Flames Wake Up To Find a Hockey Game Going On

Kent Wilson
March 15 2010 11:14AM

Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks

 

Glancing at the stats page is often a poor substitute for actually watching the game.

That wasn't the case last night, however. All you need to know about the contest is contained in the statsheets: the Flames were outshot 20-6, outchanced 15-2 and down 3-0 after the first 20 minutes. And, in truth, that's all you'd need to know about the game because it was all over but the cryin' at that point. 

The Flames clawed their way back in the final two periods, but the hole was too deep at that point. Unfortunately, it turns out that spending an entire period running around like panicked princesses looking for a lost tiera before the grand ball is fairly harmful to the prospects of winning. Who knew?

The first was punctuated by Canucks scoring chances, Flames penalties and Miikka Kiprusoff making desperate, diving saves from each corner of his crease. The one thing the game summary doesn't tell you is the fact that things could have been even worse in the first had Kipper not stood on his head.

As mentioned, the Flames settled down in periods two and three. Part of that, of course, is Vancouver "playing to score" and sitting back to protect the lead, which is a tendency of most teams in the league. Sutter made some alterations in the third period with the team desperately chasing, including elevating Curtis Glencross who was one of the more consistently active forwards. The Flames pulled within two thanks to a rare Robyn Regehr goal, but couldn't make a dent otherwise. They ended up dominating the possession stats and outchancing the Canucks 15-6 the rest of the way, but it wasn't enough.

Flames Lines

Bourque-Stajan-Iginla

Higgins-Langkow-Kotalik

Hagman-Conroy-Moss

Glencross-Nystrom-Mayers

Defence Pairings

Staios-Bouwmeester

White-Regehr

Sarich-Giordano

Fight Card

Aside from a few post-whistle tussles, this game was fisticuff free

Three Stars (as picked by me)

1.) Sedin (pick one)

2.) Ryan Kelser

3.) Curtis Glencross

The Big Save

Although it didn't matter to the final outcome, KIpper's diving stick save on a Samuelsson wrap-around in the first period was a thing of beauty.

The Big Hit

Mark Giordano crushed everyone favorite Canucks Alex Burrows along the boards.

What it Means

The Flames remain in 9th place below the Detroit Red Wings. Despite going 4-0-1 in their last five contests, the Flames have made up precisely zero ground in the battle for the final playoff spot.

What's Next

The aforementioned Red Wings visit the 'Dome tonight in what could prove to be the game the makes or breaks the Flames season.

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Former Nations Overlord. Current FN contributor and curmudgeon For questions, complaints, criticisms, etc contact Kent @ kent.wilson@gmail. Follow him on Twitter here.
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#1 walkinvisible
March 15 2010, 11:45AM
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last night's coaching was largely infuriating, i gotta say. while i'm all for saving up the timeout, i'm not sure how brent didn't utilize it when kippy was getting blitzkrieged ... calgary was annihilated in the first ten-or-so minutes and it seems to me that after about 5, it might've been a solid plan to... well, "regroup."

beyond that, it's been frustrating to watch brent send out the fourth line after an icing (which he's been doing for weeks now) but when his team NEEDS GOALS, i cannot wrap my head around how he decides that higgins-conroy-kotalik is a solution. i'm pretty sure they just played the one shift together why anyone would implement a STONEHANDS LINE is beyond me.

wipe the slate clean, we need a whole new outlook.... this team is done for 09/10. book it.

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#2 rod blogojevich
March 15 2010, 12:01PM
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Walkinvisible u need to cut the negative attitude. Nothing is over yet. One loss and you're saying they are done? You were gearing up for the playoffs 2 games ago. Just relax and enjoy the stretch run.

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#3 walkinvisible
March 15 2010, 01:36PM
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@rod blogojevich

i've always been a pessimist and i've never suggested otherwise.... it wasn't the loss that makes me think we're done, it was the way we lost.

as for enjoying the stretch run, well, i guess if you like watching your team get slaughtered a dozen-or-so more times then it should be plenty satisfying.

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#4 Justin
March 15 2010, 01:43PM
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Rod, it's not as far off as you think it is. If they lose tonight, they are 3 points behind the team they are chasing for the last playoff spot. That is significant ground they have to make up with little time left. Then again, teams lose too, so if the Flames can keep going on a 66% percent clip, then they will get in.

Like I said over at hitthepost.ca, you have two options of how to approach the next two years-which are likley to be the last two years of "elite" play from Kipper and Iggy. One, you can blow up the 2010-2011 and go for it all the year after with expensive one year vets and stuff like that (see Boston Celtics from 2 years ago), or you can have the same squeak-into-playoffs stuff that this team has had since 07 and hope you get lucky. Whatever the Flames do in the off season should be done with one purpose: to get Iggy a cup in Calgary. That is all I care about right now.

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#5 Pat Steinberg
March 15 2010, 01:46PM
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@walkinvisible

It's funny, a couple people emailed about that on the show last night. At first, I didn't think much of it...but I guess I can see the point. Call the timeout, maybe get your team into the game earlier than when they showed up.

But in the long run, I don't know how much it would have changed things.

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#6 SmellOfVictory
March 15 2010, 01:58PM
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Justin wrote:

Rod, it's not as far off as you think it is. If they lose tonight, they are 3 points behind the team they are chasing for the last playoff spot. That is significant ground they have to make up with little time left. Then again, teams lose too, so if the Flames can keep going on a 66% percent clip, then they will get in.

Like I said over at hitthepost.ca, you have two options of how to approach the next two years-which are likley to be the last two years of "elite" play from Kipper and Iggy. One, you can blow up the 2010-2011 and go for it all the year after with expensive one year vets and stuff like that (see Boston Celtics from 2 years ago), or you can have the same squeak-into-playoffs stuff that this team has had since 07 and hope you get lucky. Whatever the Flames do in the off season should be done with one purpose: to get Iggy a cup in Calgary. That is all I care about right now.

Same. I will be a sad panda if Iggy doesn't get a cup with Calgary. And that's what has made the post-lockout years so irritating for me; Sutter just kept on making moves that put the team in a more difficult bargaining position the following year, so each year has, in a sense, been do-or-die in terms of the playoffs, because his opportunities to improve the team are decreasing thanks to being in the bottom 10 (maybe bottom 5) GMs in the league in terms of effectiveness.

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