Derek Wills is the Calgary Flames radio play-by-play announcer on Sportsnet 960 The FAN. He shares his views about the Flames’ latest game.
After surrendering a goal 62 seconds into the game against the Washington Capitals, Mike Smith stopped the next 29 shots and the Flames scored four unanswered goals in 4-1 win.
1. CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
The two-time defending Presidents’ Trophy-champion Capitals seem to bring out the best in the Flames.
After playing what I believe was their best game this season in a 2-1 victory over the Capitals at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Oct. 29, the Flames weren’t quite as good at Capital One Arena in Washington on Monday, but they were certainly the better of the two teams.
After a sluggish start allowed the Capitals to take a 1-0 lead on a Lars Eller goal 1:02 into the game, Johnny Gaudreau’s game-tying goal at 4:49 of the first seemed to get the Flames going. With the exception of a five-minute stretch late in the second period when the Capitals were buzzing and came close to squaring the score, the Flames pretty much dominated the final 50 minutes to complete a sweep of the two-game season series between the two teams.
2. MAGNIFICENT MIKE
If there was any doubt how important Smith was to the Flames before he suffered an upper-body injury in last Monday’s 7-4 victory over the Blues, there isn’t now.
Eddie Lack replaced Smith following the first period of that game and played well enough to get his first win as a Flame. Last Wednesday, in his second start of the season, Lack was pulled after allowing five goals on 15 shots. His replacement, Jon Gillies, wasn’t much better, surrendering three goals on 12 shots in an 8-2 loss …read more