Post-Game: Thirsty for a Win

Justin Azevedo
March 15 2014 10:45PM

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Via the NHL

The Flames were hoping for a second straight 2-goal comeback (and third straight win) tonight in Phoenix, and they almost had it. Unfortunately, a mess of penalties in the third would ultimately sink the Flames and allow the Coyotes to come away with a 3-2 win in regulation.

The Rundown

Early on, the game seemed like it might get out of hand - the Coyotes would put two goals by rookie Joni Ortio before we even hit the second commercial break. An amazing series of defensive lapses (Colborne and Russell, I'm looking at you) would lead to the first goal, as Chris Summers would open the scoring with his first NHL goal, redirecting a Lauri Korpikoski feed. Rob Klinkhammer scored about 4 minutes after, and while you couldn't blame the first goal on Ortio, the second was probably on him. Keith Yandle made a pretty damn nice pass to set it up.

Then, as if things couldn't go any worse - Mike "Buttgoal" Smith insidiously (and with malice of forethought) injured everyone's favorite player™, Mikael Backlund. (He would return.) There was a period of time about 5 minutes long right after the Yotes tallied their second where the Flames were just brutually hemmed into their zone. Hrudey mentioned it on the broadcast and I agreed - right off the bat the Flames looked like they were tired - likely a function of them having played last night. Shots in the period were 11-8 for the Coyotes.

After spotting the Yotes two goals, the Flames decided it was about time to get into it. About 4 minutes into the second, Mark Giordano destroyed Korpikoski as he was coming across the blue line (good!), but as he went to the bench he tripped Radim Vrbata pretty obviously. The Yotes took a point-shot heavy approach on the insuing powerplay, with both Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larrsson ringing it off the iron over the course of the two minutes. Mike Smith did what Mike Smith does by losing the puck behind the net and it resulted in Lance Bouma drawing a penalty against Derek Morris. This was significant for a pretty obvious reason: Mike Cammalleri bombed a clapper from the blue and Curtis Glencross used his BIG BODY PRESENCE in front of the net to score his 7th of the season on the PP and his first since injuring his ankle 31 games ago. Glencross and Bouma would team up again to create a great chance in front, but Smith would match one of Ortio's great saves from earlier in the period with one of his own. An absurd amount of penalties were called in this period (9 minors!), but that was bloody good for the Flames as our boy Mickis would deflect another Cammalleri drive past Smith on the PP to send the game to the third tied. Shot totals in the second reflected how the game went - the Flames took the play to the Coyotes, outshooting them 18-6 in the frame. Yeah.

The third started well. Lance Bouma took a nasty shot to the thigh - right in the area in between the shin pad and pant. You know, THAT one. Then somehow Paul Byron forgot he's 4'2" and took a boarding penalty, where Shane Doan had the best Coyotes chance, hitting yet another post. Ortio was probably beaten... 5 or 6 times this game but only allowed  somehow. Unfortunately, all of those penalties against the Flames would eventually come back to haunt them, as Shane Doan (*spits*) had a puck go off his stupid stick and past Ortio to put Phoenix up 3-2. Some words were then said between Hartley and the ref, and then Backlund cross-checked Outlet Halpern at the faceoff circle. The end result of all of that action? A Phoenix goal and another Coyotes PP. (Ortio was tested a lot in this period, and performed pretty well overall I think.) Backlund then got called again (6 fucking minors in the period, somehow) but once again - Ortio was up to the task. Unfortunately, the Flames couldn't generate another goal (probably due to the refs having the whistles stuck in their mouths) and the Coyotes would close it out.

Why The Flames Lost

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Not all of them were good calls - but don't put the game in the hands of the referee.

Red Warrior

Joni Ortio's second goal against wasn't pretty, but...

The kid had to deal with an absolutely absurd 10 minor penalties called against the Flames tonight. I don't care who you are, that amount of action is going to destroy you and your stamina. He battled hard.

Sum it Up

Probably the most fun I've had watching a Flames-Coyotes game in quite a while. I'm not sure what the deal was with the officiating - some of the calls were, uh, questionable - but the fact is the Coyotes outplayed the Flames in the first and that was the difference. Even with all of the penalties, they hung around in the third. This was definitely one of those "rebuild" losses.

We'll have a scoring chance dump up on tuesday. 

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Justin is a 23-year-old Flames fan who also happens to be pursuing a double major at the University of Calgary. He has played hockey at high levels, enjoys wearing shorts and tends to drink far too much Grasshopper. Please don't hate him.
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#1 MontanaMan
March 16 2014, 08:16AM
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Some might comment that the Flames "lost their composure" and of course they're right. This will be a learning for a young team. For me, I love it. It shows that a team that have been out of the playoffs for months, still has that desire to win and more importantly, HATES LOSING. If I'm Hartley, I take the opportunity to talk about how lack of discipline can hurt in a big game but I praise the team for having emotion in their game and for not playing out the string.

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#2 loudogYYC
March 15 2014, 11:14PM
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The refs in the 3rd were absolute bullsh*t. Gotta love the fight in these players either way.

Darren Haynes tweeted it right: Monahan will be an even better player when he's less polite.

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#3 Walter White
March 16 2014, 09:07AM
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MontanaMan wrote:

Some might comment that the Flames "lost their composure" and of course they're right. This will be a learning for a young team. For me, I love it. It shows that a team that have been out of the playoffs for months, still has that desire to win and more importantly, HATES LOSING. If I'm Hartley, I take the opportunity to talk about how lack of discipline can hurt in a big game but I praise the team for having emotion in their game and for not playing out the string.

Most of the penalty calls against the flames were BS......all the non-calls on the Phoenix cross checks and trips were atrocious!

A penalty to Brodie with 2 minutes left because he called the ref a douchebag corksucker........?

There is a bright lining to all this: it is really the Canucks who got screwed over the worst with all this hometown reffing!!!!!

WW

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#4 Troy Jordan
March 16 2014, 01:36AM
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i agree...that refing was a little wonky, but still a good effort ...I dont seee a massive diffrence between us and them

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#5 MarkyOgg
March 16 2014, 06:59AM
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Love to see Backlund play some good old Slapshot type hockey, and if it wasn't for the sissiest (if that's a word) refs I've seen all season he would have gotten away with it too. But I guess the Coyotes financial situation is now good enough to pay the refs a little extra.

Wish Corban would get a chance with TJ G and Glencross on the wings and let Grats, Westgard and (poor) Hanowski take turns centering the 4th line.

Finally, if someone finds out what Halpern said to Backlund before the "crosscheck" I would be very curious to know.

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#6 Primo
March 16 2014, 02:23PM
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Carlizzle wrote:

That 3rd period was the epitome of the word "Railroaded." As mentioned, it was immediately after Hartley's words with Watson that the avalanche of penalties started to fall. I would also like to know what that douchebag Halpern said to Backs. If I had to wager a guess, it would have to have something to do with him running over Ortio.

I can't argue with Hartley's coaching philosophy of rewarding ice time for performance. I anticipate Corban will start to get more minutes.

As the year has evolved I have noticed Hartley is more open to playing/showing more confidence in the young guys. So far he is pushing the right buttons and I like it!

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#7 MontanaMan
March 16 2014, 08:34PM
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belch wrote:

Hartley loves goons! But goons don't win games! Just look at the sabres wasting a roster spot with Big John SCOTT every night!

Not true. Hartley demands accountability from his players, notably the youngsters. He may be tough on the young guys but he makes them earn their ice time. As for "Hartley loves goons" I think it's fair to say that he wants toughness in his lineup and rightly so - you have a very young team that teams would take advantage of if not for some toughness in the lineup. And don't forget he's given "goons" like Paul Byron (5'6"), Mikael Backlund, Matt Stajan and even big goons like Joe Colbourne some great opportunities.

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#8 coachedpotatoe
March 16 2014, 07:47AM
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Yale got swept in their playoff series which means that Agostino will likely be free to turn pro(it is unlikely Yale will get a bid to the Frozen 4 tournament) I wonder if Burke will sign him right away or not(the heat could use some forwards) THe Providence gang (Gilles, Janko and Roy) have advanced while BC(Johnny G and Arnold) plays the ND in game three of the series. Even if BC loses today there is a strong chance that they will get a bid to the Tournament(they have been ranked #1 for quite awhile)They still have league championships again best of threes to decide. Once the tournament starts it's one loss and you are done.

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#9 Flames15
March 16 2014, 07:03PM
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The streak comes to an end.

Notre Dame caps off the upset over BC, 4-2 win. Gaudreau was held off the score sheet for the first time in 31 games!

Still an unbelievable accomplishment. The fact his line mate is Bill Arnold(Flames prospect), will only make his transition to the NHL/AHL more seamless. It'll be interesting to see what the duo do during the Frozen 4.

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#10 J
March 16 2014, 10:31AM
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@MarkyOgg

Ya I don't understand why Corban is getting minimal minutes. He has done as much as possible in the limited minutes and fourth line wingers. He plays very well in those limited minutes, wait until he gets to play with better wingers and 15+ minutes a night. He is a player.

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#11 coachedpotatoe
March 16 2014, 08:46AM
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I finally have the hockey east playoffs figured out. Once todays games are done and the 4 semifinalists are decided they go to a tournament this weekend Friday and Saturday. One loss and you are done; the only team I know has qualified at this time is Providence. Again if BC is not league champion they are still likely to get a bid for the frozen four tournament.

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#12 B
March 16 2014, 03:07PM
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@Primo

Knight and Hanowski are the only two non-fighters to average under 10 min. TOI/game so far. Curious that Knight would not have taken Granlund's 12 min/gm when he went down with injuries (although Galiardi came back at that time). It is a good opportunity to give him minutes when mistakes don't really matter. That's supposedly what this time of year is for. Nevertheless, it probably hasn't hurt anything yet - I just think it is time to bump him up to 3C.

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#13 Vowswithin
March 16 2014, 08:58PM
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Not sure how true it is but supposedly Agostino was signed and is supposed to join the flames in buffalo. Was tweeted by his cousin.

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#14 Chambers
March 16 2014, 10:14PM
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Vowswithin wrote:

Not sure how true it is but supposedly Agostino was signed and is supposed to join the flames in buffalo. Was tweeted by his cousin.

Join the Flames in Buffalo?? Flames are here in Calgary this week!

????

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#15 clyde
March 16 2014, 10:09PM
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belch wrote:

Hartley loves goons! But goons don't win games! Just look at the sabres wasting a roster spot with Big John SCOTT every night!

And Chicago with Bollig.

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#16 mk
March 16 2014, 01:45PM
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It didn't seem like any of the penalties were awful calls, but in every game I've ever watched, the refs will start to call make up penalties after 3 or 4 in a row, even if they're weak calls. Certainly, in another game, the trip on Brodie and the hit on Ortio are called.

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#17 Primo
March 16 2014, 02:25PM
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@Primo

oops my comment was intended for posting #9, J.

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#18 belch
March 16 2014, 08:00PM
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Primo wrote:

I can't argue with Hartley's coaching philosophy of rewarding ice time for performance. I anticipate Corban will start to get more minutes.

As the year has evolved I have noticed Hartley is more open to playing/showing more confidence in the young guys. So far he is pushing the right buttons and I like it!

Hartley loves goons! But goons don't win games! Just look at the sabres wasting a roster spot with Big John SCOTT every night!

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#19 coachedpotatoe
March 16 2014, 08:01AM
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Actually I got it wrong that was just the league quaterfinals, next week is the semifinals that are still to be determined.

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#20 Carlizzle
March 16 2014, 11:32AM
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That 3rd period was the epitome of the word "Railroaded." As mentioned, it was immediately after Hartley's words with Watson that the avalanche of penalties started to fall. I would also like to know what that douchebag Halpern said to Backs. If I had to wager a guess, it would have to have something to do with him running over Ortio.

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#21 Chad
March 16 2014, 02:00PM
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@J

That is one of the complaints about Heartly he does weird thing with the line up and goes by the eye test + how much of a veterans a player is to evaluate talent.

Not sure if they should bring him back

Pro Team plays hard for the coach Younger players are getting better

Con Sets weird line ups Trouble identifying talent

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#22 Baalzamon
March 16 2014, 11:37PM
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Suddenly the Islanders are catching up to the Flames again. Same number of points, Calgary has one game in hand.

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#23 vowswithin
March 17 2014, 07:24AM
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@Chambers

Sorry I meant against Buffalo.

Again this isn't "fact" its just what I heard. Flames rumors are hard to come by so I figured that after getting one (true or false) it would be worth posting.

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#24 chambers
March 17 2014, 07:43PM
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vowswithin wrote:

Sorry I meant against Buffalo.

Again this isn't "fact" its just what I heard. Flames rumors are hard to come by so I figured that after getting one (true or false) it would be worth posting.

Nice call!! You are well connected!!

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#25 FirearmSizzly
March 19 2014, 03:36PM
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belch wrote:

Hartley loves goons! But goons don't win games! Just look at the sabres wasting a roster spot with Big John SCOTT every night!

BS, if anything we need MORE steel!

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