Post-Game: Never in Doubt

Kent Wilson
November 07 2013 09:01PM

 

The Flames rolled into St. Louis with what could charitably be called a sub-optimal line-up (due to a variety of reasons), which is why the game was never really in doubt, even though the score ended up close by the end of the night. St. Louis took a lead early in the contest and played a slow, choking, Hitchcockian style game for the rest of the night.

The Rundown

The first period was a complete washout for the Flames. The Blues leaned on them hard in all aspects and dominated both the chance count and the shot clock. It only took about four minutes for St. Louis to take a 1-0 lead on a Vladamir Tarasenko powerplay goal. They stretched the lead to two around the 10 minute mark after Max Lapierre deflected a shot over Reto Berra's shoulder. Calgary generated next to nothing in terms of zone time or quality looks, garnering just one scoring chance and two shots on net. The chance count ended up 7-1 in favor of the Blues.

The second period was better from a Calgary perspective, in part because the Blues beat a steady path to the penalty box in the middle frame. Three of Calgary's eight total chances on the night were generated on a sequence involving Colborne and Backlund during a Flames PP, but they couldn't find the back of the net. Shortly after that, Alex Steen found himself alone in front of the Flames cage and deposited his NHL leading 14th goal to put the Blues up by three. TJ Galiardi made a few nice individual plays to create some noteworthy shots on net before the end of the frame, but it wasn't enough to break the goose egg.

The Blues were satisfied with sitting in the neutral zone and clogging things up the rest of the way. The Flames only managed two more chances in the third - a Tim Jackman backhand from the slot and a Cammalleri rebound shot - and, ironically, both went in. Nevertheless, St. Louis hung on for the one goal win, even with a last minute penalty putting them on the PK. Alas, Calgary's suddenly impotent PP couldn't make a dent in the Blues defense.

Why the Flames Lost

Because they were grossly outmatched when the game was in doubt. The Blues are one of the better teams in the league and would be a stiff test even for a fully healthy Flames club, let alone one beset by significant injuries. Calgary created just five even strength scoring chances all night, which is usually a fairly middling for a single period.

Red Warrior

He didn't get a point, but let's give it to TJ Galiardi, who was one of the few Flames who appeared frequently dangerous.

Scoring Chances

Flames in Blue, Blues in Red (reversed!)

 

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 17:27 Steen PP 1 20 22 27 42 74 7 17 18 29 44   5v4
Home 1 17:00 Bouwmeester PP 1 9 19 21 33 91 4 6 11 29 39   5v4
Home 1 16:59 Tarasenko goal PP 1 5 20 22 42 74 4 6 15 23 24 29 5v5
Home 1 13:34 Pietrangelo PP 1 20 22 27 42 74 7 17 18 29 44   5v4
Away 1 11:22 Monahan 1 5 9 21 46 91 7 15 23 24 29 44 5v5
Home 1 9:48 Lapierre goal 1 9 19 21 46 91 7 13 23 24 29 44 5v5
Home 1 4:12 Lapierre 1 20 33 40 46 75 7 15 17 23 29 44 5v5
Home 1 1:42 Steen 1 20 33 42 46 74 7 15 23 24 29 44 5v5
Home 2 17:48 Berglund 1 9 19 21 27 91 7 17 18 29 39 44 5v5
Away 2 14:30 Colborne PP 1 5 9 17 46   7 8 11 18 29 44 4v5
Away 2 14:29 Colborne PP 1 5 9 17 46   7 8 11 18 29 44 4v5
Away 2 14:28 Backlund PP 1 5 9 17 46   7 8 11 18 29 44 4v5
Home 2 14:06 Steen goal 1 17 20 22 33 74 7 11 23 24 29 44 5v5
Away 2 7:53 Galiardi wrap around 1 19 20 25 27 42 8 29 39 44 55 59 5v5
Away 2 4:05 Galiardi in close 1 9 21 22 33 91 23 29 39 44 55 59 5v5
Home 2 3:05 Backes 1 12 19 25 27 42 4 7 13 18 24 29 5v5
Home 3 19:36 Oshie 1 19 20 27 42 74 7 17 18 29 44 54 5v5
Home 3 18:30 Tarasenko 1 5 9 17 22 91 4 6 8 13 24 29 5v5
Away 3 15:20 Jackman goal 1 9 21 33 46 91 15 23 29 41 55 59 5v5
Home 3 10:51 Steen 2on1 1 12 17 19 25 27 7 15 23 29 44 59 5v5
Away 3 5:11 Cammalleri rebound goal 1 5 9 21 22 91 4 6 15 23 29 59 5v5
Home 3 4:38 Tarasenko 1 5 9 21 22 91 4 6 15 23 29 59 5v5

 

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 16:21 1 4 07:12 0 0 01:31 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 16:01 1 3 07:37 0 0 00:59 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 17:17 1 8 05:32 3 0 03:28 0 2
8 COLBORNE, JOE 13:29 1 1 04:51 3 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 06:39 0 1 04:02 3 0 02:08 0 1
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 13:26 0 3 06:04 0 0 00:57 0 0
15 JACKMAN, TIM 08:51 3 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 08:02 0 3 00:02 0 0 02:27 0 2
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:09 0 3 04:56 3 0 02:18 0 2
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 11:58 4 7 03:30 0 0 00:07 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 13:54 1 6 07:53 0 0 00:27 0 0
29 BERRA, RETO   5 11   3 0   0 3
39 GALIARDI, TJ 13:16 2 1 00:00 0 0 01:13 0 1
41 BILLINS, CHAD 06:55 1 0 03:20 0 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 18:57 3 7 00:19 3 0 03:35 0 2
54 JONES, DAVID 11:52 0 1 05:08 0 0 00:21 0 0
55 O'BRIEN, SHANE 10:43 3 0 00:00 0 0 00:25 0 0
59 REINHART, MAX 10:29 4 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0

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

 

Sum it up

Calgary's a mediocre team with lots of injuries running on empty on the road right now. The coach is also waging some sort of weird war of attrition against a couple of the club's noteworthy young players, so guys like McGrattan and Jackman are playing even more than you would expect. The Flames have now lost six of their last eight games and are facing a difficult turn around to play in Colorado tomorrow night.

Tough times.

39d8109299a9795cb3b41a4e9b49d501
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 beloch
November 07 2013, 09:05PM
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Your chances list is missing McG. Subconscious slip?

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#2 beloch
November 07 2013, 09:06PM
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10:29 has to be considered a good night for Reinhart, especially since he started the game by taking a bad penalty that cost the Flames a goal.

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#3 Jeff In Lethbridge
November 07 2013, 09:09PM
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picking top 3 for sure in the draft!!!

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#4 Colin
November 07 2013, 10:19PM
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Jeff In Lethbridge wrote:

picking top 3 for sure in the draft!!!

Doubt it, I predict the 5-7 spot again. Buffalo is REALLY bad, and when they offload some more are going to get worse. Edmonton seems to think that winning first overall in the draft is actually winning something and looks to be bad enough to draft in a better spot than us. Philly and Florida may not get out of the basement either.

If we get our guys back from injury and some other guys step up to replace guys like O'brien I think we are going to be better than bottom 3 in the leageu, not much better mind you. But just out of reach of that elite level talent.

Now if Camm, Stempniak and more walk in the summer and we can't effectively replace them, next year might be top 3 bad.

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#5 Sincity1976
November 07 2013, 10:31PM
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Can anyone give me a sober reason why Baertschi was scratched and Backlund had the least amount of time 5 on 5 of any forward? I am confused.

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#6 ?
November 07 2013, 10:38PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

Can anyone give me a sober reason why Baertschi was scratched and Backlund had the least amount of time 5 on 5 of any forward? I am confused.

Hartley's sleeping with Jackman?

That, or Hartley is trying to prove a point to the youngsters.

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#7 ?
November 07 2013, 10:44PM
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? wrote:

Hartley's sleeping with Jackman?

That, or Hartley is trying to prove a point to the youngsters.

But no, in all seriousness, I think Hartley just feels that Baertschi isn't playing good enough in 2 of the 3 zones, and that demoting Backlund will somehow send a mssg to him to start getting some lucky bounces or some crap like that. I mean, playing Backs 6:39 at even strength? If they want offence from him, do they expect it to come with 4th line minutes?

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#8 alkali
November 07 2013, 10:56PM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

Can anyone give me a sober reason why Baertschi was scratched and Backlund had the least amount of time 5 on 5 of any forward? I am confused.

The only thing I can think of is size - the Blues are a big team, so my guess is that Hartley was trying to insert some size. We will probably see Baertschi in tomorrow; Colorado is a speedy team, but they are not overly big.

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#9 Lober
November 07 2013, 11:19PM
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IF SVEN GETS SCRATCHED ONE MORE TIME I MIGHT LOSE MY MIND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#10 SmellOfVictory
November 07 2013, 11:39PM
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@Lober

Yikes. Filter is there for a reason.

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#11 beloch
November 08 2013, 12:02AM
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? wrote:

But no, in all seriousness, I think Hartley just feels that Baertschi isn't playing good enough in 2 of the 3 zones, and that demoting Backlund will somehow send a mssg to him to start getting some lucky bounces or some crap like that. I mean, playing Backs 6:39 at even strength? If they want offence from him, do they expect it to come with 4th line minutes?

Backlund did get 4:02 on the powerplay (0 shots, 3 chances). He hasn't had much PP time at all lately, so maybe Hartley is trying to jump-start something.

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#12 loudogYYC
November 08 2013, 12:28AM
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@Jeff In Lethbridge

Thanks to the forfeited NJ pick, this might just be possible!

I know it's early to focus on the 2014 draft, but Aaron Ekblad would be an amazing pick for us. 6'3" 210 lbs RH defensive stud, this kid has top 2 written all over him.

Tonight's game was a little painful to watch, mostly because the Blues, like the Kings, just manhandle most teams. I love the fight in these guys though, they hold on and push back and always find a way to climb back. Hartley may be hard to read with some of his moves, but he sure has this team working together.

Baertschi will show up tomorrow, mark it!

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#13 jeremywilhelm
November 08 2013, 12:37AM
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It would be nice if we had one, ONE NHL calibre goalie...

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#14 Craig
November 08 2013, 01:45AM
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@jeremywilhelm

John gillies will save us. He just has to.

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#15 the-wolf
November 08 2013, 07:37AM
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@Kent Wilson

"The coach is also waging some sort of weird war of attrition against a couple of the club's noteworthy young players, so guys like McGrattan and Jackman are playing even more than you would expect."

I hate the mind games, they get really old, really fast.

It wouldn't even bother me if it were done to all of the players on an equal formatting or evenjust all of the young players, but as has already been pointed out here, it only seems to be directed at Backlund and Baerstchi.

Take Monahan, for example. He's been very average the last few games (which is fine, not knocking him, he's 19), but doesn't seem to be under the same set of rules. Let alone vets like Stajan, et al.

Those guys both need a fair shake playing top 6 minutes with quality linemates and 1st unit pp for a solid 10 game stretch. Then judge/discipline them or whatever.

But if we end up ruining those two I think I might lose it. Not comparing their respective levels of ability at all, but I seem to remember losing the likes of St. Louis and Savard due to similar egotistical mind games from coaches who, guess what?, are long gone and barely remembered.

This can't go on like this for the whole season. It simply can't. It'll ruin both of them or they'll get moved and flourish elsewhere while in 2 years we'll most likely have a new coach anyways.

The worry for me with Backlund is that we don't get equal value back. He's just one of those guys who is worth more to the team than he is as trade bait. And Sven? I don't think we'd get equal value on par with his potential level either.

Something has to be done. Feaster can't let this fester for much longer without stepping in.

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#16 Burnward
November 08 2013, 08:40AM
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Well, no Gio, no Ninja, no GlenX...we're about to find out what a rebuild really looks like!

Go get em kids!

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#17 piscera.infada
November 08 2013, 09:07AM
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Burnward wrote:

Well, no Gio, no Ninja, no GlenX...we're about to find out what a rebuild really looks like!

Go get em kids!

Yup, and it's likely going to be tough to watch tonight (unless the last Colorado game was an indication they're slipping).

I'm not sure we can put much stock into last night's horrible first period. You could make a pretty solid case that St. Louis is best team in the league - both in terms of personnel and style of play.

On a positive note, the team didn't fold last night, as was the norm the past few years. That has to be worth something.

Also, is there a website or stat that shows (ranks) the strength of schedule over the first 16 games (or periods of the season more broadly)? I know they do it in the NFL - although that's far easier. It just seems that our schedule has been ridiculous to start the year. Obviously this will be the norm, given our division and conference. I'd just like to put some context to our start relative to some of the other teams that are in similar situations (Edmonton, Florida, New Jersey, Winnipeg, etc.).

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#18 SmellOfVictory
November 08 2013, 09:30AM
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Sincity1976 wrote:

Can anyone give me a sober reason why Baertschi was scratched and Backlund had the least amount of time 5 on 5 of any forward? I am confused.

My best guess is that they're both young Europeans. The only two on the team.

CONSPIRACY

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#19 Primo
November 08 2013, 11:14AM
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Kent...given the Flames current record, injuries, tough conference etc it's now time to refocus.

Young player development + strategic trading of veterans = Top 3 pick!

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