames must figure out how to avoid taking so many penalties. The fact they rank fifth in penalties taken is somewhat mitigated by the 10th best penalty killing percentage. But it only takes one to lose a game, as McDavid’s powerplay winner showed on Tuesday in what was sadly the final Battle of Alberta of the season.
Unless the two meet in the playoffs again.
For that to happen, one or both will have to separate themselves in the wildcard race with no more head-to-head battles.
The Oilers got the edge, jumping a point ahead of the Flames with Tuesday’s win.