Postgame: Trainwreck

Pat Steinberg
February 21 2012 10:12PM

An absolutely terrible evening saw the Calgary Flames fall 6-1 to the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday night at the Saddledome, a game that was ran by the visitors from start to finish.  Even after scoring the first goal of the hockey game and being fortunate to be even after one period of play, the Flames let their provincial rivals go to town as the Oilers snapped a nine game losing streak to Calgary in the process.

What Happened

You could tell things might not work their way right from the very get-go, as the Oilers had the balance of the scoring chances early on.  However, it was the Flames opening the scoring at 9:12 thanks to Scott Hannan of all people.  He'd whistle one past Devan Dubnyk from the point on a shot the Oilers goalie would likely like to have back.  It was the Miikka Kiprusoff show in the opening frame and it looked like they might escape with a lead in a period they were outchanced 13-4.  That was until Jordan Eberle made good on a great individual effort, finally getting the puck past Kiprusoff after the Flames goalie had made a couple saves.  Things were tied 1-1 after one period.

The second period saw things explode in a bad way, as a month's worth of fortunate bounces seemed to reverse on the Flames in the matter of one period.  It started with Ales Hemsky's goal on a two-on-one at 8:09, converting a great Taylor Hall pass and beating Kiprusoff.  Chasing on the play was Chris Butler, and the Flames defenseman would crash hard into his net and goaltender and looked to get clipped by Kiprusoff's skate.  Butler wouldn't return, and it sounds like he'll be out beyond this game as well.  At 12:21, Eric Belanger would score on another two-on-one, this time cleaning up a rebound off a Ben Eager shot for a two goal lead.  30 seconds later, Sam Gagner was given a wide open look at the right side of the Calgary net, and he took a perfect pass from Eberle and went roof for a 4-1 lead.  Ryan Smyth's 17th of the season at 18:56 sealed things after Calgary allowed the Oilers rush four into the offensive zone.  In a period where the Flames had a chance to push back, they were outchanced 12-2.

The third period was a formality.  Edmonton scored on the powerplay at 17:29, with Hall getting his 21st after a short review.  Henrik Karlsson, who started the third period, made the save on a diving effort with the glove; unfortunately, he caught the puck six inches into his own net.

One Good Reason...

...why the Flames lost?  Well, they were absolutely terrible...that's probably a good way to start.  Give the Oilers credit, because they were full marks for this win, as they came to play.  Even with Kiprusoff giving them every reason to get frustrated, they didn't, and Edmonton kept pushing forward and finally broke through late in the first.  Calgary, however, was awful start to finish and need to put this one behind them as quickly as they let it get away from them.

Red Warrior

I'll go Tim Jackman.  Worked hard, threw some hits, wasn't in the red in scoring chances...I'll give him the nod.

Sum It Up

Let's not forget, a 6-1 loss is only good for one game.  The Flames don't gain any ground on teams and fall out of the postseason, but putting too much stock into this one would be unwise if you're them.  That said, it was a pretty pitiful effort for a team that is right in the midst of a tight playoff race, especially against a top rival.   The red hot Coyotes are in on Thursday night.

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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 Coco Crisp
February 21 2012, 10:28PM
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Yikes fellas... Did that hurt?

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#2 Colin
February 21 2012, 10:47PM
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Awesome game. Thanks for the chuckles flamers.

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#3 SmellOfVictory
February 21 2012, 10:58PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

I blame Mike Keenan. Could've used his salary on some stockades to put some of our... lesser performing players in for all to see and jeer.

Sutter needs a taser so that he can shock some of these players into doing their damn jobs.

Tonight's game was god awful. Oilers were money and outshot, outhit, and outplayed us. Not even Kipper could stop them. We really need to learn how to score and beat the teams that we "should" beat.

The Flames know full well how to do that; it's the only reason they're in striking distance of the playoffs. The broadcast mentioned their record against divisional teams: 13-4-0. They've made their living beating up on the other teams in the second weakest division in the NHL. Outside of Vancouver the NW has four teams that range from barely mediocre to downright awful, and the Flames have been kings of the garbage heap.

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#4 Bob in the Abbey
February 21 2012, 11:12PM
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Pat mentioned at the beginning of Overtime that this was maybe as bad as the beatdown we got in Boston. I think this was worse because it was at home against an inferior oponent. the team was not ready and did not respond. And they can share the blame as a team...the players were not prepared and the coaches did nothing to get this turned around.

On a positive, we all enjoy the rivalry with our Northern neighbors and at the Dome was a large contingent of Oiler fans. I work at the Dome in the FanAttic. In the 3rd period I had 2 Oiler fans come in looking for stuff for a kid. they'd had a few drinks and were being loud and obnoxious as their Oilers dominated the game. In front of them was a young kid, in foster care who was attending his very first NHL game...and his team was horrible and he had these 2 drunk Oilers fans cursing and screaming behind him. As the game went on, these 2 guys realized the kid was not having a good experience and decided to try and help. They came in and could have grabbed a couple of things for $10-$12...but instead collected a bunch of stuff for this kid. $50 later they were headed back to their seats and I had some of my faith in humanity restored. Props to them.

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#5 Clay
February 21 2012, 10:14PM
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Fire everyone! Trade everything!

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#6 FireOnIce
February 21 2012, 10:22PM
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I blame Mike Keenan. Could've used his salary on some stockades to put some of our... lesser performing players in for all to see and jeer.

Sutter needs a taser so that he can shock some of these players into doing their damn jobs.

Tonight's game was god awful. Oilers were money and outshot, outhit, and outplayed us. Not even Kipper could stop them. We really need to learn how to score and beat the teams that we "should" beat.

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#7 RKD
February 21 2012, 10:30PM
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Another debacle, you would have thought after the Beantown massacre the Flames wouldn't lose like this, boy was I wrong.

The Flames came in expecting to win, that was a big mistake. As bad as the Oilers are they have pride and were probably steaming mad from their last loss.

What makes this loss even worse is that the Flames have another injury with Butler going down. Here comes Babchuk. A huge two points down the drain, could be a deciding factor in making the playoffs.

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#8 Chris
February 21 2012, 10:30PM
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> Fire everyone! Trade everything!

I _think_ this was posted in jest. But here's something that should cause the "blow it all up" crowd to think twice.

For every success story like Chicago who wins a cup on the strength of lottery picks 'cause they're bad for so long, there are ten teams that draft badly or get unlucky, and end up building a team that ranges from still-awful-ten-years-later to "pretty good". And Chicago's run was incredibly lucky.

Remember that game where Patrick Stefan missed the empty net from 2 feet away, with 8 seconds left, and Alex Hemsky scored at the other end to tie the game?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1Z9UspUHqg

The loser point Edmonton got from that game put them into a tie with Chicago for 26th place in the standings. Chicago "lost" the tiebreaker, and was 5th in the draft order that year (2007).

Amazingly, Chicago won the draft lottery, and took Patrick Kane 1st overall. Kane later scored the Cup-winning goal for Chicago in 2010.

So if Patrick Stefan _does_ score into an empty net in Edmonton that night, Edmonton finishes lower than Chicago, and gets that first pick in the draft. The point being, Chicago _doesn't_ get Kane. Chicago without Kane probably isn't strong enough to win the Cup in 2010.

Chicago was unbelievably lucky to convert lottery picks into a Cup-winning run. The odds of anyone else doing that are slim to none. The best way to build a team is like the Red Wings do it: slowly build a great organization over time, and keep getting stronger until you win the Cup.

BTW, the Oilers picked 6th overall in that draft, and took Sam Gagner, who has struggled to produce except for one game. The Oilers of the last 20 years are one of the most snake-bit franchises I can ever recall seeing.

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#9 Mort
February 21 2012, 10:34PM
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Well, I knew the Flames would run out of luck some time or another... I just didn't expect it to be against the scum-sucking Oilers.

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#10 Franko J
February 21 2012, 10:47PM
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@ Clay

Love it. I can hear the snapping ankles from the Bandwagon.

Tonight game just shows that when the Flames players don't come to play hard, with desire, with purpose, that any team in the league will embarrass them handily. Hey Kipper can't save them every game.

Again the top 6 players on the Flames out played and out hustled. Pressure?

Where has this Edmonton team been over the last two seasons?

Maybe the Oil thought the Flames were wearing Blackhawk jerseys?

Maybe Calgary overlooked the Oilers for the Coyotes on Thursday night?

Tonight they wasted another opportunity to gain points and make ground in the playoffs.

The key is for the Flames ---- Can they rebound from tonights game? Can they show that this team isn't complacent and easily satisfied?

For the Oilers --- finally a couple hometown players came to play in the battle of Alberta. For the longest time it was the hometown guys from Edmonton in the Flames lineup who have dominated this battle.

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#11 CTown
February 21 2012, 10:57PM
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It's not the loss that bothers me. It's the lack of emotion. I just don't get it. They keep talking about having control of our own destiny but yet this is how they show up.

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#12 beloch
February 21 2012, 11:54PM
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The Flames seem to need a good kick in the butt every now and then to stay on track. How many stretches have we seen them playing sloppy hockey and alternating 1 goal wins with 1 goal losses only to get massacred and then bounce back for a streak (e.g. Boston)?

Well, tonight they skipped the extended period of sloppy play and went straight for the boot to nethers. If they can use this humiliation to fuel another streak, it's a good thing in the long run.

Hey, at least they got the kick from a team that's not in the playoff race. It's far better to lose to Edmonton than L.A.! Also, by the end of the season an extra two points might just be enough to bump Edmonton down a spot in the next draft.

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#13 Captain Ron
February 22 2012, 12:17AM
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They played really well and we were not even in it. It was bound to happen sooner or later against the Oilers. Lord knows we've given it to them enough times in the last few years. Even the Bruins have had a few bad losses lately. Crap happens. Not that big a deal.

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#14 backburner
February 22 2012, 12:24AM
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I knew the Flames would blow this one.. what should have been an easy two points at home turns out to be an embarassing loss. How was I able to predict this? This team is not focused, or dominate in anyway.

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#15 KetchupKid
February 22 2012, 12:41AM
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Could have been worse. They could have lost to one of the clubs that are fighting them for 8th spot. Still... Edmonton...

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#16 Vintage Flame
February 22 2012, 01:12AM
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No doubt this loss stings because we've become so accustomed to beating Stinktown. In the end this loss won't matter much IF the Flames can stay on course and win the games they need to win.. ie 2 Phoenix games within a week.

Losing those games will be what sinks this ship. I'm not saying this loss is acceptable because it wasn't. Yeah the Oil played a strong game, but what's more of a concern is that the Flames played a terrible game.

With Butler down now, do they turn to Babchuk? Yikes. Or do they look in another direction... it sounds like Smith is very close to returning. Hopefully sooner than later.

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#17 StatsGuru
February 22 2012, 02:22AM
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FireOnIce wrote:

I blame Mike Keenan. Could've used his salary on some stockades to put some of our... lesser performing players in for all to see and jeer.

Sutter needs a taser so that he can shock some of these players into doing their damn jobs.

Tonight's game was god awful. Oilers were money and outshot, outhit, and outplayed us. Not even Kipper could stop them. We really need to learn how to score and beat the teams that we "should" beat.

Get real and take off the rose colored glasses - there aren't ANY teams in the league that the Flickers "should" beat.

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#18 FireOnIce
February 22 2012, 02:27AM
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@StatsGuru

If they can beat Vancouver, Detroit, and San Jose, I think that it becomes fair to say they should beat the Oilers.

Trolls be trollin', and Oiler's beat writers be posting gloating articles immediately after their first win in 9 games. Does it ever end with these idiots? There is such a thing as gracious winning...

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#19 ^^^IMANIDIOT^^^
February 22 2012, 04:09AM
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FireOnIce wrote:

If they can beat Vancouver, Detroit, and San Jose, I think that it becomes fair to say they should beat the Oilers.

Trolls be trollin', and Oiler's beat writers be posting gloating articles immediately after their first win in 9 games. Does it ever end with these idiots? There is such a thing as gracious winning...

Huh...where are these gloating beat writers??? Perhaps you ought to read the Calgary Beat for the heartbeat (oh wait the Flames DIDNT have one) of how the game went.

Methinks the Flames without Kiprusoff = A geriatric Columbus Team. Sheesh

Btw WTH is Gracious Winning?? and where does that occur in Calgary??

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#20 Bruce Veloor
February 22 2012, 07:47AM
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At times even the most manly of men need to take a day off. I'll have you know I did such a thing on this day also. Only difference is Remy Martin was the reason I fell down while Mount Gay Rum picked me up, dusted me off and sent me back out into the game of life. Perhaps they can learn this lesson from my profound wisdom. _BV

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#21 A18
February 22 2012, 07:55AM
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'Methinks the Flames without Kiprusoff = A geriatric Columbus Team. Sheesh'

Arguments like these border on complete idiocy, sports or not if you take out a major asset of course it will impact productivity. But the fact remains that HE IS A FLAME and there is absolutely no point in making baseless arguments like this. You could use your example in countless situations/teams but 'what if' scenarios mean nothing.

They played terrible but simply put it's one game, that's all. I'll worry about it if it begins to become a trend.

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#22 ^^^IMANIDIOT^^^
February 22 2012, 08:54AM
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A18 wrote:

'Methinks the Flames without Kiprusoff = A geriatric Columbus Team. Sheesh'

Arguments like these border on complete idiocy, sports or not if you take out a major asset of course it will impact productivity. But the fact remains that HE IS A FLAME and there is absolutely no point in making baseless arguments like this. You could use your example in countless situations/teams but 'what if' scenarios mean nothing.

They played terrible but simply put it's one game, that's all. I'll worry about it if it begins to become a trend.

A18--the point is that Kiprusoff is the ONLY ASSET they have who performs on a regular basis. Do they have a star vet (nope Iggy has seen better days)? Do they have anything on the Farm or in the system that will arrive in say 2 years? (guess Kolanos signing and callup answers that question).

and good thing you have a bit of dementia cause 9-0 should ring a bell.

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#23 non descript
February 22 2012, 09:10AM
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if the flames don't make the playoffs this season, what is the next move for the team? there does not appear to be one hockey mind in canada (except maybe in calgary) that believes this flames team is going to get better on its current course. in fact, judging from the comments made by unbiased media "experts", this team is in the playoff race based on smoke and mirrors more than anything else and really has no business in the playoff race to begin with. just a quick glance at the line combos the flames floated out there last night and i tend to agree with those "experts". that being said, calgary fans keep believing that your collection of castoffs, "c" grinder prospects, aged stars and non-playoff making defencemen will lead you to a stanley cup, and by lead I mean riding on kiprusoffs back. and i know you have some injuries. too bad, backlund was really emerging as that top line offensive threat.......

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#24 Peter
February 22 2012, 11:08AM
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I'm not feeling all this talk about how the team didn't show up.

They had a game plan and they stuck to it.

"Man, I'm beat. "Well its only Edmonton, we could just give it to them, not like they're in the pack for points to climb." "Good idea, is Kip in the room?" "Nah... he'll figure it out eventually though."

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#25 A18
February 22 2012, 12:38PM
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@ IMANIDIOT

The point I was making is that you can't just take one piece of the equation (ie Kipper) and then assume that the team is nothing without a single player. Yes is a huge component but only a portion of the whole. You saw the remaining portion not show up last night and the consequences of their inaction.

You can use that analogy and apply it to countless examples for other teams. I don't see the value in these type of arguments, Kipper is a part of the team plain and simple. To assume what a team would be like without a single player holds little value.

Yes we lost to the Bruins 9-0, that game and last night are outliers. If you base an opinion on that then your scope is naturally going to be limited.

Anyways enjoy your first victory in some time, I've been hearing about this so called Oilers resurgence for years now. Maybe they play well, maybe they collapse. Time will tell.

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#26 Jerconjake
February 22 2012, 02:33PM
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A18 wrote:

'Methinks the Flames without Kiprusoff = A geriatric Columbus Team. Sheesh'

Arguments like these border on complete idiocy, sports or not if you take out a major asset of course it will impact productivity. But the fact remains that HE IS A FLAME and there is absolutely no point in making baseless arguments like this. You could use your example in countless situations/teams but 'what if' scenarios mean nothing.

They played terrible but simply put it's one game, that's all. I'll worry about it if it begins to become a trend.

Actually, if you look at the Flames' underlying numbers, they aren't that different from the Oilers in most cases. The only thing keeping the team alive is the goalie, and it's not long in the future that Calgary will have to start thinking about life after Kiprusoff. It's something Flames fans should be very concerned about.

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