Postgame: Zzzzzzzzz

Pat Steinberg
November 24 2010 08:55PM

That was as uneventful a hockey game as we've seen involving the Flames this season, and that includes a 3-0 loss to Florida early on in the season.  Calgary's 2-1 shootout loss to the Devils on Wednesday night was difficult to watch, and the end result was either positive or negative...the negative, a third straight loss for the Flames.  The positive...they earned a point.

What Happened

Not much.  Seriously.  New Jersey had the only goal in the first period thanks to David Clarkson, who had his ankle his in the right spot on Mattias Tedenby's shot; it came on the tail end of a New Jersey powerplay at 13:06.  Shots finished 7-6 in the first period in favor of Calgary.

The second period was probably Calgary's best, as they managed to fire 11 shots on Johan Hedberg in the Devils net, but were unable to come away with anything, still trailing by a goal heading into the final frame.  Kent had scoring chances 7-3 in favor of the Flames in the middle frame, but for the most part it was another lackluster twenty minutes for both sides.

The Flames managed to even the score 78 seconds into the third period, as Rene Bourque did a nice job to tip Mark Giordano's point shot, again on the tail end of the powerplay.  Shots would finish 5-3 in the final frame with chances counting 6-0 in Calgary's favor, but it was mostly two teams playing not to lose.  Most everything was focused on protecting the tie and taking things to extra time, which is exactly where this thing went.

Overtime was controlled by New Jersey, generating a few chances, and Flames backup goalie Henrik Karlsson made a few big saves, one in particular on Patrik Elias.  So, on to a shootout we went, as Calgary was unable to score on their three shots...Niklas Hagman, Alex Tanguay and Brendan Morrison were all foiled.  Ilya Kovalchuk scored the only Devils shootout goal, and that got us to the final score...New Jersey wins 2-1.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  Um...because they didn't win the shootout.  Honestly, this game wasn't really controlled by either team, and it's not like any one factor played into a win or loss.  It was fairly vanilla on both sides for 60 minutes and it went to extra time because it was two average teams playing tight hockey.  The Devils won in extra time, and handed Calgary their loss.

Red Warrior

DENVER - NOVEMBER 09: Mark Giordano  of the Calgary Flames skates against the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center on November 9, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. The Flames defeated the Avalanche 4-2. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
 

I thought defenceman Mark Giordano was really good in this game, as he was one of the best examples of how Calgary protected their backup goaltender.  For as much as this game was fairly meh, Calgary did do a nice job of playing a good defensive game in front of Karlsson.  Giordano blocked a pair of shots and did a nice job positionally...plus he started things off on Calgary's third period goal.

Sum It Up

It wasn't a great hockey game, but you can squint and see some positives for Calgary.  A good second period, a good job defensively, and a pretty good performance from Henrik Karlsson in net.  The final point is important to touch on, as I feel Karlsson has at the very least earned himself another shot.  By that, I think he's earned the opportunity to get back into the lineup the next time the coaching staff feels Miikka Kiprusoff needs a break.

Calgary did enough to win this game, even if they didn't do much...they were playing a bad, bad Devils team, but they didn't put it away when the opportunity was there.  I think there was a little of the "playing to your opponent" in this one, and I think the "playing tight" factor also played its part.  Two good teams loom next...Philly on Friday and Pittsburgh on Saturday.

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#2 R O
November 24 2010, 10:36PM
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i hate olie jokinen and hope he breaks both of his legs

Regehr has shown that this may not be enough to keep a man out of the NHL

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#3 R O
November 25 2010, 06:48AM
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If the average Flames owner were anything like the average FlamesNation commenter then I would seriously hope they stay far far away from anything to do with the team.

I think you know better though, DB. Kovalchuk, Calgary needed him! Wish we had him. Flames don't need no Langkow though. Thankfully he's out of the lineup so both his PP minutes and that cushy soft EV icetime he was feasting upon can be given to someone else to do less with.

(and uh, I suppose his neck injury and subsequent LTI designation, contributing to the Flames $65MM this season, is Darryl's fault. He traded for White after all! And the owners let him, shame)

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#4 dickshilling
November 24 2010, 09:08PM
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Flames score two goals in two games against two backup netminders. Take from that whatever you will. I thought HK wasn't just good, he was good enough. I did not miss Jokinen on his three-game vacation. Cred to JBouw for basically being felleish'd by McGuire between the boards

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#5 walkinvisible
November 24 2010, 09:48PM
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1. that game was only fun live cause it was live

2. the only person at the prudential center more frustrated with their team than me: devils fans

3. the best cheer at the prudential center: "sutter sucks"

4. the only reason i don't feel ripped off by the calibre of hockey presented tonight: tickets to games in jersey are dirt cheap and i'm not suffering in -37º weather. oh, and new york rules.

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#6 R O
November 24 2010, 09:56PM
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I blame the owners¡

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#7 bob
November 24 2010, 10:08PM
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R O wrote:

I blame the owners¡

As brief a quote that is...it sums it up quite well and I'm in agreement.

If we want to see change in management and from there changes in personel, we'll need ownership to step up to Ken King and the Sutter clan and say enough. Until that happens, Ken will keep D. Sutter around, who'll keep the other boys in town and what you see on the ice is what we'll continue to get. I'm also sure before the end of June we'll somehow end up losing our first round pick...Darryl will likely trade it to Edmonton to bring back Jim "Please call me James" Vandermeer!

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#8 R O
November 24 2010, 10:12PM
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I'm in agreement

I'm glad that you agree that the owners have done everything that anyone could reasonably expect of them, to field a winning hockey team, and that criticizing them is asinine nad worthy of an upside down exclamation mark.

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#9 R O
November 24 2010, 10:14PM
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Though maybe a facepalm might have been more appropriate.

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#10 marty
November 24 2010, 10:32PM
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i hate olie jokinen and hope he breaks both of his legs

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#11 skirby09
November 24 2010, 10:54PM
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I love the Flames but you can only wait so long while things continue to get worse. KA-BOOM! Maybe not a complete blow up but some significant moves need to be made.

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#12 Your Average FAN 960 Listener
November 24 2010, 10:56PM
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I blame the owners too. Despite the fact that they are all "highly educated" with their university degrees in Engineering, Law, Geology, Business, etc, and the fact that they have all made millions of dollars in their respective industries, they clearly know nothing about hockey. Why can't we have an owner like Mark Cuban who is at least passionate about the team.

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#13 Tommy Gunn
November 24 2010, 11:34PM
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In the words of Big Jim McBob and Billy Saul Huron of SCTV fame It's time to....Blow it up real good!

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#14 Domebeers.com
November 24 2010, 11:45PM
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@R O

I agree. Allowing Darryl Sutter to commit 65 million dollars of their money to this team this year and 56 million dollars of it next year, with no oversight whatsoever, is not the owners fault at all.

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#15 SmellOfVictory
November 25 2010, 12:07AM
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Domebeers.com wrote:

I agree. Allowing Darryl Sutter to commit 65 million dollars of their money to this team this year and 56 million dollars of it next year, with no oversight whatsoever, is not the owners fault at all.

It's a tough call. I understand wanting owernership who are into hockey and take a hands-on approach when it comes to removing management you don't like, however it's a respectable decision for the owner(s) of your team to leave hockey decisions to the person who is supposed to be the expert (the GM), which specifically means avoiding a great deal of oversight.

A hands-off owner who places too much trust in a sub-par GM is probably better than a hands-on owner whose understanding of hockey doesn't go beyond boxcars. A crappy GM is likely to be better than the average fan, even if that fan happens to own the team.

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#16 R O
November 25 2010, 06:50AM
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"Both of his PP minutes", should say. As in two. A pair, a deuce.

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#17 rubbertrout
November 25 2010, 09:09AM
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Your Average FAN 960 Listener wrote:

I blame the owners too. Despite the fact that they are all "highly educated" with their university degrees in Engineering, Law, Geology, Business, etc, and the fact that they have all made millions of dollars in their respective industries, they clearly know nothing about hockey. Why can't we have an owner like Mark Cuban who is at least passionate about the team.

For every Mark Cuban (and let's not forget that for all his passion the team hasn't won anything and actually stunk it up for the first few years he owned it) there is a Jerry Jones or a Dan Snyder.

Passionate ownership doesn't necessarily equate to success.

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#18 Gange
November 25 2010, 11:56AM
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It's ridiculous to complain about the ownership. It's pointless as well.

They've done what they thought was best. This has been a playoff team until last year, and a contender at one point.

Now having missed the playoffs and with it looking like they'll miss the playoffs again I have no doubt that something will have to change in management.

However the owners OWN THE TEAM. As passionate as well all are I am very thankful that the owners are who they are and that they are not Charles Wang, Oren Kroules, or Harold Ballard.

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#19 Graham
November 25 2010, 01:03PM
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The owners may be passionate about hockey, but they are business men first. Ken King summed it all up after last season, 97% of the season ticket holders renewed their tickets.... Translation, the team is doing well financially, which is what ultimately matters in the business world.

No Flames fan really wants to see their team struggle, but a bottom five finish is maybe what it will take to shake up the front office. You can bet that another middle of the pack finish will see Ken King and coherts doing another self assessment... with the same predictable results. (Umh, should I fire myself?)

The Flames mantra of scarificing the future for 'now' comes from the very top. If King and Sutter are carrying out their instructions ('now') are they or the owners to blame? This team needs new direction from the ownership group, a new balanced 'long term' plan. The owners then have to decide whether King and Sutter are the men for the new job... maybe, just maybe, given new instructions they might be. Ultimately, a bottom five finish may be needed to drive a new approach.

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#20
November 25 2010, 03:08PM
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@Graham

Exactly.

The owners are in the business of making money.

Why else would they raise ticket prices every year after the lockout.

Wht did they replace Tim Hortons & Boston Pizza for the cheeper and inferior Pizza 73?

The Flames are the Toronto Maple Leafs west.

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