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Calgary Flames

“Lack Of Preparation” Leads To Flames OT Loss To Lowly Blackhawks

Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said young players weren’t prepared to play the Chicago Blackhawks. They lost 4-3 in overtime and new blood could draw in next game.



Nazem Kadri swears the Calgary Flames didn’t take their opponent lightly. 

His head coach says they’ll be happy to take the single point and move on. 

But something about an overtime loss to a team that’s one of the frontrunners in the Connor Bedard sweepstakes just doesn’t seem right. 

Maybe the message was different on the plane to St. Louis after a missed opportunity in the 4-3 overtime loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago on Sunday. Publicly, they protested the theory. 

"Hey, there's no easy games in this league. I think the NHL is one of the best leagues in terms of everyone having quality,” Kadri told Flames TV post-game when asked about taking the Blackhawks lightly. “The best and the worst, that gap isn't as large as some of the other professional sports. No game's easy. 

“They played well tonight. We've got to bounce back next game."

Kadri is right about anyone in the league being able to beat another team on any given night in the NHL. But if there was disappointment over leaving a point on the table, it wasn’t being shared. 

You can say they got ‘goalied’ after piling up nearly 50 shots on Hawks backstop Alex Stalock

Or that they got burned by the travel schedule and the Harlem Globetrotters, who apparently kept them from practicing in Calgary before flying out. 

But the bottom line is that’s the kind of opponent good teams have to beat. 

“Should win,” Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said afterward. “Take one penalty, score two powerplay goals and only give up a handful of shots. Should win the game.”

Instead, they played catch-up most of the night. Lukas Reichel scored his first NHL goal in the opening period and added a pair of assists on goals from Philipp Kurashev in the second period and Max Domi’s OT winner. A memorable night for Reichel. Forgettable for the Flames. 

Sutter was particularly hard on his young players. But that could mean anyone not in their 30s on the night. 

"You know what, we've got to take a point. We didn't skate (Saturday) because the Harlem Globetrotters were playing in our building and we had to travel and then we couldn't skate this morning because of a 6 o'clock game,” Sutter said. “We better be thankful that we got a point considering that a lot of our young players didn't show up. Lack of preparation, right? Got to take them by the hand, some of these guys.”

They got a point thanks to powerplay goals from Elias Lindholm in the first, and Nazem Kadri in the second to tied it at three apiece. Jonathan Huberdeau also scored a minute into the second frame. 

With a full 20 minutes to attack, the Flames fell short. 

“I think we came out flat. Even though we had 18 shots, the majority of the first period, we were not very good,” Lindholm said. “That's something we've got to take care of and be better for next game.”

The Flames head to St. Louis for two games on Tuesday and Thursday night. 

It may be an opportunity for another young player — maybe Jakob Pelletier — to jump in. 

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