Connect with us

Calgary Flames

Flames Player Grades: Lots to Like in Loss to Lucky St. Louis



Calgary Flames Daily

The Blues prevailed 5-3 over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night. While the result may not be ideal for Flames fans, there are certainly a few things to be grateful about.

A few depth players took on larger roles and played well, there was a fight to watch, and most importantly, the game was exciting to take in. Not bad for a fanbase starting to budge towards embracing a lower finish in the standings.

Team: B+

The night had pivotal moments, silky offensive plays, and a bit of divine intervention from the Hockey Gods in the form of called-off goals. Hard to complain too much. The roster put in the legwork and kept the pace high, players stood up for each other, and we saw some growth in a few Flames player’s games. The group gets well above a passing grade for bringing all of that.


Performances to Like


Andrei Kuzmenko: The 28-year-old Russian was a force on the ice on Thursday night. Two goals; almost three goals (more on that below); the NHL player return in the Elias Lindholm trade had Blues defenders scrambling through 60 minutes of play.

Grade: A+


Joel Hanley: With defenceman Oliver Kylington a game time decision for most of Thursday afternoon,  Hanley found himself receiving a last-minute promotion to the first pairing alongside Rasmus Andersson. It was fair for Flames fans to be a bit skeptical. The 32-year-old veteran has been deployed in a depth role for the majority of his 9 year NHL career.

The result? Very surprising. Hanley looked calm and composed with his new defence partner. He kept his head above water at even strength for an even goal differential and dropped the gloves with Blues forward Nathan Walker.

Grade: A+


Nikita Ohotiuk: At just 23 and coming off a turbulent experience on the last-place San Jose Sharks this season, Ohotiuk looked rough around the edges when picking up the puck through his first four games with the Calgary Flames.

He had lapses tonight. He and Brayden Pachal were on the ice for two goals against and zero for, but his puck work looked much more polished. There is a way to go still with the Chelyabinsk, Russia product, but tonight was a step in the right direction.

Grade: B+


Dustin Wolf: It’s difficult to make a .778 save percentage look good, but Dustin Wolf pulled it off on Thursday night. The Blues found ways to get an onslaught of crafty plays off, only to be stifled by Wolf’s quick lateral movement. The numbers look bad, but the game could have easily been a blowout without a few key saves from the 22-year-old Californian.

Grade: C+


Reasons to Pound the Table

It would be negligent to omit two Flames goals called off in the third period.

Goal number one appeared to be Andrei Kuzmenko capping off a hat trick after eight goalless outings. The play was deemed a high stick, and Kuzmenko was back at two goals on the night. The high stick in question appeared to be off the stick of Blues defenceman Matt Kessel.

Interestingly enough, the last time Kuzmenko scored was another two-goal night on March 4 against the Seattle Kraken.

Called off goal number two was a goal line push that would have been accredited to Yegor Sharangovich, who hasn’t scored in five games. The Blues successfully challenged the play for offside.


Jonathan Huberdeau: Also of note was the play of Jonathan Huberdeau, who simply seemed distanced from his smooth passing ways. While the star winger recorded a power play goal in the late first period, but another poor performance at even strength brings Huberdeau to a -8 goal differential in his last five games.

Grade: C-

The goal keeps him out of re-doing the course, but the St. Jerome, Quebec product has work to do to get back into form. Luckily, the fans are no longer rabid about winning, and the pressure is light while he works it out.


Yegor Sharangovich: The fan favorite finds himself floundering in a bit of a funk of late. The called off third period goal keeps the Belarusian to one assist in his last five games – to go with a -7 even strength goal differential.

Grade: C

Succeeding on the goal line push would have made his night look better, but it’s undeniable that Yegor’s elite wrist shot has gone on a sabbatical. He also found himself on the ice for two even strength goals against.

When Sharangovich finds the touch, he really finds it. His last goal on March 14 marked the end of an eight game streak where he scored eight goals. He had another streak of eight goals in seven games in January. He’ll be back at filling the net soon enough.


More from CHN: 

[Huska’s Calgary Flames Have an Always Darkest Before the Dawn Complex]

Calgary Flames Daily

(AP Photo/Paul Beaty)


For more Flames news, visit Calgary Hockey Now and like our Facebook page. 

Follow us on 𝕏: 

@CgyHockeyNow and @Trevor_Neufeld

Click to comment
Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments