Flames earn well-deserved victory by bashing the Blues

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When Tyler Bozak put the St. Louis Blues on the board early in the first period of Monday’s game against the Calgary Flames, no one would have blamed you if you rolled your eyes, got up off the couch and continued to do the dishes for dinner.

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Because, after Calgary’s 5-3 loss to Edmonton on Saturday night, another disappointment could very well have been a logical result.

Even though Bozak beat Jacob Markstrom on the game’s first shot after a spectacular collapse in front of him by the hosts, it was the only chance the Flames keeper – and the rest of his group in front of him – would give the visiting Blues in a 7-1 loss at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

Victory was more than necessary.

Not only because the Flames had been sour after losing to the Oilers on Hockey Night in Canada late game, but because ‘W’s have been hard to come by lately.

This one came lopsided, beating a team clearly feeling the effects of altitude after their trip to the West Coast, which saw them snatch victories in Seattle on Friday and Vancouver on Sunday. For the Blues, Monday was the second half of a consecutive streak.

But to all credit, the Flames showed up and took care of their business.

Twelve different players in red silk found the scoresheet, including St. Louis native Matthew Tkachuk, who had five (!) assists and took his total stat line against his hometown team to four goals. , 13 assists in 12 games against the Blues. Johnny Gaudreau added a goal and three assists.

“We had a two-goal lead after the first period in Edmonton and we still had a two-goal lead tonight,” Tkachuk said. “We played better in the second half. I didn’t give them much and they didn’t get much after two periods. Then the third they got a little more time in our zone and shots and chances that we weren’t happy about.

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“But, in general, pretty happy with that one.”

Calgary Flames Christopher Tanev scores against St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Monday January 24, 2022.
Calgary Flames Christopher Tanev scores against St. Louis Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Monday January 24, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

Truth be told, the entire visiting bench should have been full after the second period, as the Flames had climbed the scoreboard by then, scoring four goals and trailing St. Louis 18-2 down the middle alone.

They chased Stanley Cup-winning starter and goaltender Jordan Binnington with Sean Monahan scoring on the power play and Blake Coleman rookie Adam Ruzicka – activated out of the taxi squad earlier in the day and making his sixth appearance in the NHL this season – and Gaudreau have all added goals.

Binnington ended his night after 40 minutes, allowing seven goals from 35 Flames attempts, leaving Ville Husso to mop up.

The team in front of him numbered nine. Yeah.

“I think our second period was really solid,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said. “We didn’t give them much. It’s a bit of an improvement from our last game. The bottom line is that we have to check to win. So two goals were enough to win and that’s why we have to play.

DEFENSE OFFENSE

Here’s how you know the night is going well and the Flames are feeling it.

Nikita Zadorov and Chris Tanev led the scoring brigade, with Zadorov coming from the blue line to pass Binnington just under a minute after Bozak put the Blues on the board. Tanev, meanwhile, joined the race with Gaudreau after picking up the puck for the Blues while trying to get out of the neutral zone.

The only thing that would have added to the evening was if Erik Gudbranson, playing his 600th NHL game, had also lit the lamp.

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Also score in the first half? Elias Lindholm.

The Flames outshot the Blues 48-21, improving to 20-12-6 overall.

“They’re tough to play in this league…but we just suffered a loss and they just got a win, we wanted a little more tonight,” Gaudreau said. “But it’s a good team. Maybe back to back has them a little, a little, but I’m sure we’ll see a different team in a few nights when we go (to St. Louis for Thursday’s game).

Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom stops Pavel Buchnevich of the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Monday January 24, 2022.
Calgary Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom stops Pavel Buchnevich of the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on Monday January 24, 2022. Photo by Darren Makowichuk /Postmedia

CONGRATULATIONS TO CASTONGUAY

Emilie Castonguay made history on Monday, hired as the first female assistant general manager of the Vancouver Canucks and second female assistant general manager in NHL history.

But what the Canucks win is the loss of Jakob Pelletier.

The Flames prospect was represented by Castonguay, who previously made headlines by becoming the first NHL Players’ Association-certified agent in Canada in 2016. He was represented by his agency, Momentum Hockey, since he was in midget hockey, but began working closely with her as the 2019 NHL Draft approached and he was selected by the Flames.

“For me, it’s a huge loss, but I’m so proud of her,” Pelletier said Monday. “That she’s breaking down some barriers for women, I think that’s great.”

After playing four years of NCAA Division I hockey at Niagara University and earning a bachelor’s degree in finance, Castonguay interned with the Montreal Canadiens. Following this experience, she obtained a law degree from the University of Montreal in 2012 and passed the Quebec Bar exam.

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According to Canucks interim general manager Jim Rutherford, Castonguay will lead player contracts and negotiations, handle the collective bargaining agreement and give a new voice to hockey operations.

Obviously, as far as Pelletier is concerned.

“Just the character and the drive that she has, I think those are two of her big strengths,” said the Flames prospect, who was selected 26th overall in 2019 and skates for the Flames branch in the American Hockey League. “For her, her drive to succeed and always wanting to reach the next level, I think is what makes her special. Again, I’m so proud of her for doing this.

So in many ways Monday’s news didn’t shock someone like Pelletier.

“When I look at the bigger picture, I’m not surprised at all that she’s the first to do it and teams are interested in her,” he said.

ICE FRIES

Flames RW Brad Richardson was scratched along with C Tyler Pitlick and D Michael Stone… D Connor Mackey and Byron Froese were added to the taxi squad… Flames hit the road for a two-game road trip Wednesday and Thursday in Columbus (5 p.m. MT, Sportsnet West, Sportsnet 960 The Fan) and St. Louis (6 p.m. MT, Sportsnet One, Sportsnet 960 The Fan). Then they host the Canucks on Saturday (8 p.m., MT, CBC, Sportsnet, City, Sportsnet 960 The Fan)… Tkachuk became one of three wingers in Flames franchise history to get more than five assists . Others to achieve the feat? Sergei Makarov (February 25, 1990, against Edmonton) and Theoren Fleury (February 10, 1993, against San Jose).

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