Post-Game: Flames Deal With The Devils

Ryan Pike
October 11 2013 10:07PM

 

With points in their first four games of the season, the Calgary Flames had a unique opportunity before them on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. After 60 minutes of hard-fought, occasionally chess-like hockey, the Flames were able to make a little bit of history.

THE RUNDOWN

The first period was pretty even and quite back and forth. The Flames out-shot the Devils 10-7, but New Jersey struck first. With the Flames on a power-play, Curtis Glencross took a tripping penalty and after a brief period of four-on-four, the Devils got a truncated power-play opportunity. On the heels of an exchange featuring some nice passing (and some nice reflex saves from Joey MacDonald), Adam Henrique put the puck past MacDonald for his first goal of the year, giving New Jersey a 1-0 lead. The Devils goal was scored just after Glencross' penalty expired, but the zone control the Devils gained was due to their PP.

The Flames power-play was the star of the second period. The teams each had 10 shots on net in the second, but the Devils definitely carried the play. The difference - and what kept Calgary in the contest - was a combination of the Devils' lack of discipline and Calgary's opportunism on the PP.

Case in point: Calgary tied the game on a beautiful one-timer from Dennis Wideman on a power-play created by an Anton Volchenkov penalty in the Devils' zone. The Devils kept pressing and re-took the lead on a Dainus Zubrus one-timer from the point that beat Joey MacDonald at the top-corner (but wasn't really screened), putting the Devils up 2-1. However, just three minutes and change later, the Flames tied it up. After Michael Ryder took a goalie interference penalty - nullifying a potential third Devils goal - Mark Giordano capped a nice power-play by deking past two Devils forwards and going back-hand on a sprawling Martin Brodeur to tie the game up at 2. Granted, Brodeur was expecting a different shot from the point and went down too early, but hey, the Flames PP scored for a second time and kept the Flames in it.

There was lots of Flames pressure early in the third period, including one segment where the fourth line created two nice little opportunities and another where the Baertschi line had maybe six or seven whacks at the puck in front of Brodeur - but the wily veteran made several gorgeous saves to keep things dead-locked. The Flames ended up getting hemmed into their own zone for a while with about seven minutes left: Bouma blocked two shots, Backlund blocked two shots, and the Flames ended up getting a two-on-one opportunity out of it. The Flames have adopted a more structured, PK-like system in their own zone. It's a bit passive for my tastes, but it does prevent them from running around like fools in their own zone.

The Flames went ahead with just over two minutes left when Baertschi, on the half-boards, found Sean Monahan on the far side of the crease through a maze of coverage for a one-timed slap-pass. They managed to hold on following a late penalty to Mark Giordano to win their third game of 2013-14.

FLAME OF THE GAME

Giants #10 Lance Bouma, Giants #25 Nick Ross

I'm gonna go with Lance Bouma. Number 17 got his first taste of the top-nine and didn't look out of place. Moreover, when the Flames got hemmed in their zone in the third with the game tied, he sacrified his body to keep the game stuck at 2-2. He didn't get any points, but Bouma definitely factored in on the score-sheet.

Honourable mention to Jiri Hudler, who had two assists.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

In short, the Flames stuck to their system. In the third period, the Devils got tired and got a bit sloppy defensively. The Flames stuck to their coverage and got a few lucky breaks - two power-play goals and a gorgeous, gorgeous pass from Baertschi on the winning goal that made it to Monahan's stick

SCORING CHANCES

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 19:59 4 6 01:51 0 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 16:45 1 2 05:02 3 0 01:04 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 21:54 5 6 04:49 4 0 02:23 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:49 4 4 01:38 1 0 01:21 0 1
8 COLBORNE, JOE 06:44 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 15:45 4 5 02:32 0 0 01:59 0 0
15 JACKMAN, TIM 05:49 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 06:08 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 15:14 3 6 00:00 0 0 01:06 0 1
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 14:45 1 3 04:08 4 0 00:00 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 11:57 2 4 03:51 4 0 00:37 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 13:59 4 1 02:32 0 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 16:43 4 2 04:23 4 0 00:00 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   11 12   4 0   0 1
38 STREET, BEN 14:44 2 6 00:17 0 0 01:21 0 1
39 GALIARDI, TJ 16:06 3 5 00:00 0 0 01:07 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 12:14 5 4 00:00 0 0 01:22 0 0
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 12:37 4 1 02:17 0 0 00:00 0 0
55 O'BRIEN, SHANE 08:49 3 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 2 3 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 7 6 4 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 4 5 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

 

SUM IT UP

Two big things happened: the Flames were opportunitic and their power-play kept them in the game. And then the Monahan experience continued, with the 18-year-old (he turns 19 tomorrow) scoring yet another big goal. Be sure to laugh at Kent in the comments.

The Flames hit the road with a 3-0-2 record and a lot of confidence in themselves and their systems.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#51 loudogYYC
October 12 2013, 01:42AM
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@gussey

He's from Toronto so yeah, he's Canadian. Not sure about team Canada though.

The top 4 looks real good right now minus Russell, I think he'd be better as a #5. If only there was a suitable free agent puck moving Dman like Toni Lydman out there...

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#52 seve927
October 12 2013, 09:02AM
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Ryan Pike wrote:

Last year they had no real training camp to bring in new systems.
Last year a few guys came in a bit heavy compared to where they would have wanted them to come in at.
Last year due to the lockout, the teams couldn't really communicate with players during the off-season to check in.
Last year a few guys may have been distracted because of the lockout.
Last year a few guys may have been distracted because of the contract status of Iginla.

"Locker room problems" is an over-simplification. There were a lot of factors that, combined together, caused last year to be what last year was.

But last year was the same as many years previous.

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#53 Clyde
October 12 2013, 09:42AM
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Renslip wrote:

would you say the word Truculence for me please?

(side note: only pluses to to Brian Burke are not having King there, and maybe winning a trade with Toronto for the first time in 25 years.)

Why did you bring up Burke and why are those the only positives to having him here?

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#54 Baalzamon
October 12 2013, 11:20AM
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When Stajan and Cammalleri return:

Glencross - Stajan - Cammalleri

Galiardi - Backlund - Hudler

Baertschi - Monahan - Stempniak

Bouma - Street - Colborne.

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#55 TRAV
October 12 2013, 11:40AM
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@Craig

With a long road trip coming up I am pretty certain that RAMO will see more action soon. (It will be great getting a better sense of what we have in net) Having said that I don't think that you can fault Hartley for sticking with whats working. It is funny how in spite of this terrific start everyone continues to question the coach and his decisions. I get it... this is the nature of the beast. (and what keeps sites like these fun) Having said that Joey is putting up wins. Ultimately this is the most important of all goalie stats. When the wins stop, by all means look for someone else to get things rolling again!

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#56 Mikeoxbig
October 12 2013, 12:16PM
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Yes, Jankowski scored two but Gilmour scored two as well. The review on the game praised Both players. Side note; they are on different lines.

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#57 SoCalFlamesFan
October 12 2013, 01:28PM
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We were supposed to be bottom 5 how are we top 4?

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#58 Vowswithin
October 12 2013, 09:42AM
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schevvy wrote:

Monahan has a SH% of 30.8. Sustainable.

Ugh why can't it be 12% :( something more reasonable... Well I'm going to enjoy this run while it is going because wins may become much harder to come by when not on a roll like this.

What's the team PDO now?

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#59 BurningSensation
October 12 2013, 01:28PM
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Mikeoxbig wrote:

Yes, Jankowski scored two but Gilmour scored two as well. The review on the game praised Both players. Side note; they are on different lines.

Here are the highlights from the game;

http://www.friars.com/sports/m-hockey/recaps/101113aaa.html

Janko's first, a nifty top shelf backhand (at about 45secs in)

His second was a goalmouth scramble tap in (at the end of the video)

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#60 MonsterPod
October 13 2013, 12:58PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I don't know if it's just me, but I don't want Stajan or Cammi returning too quick. If anything, teams like Philly & Rangers are really really struggling with offense. Maybe there is a market for them & we can score a 1st & another high end prospect for these guys to a desperate team trying to shake up their front lines. I like this line up & if we do start to struggle a bit or get injuries, I don't care what our record is, I want to give guys like Ramage, Cundari, Breen, Knight, Reinhart, Horak as many games possible in the NHL as well at some point this year. Lets have fun with this, & don't forget we are rebuilding. I wouldn't mind seeing Gaudreau, Arnold & Agostini later this year as well.

I totally agree and I get criticized for it. I understand the need for good vets, but I want to watch the future of the team, not the UFAs. Bring up Horak and Knight. I also think we should trade Colborne for a fourth.

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#61 SeanCharles
October 13 2013, 03:53PM
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@MonsterPod

Stajan and Cammy will be traded by the deadline. I also don't think MacDonald, Smith, Butler or Jackman will be here next season either.

We have prospects in the system that can fill those holes.

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#62 loudogYYC
October 13 2013, 11:35PM
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@SeanCharles

We may have prospects that can fill some gaps, but if the Flames have 5 rookies in next years starting line up, we'll be in trouble. I still hope they take on a few contracts and draft picks next summer, there's still gonna be lots of teams in cap trouble.

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