Photo credit:Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports
‘Every game was a s–t show:’ Milan Lucic says the Calgary Flames played into the Edmonton Oilers’ hand in 2022 playoffs defeat
By Woz7 months ago
The 2022 second-round playoff series between the Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers is one that will be looked back upon for years to come.
For the Flames, it quickly sparked a massive downfall that offseason with star forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk both leaving for greener pastures. Gaudreau would sign with the Columbus Blue Jackets in free agency, while Tkachuk would soon after force his way out of town resulting in a blockbuster deal with the Florida Panthers.
Calgary hoped it would work out, but they faltered last year with newcomers Jonathan Huberdeau, MacKenzie Weegar and Nazem Kadri unable to pick up the slack.
And on a recent episode of the Spittin’ Chiclets Podcast, former Flames forward Milan Lucic was asked what happened to the Flames in that fateful series. In his eyes, the Flames played right into the Oilers’ hand and their mindset shifted quickly in game one.
“I think we opened it up way too much against them. You can’t open it up at all against those guys and then, honestly, the worst thing that could’ve happened is we won game one, what was it, 9-5 or 9-6. So then you know game one is opened up, so then what do we think right away, ‘we think we can score with these guys because we put up 9 in game one’ and thought that was the worst thing that could happen.”
Lucic’s memory served him well reflecting on the series as he was able to explain certain moments that caused the Flames to spiral the way they did in 2022.
“Then it seemed like when Hyman scored that PK goal in game two, I don’t remember if it was to make it 4-3. Every game was a shit show and then I think we lost our heads and lost our cool and the way we needed to be, how we needed to be, and needed to play. And then you know every time we took a penalty they would score. Every time we got a lead they would score right away back you know after that.”
He was brutally honest on why things ended the way they did in that post-season for Calgary, referring to how they weren’t the same team that they were in the regular season.
“And then like you said everytime we turned the puck over it ended up in our net, it was like everything that, it was just uncharacteristic you know of how we played that whole season and how did our thing and I think you’re right Biz, it was a lack of adjustments because we didn’t tighten up it after that. We didn’t tighten up the neutral zone, we didn’t tighten up the d-zone. We didn’t just you know do all that type of stuff like we did in the regular season”
As much as I loved watching the Oilers dismantle the Flames in that playoff run I have to agree with Lucic here. I remember thinking to myself in March 0f 2022 how much of a wagon the Calgary Flames were, firing on all cylinders and for a moment I viewed them as a Cup favourite. Flames fans would beak Oilers fans constantly by reminding them of the 9-5 loss in Calgary just before the end of the regular season.
Oh, how the tables turned quickly.
You can listen to the full episode below:
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