Post-Game: Hey! Thanks For Showing Up Tonight!

Vintage Flame
March 03 2013 09:51PM

 

It was a game we weren't even sure was going to take place given that at 2:00 pm MST, the Canucks hadn't even left the Vancouver tarmac yet. A sever snow storm was threatening whether the team could land in Calgary, wich to a lot of Flames fans, was probably a mixed blessing.

It hasn't been a good time to be a Flames fan, what with the whole losing out on Ryan O'Reilly, and then it being nothing short of divine intervention that Colorado matched the offer; not to mention the whole thing about Calgary not being able to win a game if their lives depended on it! Which is odd, because that's just it. Their playoff lives do depend on it.

For those that were disappointed the game might not happen tonight, most were upset cause it was a missed chance to move that much closer to getting the likes of McKinnon, Jones, Drouin or say Barkov.

Some believed that this was actually a chance for the Flames to sneak in a win. Given that the Canucks played last night and with the delay getting into town tonight, it was a chance to catch Vancouver flat-footed.

With all that being said, were Flames fans going to be thankful that the Canucks showed up in the first place? That the fans braved the snow to show up for the game? Or that their team showed up for a critical match against a beatable team?

Let's find out...

The Rundown

Your Calgary Flames have yet to win a game this year when they haven't scored the first goal of th game. So needless to say it didn't bode well for the hometown boys when Chris Higgins got Vancouver on the board at the 7:49 mark.

It seemed like we were all going to settle in for the same old Soap Opera to unfold, thanking God we didn't brave the elements to go see this gong show live. The 4th line was getting their heads kicked in, being out-chanced 4-0 by the Canucks, yet as Kent pointed out, they still managed to get more ice time than Baertschi and  Cammalleri??

Speaking of Squid, he would get the Flames on the board and tie it up with a totally flukey, wobbler great, well placed wrist shot that clipped off the end of Luongo's glove and dribbled into the net. It may not have been pretty, but you know what they say, goal scorers find a way to score... 

And when that doesn't fly, thank God, Luongo was in net! Sometimes you're good to be lucky and that's what Calgary was. They got out-shot 11-6 and out-chanced 9-5, but they were tied.

Early in the second, Calgary missed on a couple of glorious chances by both Glencross and then Baertschi to take the lead. When that happens we all know what follows. The Canucks would come back down the ice and capitalize on a garbage opportunity. Taylor would stop the point shot  from Cam Barker only to have the rebound get picked out of mid air by Jannick Hansen as he was being knocked to the ice. Not Taylor's fault, but that's the way the puck bounces against the Flames these days.

Determined not to let the Canucks goal stem the momentum Calgary was trying to build, the Flames would again start to press. Their persistance would pay off at 6:15 when Lee Stempniak takes a pass from Matt Stajan, wide open in the slot. With Luongo flopping like a fish out of water, Stempniak made no mistake and once again we were all tied up.

Moments later, it was the one event that everyone could have predicted tonight, when newly re-acquired Brian McGratten faced off with the Canucks newly acquired Tom Sestito. A pretty good tilt with Grats getting the upper hand and doing quite the number on Sestito. He'd also get a 10 min misconduct for his salutations to the Flames faithful.

Calgary held their own for the rest of the period, and picked up the tempo of their play. They were still out-shot 12-10 but they drew even on the scoring chances 6-6, and they were still tied.

In the third, Calgary came out continuing to press the Canucks. For the first 5 mins, they kept Vancouver out of their zone and off the shot clock, which is important if they wanted to avoid their typical late game melt down. However both team played it pretty tight as neither side saw a scoring chance for almost the first half of the period.

Around the mid-way point it appeared that the Canucks were starting to lose their legs a bit. In frustration, the Canucks Tanev would take a penalty, giving your Flames a chance to take their first lead of the game with Vancouver back on their heels. Calgary would make hay on the PP with the captain leading the charge.  Iginla would get a step on the Vancouver D and then thread the needle through the mass in front of the net. Originally it was thought that Hudler had tipped home the puck, but later the goal would be credited to Jarome; his 1089th point, moving him passed Theo Fleury. The Flames had their first lead of the game.

That frustration would continue with the Canucks trailing late in the game, Jannik Hansen would take a penalty for slashing the stick of Curtis Glencross. With the net empty and the Flames on the PP, Mike Cammalleri would get his second goal of the game to ice it for Calgary... Go figure.

Why The Flames Won...

The Flames may have started slowly but tonight they built momentum in this game. That in conjunction with the Canucks faltering as the game went on, allowed Calgary to slowly take over and controll the pace of the game.

Because when the Canucks were skating tonight, Calgary was able to skate with them. The Flames were able to control the play of the Sedins by putting the body to them and actually getting away with it. Both Hank and Dank, were hit all night and for the most part, were largely ineffective.

Because like the Flames, Danny Taylor started shakey but was able to build off some big saves. As I said before, the Flames have yet to win a game this year when they don't score first. Taylor was able to compose himself after the Higgins goal and once he settled in, he made some huge saves.

Finally, because it was the Flames that got production from their special teams late in the game. When I heard that the Canucks were 0 for 8 on the PP in their last three games, the one thing that came to mind was, "Slumpbuster" Instead it was Calgary that got the late timely production from their special teams; all while continuing Vancouver's streak of "0-fers"!

Firestarter

I have to go with Bouwmeester tonight.

JBo didn't have a goal or an assist, and he ended up even on the +/- scale; so why is he deserving of the nod tonight?

Simply put, he was everywhere tonight.  He was jumping up in the play all night, making key plays and key first passes out of the defensive zone. He logged over 21 mins of ice-time tonight and he still managed to play a more physical game than we are accustomed to seeing from Jay.

Most importantly, when the game was on the line and the Flames were clinging to a one goal lead, it was Bouwmeester that stepped into the line of fire... literally! With Calgary on the PP late in the game, the Canucks pulled Luongo and threw everything they had at Taylor. With seconds remaining in the game, there was room on the short side when the puck came out of nowhere. It was JBo that got his stick in the path of the puck and was able to deflect it to the corner. As a result the Flames were allowed to throw it around the boards, muscle the puck out to Cammy, who ended any chance of tying the game.

Sometimes it's not a spark, but a slow burn that gets the fire going; that was Bouwmeester tonight.

Honorable mention to Sven Baertschi who worked his tail off early and actually got promoted up the depth chart as the game wore on. Sven has been impressive since coming back from injury, hopefully he keeps it up. Imagine when Backlund returns to the line-up??

Sum it Up

Look at the look on Begin's face as he looks over at McGratten. The dude plays on the same team as Brian, and he looks scared. Why? Because McGratten came out tonight with something to prove and with intensity and determination. That's probably something Begin isn't used to seeing on a nightly basis.

That intensity and determination might be skewed for the rest of the team, given the circumstances the Canucks played tonight, but nonetheless... it was there; and it wa for almost the entire 60 minutes. When it was lacking it was at teh beginning of the game, not in the form of a collapse at the end of it.

 I said at the start of this, that this could be a chance to catch the Canucks flat-footed. It was and your Calgary Flames were able to jump on it for once. Not only that, but as the game wore one, Calgary was able to stifle the Sedin sisters and get under the skins of others. Basically they played the Canucks game a little more effectively than Vancouver could.

Things don't get any easier, if anything it will get tougher over the next four to five games. Next up is San Jose and it will serve the Flames well to remember what Patrick Marleau did to them in their last meeting.

Game time is 7:30 on SNET-W and the Fan960.

 

E42f2ca09dfb26046c3060ff46473aff
Vintage Flame is a Calgary based sports junkie that prefers to call hockey a "religion" rather than an addiction. He believes there are two types of hockey fans. Those who cheer for the Flames, and those who don't understand the sport yet. Follow Vintage_Flame on Twitter
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#1 schevvy
March 03 2013, 10:08PM
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TEH!!!!

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#2 mk
March 03 2013, 10:18PM
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I'm pretty sure McGratz is the only reason we won tonight - look at that guy's stare...

Would you want to mess with him?

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#4 ?
March 03 2013, 10:34PM
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If Mcgrattan looked like that while driving his car, I'm pretty sure a cop would pull him over. Taylor played good, a little shaky at the start, but he settled in.

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#5 Stockley
March 03 2013, 10:41PM
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I'm still not 100% sold on the need to dress/carry a dedicated enforcer on your team. That said, if the Flames are going to do it, might as well employ a bonafide monster who is good at his job. Maybe some of his insanity/toughness will wear off on his more pacifistic teammates.

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#6 Stockley
March 03 2013, 10:50PM
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The Flames need to get out of this win one, lost one, win two, lose two pattern. Either start winning so we have no choice but to get on board for the playoffs or start losing so we can salivate over who we might have a shot at come draft time. Assuming Feaster doesn't draft someone from Bulgaria no one has ever heard of...

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#7 BitGeek
March 03 2013, 11:00PM
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I thought McGratten got the extra 10 for taking the lid off of Sestito during the fight, and not for the salute...

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#8 MC Hockey
March 03 2013, 11:09PM
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? wrote:

If Mcgrattan looked like that while driving his car, I'm pretty sure a cop would pull him over. Taylor played good, a little shaky at the start, but he settled in.

Seriously he looks stoned to me but apparently rehabbed so.....?

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#9 Bean-counting cowboy
March 03 2013, 11:11PM
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Gratz for captain! At least he showed some passion.

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#10 MC Hockey
March 03 2013, 11:12PM
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Stockley wrote:

The Flames need to get out of this win one, lost one, win two, lose two pattern. Either start winning so we have no choice but to get on board for the playoffs or start losing so we can salivate over who we might have a shot at come draft time. Assuming Feaster doesn't draft someone from Bulgaria no one has ever heard of...

Don't expect Flames to make it easy on you as a fan, I am certain they will have a run of say getting 12 of possible 18 points and then slowly lose momentum until the end of season, squeezing into 9th in dramatic fashion....

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#11 Stockley
March 03 2013, 11:17PM
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@MC Hockey

Been a fan almost a quarter century. They've never made it easy on me.

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#12 weevil17
March 03 2013, 11:20PM
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i thought overall a pretty good game by the flames, i loved the salute by mcgrattan. by the way, i'm pretty sure the game winning goal powerplay was off of a bench minor by the nucks head coach for ref abuse.

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#13 Kevin R
March 03 2013, 11:20PM
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Well back to .500 again. Have we been over .500 at all this year? At this pace we will be good for 50 points & 11th place. You heard it here 1st. Many dont like wasting a position on a guy like Mcgratten. I wasnt thrilled about it but a team like the Flames, sadly, a guy like this is mandatory for this soft lineup. Vancouver are a good team but they are starting to show the inconsistency Calgary first started in 2009. Cycle of life in the NHL. Canucks are missing something, Gillis is nuts for not getting some important pieces with one of their goalies.

So I see Komaserik wants out of Toronto. 1 more year after this at 4.5mill, wonder if we move Babchuk for him would he be worth picking up? You would think he would be a way better 5-6 option.

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#14 Stockley
March 03 2013, 11:23PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Well back to .500 again. Have we been over .500 at all this year? At this pace we will be good for 50 points & 11th place. You heard it here 1st. Many dont like wasting a position on a guy like Mcgratten. I wasnt thrilled about it but a team like the Flames, sadly, a guy like this is mandatory for this soft lineup. Vancouver are a good team but they are starting to show the inconsistency Calgary first started in 2009. Cycle of life in the NHL. Canucks are missing something, Gillis is nuts for not getting some important pieces with one of their goalies.

So I see Komaserik wants out of Toronto. 1 more year after this at 4.5mill, wonder if we move Babchuk for him would he be worth picking up? You would think he would be a way better 5-6 option.

My vote is a big NO. Komisarek is a more expensive Sarich without the cup ring. Sure, he's tough. But like Sarich his best days are behind him and a pylon can skate faster.

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#15 Lober
March 03 2013, 11:26PM
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I don't think there are to many people upset with the Mcgrattan trade tonight... don't understand why everyone was so upset with that trade. If we are going to dress an enforcer may as well be one of the toughest SOB in the league. Great game by the entire team tonight, lets just hope we are this close to the playoffs when Kipper comes back!

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#17 FlameinATL
March 03 2013, 11:32PM
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Great effort tonight Flames.

Guess you just can't please some people. Win and you were just lucky or the other team stinks or they are tired. Lose and you are the lowest of the low.

This team is 3 seconds against Chicago and that nonsense against Colorado from being 3 points out of first in the division with a game in hand. This with horrible luck and worse goalie play.

Yeah, they stink on ice.

Get behind this team Calgary. Or, if the city is behind already the boys, get behind this team bloggers. Or just be miserable all the time.

Go Flames!

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#18 VK63
March 03 2013, 11:34PM
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When i watched the tilt. I was rather confident the McGrattan salute was for Mike Gillis.

ie: Try harder! and also STFU.

But thats corporate shill type reframe and revisionist history. 960 might use it tomorrow as they are devoid of original content so theft from even the weakest of sources is just, doin their job.

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#19 Veggie Dog
March 03 2013, 11:53PM
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The look on McGrattan's face after the fight when he was saluting looked off to me. I get that fighters are jacked up and sometimes nervous before games, but he looked like there was more there than adrenalin. I don't meant to imply anything, and I am far from an expert, but that intense yet vacant stare was pretty freaky and unnatural.

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#20 MC Hockey
March 04 2013, 12:01AM
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Stockley wrote:

Been a fan almost a quarter century. They've never made it easy on me.

Just like me I guess! I have been here almost as long!

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#22 Ryan Pike
March 04 2013, 12:50AM
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Wins are a lot more fun to cover than losses.

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#23 beloch
March 04 2013, 01:46AM
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No matter how much some people might want to see the Flames get a lottery pick this year, I think we can all agree it's still sweet to see them take down the 'nucks. Lose to Chicago. Lose to the Wild. I can live with that. Just embarrass Vancouver now and then and I can play golf in May as a relatively happy camper.

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#24 KetchupKid
March 04 2013, 03:44AM
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@beloch

Amen.

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#25 ChinookArch
March 04 2013, 07:10AM
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@Vintage Flame

I liked your Firestarters tonight in Bouwmeester and honorable mention to Beartschi, it was pretty much they way I saw it too.

I thought Taylor was okay to good tonight. He probably gave up too many rebounds for my liking, but for my eye the rebounds weren't as plentiful or as spectacular as those served up by MacDoanld. I hope we see Taylor back in net soon.

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#26 backburner
March 04 2013, 07:10AM
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Iginla continues to play well... if this keeps up I think Feaster will have no choice but to entertain offers at the deadline...

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#27 Stockley
March 04 2013, 07:31AM
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beloch wrote:

No matter how much some people might want to see the Flames get a lottery pick this year, I think we can all agree it's still sweet to see them take down the 'nucks. Lose to Chicago. Lose to the Wild. I can live with that. Just embarrass Vancouver now and then and I can play golf in May as a relatively happy camper.

...I like beating the Oil and the Avs as well. They can lose every other game and I'll deal.

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#28 Bruins
March 04 2013, 09:21AM
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Lober wrote:

I don't think there are to many people upset with the Mcgrattan trade tonight... don't understand why everyone was so upset with that trade. If we are going to dress an enforcer may as well be one of the toughest SOB in the league. Great game by the entire team tonight, lets just hope we are this close to the playoffs when Kipper comes back!

I totally agree with you. If the flames play tough teams then he should be in the line up. The flames played a great game last night they were hitting and skating.

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#29 shutout
March 04 2013, 11:00AM
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backburner wrote:

Iginla continues to play well... if this keeps up I think Feaster will have no choice but to entertain offers at the deadline...

That is the problem. The better that he plays the more the Feast is going to want to keep him. That old belief that you need Iginla to help get you into the playoffs. When the Flames beat teams like the Canucks that are in the playoff picture the management believes that this is a team that can reach that illustrious eighth place and that they need their captain to help carry them there.

After all four playoff appearances in fifteen years is proof enough that Iginla is able to drag this team into the post season.

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#30 T&A4Flames
March 04 2013, 11:21AM
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Veggie Dog wrote:

The look on McGrattan's face after the fight when he was saluting looked off to me. I get that fighters are jacked up and sometimes nervous before games, but he looked like there was more there than adrenalin. I don't meant to imply anything, and I am far from an expert, but that intense yet vacant stare was pretty freaky and unnatural.

Dude was pumped on adrenaline. He was just in a fist fight with a heavy weight.

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#31 Veggie Dog
March 04 2013, 11:32AM
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T&A4Flames wrote:

Dude was pumped on adrenaline. He was just in a fist fight with a heavy weight.

He looked psycho.

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#32 Ken V.
March 04 2013, 12:36PM
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MC Hockey wrote:

Seriously he looks stoned to me but apparently rehabbed so.....?

Stoned? More like he's ripped on blow

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#33 FlameinATL
March 04 2013, 03:40PM
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It's not a question of being behind the team or not. I can safely say that everyone that writes or comments here on a regular basis is "behind" this team.

However, being a non-local fan, like yourself, you are spared the many inundations that we have to suffer through on a daily basis. From the practices to the media scrums to just some of the actions and decisions that are made leading to game time.

It gets frustrating for the fan base that like myself, live and die by this team and it pains us all when we see things that just make no sense, repeated time and time again.

Make no mistake my ATL friend, we love this team, we wouldn't complain so much if we didn't care.

Vintage,

I get that, truly I do.

But I am spared nothing, believe me. From a 3-16 all-time playoff record here in ATL, never winning a playoff series and having one 90-point season to the tribulations of today; I have experienced it all with the Flames. And here I am, still a fan and still rooting for them to win.

Hell, in the late 80s and 90s, before cable and the net, I had to stay up until all kinds of ungodly hours to get the twice-an-hour update on the CNN scroll. Imagine staying up until 4am to get a Calgary-Vancouver update on Game 7 on a scroll running across the bottom of the TV screen. Imagine seeing all those gut-wrenching losses on the scroll and then having to crawl into bed, exhausted and emotionally drained.

So, yeah, I understand all of the frustrations. And, yes, I am not local to you all or the team.

Perhaps I wrote in haste and should just be quiet. But I do sometimes think the bloggers for the Flames and the posters are skewed towards the negative. Actually, I think that all of the time.

I am not here to denigrate or judge; just wish people enjoyed the team and the game more.

Last night was a big win any way you slice it. They played well. A rookie got his first career win and a good fight ended with a Nuck on his ass.

Enjoy it.

And good for you and others for supporting the Flames.

Go Flames!

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#34 TimJohn53
March 04 2013, 08:41PM
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Ya We win one it is not the playoffs but it is something to build on. Either be positive or move to Edmonton

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