POST-GAME: Duck... Duck... Goosed!

Vintage Flame
March 09 2013 12:00AM


 

There were no travel delays involving the Flames game today, although given that Calgary was only 1 for 25 and 0 for their last 15 trips down to Anaheim... they maybe should have been hoping for one, or two.

Calgary began their Californication putting their newly earned above .500 record on the line in probably the most hostile of arenas they could visit. To their credit, they didn't play like they hadn't won there since 2004, or that they were playing against a team that was thirteen points ahead of them in the Western Conference. Well, not at first anyways.

Alas, on a night where the NHL saw the Blackhawks streak come to an end, we all got to enjoy another, not so proud one, continue...

The Rundown

It didn't take long for Calgary to put themselves behind the 8-Ball. Just 1:15 in, Daniel Winnik (yes the same guy we all wished the Flames had signed when he was available) took the pass from Cogliano lurking behind the net. Open in the slot, Winnik snapped home the puck to put the Ducks up early.

You never like your team to be sparked by a goal against, but after the Winnik goal, Calgary seemed to step up the play a bit and tilt the ice a bit towards the Ducks end. Unfortunately the few quality chances they got were stopped by Fasth.

For the middle span of the period, it was back and forth, as the teams shared possession and traded chances on each other's tenders.

Despite watching Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry and Brad Staubitz go down at various points in the period, Calgary wasn't able to take advantage long enough to put anything passed Fasth. They had the chances, but Fasth had  collection of horseshoes behind him that kept the Flames off the board.

After the first 75 seconds, it was pretty much all Calgary. They out-shot the Ducks 10-4 and out-chanced them 8-2, yet the Ducks took the one goal lead into the intermission. If the Flames could keep this tempo up, you'd gotta think the puck starts to bounce their way.

The second started with a scare as Miikka showing perhaps a bit of rust as he backhanded a pass from behind the net right on to the stick of Bobby Ryan. Luckily for Kipper, he was able to scramble back in front in time to make the glove save.

Meanwhile, the story continued as Calgary again dominated Anaheim, but still couldn't manage to beat Fasth. The Ducks had no legs and weren't skating with any aggressiveness. If not for Fasth and 13 Anaheim blocked shots, your Flames would have been running away with this one by now.

Then at 13;35 a mistake from the Flames comes by way of another Giordano turnover deep in their own zone. Three seconds later, Bobby Ryan snaps it passed Kipper; and just like that it was 2-0.

That seemed to turn the tide, because at 15:52, Sheldon Souray would blow one passed Kipper from the point. The Flames were back on their heels after the Ryan goal, Anaheim took advantage of it and made them pay while they were licking their wounds.

Shots were even at 12 aside but the Ducks out-chanced Calgary 6-4 in the middle frame. Not a good sign heading to the third as it seemed the Flames lost a bit of that step they had on the Ducks after being jobbed by the hockey gods in a game they had control of.

The Flames came out in the third plying like the Ducks did in the first half.  Poor skating and erratic passing, Calgary looked to have lost their legs.

As per usual, the Ducks basically choked out the middle of the ice, making it hard for the Flames to get going. Calgary still managed to out-chance Anaheim, but at the end of each play, there was Fasth.

Then like it was scripted, Giordano, already having a rough night, took a penalty for hitting Perry. On the insuing delayed call, Ryan Getzlaf would increase the Ducks lead to four.

Why The Flames Lost...

Because despite falling behind just 75 seconds into the game, the Flames still carried the play for the majority of the game... and that wasn't good enough tonight.

Because when the Ducks did get their chances on Calgary, they made them count.

Because Victor Fasth was very fortunate on some of the Flames 10-beller scoring chances, and on the others, he made some nice saves to stem Calgary's momentum.

Because you don't win games when you don't score any goals.

Firestarter

The firestarter is supposed to be awarded to the player that sparked or ignited the Flames offense or overall play. How do you do that when you get blanked on the scoresheet???

That being said, I'll give an honourable mention to Roman Cervenka. He led the team in shots tonight and you could tell from his play in the offensive zone that he is becoming more comfortable with the North American game.

It would have been nice if he burried a few of the golden chances he had tonight. If he had, I would have been inclined to give him the nod right out, but he didn't, and he's probably not going to have a good sleep tonight because of it. The chances that is, not winning my award.

Sum it Up

 

It started off as a series of unfortunate events for the Flames, that rapidly spiraled into the same old, same old when Calgary visits the Pond.

It's almost like the Flames just get into their own heads when they go down to Anaheim, but tonight it certainly didn't help that Fasth was everywhere in the net at just the right times.

Not sure how many people considered this a "must-win" for the Flames, depends where your head is at regarding the direction of the team. But now the team travels to LA for a back-to-back with the Kings, a team that is playing  a lot like they did when they ran rough-shot through the NHL in the playoffs last year. It's going to make it harder when you account for the fact that Darryl Sutter is really going to want to stick it to his former team.

However, the Kings are still a beatable team and if the Flames manage to....

Nevermind, at least we don't have to watch stuff like this night after night!

We're right back at it tomorrow. Game time is 8:00 pm on CBC and the Fan 960.

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 Derzie
March 09 2013, 12:12AM
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Not sure what's wrong with Giordano but he has been the cause of more than his share of goals against lately. He was brutal again tonight.

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#2 VK63
March 09 2013, 12:31AM
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@Derzie

~Its an affliction that befalls a lot of players that modify their name and suddenly it doesn't match the teams nick name for them.

I think Jarome should start calling him jorge or georgie or salt mine or something.~

You are correct, his mind cramps have been most beneficial to the other teams scoring tallies. He certainly earned his minuses tonight.

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#3 Stockley
March 09 2013, 04:32AM
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Since management doesn't seem inclined to do the right thing maybe it's time for Jarome to take one for the team and REQUEST a trade. Is it just me or have most of the big wins lately come against teams on the wrong end of a back to back? They tease us with a few wins and then turn out another stinker like this one. Team inconsistent strikes again.

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#4 negrilcowboy
March 09 2013, 07:16AM
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beginning to look like gio is being opposed to the heavies just a little to much. intellectual honesty is telling me this is a 10th place club. another year older and one day closer to death.

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#5 RexLibris
March 09 2013, 08:41AM
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Out of curiosity, I wonder when was the last time both Alberta teams were blanked on the same night?

That sounds like an Elias Sports Bureau kind of fact.

I thought, from limited viewing, that the Flames played a very good road game. Fasth and Lady Luck just weren't going to give them a break.

If they continue to play this way, though, they should begin to enter the playoff conversation in due time.

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#6 clYDE
March 09 2013, 08:43AM
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This will be a 11-12th place team if we stay as is. We could mortgage more future and finish 10th or we could make some moves and have a future. I do not see Feaster moving our aging assets. I don't think he is allowed. Ownership is fine with this bunch. Why would they change a thing when they sell out the building night after night?

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#7 CDB
March 09 2013, 08:57AM
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Flames should trade Jordanno and get back Giordano. Gio was way better

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#8 Bruins
March 09 2013, 09:41AM
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@clYDE

The seats are full you stay the course.... ken king. There seems to be a lot of interest in Jerome and Boumester in the trade market. Now is the time to get something for these guys but are they going to stand pat and finish 9th or 10th?

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#9 Chris Fairfield
March 09 2013, 10:00AM
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Derzie wrote:

Not sure what's wrong with Giordano but he has been the cause of more than his share of goals against lately. He was brutal again tonight.

Going back to the game in Minnesota, he took the delay of game penalty which led to Parise's OT goal, he coughed up the puck to Pavelski which led to Thornton's tying goal against SJ, and last night, giving it up in the corner, which led to the ducks second goal. Last year to this year for Giordano has been like night and day. I don't see see him blocking shots, continuous blind passes, and the inability to learn from previous mistakes. Butler has actually looked more sound that Gio.

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#10 Chris Fairfield
March 09 2013, 10:11AM
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Colin Dambrauskas wrote:

Backlund says he feels great and is expected in the lineup for tonight`s game. The team could certainly use an extra surge of offense, especially after going goalless against the Ducks. Given that Backlund hasn’t played in a few weeks, he will likely get limited ice time as Hartley weans him back into the lineup. I would expect him to center the 3rd line to get things going and slowly move up if his game progresses nicely. The added offense Mikael brings should help his team throughout the remaining games, as they fight for the playoffs.

I wrote: Would have been nicer last night.

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#11 meat1
March 09 2013, 10:25AM
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@ clYDE

Agree with clYDE completely, and what an unfortunate situation for us fans to find ourselves in the middle of.

Speaking of the ineptitude of Alberta's two teams, I actually think each one holds what ails the other. And I know we won't trade back and forth, but the Oilers seem to need a gritty top-six veteran leader, a minute-munching, durable, two-way d-man, and a veteran between the pipes that can bail out a young team in trouble. So Iggy, J-bo, Kipper to the Oil.....

In exchange, we need youth and talent, a couple things they have an abundance of....maybe a Gagner, Hartukainen, Paavari (wrong spelling I'm sure).

Wouldn't the Battle of Alberta be something then.....just saying.

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#12 schevvy
March 09 2013, 10:28AM
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Chris Fairfield wrote:

Colin Dambrauskas wrote:

Backlund says he feels great and is expected in the lineup for tonight`s game. The team could certainly use an extra surge of offense, especially after going goalless against the Ducks. Given that Backlund hasn’t played in a few weeks, he will likely get limited ice time as Hartley weans him back into the lineup. I would expect him to center the 3rd line to get things going and slowly move up if his game progresses nicely. The added offense Mikael brings should help his team throughout the remaining games, as they fight for the playoffs.

I wrote: Would have been nicer last night.

Yes. Comment of the morning right there.

Also: I really hope they're not rushing him back. But, if he plays tonight, that's a big boost to the line-up.

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#13 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 11:24AM
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schevvy wrote:

Yes. Comment of the morning right there.

Also: I really hope they're not rushing him back. But, if he plays tonight, that's a big boost to the line-up.

Wow. Wasnt even a year ago when I read a lot of posts wanting to run Backs out of town for a bag of pucks & called it another miserable failed Sutter draft pick. Now he seems to be the savior. I for one felt Backs was our future #2 C & was upset when they didnt lock this kid up for a huge discount on a longer term. Hopefully Feaster sees how valuable this kid will be for our team moving forward & I think we can get him inked to at least a 3-4 year deal at about 2.0 mill per. What a steal that would be.

Although tonight, I dont think even Backs will be able to salvage 2 points. We'll be lucky to come home to face Detroit with 1 point on this trip. We needed to be tied in 8th with games in hand for me to get playoff excited.

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#14 schevvy
March 09 2013, 11:28AM
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@Kevin R

I wasn't one of those people, but I know what you're saying. He's a great puck possession guy, seemed like he was starting to get his hands back, and he's a center!

I'd be pleasantly surprised if they won tonight. LA's heating up and the Flames are playing the second night in a row (albeit it's Anaheim to LA, an hour up the freeway).

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#15 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 11:37AM
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RexLibris wrote:

Out of curiosity, I wonder when was the last time both Alberta teams were blanked on the same night?

That sounds like an Elias Sports Bureau kind of fact.

I thought, from limited viewing, that the Flames played a very good road game. Fasth and Lady Luck just weren't going to give them a break.

If they continue to play this way, though, they should begin to enter the playoff conversation in due time.

Rex, I gotta ask you, seeing you are one of the most reasonable Oiler fans I know, why do Oilers have so many untouchables? I read about the finger pointing guys like Whitney, Horcoff,Smyth over and over after every loss & yet, why isnt Hall & Eberle & RNH not being held accountable? They arent scoring either. It seems Oiler management feel every #1 overall is a guaranteed superstar immediately. Personally Yapukov really shouldnt by on the big club, I even think RNH should be bouncing back & forth because that kid needs to get some meat on him. Whats happening this year should be unacceptable to fans & to management. These young kids like Hall & Eberle are leaders & have become leaders of the Oilers but they dont know where they are leading to. They need true, bonafide NHL warrior leaders & Oilers may have to give up one of their untouchables to get that. I thought of this after your post & seeing that goal, even though both teams were shut out last night, Flames actually played not bad & I didnt feel the Ducks were some top 5 team in the league. They just had some incredible goaltending. A point many should take notice of & to hammer the point even more, look at the Ottawa Senators. Doesnt matter if its Bishop or Lernher or Anderson & yes they draft well but how 1st overalls have they got in their lineup?

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#16 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 11:43AM
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schevvy wrote:

I wasn't one of those people, but I know what you're saying. He's a great puck possession guy, seemed like he was starting to get his hands back, and he's a center!

I'd be pleasantly surprised if they won tonight. LA's heating up and the Flames are playing the second night in a row (albeit it's Anaheim to LA, an hour up the freeway).

I think in their back to backs this year we havent faired too well. I recall we didnt seem to have our legs for those games, which surprises me as I have heard that conditioning is quite the stickler with Hartley. Then again, we have to discount the lockout & lack of a proper training camp going into this shortened year. Combine that with the fact pretty well most of our veterans were playing video games & online poker after their skates during the lockout. I am giving Hartley a total free pass this year. My expectations of him will go up next year.

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#17 funkyjaman
March 09 2013, 12:35PM
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So with Sven being sent back to the Heat does this mean Backlund is ready for tonight?

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#18 suba steve
March 09 2013, 12:47PM
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@Kevin R

re. Backlund

this year it's Gio that a lot are talking about trading, last year he was the "future Flame captain". humans are fickle creatures.

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#19 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 01:13PM
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suba steve wrote:

re. Backlund

this year it's Gio that a lot are talking about trading, last year he was the "future Flame captain". humans are fickle creatures.

That my friend is a huge understatement. I was probably in that Gio for captain camp as well. Have to be careful not to over react. A lot of these players have been thrown into a playoff environment & were not ready for this kind of schedule & urgency this quick. They wanted as many games to claw back as much HRR as they can, kind of like going back up to a chineese buffet for the 4th time to get some extra dumplings & gingerbeef I had no business putting in my mouth. Yeah, human nature eh.

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#20 Blob
March 09 2013, 01:30PM
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Backlund activated, Sven demoted.

Good I guess, though it shouldn't be necessary to demote him to get him minutes. But things as they are, better he be in Abby.

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#21 Q
March 09 2013, 02:53PM
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Wow, I'm really dissapointed with Sven. Thought he'd stick for sure! Maybe he'll be nothing special after all? He looked waaaay lost in the nhl. Oh we'll, just like all the garbage we've ever drafted. He was overpowered big time. The bad thing for the flames is we're just gettn old and small! I like gaudreau. But 5' 6". ? All we've drafted is left wingers and d. No centres.

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#22 RexLibris
March 09 2013, 03:02PM
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@Kevin R

I think the untouchable tag refers to them being moved for immediate help, as you refer to.

Here is how I see management's argument: the team is heading for another low finish, but the players that would be asked for in a trade to marginally improve the team are the same ones that were the "reward" for this extended period of terribility (made that word up, but it suits - terrible + ability).

They are also the only ones on the team who, statistically speaking, are punching above their weight class, goals notwithstanding.

So, by process of elimination, this means that they have to look at improvement to the supporting cast without significant subtraction from the roster's infrastructure. You can't really trade Gagner unless you get a better 2nd line center back, and who in their right mind is going to willingly accept an inferior player at centre?

The Oilers are, more or less, in a slightly modified position now from where they were when this all began: limited options in tradeable assets. The ones that could be moved are players like Hemsky, Jones, Whitney, Belanger, or Eager. But what, realistically, is their value and is it likely to actually improve the team in the immediate? No.

Yakupov probably should have gone back to junior, but Galchenyuk didn't and his situation going into the season screamed for patience. Schultz definitely ought to have spent an entire season in the AHL, as well as Nugent-Hopkins, but they didn't and hindsight is 20/20.

One thing I've been adamant about when it comes to Calgary rebuilding is that they need to find their own way, based on their own particular circumstances. So based on that, let's look at the Senators: they did a one-off draft rebuild (doesn't really qualify as one, in my books), based on one terrible season.

They already had one of the best character leaders in Alfredsson and a young-ish 1st line centre in Spezza. Not to mention players like Karlsson and others already in their farm system, developing before they went into the tank. Their rebuild year is not the principle reason for their success this season.

I'm nearly fed up with the management group here in Edmonton. Changes need to be made and the supporting cast assembled around this core group is extremely disappointing.

That being said, I wouldn't give up Yakupov or Eberle to address a need for leadership. Selling a drafted prospect with such high potential, and who is the result of a terrible team, only to add someone with unquantifiable characteristics like leadership is not going to make this team that much better.

If they want to address a need for veteran leadership and improvement, go after Jagr this summer, find some better 3rd and 4th line wingers than Eager or Petrell. And for Pete's sake, get a veteran defenseman to skate with one of Petry, Smid, Peckham or Justin Schultz - (Klefbom needs a year in the AHL).

You're right, the Flames played well and, at least I thought, deserved better. I suspect they are starting to put it together. Probably too late, and it may be another 10th place finish, but at least you won't be scanning the draft rankings every day telling yourself "maybe next year...".

;-)

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#23 schevvy
March 09 2013, 03:08PM
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@Q

Waaay too early to give up on Sven. 1st season in the NHL, very few kids find instant success. Also, it's better for him to play at this stage, and he wasn't going to play enough here. He'll be fine, give him time. It's not like he was 1st overall.

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#24 seve927
March 09 2013, 03:14PM
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Q wrote:

Wow, I'm really dissapointed with Sven. Thought he'd stick for sure! Maybe he'll be nothing special after all? He looked waaaay lost in the nhl. Oh we'll, just like all the garbage we've ever drafted. He was overpowered big time. The bad thing for the flames is we're just gettn old and small! I like gaudreau. But 5' 6". ? All we've drafted is left wingers and d. No centres.

Not ready is quite different than 'garbage'. I look forward to seeing if he can improve over where he left off in the AHL.

He will be back.

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#25 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 03:28PM
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@RexLibris

I get your answer & it is such a dilemma. Thing is, Oilers need to start to win games now. To me, whahaening is unacceptable. But my thinking was along the line of OK, lets take the 3 #1 overalls out of this because they are the value return for sucking. Obviously Shultz aint going anywhere. So ST calls Holmgren & says, OK, we need help & I think Couturier is the type of Centre we need. We'll give you Eberle & Whitney for Couturier & Coburn. Or talk to Boston who are jammed with good centres & offer up Eberle, Whitney & your 1st for Seguin & Hamilton. Something along that line. Something blockbuster. Show Management want to win now & are willing to make big changes. That would send a message to the rest of the roster & maybe even be a step to change the losing culture.

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#26 Kevin R
March 09 2013, 03:31PM
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schevvy wrote:

Waaay too early to give up on Sven. 1st season in the NHL, very few kids find instant success. Also, it's better for him to play at this stage, and he wasn't going to play enough here. He'll be fine, give him time. It's not like he was 1st overall.

Agree. If we had a proper #1 line that did what they are paid to do, & a #3 line to played the tougher minutes, he could have slid on the #2 line & get acclimitized properly.

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#27 seve927
March 09 2013, 04:22PM
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Kevin R wrote:

Agree. If we had a proper #1 line that did what they are paid to do, & a #3 line to played the tougher minutes, he could have slid on the #2 line & get acclimitized properly.

Disagree. There isn't a roster in this league he's ready to slide into. He's got some work to do getting used to the limited 'time and space' as the old cliche goes, and getting outmuscled at every turn. Just not ready.

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#28 RexLibris
March 10 2013, 08:59AM
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@Kevin R

Good ideas, but I doubt adding Whitney into any deal is a sweetener at this point. Frankly, Seguin and Hamilton are having better seasons than Eberle and Whitney, and I don't know that Chiarelli would want to take a step back at this stage just to net a high 1st round pick. Also, Seguin will come cheaper than Eberle next season because Chiarelli is a better contract negotiator.

Couturier and Coburn would be terrific, but again, I don't see Philadelphia accepting a smaller winger and Whitney for two stud NHL players.

Eberle for Couturier straight up might work. Maybe. Hard to say, but the best bet for getting something out of Holmgren is for Snider to get involved. When ownership pulls the puppet strings, it often weakens management's hand.

Basically, the only way out of this, that I see, is by drafting this year's bigger more physical centre, be it Barkov, Monahan or Lindholm (heck maybe even MacKinnon becomes available the way they are playing!) and then doing a massive restructuring of the bottom six at free agency.

Trade as many of Eager, Belanger, Petrell, Smyth and Jones as you can, waive the remainder and then go out and sign some actual NHL players - Boyd Gordon, Blake Wheeler, Daniel Winnik, Zenon Konopka, to use examples of recently available players.

Then, patience with what you have and attention to veteran support. It is still far, far too early to have internal responses to depth issues. Those players will be there in time, but they are still developing and relying on them now would be a mistake.

I do like your ideas though, I just think (and you'll love this) that you have overvalued some of the Oilers' assets (aside from their draft picks). =)

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#29 RKD
March 10 2013, 11:25AM
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schevvy wrote:

Waaay too early to give up on Sven. 1st season in the NHL, very few kids find instant success. Also, it's better for him to play at this stage, and he wasn't going to play enough here. He'll be fine, give him time. It's not like he was 1st overall.

Agreed, Q patience is a virtue. Sven needs more time to develop and mature, look at how Kadri toiled in the AHL before becoming an NHL regular. His time under Dallas Eakins is now paying big dividends for the Maple Leafs.

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