Flames Fall to Vancouver: A few Steps Back

Kent Wilson
February 09 2013 11:11PM

Both the Flames and Canucks entered this game with winning streaks, but that ended with a thud for Calgary. With both teams missing a bug chunk of their second lines, this evening was about how the hopefuls like Schroeder and Street would perform as well as the battle between the top lines.

Advantage: Canucks.

The Rundown

The first period was relatively close, with the Canucks enjoying a marginal edge in territorial play and chances, but with the Flames being the only team to score when Lee Stempniak banged home a Blake Comeau rebound. The tide turned in the second, however, when Alex Burrows and Jordan Schroeder scored back-to-back markers in rapid succession. A Kevin Bieksa shot glanced off of Blair Jones later in the period, capping Vancouver's 3 goal period.

Vancouver added to their lead early in the second when Higgins fired home a shot from the high slot. After that it was mostly cruise time for the Canucks who were happy to dump the puck deep and trap in the neutral zone. Bob Harlety tried mixing up his lines, in part to get Jarome Iginla away from the Sedin trio, but it was all for naught. Jordan Schroeder added his second of the game off a big rebound with about 4 minutes left, capping the rout.

Why the Flames Lost

Because, for the first time this year, they were fundamentally outplayed for most of the evening. Calgary's scorers had a hard time generating consistent pressure at even strength and the Canucks were much more effective at getting and keeping the puck. Jarome Iginla generated a couple of chances in the slot, but continues to be snakebitten, which didn't help things. Poor Leland Irving made a couple of highlight reel saves in the first half of the contest, but was eventually overrun.

Final chacee count was 20-13 for Canucks.

Firestarter

Hard to choose a Flames star for this one. Let's go with Lee Stempniak, who added his team leading 5th goal and was at least occasionally dangerous throughout the night.

Sum it Up

Calgary had their first true stinker of the year, which was bound to happen eventually. Calgary's top line couldn't get much going against the Sedin twins and the lack of a guy like Backlund elsewhere in the roster was painfully obvious. Irving did everything he could to keep the team in it through the early going, but it wasn't enough.

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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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#51 SmellOfVictory
February 10 2013, 12:36PM
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RexLibris wrote:

As I understand it, the same lottery odds apply but the restriction on how high the winning team moves is removed. Therefore, under the old system you won the lottery and moved up four places, now you win the lottery you move to 1st overall. Your chances diminish significantly with each step back in the ranking, but the reward has been greatly improved.

Here is the breakdown, starting from 30th place and moving up to 17th the percentages run thus - 25%, 18.8, 14.2, 10.7, 8.1, 6.2, 4.7, 3.6, 2.7, 2.1, 1.5, 1.1, 0.8, 0.5. I would argue that ideally, for a team to have a strong chance at 1st overall you'd like to be no further than 27th overall. After that the chances really start to drop off significantly.

Ideally the Oilers would finish 30th again, but the Flames would win the lottery, having finished 17th, and snag that delicious first overall right from under their noses.

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#52 Brad
February 10 2013, 12:37PM
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Note - the first paragraph isn't intended as a shot at anyone, I just would like to pose that as a point to think about

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#53 suba steve
February 10 2013, 12:42PM
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@Brad

No one is going to be asked to lose a single game. Fact is, the Flames may not be all that good. Add to that the subtraction of a #1 goaltender, a first pairing D-man, and a future HOF R-winger (all via trade for quality youth/picks) and this team is likely to sink close to the bottom of the standings (where they currently reside anyway) by seasons end.

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#54 T&A4Flames
February 10 2013, 12:49PM
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Brad wrote:

For all the people who say they have to blow it up or tank thseason, etc, has anyone saying this actually played competitive sports at a serious level? Players. Won't just stop winning because the organization needs a top pick. They have careers and contracts on the line.

Anyone willing to accept being the worst isn't someone you really want to build a team around.

Aside from the total uncertainty of the outcome of picking near the top of the draft (NYI, Fla, CBJ) the human element doesn't make sense to expect players to lose. That is poor management when you have the resources that this franchise has.

If the Oilers miss the playoffs again, will the media stop with the rhetoric that the rebuild is a conscious decision and not the forced outcome from inept ability?

I agree, no one is theoretically going to stop winning or trying to be competitive. The problem is some players just don't have the same level of compete or skill that others do. As a team, some just don't have enough of the latter type players and to much of the former.

No one is saying ask the players to lose, they're doing that on their own.

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#55 RexLibris
February 10 2013, 12:54PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

Ideally the Oilers would finish 30th again, but the Flames would win the lottery, having finished 17th, and snag that delicious first overall right from under their noses.

That kind of kick-you-when-you're-down luck only happens to Columbus nowadays. Six years ago for the Oilers, I would've given good odds of that happening.

But the thing is, even if the Flames did snag the 1st overall, Feaster would trade down to get that 2nd round pick back from Montreal and then go off the board.

It's what he does.

;-)

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#56 Alt
February 10 2013, 12:58PM
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Brad wrote:

Note - the first paragraph isn't intended as a shot at anyone, I just would like to pose that as a point to think about

I agree with that paragraph as it describes Sport and Sportsmanship in the proper light.The way the lotto is set up is far from perfect,although it has been designed to help the the bottom teams get better.The business side of the game is now using this cba clause as a tool,which contradict,s the spirit of sport.IMO that is why we seen a recent change and will probably see more

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#57 Alt
February 10 2013, 01:03PM
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RexLibris wrote:

That kind of kick-you-when-you're-down luck only happens to Columbus nowadays. Six years ago for the Oilers, I would've given good odds of that happening.

But the thing is, even if the Flames did snag the 1st overall, Feaster would trade down to get that 2nd round pick back from Montreal and then go off the board.

It's what he does.

;-)

No way Rex! Feaster would call up KLowe and ask for his expertise in all things hockey

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#58 T&A4Flames
February 10 2013, 01:20PM
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RexLibris wrote:

That kind of kick-you-when-you're-down luck only happens to Columbus nowadays. Six years ago for the Oilers, I would've given good odds of that happening.

But the thing is, even if the Flames did snag the 1st overall, Feaster would trade down to get that 2nd round pick back from Montreal and then go off the board.

It's what he does.

;-)

This is getting old quickly. Seriously, he traded down once from I recall.

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#59 Kevin R
February 10 2013, 02:49PM
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Brad wrote:

Note - the first paragraph isn't intended as a shot at anyone, I just would like to pose that as a point to think about

That is the irony isnt it. How much worse would the Flames be if they did trade Kipper & Iggy & JBO. Leiland actually played great, does anyone think Kipper would have won last nights game the way the team played? Probably not, may have been 3-1 instead or the way Kipper had been going it could have been 7-1. Who has been the most exciting fun players on the team so far. I would say most would agree Backlund & Brodie. Granted, JBO has been playing way better but if we traded JBO/Kipper & Iggy, really, are we going to be that much worse than we are? I think we would place very close to where we will be with these guys in our lineup come April. I would still want to win & see the young guys develop and have success as soon as possible. Difference would be is a bucket load of 1st's and the ability to package one of them with a player or a few 1sts to get a top 5 pick. It gives us a different route to what we need besides coming in last & sucking.

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#60 Kevin R
February 10 2013, 02:53PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

In fairness, I started it and it was pretty much on-topic in terms of the little shots we were taking.

And I think we can all agree that giving up a 2nd for Paul Byron was a terrible, terrible idea.

I guess its all perception & only Feaster will really know, but I saw that trade as Byron & Butler for Regehr & we coughed up the 2nd to save Murray 3.0million dollars. May have been a condition of Feasters new contract but I dont blame Murray for not wanting to write a $3.0mill cheque to useless Kotalik or pay him that kind of money to play in the AHL.

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#61 Kurt
February 10 2013, 02:54PM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

I agree, no one is theoretically going to stop winning or trying to be competitive. The problem is some players just don't have the same level of compete or skill that others do. As a team, some just don't have enough of the latter type players and to much of the former.

No one is saying ask the players to lose, they're doing that on their own.

Of course you can't ask the players to lose. But the thing is you don't have to. Instead, just trade away a few assets and replace them from within with prospects. This lets you see what you have, develop players and lose.

The obvious example being Kipper. Trade him for draft picks. Irving gets his shot to prove himself, struggles as he learns to play #1 minutes. The end result is the draft pick from the trade + Irving gets experience + the team loses a lot and gets Nate McKinnon. Its pretty much win any way you look at it. You secure your lottery pick and develop an asset (or just once and for all see what you have in Irving). Of course the only way its not a positive scenario is if you honestly think we are a contending team this year (ha)

Make a few moves like that, and suddenly you don't have to ask the team to lose. They just will. Even with Kipper/Iggy/Cammy we are doing a dandy job of losing. Move those 3 and we'll be golden.

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#62 CDB
February 10 2013, 03:43PM
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Clay wrote:

Flames looked slow tonight. They want to play with pace, but it is amazing how much speed is lost with Backlund out of the lineup. Hopefully Baertschi is ready soon.

On another note, Glencross was awful. I hate him on the top line. He has it in his head that he is a top line player. When he is on the top line, all he worries about is offense. This team needs his grit and work ethic to succeed. He should be playing on the third line where he can take over games and play against top lines.

Glencross hasn't exactly been a good soldier. He didn't seem pleased with the size of Cervenka's contract, Bourque being traded away, etc. Part of me thinks we need to use his recent production and good contract to see just what kind of return he could get.

Agree on Glenncross. He plays his best with a chip on his shoulder logging 2nd or 3rd line minutes. As soon as he has some success, game falls off a cliff. Similar to his buddy bourque (who us off to a hot start and thus should suck for the next 10 games). That inconsistency is why he isn't a top line player. But he has a very team friendly deal.. Curious what we could get for him.

Another factor, Alberta guy with a NMC. Be surprised if he would he willing to waive it.

Curious why you mentioned he didn't like the Cervenka deal? I never saw or heard anything on that.

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#63 suba steve
February 10 2013, 03:45PM
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So some want to tar and feather Feaster (try saying that 5 times real fast) for moving a second in the Regehr deal, and a bunch more wanna kick him in the junk for trading down to take Janko and Sieloff instead of taking just Janko at #14 (or so the story goes). Then there's Rex, he's never gonna get over that pick that got shipped to Montreal, and he is an Oil supporter. Ya know, that job of his (Feaster), I hope they are paying him well, cause it sure comes with more then a few back seat navigators (myself included). Pleasant Sunday to you all.

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#64 CDB
February 10 2013, 03:57PM
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SmellOfVictory wrote:

In fairness, I started it and it was pretty much on-topic in terms of the little shots we were taking.

And I think we can all agree that giving up a 2nd for Paul Byron was a terrible, terrible idea.

Inaccurate statement. Feaster shed 6.5 million in cap space. He got an AHL/NHL tweener, plus a serviceable 5/6 defenseman for an overpaid, over the hill regher making 4.2 (getting healthied in buffalo currently I might add) and got rid of a horrendous kotalik contract (3.5 mill). The price of getting some cap space was the second rounder. It sucks to lose that but with Mike Millbury no longer a GM teams don't offer up assets (decent low pairing D and cap space) for nothing.

I have no idea how people still rip this trade. Regher is not the guy from 2004 anymore and hasn't been for years. Injury prone, lead footed d man who struggle to move the puck making 4 million aren't exactly a hot commodity. And kotalik? Please

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#65 Victoria Flames Fan
February 10 2013, 04:33PM
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Seems our weakness at centre was really exposed last night. Vancouver was fine playing power on power knowing Tangs and Iginla were not going to be able to contain the Sardine Twins down low. Regardless of what we do in rebuilding, we'll need to focus on centres. I would go after Stephen Weiss aggressively... We'll need to be a bit pro-active... can't put all our hopes on landing Mackinnon, Monahan or Barkoff.

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#66 negrilcowboy
February 10 2013, 06:06PM
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Victoria Flames Fan wrote:

Seems our weakness at centre was really exposed last night. Vancouver was fine playing power on power knowing Tangs and Iginla were not going to be able to contain the Sardine Twins down low. Regardless of what we do in rebuilding, we'll need to focus on centres. I would go after Stephen Weiss aggressively... We'll need to be a bit pro-active... can't put all our hopes on landing Mackinnon, Monahan or Barkoff.

amen to stephen weiss brother, and jettison some other contracts and persue getlaf and perry. sprinlke in some players with balls and heart mingle in the youth and a draft pick or two that can step in contribute imediately and whamo. hope again.

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#67 Clay
February 10 2013, 06:30PM
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CDB wrote:

Agree on Glenncross. He plays his best with a chip on his shoulder logging 2nd or 3rd line minutes. As soon as he has some success, game falls off a cliff. Similar to his buddy bourque (who us off to a hot start and thus should suck for the next 10 games). That inconsistency is why he isn't a top line player. But he has a very team friendly deal.. Curious what we could get for him.

Another factor, Alberta guy with a NMC. Be surprised if he would he willing to waive it.

Curious why you mentioned he didn't like the Cervenka deal? I never saw or heard anything on that.

Warrener was talking about it

The initial word on Cervenka was 3.775M (cap figure). We didnt really understand the structure until days later.

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#68 CDB
February 11 2013, 11:43AM
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Scary Gary wrote:

Glencross earned his NMC by taking a home-town discount, unlike others that simply were given salary, term and NMC's.

He could have commanded much more than 2.55 mil on the open market but chose to stay in Calgary and put up 43 pts in 10/11, 48 pts in 67 gmaes in 11/12 and already has 6 pts in 9 games this year. Ville Leno had one year comparable to Glencross's and cashed in for 4.5 mil.

I can't for the love of me understand why you'd even discuss trading someone who produces, at good value, not to mention wants to stay in Calgary.

Out of disgust over his inconsistency. I'd just be curious if someone would overpay. Not looking to deal. He's great value, practically a steal on his current deal. Just drives me nuts with how his play varies all over the map. Also really does not strike me as a good team guy. Valuable asset nonetheless.

More me venting after his turnover filled Vancouver game than actually making a logical thought.

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#69 Scary Gary
February 11 2013, 01:33PM
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CDB wrote:

Out of disgust over his inconsistency. I'd just be curious if someone would overpay. Not looking to deal. He's great value, practically a steal on his current deal. Just drives me nuts with how his play varies all over the map. Also really does not strike me as a good team guy. Valuable asset nonetheless.

More me venting after his turnover filled Vancouver game than actually making a logical thought.

Haha fair enough, that one was a stinker.

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