The Calgary Flames’ bubble has been popped. 

After getting by the Winnipeg Jets within the NHL’s qualifying stage, the Flames have been hoping to go on a postseason run that will successfully wash out the frustration of final 12 months’s early exit. However for the second straight 12 months, Calgary has been bounced within the Spherical of 16, with this 12 months’s exit coming by the hands of the Dallas Stars.

The Stars wanted six wild, eventful video games to pressure the Flames out of the playoff bubble in Edmonton, so the place did issues go fallacious for Calgary? Let’s study a few of the the reason why they’re heading house early.

Lack of Matthew Tkachuk

Tkachuk has been one of the vital essential, if not the most essential, skaters for the Flames this season. Not solely is he a gifted playmaker and dynamic offensive piece who led the Flames in factors (61) this 12 months, he additionally brings the form of nasty that may give a group an edge over the course of a seven-game sequence. Love him or hate him, he is change into a coronary heart & soul man for the Flames.

That is why his departure from the sequence in Sport 2 was a tricky one to swallow for the Flames. He suffered an harm after being awkwardly sandwiched between Jamie Benn and Jamie Oleksiak and was missed the rest of the way in which. The Stars’ calling card is their huge, bodily group protection and the Flames not having Tkachuk to combine it up down low and alongside the wall damage their means to ascertain sustained offensive strain and generate high-danger alternatives.

Which brings us to… 

Lack of ability to penetrate Dallas’ stingy D

Over the ultimate few months of the common season, the Flames have been probably the greatest offensive groups within the league. After the restart, they have been capable of finding success going up towards a weak Winnipeg Jets protection. However you would be hard-pressed to discover a extra drastic pivot than going from the Jets’ protection to the Stars’ D. 

As beforehand talked about, Dallas prides itself on limiting alternatives in their very own finish. They have been in a position to do this successfully for a majority of this sequence, particularly within the high-danger areas down low and within the slot. The Flames have been pushed to the perimeter and had a whole lot of bother profitable battles and penetrating the Stars’ construction. That restricted the quantity of strain placed on Anton Khudobin and, finally, the manufacturing of the offense they depend on. 

On the finish of the day, Calgary’s top-six simply wanted to be an entire lot higher on this sequence. They solely received two whole targets from top-six forwards at 5v5.

Goaltending

Cam Talbot was fairly strong between the pipes and this wasn’t actually his fault. But it surely’s laborious not to have a look at goaltending as an space of want for the Flames transferring ahead, particularly with how this sequence ended. 

When the Flames wanted a giant save from Talbot in an elimination Sport 6, they could not get one. Then, after they tried to cease the bleeding and put in David Rittich, they could not get a giant save from him both. (To be honest, Rittich hadn’t performed since Calgary’s lone exhibition contest forward of the play-in spherical.) Then they turned again to Talbot however, by then, it was too late. 

Calgary’s goaltending was proper round league common this 12 months and, once more, it wasn’t essentially what killed them within the postseason. However an absence of trusted stability on the again finish has plagued Calgary and those that have adopted this group for some time now have been probably ready for play between the pipes to disintegrate, and it simply so occurred to take action on the absolute worst time. 

So, that brings us to…

Sport 6 collapse

I imply, simply not the way you wish to finish your season, huh? 

With their backs up towards the wall in an elimination Sport 6, the Flames received a perfect begin. They jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and it appeared like they could cruise to a do-or-die Sport 7. Then, this occurred…

Say what you need about that penalty name but it surely gave the Stars a gap. They scored on the following energy play and located some life. Then they proceeded to attain six extra occasions unanswered (together with on one other energy play gifted by Lucic) in what can solely be described as a monumental implosion over the ultimate 50 minutes of an elimination recreation. 

The ultimate report for Sport 6 reads fairly hilarious. The Flames managed 66 p.c of makes an attempt and out-shot the Stars 31-17 at 5v5 however the ultimate scoreline learn 7-3 with seven unanswered targets by Dallas. Simply an unimaginable method to say goodbye.

The jerseys

Perhaps you will not contemplate this to be essential, however I do. I personally consider the Flames doomed themselves on the outset of those playoffs after they selected to put on these uniforms…

… as a substitute of those uniforms:

You understand what they are saying… look good, play good. Look unhealthy, poop your pants and quit seven straight targets to finish your season in demoralizing trend. 

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