Post-Game: That's Why They Call It the Blues

Ryan Pike
February 15 2013 10:20PM

 

Fresh off a wild and wooly 7-4 win over the surging Dallas Stars, your Calgary Flames hoped to continue that momentum against the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately, a tremendously bad (and one-sided) first 25 minutes of the hockey game sunk that plan.

On the night after Valentine's Day, the Flames got lit up in the first period – with two goals apiece spoiling both the start of Leland Irving and the debut of Joey “MacBackup” MacDonald. The club got their feet moving and their mojo working in the second and third periods, but just could not bury the biscuit and fell by a 5-2 score.

THE RUNDOWN

The night began with the promise of a goaltending duel between AHL stand-outs Leland Irving (of the Abbotsford Heat) and Jake Allen (of the Peoria Rivermen). Within a few minutes, that proved to be a false premise.

 The Blues scored 88 seconds into the game, with Jaden Schwartz potting one past Irving on an awful clearing attempt by Dennis Wideman. A few minutes (and a couple shots) later, Patrick Berglund put one past Irving and Flames head coach Bob Hartley yanked his starter in favour of the newly-acquired Joey MacDonald. Surely the veteran back-up could calm things down?

Nope. The Blues scored twice more in the first, leading 4-0 on 12 shots after 20 minutes. The Flames were out-shot 12-8 and out-chanced 6-3 in the opening stanza. T.J. Brodie had a great chance in the first on a wide-open feed, but Jake Allen robbed him with his stick in an amazing, amazing save.

The Flames were penned in a bit in their own end in the second period, then gradually woke up. St. Louis began to sit back with a 4-goal lead and allowed the Flames to get back into the proceedings a tad. They out-shot the Blues 15-5 in the second and narrowly out-chanced them 7-6, but failed to bury all but one of their opportunities. Dennis Wideman scored on the power-play with a few minutes left in the second to put the Flames on the board.

The third period was more even-keeled. The Blues and Flames went back and forth, with Calgary getting more of the chances early but, sadly, failing to capitalize. Curtis Glencross brought the Flames within two on an excellent pass from Jarome Iginla two minutes into the second. Could the Flames get closer? Nope. Blake Comeau missed a yawning cage with Allen sprawling to the side of the net. Soon after, the Blues got on the power-play and David Perron buried his second marker of the night to put St. Louis up by a 5-2 score and, sadly, that's how things ended.

Calgary out-shot St. Louis 9-8 in the third (and 32-25 in the game), but the Blues out-chanced them 6-5 in the third (and 18-15 overall). The Flames edged the Blues in the face-off circle by a 27-25 margin.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Well, they had an awful first period and made both of their goaltenders look terrible. Neither goalie got any defensive (or offensive) support and Dennis Wideman had easily his worst period as a Calgary Flame.

It's hard to pin this loss on either or the goalies (although the second Perron goal was a wide-open shot from the blueline) but in games like this, when your team is running around like fools in the first period, a good goalie has to bail his team out. Both Irving and MacDonald had the chance to be that guy in the first period, and didn't. Not sure where the Flames go from here in terms of netminders.

Beyond that, it was a game of chances and the Flames had truly awful luck in failing to bury them. Blake Comeau and T.J. Brodie will have nightmares about the wide-open nets they failed to score on.

FIRESTARTER

Curtis Glencross showed a bit of spark, for a team that drastically needed some. He led the Flames with 5 shots, had a pair of hits and scored his 100 th career NHL marker to bring the Flames some life.

SUM IT UP

The Flames lost on Friday night. They drop to 4-5-3 on the second and, at the time of this writing, four points outside of a playoff spot. Granted, they've got games in hand on basically the entire league, but they're not making it easy on themselves. They have been occasionally good, occasionally bad, but sadly inconsistent from game-to-game (and within games). And you've got to believe that the Flames are as frustrated as their fans are after a quarter of the regular season has come and gone.

Regardless, the club wil fly out tomorrow to the American southwest. On Sunday they visit the Dallas Stars and then they hit up Phoenix to play the Coyotes on Monday. And they'll have to learn to forget awful performances like they had in their first period tonight, as they need to re-group and try to put together some points.

A quarter of the season has elapsed and the clock is ticking on getting into the playoff picture.

 

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Now in his third full season covering the Calgary Flames and the NHL, Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's trying to keep his head up, his stick on the ice and is giving it 110% every shift. You can also find his work at The Hockey Writers, the Wrestling Observer and Tough Talk MMA.
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#1 loudogYYC
February 15 2013, 11:12PM
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This game was way more of a test than whatever that Dallas game was, and they failed, within the first 17 minutes.

Stajan isn't a top 6 player, Comeau isn't a full time NHL player and they both played over 13 minutes. This is a patchwork team and shouldn't make the playoffs. I just hope it becomes obvious sooner rather than later.

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#2 clYDE
February 15 2013, 11:28PM
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These types of games really do help expose the areas that need consideration provided that management truly can address things and make necessary moves. My worry though is that ownership is fine knowing that in Calgary fans will continue to buy tickets as well as Iginla and Kipper jerseys no matter what.

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#3 Captain Ron
February 15 2013, 11:35PM
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Comeau is useless. Why does he get so much ice time. He has no finish. It's hard to believe he ever scored more than 20 goals in a season. He belongs in the AHL.

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#4 Kurt
February 15 2013, 11:41PM
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2 games in a row we get backup goalies (tonight a farm team rookie). Shows what other teams think of us. We are the easy win where you rest your real goalie.

I just hope Feaster realizes its time to face reality and make a new plan.

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#5 Bean-counting cowboy
February 15 2013, 11:50PM
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I wanted to post in the game day article how this the Night the goalie gets pulled. Saw this coming somehow. Know my Flames too well. I should start betting on the games.

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#6 schevvy
February 15 2013, 11:58PM
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@Kurt

In fairness, Halak's hurt and Elliot's been atrocious. Plus Allen did start vs Detroit as well. But we have seen a number of back-ups (Colorado, Chicago, Dallas)

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#7 T&A4Flames
February 15 2013, 11:59PM
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Yep, further evidence that a change is needed. Not a full blown blow up but moving out some vets for youth, draft picks and prospects.

Good luck Jerome, I will cheer for you winning the cup on whatever team you go to.... Even the (god forbid) Canucks.

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#8 Kevin R
February 16 2013, 12:07AM
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Tick tock, its only the 15th but the end of Feb is fast approaching & then the real trade talk starts to heat up. In all truth, I like this team way better than the last 2 years. Its just too late & agree this isnt a full blow up. I too will pull for Iggy to win a cup where ever he may land. For the love of Mike, someone tell Feasty to call Murray in Ottawa, if there was ever a time to get a 5th for Babchuk, I think Ottawa would do it. I also believe they would part with a 2nd for Butler, they are that desperate.

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#9 SnappingPacco
February 16 2013, 02:16AM
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"The night began with the promise of a goaltending duel between AHL stand-outs Leland Irving (of the Abbotsford Heat) and Jake Allen (of the Peoria Rivermen). Within a few minutes, that proved to be a false premise."

Didn't know that Irving was a standout in the AHL...(unless you meant it in a that he was horrible).

If Brodie had been able to score that beautiful set up by Hudler and company, the game could have gone differently, becoming I believe a 2-1 score and a totally different game.

What were the thoughts on Horak? I thought he played alright, with some confidence on a couple of shifts, didn't see to much of the game though so just looking for some thoughts.

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#10 exsanguinator
February 16 2013, 03:01AM
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"We shouldn't even be talking about our goalies tonight. We just didn't give them a chance," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We handed them the game. A couple of bad turnovers in the first period in our zone, giveaways, and that's a team simply too deep in talent to give them point-blank shots. We fought back, but the damage was done."

I'm not entirely sure if I agree with this... Both of Irving's looked pretty week to me. MacBackup did a little better.

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#11 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 07:09AM
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at the quarter post of the season, haven't we been here before columbus is the only team beneath the flames. intellectual honesty appears to be lacking in the organization.

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#12 Robear
February 16 2013, 08:34AM
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Du Calme everyone. Not the best game for the Flames, but hardly the call to jettison all luggage in hopes of the plane making it to land! They deserved to lose based on the quality of the scoring chances in the 1st period, but they weren't wildy out chanced, and they again showed some character by not giving up. A couple bounces and a timely save... or two.. (ok maybe three) and this could have gone the other way. I'm still encouraged by the season so far. Given the gloom surrounding the team's direction and the off-season additions, Wideman came as advertised, an offensive defenceman who has some defensive lapses and Hudler has been much more than I expected and while the jury is still out on Cervenka's ceiling, the potential is there. Its a breath of fresh air to see Hartley's system work so well for the team. Up tempo, aggressive aiming to outscore the other team, rather than Sutter's "batten down the hatches and pray for Kipper" school of hockey.

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#13 Franko J
February 16 2013, 08:56AM
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Once upon a time other teams feared coming into Calgary to play the Flames. Teams would come in knowing it was going to be a hard fought battle. While the Flames this season seemed to improve their skill level, I just have the feeling that other teams know we are soft, small, and play with little or no grit.

If anything last night's game proved how many players on this team just don't know how to execute the game plan and put the puck in the net.

It is easy to blame the goaltender for a poor performance, I think the other 20 players in the dressing room should seriously look at their inability to play the game at the highest level. Granted last night was only 1 game, but I get the real sense that this team still struggles with the issue of inconsistency. One game good. One game bad. Until they find the way to play consistently as a team this is pretty much what to expect for the rest of this season.

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#14 Primo
February 16 2013, 09:15AM
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Time to focus on the future! Can you just imagine what the Blues would give for both Kipper and Iggy at the trade deadline.....Ty Rattie...1st and 2nd rounders...etc etc. No fantasy here time to reload!!

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#15 Colin.S
February 16 2013, 10:39AM
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Flames just put Blair Jones on Waivers. So it's confirmed that the guys in the big chairs have no freaking clue what they are doing right? Jones was your perfect 4th line center, he won more than 70% of his draws and was a even(+\-) player last night as well.

They only reason I can think of making this move, is they have to free up a contract slot(they are at 49/50). They wouldn't be in such a bind if they didn't bugger up the goalie mess(5 contracts LOL, Kipper, Irvine, MacDonald, Ortio and Taylor).

So maybe we see a trade tomorrow, however, I doubt it, this management is out to lunch.

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#16 negrilcowboy
February 16 2013, 11:26AM
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Colin.S wrote:

Flames just put Blair Jones on Waivers. So it's confirmed that the guys in the big chairs have no freaking clue what they are doing right? Jones was your perfect 4th line center, he won more than 70% of his draws and was a even(+\-) player last night as well.

They only reason I can think of making this move, is they have to free up a contract slot(they are at 49/50). They wouldn't be in such a bind if they didn't bugger up the goalie mess(5 contracts LOL, Kipper, Irvine, MacDonald, Ortio and Taylor).

So maybe we see a trade tomorrow, however, I doubt it, this management is out to lunch.

Uncle Feaster should keep handing out the pink slips to Comeau,Smith and company, free up a half a dozen more spots by purging the flat tires this organization is overrun by.

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#17 RKD
February 16 2013, 11:30AM
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St. Louis is a vastly superior team with elite talent. Despite their recent struggles they have the depth and top players to play consistent hockey and can elevate.

Despite the additions of Hudler, Wideman, Cervenka, a new coach with an uptempo style we are still seeing the same results. More entertaining hockey isn't resulting in more wins.

The Flames would need to go 22-13-1 just to hit 56 points or .600 hockey the rest of the way.

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#18 Potlicker
February 16 2013, 12:24PM
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RKD wrote:

St. Louis is a vastly superior team with elite talent. Despite their recent struggles they have the depth and top players to play consistent hockey and can elevate.

Despite the additions of Hudler, Wideman, Cervenka, a new coach with an uptempo style we are still seeing the same results. More entertaining hockey isn't resulting in more wins.

The Flames would need to go 22-13-1 just to hit 56 points or .600 hockey the rest of the way.

LOL!!When these guys play .500 hockey many fans start jumping on the playoff bandwagon. Someone needs to do some graphs or something that show that .500 hockey gets you the 9th or 10th pick over all. Does this edition of the Flames give anyone reason to expect more than .500?

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#19 Kurt
February 16 2013, 12:36PM
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Potlicker wrote:

LOL!!When these guys play .500 hockey many fans start jumping on the playoff bandwagon. Someone needs to do some graphs or something that show that .500 hockey gets you the 9th or 10th pick over all. Does this edition of the Flames give anyone reason to expect more than .500?

According to sportsclubstats if we go .500 we have a 0% chance of making the playoffs.

Zero.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Western/Northwest/Calgary.html

We sit now at a 25% chance and basically need to get 19 wins from here on to have any chance at all.

Just a few more loses and the math will become so tilted against us that even delusional feaster will have no choice but to move Iggy and Kipper

Iggy to penguins. Crosby, Malkin, Niel + iggy = cup

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#20 Potlicker
February 16 2013, 12:41PM
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Kurt wrote:

According to sportsclubstats if we go .500 we have a 0% chance of making the playoffs.

Zero.

http://www.sportsclubstats.com/NHL/Western/Northwest/Calgary.html

We sit now at a 25% chance and basically need to get 19 wins from here on to have any chance at all.

Just a few more loses and the math will become so tilted against us that even delusional feaster will have no choice but to move Iggy and Kipper

Iggy to penguins. Crosby, Malkin, Niel + iggy = cup

I'm counting down the games until intellectual honesty is in black & white. Hope Feasty knows how to read.

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#21 Franko J
February 16 2013, 12:58PM
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Any deals Feaster will make he is going to get fleeced. I say bye the time the trade deadline comes and goes he will be known as Jay "Family Guy" Fleecester. At this point any trades Flames do make will be scrutinized. As well, they won't get fair value in any trade they do make. If they do I will be quit shocked.

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#22 Potlicker
February 16 2013, 01:04PM
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Franko J wrote:

Any deals Feaster will make he is going to get fleeced. I say bye the time the trade deadline comes and goes he will be known as Jay "Family Guy" Fleecester. At this point any trades Flames do make will be scrutinized. As well, they won't get fair value in any trade they do make. If they do I will be quit shocked.

You are right if the trade is made to make the playoffs this year. We win if he starts to stockpile decent prospects that are almost NHL ready & 1st rounders. There will still be naysayers but the hockey world as a whole have been pretty consistent in how the Flames should proceed.

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