Following a big win against the New York Rangers on Sunday, all was not right with the Calgary Flames.
A 4-1 victory on the road is usually something to be thrilled about, but they were tempting fate.
Outshot 45-26, backup goalie David Rittich was spectacular in net. He stole the game.
Rittich was excellent again Tuesday in Montreal, facing 40 shots, but not good enough to steal a second straight game.
“He’s not god in there, he can’t stop everything,” said a frustrated Matthew Tkachuk following the game.
In just his third NHL season, the 20-year-old winger spoke like a 10-year veteran, blasting his team for their effort.
“At one point they’re just going to go in. Myself included, lazy plays in front of our net in our own zone, they get ahead of us. Taking long shifts, myself included. We’re getting out there, we’re tired, and they keep getting these chances.”
"If we want to be a playoff team … these are the games we have to win."
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) October 24, 2018
The Flames were outshot 40-23, and lost the game 3-2.
Calgary took the lead on a Michael Frolik goal late in the first period, but they sat back. They were outshot 22-8 in the second period, allowing the Canadiens to pump three goals past Rittich in the last five minutes.
Calgary got one goal back in the third, but the damage was already done.
Tkachuk, who had two assists, bringing his total up to 12 points in nine games this season, wasn’t shy about his feelings.
He said his team was outworked, and it’s hard to argue against that. Montreal is a team they should beat – especially when they get good goaltending.
Tkachuk said the Flames had a players-only meeting to talk about these issues, but “nothing changed” on Tuesday.
“If we want to be a playoff team… these are the games we’ve got to win. It was a bad effort after we got away with one in New York because of our goalie.”
“We’re going to be better though next game. That’s for sure.”
The Flames have two tough tests coming up at home, against Pittsburgh on Thursday and Washington on Saturday.