The dissatisfaction wasn't necessarily with what happened - Calgary entered its first round series a decided underdog against the Pacific Division champion Anaheim Ducks - but more so with how it happened.
Consider Game 3 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday when the Flames ended the second period with a 4-2 lead.
After the sweep, Anaheim and Calgary players met at center ice in the time honored tradition of playoff hockey. "Penalties, mistakes, all the little details".
"In playoffs, we obviously wanted to go deeper and win some games". Corey Perry's overtime victor deflected off his pad and off the back of a skate.
But that second-half formula for success did not continue in the opening round of the playoffs as the Anaheim Ducks swept Calgary in four games to make the Flames the first playoff team pushed to the sidelines.
"We didn't play anywhere close to what we're capable of", goaltender Frederik Andersen said.More news: Macquarie Reiterates "Outperform" Rating for Wpp Plc (WPP)
With veteran backup Chad Johnson the other option, Gulutzan didn't name his Game 4 starter until Wednesday morning. John Gibson stopped nearly everything that came his way and looked pretty near unbeatable while the Flames allowed some weak/fluky goals that ended up being the difference.
He wasn't as sharp on Anaheim's third shot as Eaves turned and fired a shot from a bad angle that somehow snuck through his pads.
That's all you can really do.
Elliott, who will be a unrestricted free agent on July 1, was desolate post-game. "But this is sports and when you're on the winning side, hopefully you've taken advantage of some of the things you were presented with and I think that's the way it worked out for us". "I'm trying to play my game, get more comfortable as it goes".
Johnson allowed a goal on the second shot he faced, but stopped the remaining 20. Morgan Rielly said the Maple Leafs have earned the right to feel confident, and players don't believe they're all even in this series because of luck.
In Boston, Bobby Ryan scored in the third period, Craig Anderson stopped 22 shots and Ottawa grabbed a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoffs. A power-play goal by Mark Letestu with 1:27 left in the second and a bomb by Oscar Klefbom with 2:46 to play in regulation tied the game, forcing overtime.More news: Marching for science and planet's future
Yet the disappointment of a four-game exit from the post-season stings and has brought the Flames back to the drawing board with the same goal as the off-season prior: find someone, anyone, who can make a difference in goal. That's what you want as soon as you come into the season. "It's not a good feeling". Trailing 4-1 late in the second period in Game 3, the Ducks score four unanswered goals en route to their biggest comeback in franchise history. This series, they kept finding a way to lose.
The Ducks and head coach Randy Carlyle are a hungry outfit. Elliott finished the night with two saves on three shots.
"They got the goals when they needed them. We tried to simplify our game and get pucks toward the net and drive the net", he said. "If you rewind the series you can see some tipping points where we made some mistakes".
Anaheim's two quick goals Wednesday drained the Flames of confidence that was already dented from their Game 3 collapse.
"You know, I don't understand the way they're doing this", said NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman when asked about the Treliving situation specifically during a radio segment on Edmonton's 630 CHED on Thursday afternoon.More news: No wildcard for Sharapova: Radwanska
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