Nearing the end of a six-game road trip, this had been shaping up as a decent stretch for the Calgary Flames. And then they went into Philadelphia and suffered quite a setback to the Flyers on Sunday.
The Flames had won in Detroit. They won in Columbus. They won in Boston. They had taken six of a possible eight points prior to Sunday, even if it wasn’t at all pretty. They grabbed an early lead against the Flyers, but Philly took over in the second period and peppered Chad Johnson with 43 shots throughout the game.
The end result was a 5-3 loss for Calgary.
The Flames end this road trip Monday in Brooklyn.
Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan had some stern words for his team following its loss in Philly.
“It’s the worst we’ve played from the start all season. I give (the Flyers) credit, too. They did outwork us,” he told reporters.
“It’s everything. It’s execution. It’s battles. I was very disappointed with our guys after the first. I let them know that but it didn’t get any better in the second.”
The Flames are 24 games into their season and the Gulutzan tenure.
They are two points out of a Wild Card spot with a 10-13-1 record. They’ve struggled to score goals. They’ve struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. And their struggles quickly resulted in calls for Gulutzan’s job — a “pretty ridiculous” notion, according to Sean Monahan earlier this month.
The only positive from Sunday’s game for the Flames, according to Gulutzan? He praised rookie Matthew Tkachuk for his role in a scuffle in front of the Flyers net in the third period.
“We got a young guy there who doesn’t like to lose, and there’s nothing wrong with that,” said Gulutzan. “We need more of that, to be honest with you. You gotta hate to lose.”