Post-Game: The Spell is Broken

Byron Bader
January 06 2014 10:34PM

-via bindlegrim

The Flames were victorious over the Avalanche 4-3 and everyone who holds the Flames near and dear can breath a sigh of relief. Finally, after scoring one goal in four games and being shutout left and right, the Flames were able to tally a few goals.  Even better news, the Flames got their first win in five games.

THE RUNDOWN

Early in the first the Flames got on the score sheet, something we haven't been able to say for some time.  Monahan took a pass from Stempniak and entered the o-zone.  He stopped up and shot while Paul Byron went hard to the net.  The puck dribbled in off of the Avs player trying to derail Byron's effort and snuck past Giguere.  Good for the rook's 12th of  the season.  The Avs would answer back six minutes later when Erik Johnson tripped himself in the neutral zone and drew a phantom penalty from Mike Cammalleri.  Nathan MacKinnon, the 1st overall selection of the 2013 draft, would smash in a garbage goal from the goal line at 7:18 on the ensuing PP.  Seven minutes later, the Avs found themselves on another powerplay and MacKinnon struck again. This time onetiming a pass home in the slot  from Flames killer, Paul Stastny. MacKinnon's goals were his 13th and 14th goals of the season and his second two goal game in row.  

The second period started out with the Avs driving the play for the most part.  This was until Kevin Westgarth upped the grit and created some energy with some thunderous barely legal body checks (full disclosure: Westgarth pretty much did nothing and just got a penalty for his efforts).  A short time later though, O'Brien ripped a shot from the point to which Joe Colborne got a stick on and it got past Giguere.  A lucky one but we'll take it all day.  2:28 later, Hudler tipped down a Gio point shot, got the puck settled on the ice and then put it through both his and Giguere's legs to give the Flames the 3-2 lead going into the third.  

The third period started off slow, neither team  mustering much in the early stages.  But right around the half way mark things started to heat up. Paul Stastny, the aforementioned Flames killer, evened up  the score at 3s with his 12 of the season at 9:33.  The goal was Stastny's 46th point in 40 games against the Flames.  It looked like the Flames might implode.  But thanks to a late powerplay  for the Flames that wasn't the case.  Mike Cammalleri took an unreal no-look feed from Hudler in the slot late in the powerplay, ripped it past Giguere and gave the Flames the lead at 16:30 of the third.  The Flames held on for the victory from there.

RED WARRIOR

This was a tough one.  None of the Flames really stood out to any degree.  I'll give this one to Hudler.  After the Czech Olympic Committee somehow opted against including Hudler on the team he showed why that's a mistake.  He had a goal and an assist in the game and both of the goals that he was in on don't happen unless he did what he did on the plays.  

WHY THE FLAMES WON

Well it's clear that luck was a big factor in this one.  The Flames were outshot 25 to 19 and, although they wern't dominated by the Avs, it's tough to say they were the better team.  The Flames finally saw some bounces go their way with the first two goals, probably even the third.  Even the powerplay at the end of the game that eventually gave the Flames the win, a too many men on the ice call, was quite lucky.  To have six players out on the ice for a significant period like that, you don't often see a team make a mistake like that late in the game.  But they competed hard and didn't give the Avs too many quality chances.  The game could have gone either way and it was nice to see it fall the Flames way as they badly needed it.

SUM IT UP

The Flames ended a long scoring drought, in which they scored only one goal in the past four games.  They were able to tally four goals tonight pick up the victory against the Avalanche, a team that has been playing really well lately and certainly has some offensive prowess up front.  The Flames improve  15-21-6 and find themselves 28th overall.

Next up, the Flames head to Phoenix to take on the Coyotes tomorrow.  Hopefully the scoring drought is over and the goals keep coming against a stingy Coyotes hockey club.

 

 

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Byron has a background in psychology, economics and business and is a business researcher/data analyst by day. His love for hockey is as deep as the ocean is wide. Tell him your questions and let him into your heart. Twitter: @Baderader; Email: byron.bader@gmail.com
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#1 calgarycandle
January 06 2014, 11:27PM
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Interesting contrast between Monahan and McKinnon. As much as I like Monahan, it's clear why McKinnon was 1st overall. He's about the same size as Monahan, but seems a LOT stronger, harder to knock off the puck. Even in a loaded draft, there sure is a huge difference between picking 1st and 6th.

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#2 SmellOfVictory
January 06 2014, 11:32PM
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calgarycandle wrote:

Interesting contrast between Monahan and McKinnon. As much as I like Monahan, it's clear why McKinnon was 1st overall. He's about the same size as Monahan, but seems a LOT stronger, harder to knock off the puck. Even in a loaded draft, there sure is a huge difference between picking 1st and 6th.

He's stronger, faster, and seems to have a better shot, and he's almost a year younger. Monahan will be a good player, but MacKinnon is extremely impressive.

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#3 cunning_linguist
January 06 2014, 11:40PM
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Agreed. Monahan is going to be great, but his ceiling just isn't close to MacKinnon's. I still wonder from time to time about that Feaster offer...6th, 22nd and 28th for 1st overall...what if?

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#4 jeremywilhelm
January 07 2014, 12:05AM
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The funny thing is, Mackinnons underlying stats were dog balls (worse than Monahans, by a lot) about 25 games into the season. The kid was sheltered like no other and getting his head beat in. I'll have to look into it, he may have fixed it by now.

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#5 EugeneV
January 07 2014, 12:25AM
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The Flames should do what is best for Monahan and send him back to Ottawa ,and then have him take part in the Gary Roberts program over the summer.

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#6 loudogYYC
January 07 2014, 02:33AM
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The major difference I notice between the 2 rookies is the skating. Mackinnon's skating is a huge strength of his while Monahan's isn't. I do think Monhahan may have better hockey sense but isn't as explosive and likely won't be. Either way, he already looks like a better pick than Lindholm. He'll be a great player for years.

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#7 Bruce Veloor
January 07 2014, 02:40AM
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From caboose engineers to pilots all in one swoop into a marijuana dispensary. Good 'ol Hartley with his mile "high" connections. A great way yo take the slow burn of an 82 game season away. WAY TO GO BOB!!!

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#8 Burnward
January 07 2014, 03:34AM
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cunning_linguist wrote:

Agreed. Monahan is going to be great, but his ceiling just isn't close to MacKinnon's. I still wonder from time to time about that Feaster offer...6th, 22nd and 28th for 1st overall...what if?

The what if that I go to from last draft...

Would our other two picks have been enough to convince Dallas to trade us the Nichushkin pick?

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#9 Kent Wilson
January 07 2014, 07:03AM
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@jeremywilhelm

They are merely meh now rather than terrible. His PDO is still 103.3 tho, including an on-ice SHY over 10%.

MacKinnon definitely has the tools. And, like Monahan, he's had the bounces to start his career as well.

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#10 HongkongHockeyFan
January 07 2014, 07:17AM
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Just watching the replay of the game. Without doubt the Play of the Game in my view was Backlund's rush up the ice at the end of the game. In my humble view, he dragged the biscuit around half of Avalanche's D-zone and "forced" them to put six-men on the ice to try and stop him! If Burkie is going to trade Backlund or Cammalleri, he better get some guys who can skate because he league is getting faster, not tougher.

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#11 piscera.infada
January 07 2014, 07:47AM
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I hope this Monahan v. MacKinnon discussion isn't meant to be an indictment of Monahan (which I don't think it is). I mean, how can you not like what you see there? Obviously he's had his growing pains, but you can see the tools he has to work with. Yes, the kid needs to work on much of his game, what 19 year old playing in the show doesn't?

I could have told you before the draft that in all likelihood MacKinnon would be the superior player - I'm sure most would have told you that. Why, then, does it become some sort of dog and pony show titled "Wither Monahan" when these two teams play? It shouldn't. At least give it the requisite amount of time to make a judgment about these players when they are actual professionals. That said, we still shouldn't be jumping off buildings if Monahan still isn't better, the choice was never between Monahan/MacKinnon to begin with. Even if you look at the potential trade between the two teams, if either Poirier or Klimchuk turns out to be anything close to an impact player, I still believe (and some may disagree) the Flames came out ahead.

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#12 McRib
January 07 2014, 09:58AM
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@Burnward

No way would I give up two first rounder’s for Valeri Nichushkin his numbers have been good this season, but I could score 22 points playing with Seguin & Benn nightly!!! Nichushkin is an early bloomer Emile Poirier alone could end up with a much higher ceiling down the road.

Also when was the last time a Russian contributed significantly to a Stanley Cup?!?!?! Chicago in 2013... NO. LA in 2012.... NO. Boston in 2011... NO. Chicago in 2010.... NO. So the last time a Russian signifcantly contributed to a Stanley Cup was in 2009 when Evgeni Malkin along with the best player in Hockey Crosby did. Malkin has even said he would never have the work ethic if he didn't play with Crosby.

Outside of Pavel Datsyuk, Evgeni Malkin and Alex Ovechkin the KHL can keep the rest of them with money looming they have become far too entitled to ever buy into team success in NA.

Once Dallas stops playing Valeri Nichushkin crazy first line minutes certain he will start to pull some Yakupov (no effort -25) antics as well. In this era I would never risk a first rounder on a Russian just ask (Columbus, Nashville, Winnipeg, Phoenix, Washington, New York, etc) why. Vladimir Tarasenko was the talk of the NHL last year this year he is being passed by Jaden Schwartz for minutes. Another year playing 2/3 line and you can kiss him goodbye.

Since the 2004 Draft things have changed in the Russian Hockey landscape what Russian First Rounders are having impacts since then in the NHL? The only ones that come to mind are Kulikov, Tarasenko, Yakupov and Nichushkin and how long until they bolt. We are talking about 7 years and thats all the first rounders I could come up with.

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#13 Anar Saju
January 07 2014, 02:38PM
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@HongkongHockeyFan

Backlund's performance has improved significantly and Brian Burke's will be making a big mistake if he is considering trading Backlund or Cammalleri. In order for the Calgary Flames to succeed, the team needs players who contribute significantly and trading them will diminish the team's performance.

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#14 loudogYYC
January 07 2014, 04:32PM
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I saw Backlund and the boys on New Years Eve at National, and in my drunken conversation with him I told him I hope he made team Sweden. He looked at me like like I had just smoked crack, but I was serious.

Am I that far off? Marcus Kruger and/or Jimmie Ericsson are upgrades to Backlund?

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