Two games into the best-of-48 to get a playoff spot, first-year Calgary Flames coach Bob Hartley isn’t displaying any panic or frustration despite a pair of losses at home.
It was a 5-4 setback to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday after a 4-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Sunday.
On Monday, before his team prepared to depart for Vancouver and Wednesday’s next assignment, Hartley calmly commented, “we played hard enough to win both games, we didn’t play well enough to win them.”
Against the Ducks, the coach wasn’t pleased that the team fell behind 3-0 just beyond the half-way point of the first period. He was happy the deficit was erased with two quick late first period tallies and another early in the 2nd. He liked how the Flames out-shot the Ducks 14-3 in that middle session but not with the lack of finish considering only one goal was scored while owning the 20 minutes.
With the game tied 3-3 into the third period, Hartley wasn’t amused as his club again got behind giving up two goals falling back 5-3 just beyond the halfway mark. The coach liked how his skaters embarked on another comeback when Len Stempniak scored with 5:56 remaining. The try and chances were prevalent, however, a tying tally couldn’t be produced.
Hartley liked his PP which got two goals, both by Curtis Glencross, in three attempts and the PK, which killed off two Ducks man advantages.
Hartley assessed prior to the start of the shortened season that his goalie Miikka Kiprusoff was among the top three in the NHL. It’s an accurate assessment based on Kiprusoff’s work since he came to Calgary in 2003. Hartley just hasn’t seen it yet from behind the Flame bench. The Ducks blitzed Kiprusoff for five goals on 24 shots with Daniel Winnik and Ryan Getzlaf scoring twice each while Saku Koivu had a goal and two helpers.
With the Flames starting schedule having five of the first six matches at home, Hartley knows the importance of the one road game in that stretch. That’s in Vancouver where the Canucks are hungry for a victory as well after losing their first two home games, too.