Postgame: You Ain't Got No Alibi

Pat Steinberg
January 19 2011 10:55PM

That was straight four letter word Wednesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome as the Calgary Flames had their five game point streak snapped in rather ugh fashion, taking a 6-0 thumping at the hands of the offensive juggernaut Pittsburgh Penguins.  Detroit Red Wings?  Colorado Avalanche!  Nope...the Minnesota Wild...

What Happened

This game didn't start well for the home side, and a Martin Havlat goal 3:25 into the first period started the onslaught.  Kyle Brodziak made a nice chip off the right boards and fed Havlat to the left of the slot who put it past Miikka Kiprusoff to open the scoring.  An Anton Babchuk elbowing call shortly thereafter let the Wild go on the powerplay, and they'd score again, this time with Mikko Koivu ripping a low, well placed shot from the right circle.  The two big guns counted for the Wild counted for their first period offence, and they carried a 2-0 lead into the second period.

Nothing much happened in that middle frame, with Calgary firing 12 fairly average outside shots on net.  The two interesting notes in the second period were a penalty and a late goal.  Curtis Glencross took a  five minute major for boarding 79 seconds in when he took Clayton Stoner into the end boards from behind; it sounds as if the league will take a look, but it wasn't intentional, so I'm guess no suspension.  Late in the frame, a complete Flames breakdown lead to a third Wild goal.  With Cory Sarich and Miikka Kiprusoff left out to dry, John Madden finally banged home his seventh of the season at 18:23.  Minnesota would carry a 3-0 lead into the final frame.

The third period was a formality in a lot of ways, and that was sealed at 2:48 with Cal Clutterbuck's wrist shot from the left blueline.  It eluded a screened Kiprusoff and put this hockey game away.  Chuck Kobasew's eighth of the season would make it 5-0, with Kiprusoff hung out to dry again.  Havlat would score the sixth of the season at 17:08, and bam, we've got a 6-0 final for the visitors.  No good.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  Because the Flames were absolutely horrid on this night.  This was as bad a performance from Calgary as we've seen on the season.  Minnesota scored six goals on 24 shots, and I know many will point the finger at the goaltender, but I'm sorry, the Flames were straight awful in front of him.  The only one that could be on the goalies shoulder came in the third period and made it 4-0.  Unless Kiprusoff is scoring goals, this game ain't on his shoulders.  I'm not saying the goalie was great, but, he got zero help tonight.  37 shots on goal mean nothing to me, as they didn't do enough to test Backstrom, and they gave up far too many quality scoring opportunities.

Red Warrior

Screw this.

Sum It Up

The Flames had a huge divisional game against the Wild, and coming off an emotional game on Monday, it was a little surprising to see Calgary play as poorly as they did tonight.  It was a stinker.  However, sometimes a bad game is a bad game, so I fully expect to see them bounce back against the Stars on Friday.  It may not be enough, but it can't be this.  Yeesh.

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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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#1 T&A4Flames
January 19 2011, 11:04PM
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Come on Flames fans, seriously, you give Kipper the old Montreal fake "cheer" for stopping a dump in. Seriously, we're classier than that aren't we?! Despite his issues of late, Kipper has held this team together (along with Iggy) for years, and we treat him with that kind of disrespect. Terrible game but an even worse reaction by the "fans" to our goalie! Terrible!

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#2 Matt Fox
January 19 2011, 11:10PM
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@T&A4Flames

Come on, are you kidding me. I know what Kipper has done for this franchise and how great he has been, but the fans have every right to voice their displeasure. Fans pay alot of money and live and die with their team, the bottom line is Kipper has sucked lately. If I had been there I would have joined in. That effort was brutal and fans deserve more.

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#3 dotfras
January 19 2011, 11:13PM
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Would have been better icing the Heat out there tonight.

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#4 FireOnIce
January 19 2011, 11:14PM
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Wow, left and it was 2-0, figuring it was over, and boy was it over. 6-0, 6-0?!

What were the keys to the game against Minnie? Contain Havlat and Koivu, play them hard, and don't take stupid boarding/elbowing penalties.

I'm sorry Iginla that your grandmother is ailing, but the rest of you Flames need to pull your heads out of your asses and stop wearing yourselves as hats.

Edit - Any bets on who gets the ax first? Butter? Glencross? Where in the hell was Rene Bourque? And Badchuck, taking an elbowing penalty? Is this why Carolina got rid of Badchuck and Kosto, because at heart they're really just bush league goons?

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#5 FireOnIce
January 19 2011, 11:18PM
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And holy crap is that Carrot Top picture creepy. When I was in Vegas a couple years ago, it was EVERYWHERE. His eyes just follow you...

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#6 T&A4Flames
January 19 2011, 11:30PM
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Matt Fox wrote:

Come on, are you kidding me. I know what Kipper has done for this franchise and how great he has been, but the fans have every right to voice their displeasure. Fans pay alot of money and live and die with their team, the bottom line is Kipper has sucked lately. If I had been there I would have joined in. That effort was brutal and fans deserve more.

Booing the team off the ice for a bad effort I can understand. But to single out the goalie is just ignorant. Every player on this team has had MORE than their share of bad stretches. I haven't heard the fans boo those players when they touch the puck. Kipper is having a bad stretch but he most certainly does not deserve that kind of treatment, not yet. Remember Patrick Roy having enough of that treatment in Montreal and then he finally had enough and asked for a trade. Now, what goalie in their right mind with any worth wants to play there? I think 6 years of stellar play behind a mediocre team buys him a bit more time on his bad stretch.

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#7 negrilcowboy
January 19 2011, 11:34PM
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Am I wrong to think that Butter may have lost Kippa. He has been less than stellar since the public bitchslappin. Kippa's body language looks like he has thrown it in. the boos, were not disrespect. Fans pay money, and expect quality.The boos were directed at everyone.

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#8 GermanFlame
January 19 2011, 11:43PM
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And I thought the leafs got embarrassed...

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#9 Matt Fox
January 19 2011, 11:57PM
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@T&A4Flames

Yeah he has done alot I am not taking away from that but it's not disrespect by jeering him a bit. Did you hear his post game comments? He agreed fans pay money for their tickets so they have every right to cheer or boo. I don't think Kipper is going to cry himself to sleep or demand a trade, he knows he needs to be better. When your making 6 mil a year and your sucking letting in beer league quality goals then you gotta be prepared to take criticism when you don't show up.

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#10 BCFLAME
January 20 2011, 12:19AM
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Given their inconsistency this year, are any of us really surprised with this stinker? Hell, I say bring on the routs, as long as Iggy and some other forwards produce offensively. It will increase their trade value.

Hate to see Kipper being hung out to dry like this, though.

Lottery pick here we come!!!!!

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#11 BCFLAME
January 20 2011, 12:28AM
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Plus, ever since the 4-game win streak, we have gone 2-3-3 in our last eight. Our only two wins were over Toronto and Ottawa.

Yep, we suck. It's time we sucked even more. Let's let go of this fantasy of making the playoffs and resign ourselves to our fate.

Look on the bright side: at least trade deadline day will prove interesting.

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#12 funkyjaman
January 20 2011, 12:32AM
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6 - 0! At least it wasn't a blow out!

I think tonight we just chased Mikka out of town.

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#13 FireOnIce
January 20 2011, 12:42AM
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I think a good question to ask is... why isn't Karlsson starting more at this point? Kipper has turned in several stinkers at this point, and Karlsson has been adequate to moderately good in relief.

Let Karlsson start a couple games in a row, see if that pushes Miikka.

Although, I wouldn't be surprised if Kipper pulled a Roy and walked into Feaster's office tonight demanding a trade. How many more 6 goal games before he decides it's time to move on?

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#14 icedawg_42
January 20 2011, 07:22AM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

Am I wrong to think that Butter may have lost Kippa. He has been less than stellar since the public bitchslappin. Kippa's body language looks like he has thrown it in. the boos, were not disrespect. Fans pay money, and expect quality.The boos were directed at everyone.

I remember thinking and saying this about a week after Butter called him out, and I agree with you that there may be something to this. I missed the sarcastic cheering, and I'm glad. That pisses me off. He needs to play better, but come on. Everyone in this city should know by now what this team is. If you're a fan "shelling out your hard earned money" believing theres no possibility of a blowout or embarrassment then its they who need to pull your head out of their asses. Im a season ticket holder for the Hitmen, who are LAST in the WHL. I've NEVER heard the crowd boo the team off the ice! it's not as much of my "hard earned money" but it IS my "hard earned money"

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#15 icedawg_42
January 20 2011, 07:35AM
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----- Now, booing Phaneuf I can understand ;P

and - yes, I understand that season tickets holder are 'stuck' and understandably pissed off. But the team WILL eventually return to respectibility, and they'll still have their names on their seats. If I could get in on season tix now to reserve them for the future, I would!

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#16 backburner
January 20 2011, 08:16AM
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That was the most boring game I have ever seen! No life in that team last night! and I totally agree with Steinberg on the Kipper comment... Our D was brutal... the only point we looked decent was killing off the Glencross major.

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#17 jr_christ
January 20 2011, 08:25AM
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"...it sounds as if the league will take a look, but it wasn't intentional, so I'm guess no suspension"

No offense man... but you are wrong. That "shove" he TRIED to give the minny player about 6 feet from the boards was obvious. TSN stated last night on the pannel that it will obviously lead to disciplinary action.

That was a poor move by Glencross and he should be punished for that play! Obviously if Minny had done that to Glencross in stead this whole site would be "up in arms" and pissed right off about how he wasn't kicked out of the game...

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#18 jr_christ
January 20 2011, 08:27AM
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backburner wrote:

That was the most boring game I have ever seen! No life in that team last night! and I totally agree with Steinberg on the Kipper comment... Our D was brutal... the only point we looked decent was killing off the Glencross major.

Typical Kipper, NEVER steps up to the plate to just simply say, "Yeah, I need to figure out what I AM DOING WRONG".

Three of those goals were completely HIT fault. A wrist shot from the point beats him blocker side high?

Let's be honest here, this goalie can't handle admitting he needs to step up his game. Quit blaming your defenseman and EARN your $7 M per year buddy~~~

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#19 John F
January 20 2011, 09:19AM
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FireOnIce wrote:

I think a good question to ask is... why isn't Karlsson starting more at this point? Kipper has turned in several stinkers at this point, and Karlsson has been adequate to moderately good in relief.

Let Karlsson start a couple games in a row, see if that pushes Miikka.

Although, I wouldn't be surprised if Kipper pulled a Roy and walked into Feaster's office tonight demanding a trade. How many more 6 goal games before he decides it's time to move on?

Seriously? Kipper demanding a trade? Coach losing Kipper? The responsibility for his poor performance lies squarely on his shoulders. A coach holding a player responsible for his performance being out of line? If so the coach has his hands ties. Kipper is one of the top paid goaltenders in the league and expectations are aligned with that-right or wrong. Remember the vast amounts of criticism Iggy had earlier in the year? He responded and is probably by far our most tradeable commodity in spite of his price tag. I'm guessing GM's are aware of Kippers struggles and with his salary would be reluctant to offer any value. I think it is strctly a confidence thing and he will recover his form if he works hard in practice and goes back to the basics. I don't for a minute agree with those who say the coaches and fans shouldn't have expectations. The Head Coach if you have actually listened to him has been more than fair and positive with Kipper. The team had some recent succes in spite of not because of Kipper so he is getting team support. To suggest his body language suggests he has quit and may walk in and demand a trade would be unrealistic given his recent underperformance and the more than fair treatment he has received. Kipper is smart enough to know that-he needs to work hard and get his game back and the talk will stop

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#20 Nieuwy25
January 20 2011, 09:35AM
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6-0 Minny over the Flames 7-0 Rangers over the Leafs

Maybe these two teams should shake things up and make a blockbuster trade. Wait....deja vu.

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#21 JJJ
January 20 2011, 09:44AM
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@Nieuwy25

I was thinking the same last night during the 3rd.

Tradewise, I think their captain Phaneuf has some potential upside, he might be worth kicking the tires on. As for the bait, Stajan and Hagman are dead weight on this team, but they each could potentially benefit from a change of scenery (plus, they'd likely enjoy the opportunity to play in Newark more often, what with its easy helicopter access to Manhattan night clubs).

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#22 Scott
January 20 2011, 09:51AM
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@John F

Its not that Kipper doesn't have high expectations placed on him by fans, coaches, media etc, but its the fact that everyone and their dog knows that this guy doesn't respond positively when criticized in the media, thats why Keenan had to fly to Finland in the office season to smooth things over. It's just not in his personality. The coach needs to know each players motiviations and personalities to be able to "coach" them. Butter hasn't a clue and now he's talking all nice to the media about Kipper cause the damage was done previously and he then realized his mistake...

I've never been a fan of booing the team you cheer, especially not the goalie... This team has the worst team defense and consistently leave Kipper to bail them out for every season since he has been here. First time ever he has struggled for more than 2 games and everyone is ready to kick him to the curb... Thats how you end up like Edmonton where no players want to sign there as free agents..

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#23 Bob Cob
January 20 2011, 10:23AM
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Im not going revel in the Flames humiliation last night because I'm an Oiler fan and lets be honest they are terrible too.

I just want to say about the Glencross hit, you say it wasn't intentional, well then why didn't Glencross pull back when the Wild players back was towards Glencross. Even though the Wild player wasn't injured, I still see it as a suspensionable play on a defenceless player. Its as dangerous a play as any head shot this year, at least you can come back from a concussion but its hits like Glencross' that cause broken necks and thus is a suspensionable play. Is it suspensionable if instead of a Wild player it was Iginla, Tangauy or Bourque that got hit like that?

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#24 Subversive
January 20 2011, 10:49AM
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I disagree that the 4th goal was the only bad one. Kipper slid way out of position on the 1st goal as well, Havlat had the entire net to shoot at. So, that's 2 goals out of the first 4 goals, which changes it from a 4-0 game in the 3rd to a 2-0 game. Big difference.

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#25 John F
January 20 2011, 11:02AM
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Scott wrote:

Its not that Kipper doesn't have high expectations placed on him by fans, coaches, media etc, but its the fact that everyone and their dog knows that this guy doesn't respond positively when criticized in the media, thats why Keenan had to fly to Finland in the office season to smooth things over. It's just not in his personality. The coach needs to know each players motiviations and personalities to be able to "coach" them. Butter hasn't a clue and now he's talking all nice to the media about Kipper cause the damage was done previously and he then realized his mistake...

I've never been a fan of booing the team you cheer, especially not the goalie... This team has the worst team defense and consistently leave Kipper to bail them out for every season since he has been here. First time ever he has struggled for more than 2 games and everyone is ready to kick him to the curb... Thats how you end up like Edmonton where no players want to sign there as free agents..

I was at the game and didn't agree with the booing. I do disagree on the point of whose responsibility it is to demand a player to perform to a higher standard. if he is indeed that delicate therein resides a problem. We all have to perform to certain standards at our jobs. When you play a sport as aprofessional you need to expect a critique of your performance. The critique can be overly critical or done in a positive way-which is what is being done by coaches, media and for the most part the fans. Stats are never perfect however save% is one of the better measurements for goaltenders.Currently Kipper ranks 34th at .897. Scoring chances per game are not as available but on both counts he ranks very poorly. He is even 2nd in both regards on his own team. Team defence has been spotty from time to time but overall is pretty solid as supported by the team ranking 4th in shots against at 28 per game, and usually giving up a low number of scoring chances (if anyone can find the scoring chance summaries by team they could maybe confirm this). I understand players need to be handled differently however if he wilts under the mild critism of 2 different coaches maybe the problem resides with the player. Poorly performing goaltenders around the league routinely assess performances in the media, sit goaltenders when they have better options, and replace goaltenders during games to give their teams a better chance to win. We are all accountable especially those making over $5.8 million per year.

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#26 Scott
January 20 2011, 11:18AM
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@John F

I won't argue the stats, because they are good! But even looking at scoring chances, if you compare Kent's, to the ones provided during the sportsnet broadcasts, they can differ significantly...

He certainly deserves to be criticized, and I don't think he has a problem of wilting under the pressure of that criticism. I think he handles the media and fan criticism just fine. I just think when it comes to being apart of that team and having that relationship with the coach, it really does bother him when his own teammates/coach come out and trash him in public. I imagine Brent/Keenan etc had said many things to him in private over the years/seasons, but I think there is proof that when that stuff is made public by the coach's, he doesn't respond well to it.

That's who he is, and I am not a believer in the size of the paycheck should determine the quality of the person. Last time I checked Avery makes a lot of money too! I don't know how negotiations work, but its not too often a player turns down big money when they are offered it. (Except Cliff Lee)

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#29 Rain Dogs
January 20 2011, 12:40PM
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@jr_christ

I know Pat commented on this a little already, but I can tell you this, no one is harder on themselves than a goalie.

Your comments are ignorant. Full Stop.

Read it yourself:

"It's not fun," said the struggling goaltender, even more softly than usual, "But the way I played tonight ... they have a right to do that (boo)."

"It's something I can't control. It's not a good feeling. But if I played better . . .I was terrible tonight. Six goals . . . I didn't give the team a chance to win. What can you say? I played bad."

"I have to work my way out from this."

Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Miikka+Kiprusoff+shoulders+blame+latest+Flame/4136355/story.html#ixzz1BbdlvOWP

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#30 cereal dog
January 20 2011, 07:35PM
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I just loved the post above about the Leafs and Flames should think of a blockbuster >>>> and the Phaneuf to Calgary for Hagman and Stajan >>> great to still have a sense of humour with the hockey being so bad. February 28th can't come soon enough !!!

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