Post-Game: Jets Spoil The Party!

Ryan Pike
April 11 2014 10:14PM

The Flames entered tonight's game poised to finish off their home schedule in style. Unfortunately, the Winnipeg Jets spoiled the party, taking a 5-3 decision to push the Flames to "just" a .500 record at home. The difference-maker was a fairly uninspired first period and a few lapses in the defensive zone.

Here's how it shook down.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames had a so-so first period. They did have some jump in the offensive zone, but couldn't quite execute. That lack of execution crept into their defensive zone play, which was poor. The first Winnipeg goal was a bit flukey; a Michael Frolik floater from the high slot bonked in off of T.J. Brodie's chest. The second goal was arguably worse: off a line change, the team stood around as Evander Kane entered the zone, drove to the slot and put a wrister past Karri Ramo.

The Flames were much, much better in the second period. Just 64 seconds in, they got on the board: Paul Byron made a heads-up play to keep a loose puck from leaving the zone. He fed it to Brodie at the point, whose shot pinballed off Jiri Hudler for Hudler's 17th goal. Jets rookie Carl Klingberg made it 3-1 when he won a puck battle behind the net, then walked out front and put it past Ramo – on the Jets first shot of the period. However, the Flames generated two successive penalties and made them count.

Some nice passing teed up Sean Monahan for a tap-in at the side of the net (on a 5-on-3) to make it 3-2. And as that goal was announced, Kris Russell skated into zone and wristed home his 7th to tie things up at 3-apiece.

The third period started evenly, but once the Jets scored, the Flames stepped on the gas pedal. The Jets fourth goal was a fairly simple one; the Flames couldn't corral the puck off a defensive-zone face-off. The Jets won the board battle and Paul Postma's point shot eluded Ramo. The Flames pressed late, but Blake Wheeler's empty-netter cinched it.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

The Flames had a few adventures in their own zone, losing a few key board battles (especially on Winnipeg's third and fourth goals), and it cost them the game.

Their third period was excellent, though.

RED WARRIOR

3IaVul1
(courtesy TurnedTheCorner over at the CalgaryPuck forums)

He was over 50% at the dot. He had 4 shots on net, tied for the team lead (with Mark Cundari). He scored his 22nd goal, besting Jarome Iginla's rookie year. Considering that he and Matt Stajan took the lion's share of the draws, the rookie pivot had an excellent game.

SUM IT UP

Flames lose! Their draft position is going to be 4th or 5th (pre-lottery), so it'll be decided by Sunday's finale against the Vancouver Canucks.

Oh yeah, and the club is expected to get some reinforcements from the collegiate ranks in the form of Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold.

There may yet be some excitement to come.

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#1 WW
April 11 2014, 11:18PM
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.

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#2 WW
April 11 2014, 11:19PM
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#3 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2014, 12:07AM
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@prendrefeu

And we take Sam Reinhart. Because that kid is special.

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#4 Kypreos
April 11 2014, 11:20PM
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The losers from the North are pretty convinced they are getting Ekblad. There should be some consideration to trade up, if Buffalo gets #1 and Calgary draft Ekblad. Buffalo is not likely to draft Ekblad anyway with the young talent they have coming up on defense. This would give us blue chip defensive prospect and screw Edmonton.

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#5 beloch
April 11 2014, 10:53PM
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The Flames played a very dominant game tonight. The possession stats of this game are downright pretty! Puck luck made the difference. There's no shame in this loss, especially with two of the team's top possession (and scoring) forwards in sickbay.

The good news is that the fifth slot is now locked down and the Flames still have a shot at the fourth slot if they win fewer points from Vancouver than the Islanders win from Buffalo.

That being said, to hades with losing to the Canucks! I want to see Gaudreau and Arnold go to town on Sunday.

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#6 redhot1
April 11 2014, 11:10PM
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As much as people say don't encourage a losing culture, this loss was good for the Flames. With the Canes and Isles both winning tonight, this solidifies their draft position. I'm hoping for a top 5 pick, because there is a drop off after that, in my opinion. With the two Eagles making their debut on Sunday, this should be the most interesting final game in years

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#7 beloch
April 12 2014, 12:22AM
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jeremywilhelm wrote:

Cundari is actually blowing the doors off possession wise in his limited minutes. Billins though, is not. Might be time to up Cundari's minutes a bit.

Cundari and Billins are heavily sheltered, but they are indeed hitting it out of the park. This isn't the first game that's happened either. Tougher comp for these two is definitely warranted. I'd love to see even one of these two turn into the legit second-pairing defender the Flames need. (I'm sorry Butler/Russel fans. Those two are doing better than anyone expected, but they're still getting spanked with second pair minutes.)

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#8 redricardo
April 11 2014, 11:33PM
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2 things:

The WW IP address from above should be banned. Just from FlamesNation though. Judging by their grammar, I'm guessing they're a regular on OilersNation.

Good to see the end of season respect from the fans for the team. Even though we're finishing low, I think everyone can see we're pointing the right direction. This should be an exciting team to watch grow and come together. I can't wait for some of the FlamesNation articles on moving forward in the off season.

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#9 beloch
April 12 2014, 12:31AM
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redricardo wrote:

2 things:

The WW IP address from above should be banned. Just from FlamesNation though. Judging by their grammar, I'm guessing they're a regular on OilersNation.

Good to see the end of season respect from the fans for the team. Even though we're finishing low, I think everyone can see we're pointing the right direction. This should be an exciting team to watch grow and come together. I can't wait for some of the FlamesNation articles on moving forward in the off season.

That IP might also belong in the 604 area code. I seem to recall a bitter 'nucks fan targeting me before. Let's face it, those rioting clowns have a lot of angst to work through. In any case, it just feels right to make such allegations because calling an Oilers fan a 'nucks fan is almost as much of an insult as calling an oilers fan a Flames fan! (Admission: I'm on record as a fan of both the Flames and Oilers, but the Flames will always be my #1!)

I refuse to say that FN being trolled is a bad thing because it's just a sign that this blog is really kicking arse. They hate because FN is beautiful.

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#10 calgarycandle
April 11 2014, 10:58PM
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Wow, from being so thin at Centre two years ago to now, there's been an absolute transformation in Flamedom.

Backlund, Monahan, Stajan, Granlund, Knight, Arnold, Reinhart. Even if Reinhart moves to the wing there's six quality players fighting for four jobs in say 2016.

Byron and Bouma have already been moved to wing.

With this kind of wealth does Burke trade away some of the prospects say for young right wingers? Problem is the Flames don't know what they have yet in Knight and Granlund and Knight has good size, but seems to good to be a fourth liner. My guess is he didn't come from Florida to play that role here.

And what about the Flames small size forwards? I'm thinking Byron, Cammallari (if he stays), Hudler, Baertschi given Burke's penchant for size. Not resign Cammallari and lose him for free?

There's some interesting choices to be made. But it seems like there is an overabundance of assets to acquire the needed missing pieces.

Everybody else's thoughts??

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#11 prendrefeu
April 12 2014, 12:03AM
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It would be a bit hilarious when the Flames win the draft lottery as well.

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#12 beloch
April 12 2014, 01:42AM
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@jeremywilhelm

Agreed on the small sample size. My comments are primarily based on the last two games, in which these two have both been excellent. Cundari and Billins are both on the older side to be considered true prospects, but the Flames are actually pretty short on blueline prospects at present. Both Billins and Cundari are RFA's next season. Neither Butler or Russel has upside to be more than a third-pairing defender on a playoff team. As such, I think trading Butler or Russel away over the summer and signing both of these players would be a good move. The Flames have plenty of proven third pairing defenders but these two are unknowns.

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#13 coachedpotatoe
April 12 2014, 07:42AM
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Lots of chatter about our 2nd and third defensive pairings; here's the problem with Russell(whom I quite like), Cundari and Billins- size. They all do some things well and if they get to the puck ahead of forwards they can move the puck, but if they arrive at the same time they lose more puck battles than they win.( Jets forth goal) To move forward we need to upgrade our second pairing and I am not sure we have the internal resources to do so. Gio and Brodie are a sound number 1 pairing but after that we have 2 mid range number 3 pairings when healthy. Here's our list of other defenders: Wide's(when healthy and playing well a second pairing D at best), Russell (to small to play the minutes expected), Smid(better suited for a third pairing), Butler (again better suited for a third pairing/free agent), Spoon ( not ready for 2nd pairing), Billins and Cundari (to small replacement 3rd pairing guys playing in the AHL),Seiloff ( not enough action to determine), Kanzig (not ready) and the whole host of others. Burke and his staff need to address this need during the off season but must not rob Peter to pay Paul. Ideally we need to have 2, 2nd pairing rather than 2 3rd pairings.

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#14 Kevin R
April 12 2014, 11:18AM
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coachedpotatoe wrote:

Lots of chatter about our 2nd and third defensive pairings; here's the problem with Russell(whom I quite like), Cundari and Billins- size. They all do some things well and if they get to the puck ahead of forwards they can move the puck, but if they arrive at the same time they lose more puck battles than they win.( Jets forth goal) To move forward we need to upgrade our second pairing and I am not sure we have the internal resources to do so. Gio and Brodie are a sound number 1 pairing but after that we have 2 mid range number 3 pairings when healthy. Here's our list of other defenders: Wide's(when healthy and playing well a second pairing D at best), Russell (to small to play the minutes expected), Smid(better suited for a third pairing), Butler (again better suited for a third pairing/free agent), Spoon ( not ready for 2nd pairing), Billins and Cundari (to small replacement 3rd pairing guys playing in the AHL),Seiloff ( not enough action to determine), Kanzig (not ready) and the whole host of others. Burke and his staff need to address this need during the off season but must not rob Peter to pay Paul. Ideally we need to have 2, 2nd pairing rather than 2 3rd pairings.

I know many writers on this site caution that the % of prospects that actually succeed isn't that high, so the more you have, the more chance you have talent that sticks. Being year 1 of the rebuild, & the fact we were pretty dismal in our prospect rankings just 2-3 years ago, you would think we need help in every position. Is it me & tinted sunglasses but we seem to have a dearth of really good young forward talent. Other teams & MSM are just starting to notice & that notice will lead to other teams to covet our wealth of forwards. Problem is, you can only give so many of them a decent chance to succeed & realize their potential.

So with respect to your view on defensemen, I agree, Gio & Brodie are a legit bonafide 1-2 pairing. After that, well, we have some OK dmen & some potential coming in Tspoon , Kanzig & Seiloff, but this undoubtably is the biggest hole in our line up. Goaltending isn't bad, Ramo is looking like a legit #1 & Ortio is looking ready fro prime time #2 status. Next year is going to be a huge evaluation year for our goaltending.

So back to the obvious hole, this why I am so big on Ekblad. Yes, Reinhart & Bennett look like really good prospects anyone would like in their organization. Ekblad represents what this rebuild needs the most. A potential top 4 Dman that will be part of the core foundation. If we cant get him, that should be the trade target for Burke. If we cant get that #1 out of Buffalo, what would it take to get Routselanien(sp?)or Zadarov out of them. Hell what about Myers. You acquire a kid like him to play 3-4 with Wideman/Russell, the team plays with the same work ethic & Ramo has an even bigger year, this team may be fighting for a playoff spot. That's really optimistic, but not out of the realm. I am really liking the bones of this team.

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#15 Baalzamon
April 12 2014, 01:56PM
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If the Flames win the lottery they should offer the pick to Buffalo for theirs and New York's. They probably don't take it, but it would be nice to have two picks in the top 5 if they did.

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#16 jeremywilhelm
April 11 2014, 11:59PM
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Cundari is actually blowing the doors off possession wise in his limited minutes. Billins though, is not. Might be time to up Cundari's minutes a bit.

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#17 lionlager
April 12 2014, 12:53AM
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Monahan beat Iggy's rookie goals scored. Great stuff. So vs the Nucks, who sits to make room for Gaudreau and Arnold? Also, Berra pulled after 10mins tonight.

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#18 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2014, 12:56AM
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beloch wrote:

Cundari and Billins are heavily sheltered, but they are indeed hitting it out of the park. This isn't the first game that's happened either. Tougher comp for these two is definitely warranted. I'd love to see even one of these two turn into the legit second-pairing defender the Flames need. (I'm sorry Butler/Russel fans. Those two are doing better than anyone expected, but they're still getting spanked with second pair minutes.)

Small sample size for Cundari, but Billins isn't doing as well as he is. Not even close.

Add in that Cundari was also similarly decent late last season.

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#19 jeremywilhelm
April 12 2014, 01:52AM
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@beloch

I have a feeling Billins increase in possession is driven from Cundari.

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#20 EugeneV
April 12 2014, 02:33AM
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If NYI Win or SOL, I am willing to lose to the Canucks as long as JG gets enough ice time to show us what he can do.

A loss for us and a NYI win against the Sabres (their game will finish before ours starts) will give us the 4th pick subject to the Lottery on Tuesday.

Preferably a win for NYI and a SOL for us.

Remember, if Tavares didn't get hurt playing at the Olympics there is no way they finish below us in the standings so I don't WANT them to finish below us in the standings. Especially if their pick goes to Buffalo this year anyway.

4th has a 10.7% chance of winning and 5th has 8.1% chance of winning the lottery.

As it sits today Canada has a 42.6% chance of winning the draft lottery.

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#21 Justin Azevedo
April 12 2014, 07:53AM
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done

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#22 coachedpotatoe
April 12 2014, 08:15AM
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I see that the most of the Flames CHL prospects have now been eliminated from the playoffs; I wonder if they will be assigning Poirier and Kanzig to the Heat?(Would they be eligible for the playoffs?) Will Burke offer Roy a contract? With one game left and Arnold and Johnny likely to dress is it not time to send Hankowski back? Is Granlund close to returning? I would love to see the Heat make a long playoff run, that would really help the development of Knight, Rhino, Granlund(if he is healthy), Klimchuk (as he is with the Heat0, Ortio, Sven.

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#23 MontanaMan
April 12 2014, 08:21AM
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Bit off topic but relevant. I have said for years, Flames fans would support a losing team as long as there was hope and the team put in an honest effort. The past 5 years have produced decent teams but their play was so boring, you could hear a pin drop in the Dome. This year, the Flames have brought renewed enthusiasm to the building and the fans have responded. A standing ovation after a loss and finishing in the bottom 5? Yes. This reflects on the intelligence of the fans and their appreciation for honest hockey and a sense of better things ahead.

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#24 Willi P
April 12 2014, 09:48AM
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Bit off topic but relevant too, the points predictions from the writers below (pre season). Looks like Kent or Cristian will be the closest (kudos), or may tie, we will see tomorrow. Lambert, once again, put no thought into his prediction. Only trying to get negative reactions, which seems to be the only purpose of his input on this site.

FlamesNation Roundtable - 2013-14 Flames Season Preview

Kent Wilson September 30 2013 12:21PM

Ryan Pike: The Flames should finish 14th in the West. They'll get around 75 points, which would translate to around 30-35 wins.

Justin Azevedo: Well, in the new Pacific Division they'll be hard pressed to do better than last, but in the Central Division Colorado (no real defence), Nashville (zero forward depth) and Winnipeg (the 3rd worst starter in the league) all have massive holes permeating their lineups. I'm going to say 74 points this season for 2nd or 3rd last in the West.

Book of Loob: Ugh. My guess is 12th or 13th. I think Winnipeg is going to be truly terrible, and I don't like the look of the Coyotes, but the Flames will unfortunately be right there with them partying in the basement as if they're all a bunch of bloggers. Of course, there's no real surprise there, and you don't rebuild without a few hard years, but man, when you take a hard look at it, it stings. I can't see the Flames eclipsing 75 points. Ouch.

Ryan Lambert: They're gonna be dead last and have somewhere between 55 and 60 points.

Christian Roatis: Unlike the masses, I don't see the Flames being as bad as everyone says they'll be. I wish they'd finish 30th (or 15th in the West), but I doubt it. This will be a young, hardworking team that will show up each and every night - which could not be said for the teams of the recent past. They'll battle, they'll grind and they'll win some games, there's little doubt in my mind about that. Not enough to make the playoffs of course - not even close, but just enough to save them the trouble of getting a really good prospect. All this I think comes down to goaltending and if it's a little better than last season, they aren't finishing last. So having said that, I say they finish 12th in the West with 77 points.

Kent (editor's note: I think the Flames will be at around 79 points. Altogether, FN writers predict an (averaged) point total of 73 for Calgary this year)

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#25 Bring Back Tim Hunter
April 12 2014, 10:48AM
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The flames as an organization have done very well with restocking the cupboards. Flames fans in the know have reason to be optimistic. This team could be very good in 3 or 4 years. It still looks like we'll need another year or two though before they are legit playoff team.

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#26 coachedpotatoe
April 12 2014, 04:43PM
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Kevin R wrote:

I know many writers on this site caution that the % of prospects that actually succeed isn't that high, so the more you have, the more chance you have talent that sticks. Being year 1 of the rebuild, & the fact we were pretty dismal in our prospect rankings just 2-3 years ago, you would think we need help in every position. Is it me & tinted sunglasses but we seem to have a dearth of really good young forward talent. Other teams & MSM are just starting to notice & that notice will lead to other teams to covet our wealth of forwards. Problem is, you can only give so many of them a decent chance to succeed & realize their potential.

So with respect to your view on defensemen, I agree, Gio & Brodie are a legit bonafide 1-2 pairing. After that, well, we have some OK dmen & some potential coming in Tspoon , Kanzig & Seiloff, but this undoubtably is the biggest hole in our line up. Goaltending isn't bad, Ramo is looking like a legit #1 & Ortio is looking ready fro prime time #2 status. Next year is going to be a huge evaluation year for our goaltending.

So back to the obvious hole, this why I am so big on Ekblad. Yes, Reinhart & Bennett look like really good prospects anyone would like in their organization. Ekblad represents what this rebuild needs the most. A potential top 4 Dman that will be part of the core foundation. If we cant get him, that should be the trade target for Burke. If we cant get that #1 out of Buffalo, what would it take to get Routselanien(sp?)or Zadarov out of them. Hell what about Myers. You acquire a kid like him to play 3-4 with Wideman/Russell, the team plays with the same work ethic & Ramo has an even bigger year, this team may be fighting for a playoff spot. That's really optimistic, but not out of the realm. I am really liking the bones of this team.

Kevin: I agree with you. I also would not be adverse to picking Fluery at 5/6 and going hard after a UFA or see who else is out there as undrafted college defenders.

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#27 Derzie
April 12 2014, 09:33PM
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Feaster did this.

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