Postgame: What a Beating

TORONTO - NOVEMBER 13: The Vancouver Canucks celebrate Mason Raymond goal during game action against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre November 13, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages / Getty Images)

When you spend too much time in the box, fail to convert on your own powerplay, and make shoddy mistakes in your own end…things like this are going to happen.  And that’s exactly what happened on Wednesday night, as the Calgary Flames gave up four third period goals to fall 7-2 at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks.

What Happened

Probably not the way the Flames wanted to start this hockey game, falling down 1-0 exactly two minutes into the first period…Mason Raymond would start a banner night with his fifth of the year and would an assist about seven minutes later when Jeff Tambellini potted his fourth at 8:51, and just like that the Flames were down by two goals.  Tambellini’s goal was earned though, as he outraced Mark Giordano to a puck behind the net.  However, the Flames would score shortly thereafter, thanks to Tim Jackman’s third of the season…he tipped home a Mark Giordano shot at 10:01.  It looked like the period might get away on the Flames, but they reeled it back in and were down by just the one goal after 20, despite being outshot 16-9 (even though scoring chances finished 6-6).

The Canucks would restore their two goal lead early on in the second period, this time on the powerplay…Daniel Sedin would pot his 14th of the season after his brother’s shot went off of Kiprusoff’s helmet; Ryan Kesler would scoop up the rebound and find Daniel at 3:05.  But once again, the Flames battled back…Alex Tanguay would bank a shot off the back of Roberto Luongo for his seventh at 6:22, and this one was close.  It looked like Calgary might gain some momentum after an impressive penalty kill on a Curtis Glencross cross checking major; and in fact, the Flames drew a penalty which would start in the third period.

That powerplay opened up the final frame, and didn’t yield the right result…at all.  After the Flames came close to tying things, the Canucks broke in on a 2-on-0 odd man rush, which Raymond would make no mistake on…a sick deke put the Canucks up 4-2 just over a minute into the third.  And then things unravelled…Burrows at 6:16, Raymond for the trick at 15:37, and Dan Hamhuis at 17:56 would bring us to our lovely 7-2 score.

One Good Reason…

…why they Flames lost?  Well…we could probably count a number of ways, but it comes down to the fact that the Flames weren’t good enough throughout.  Look, Calgary had their opportunity to tie things in the third period, and they didn’t cash…but when this team fights the puck like they do, it’s absolute kryptonite to trail heading into the final 20.  Yes, it’s bad for every team…but it happens too much with this team.  13 times in 25 games the Flames have found themselves down after 40…that’s too much.  They were down because Vancouver was better in the first two periods, but did a nice job of not letting it get away on them.  But they let this thing completely derail in the third period, and did not have the ability to reel it back once again.  Not good enough tonight.

Red Warrior

Do I have to?  I don’t know what’s tougher…finding the bright spot, or singling out one goat.  Yeesh.  I’ll go with Robyn Regehr, who finished above water in even strength chances and played 23:36 of tough, tough minutes.  He was out there against the wheeling Canucks first line time and time again, as expected, and did a nice job.  However, all that penalty kill time takes it’s toll…and it did, on him and the team.

Sum It Up

Once again, the Flames negate a good win over the Minnesota Wild by taking a big step backwards…and once again, they’re three games below .500.  We hear this term "fragile team" and it certainly seemed apt on this night…yeah, the Raymond goal was a back breaker, but there was absolutely nothing from there.  Nothing.  If this team doesn’t reign in that part of their game, things will continue to go in this direction.

Yet, after saying all that…you don’t have to squint that hard to say this game could have been 3-3 early in the third period.  The margin on this team remains very, very slim…the difference between a tie game and a blowout loss is that small.  Odd, odd team.

  • BobB

    How/why does this happen to this team? I know we aren’t the best team in the league, but it’s too often the case that we just implode. It actually looks like we GIVE UP. Back to the Keenan years. I’ve never seen a team get killed so many times in one season.

    This was JUST like the Washington game.

    Own goal against. (Mikkelson/Sarich)

    3 PPGA (against a very good PP, same vs Wash.)

    1 SHG (vs the Wash penalty shot)

    Total of 4 special teams goals against in both games.

    We were in the box for 19! minutes, with 5 being a major, compared to their 6. We played A WHOLE period short handed against the BEST PP in the league. Do the math, and the Canucks win. 13min is effectively 7 PP changes for a 26.5%PP. That’s at least 2 goals right there.

    And how many OTHER breakaways or two-on-ones did they have? I can remember 3 more that they didn’t score on. You could see odd-man rushes and breakaways forming in the neutral zone while defenders and back-checkers just watched in awe.

    That game could have been 12-1.

    Scoring ‘Chances’ my ass. I didn’t see Luongo have to make a tough save in that game, and he even flubbed one. Especially in the second and third period.

    We were trailing and we got 11 shots in the final two periods. That’s pathetic.

    How do these guys allow that kind of embarrassment against a division rival no less?

  • I had a very bad feeling going into the third, so I fired up the Xbox 360 and played Halo:Reach with my son instead. I blew up a whole bunch of strangers with grenades and it was pretty therapeutic…

    • BobB

      You know. I’ve got no delusions about how bad the Flames are, but you’re only validating how pathetic your team is by coming to another blog and piling on for satisfaction.

      Have fun doing that for the next 20 years…kinda like the previous 20.

      Just cause your future looks good “on paper” means nothing. We are good “on paper” now…look where we are. Maybe you should move to Quebec City, then at least you’d be more than a shitty team in a shit hole city.

  • Backburner

    With Kotalik and Pardy returning to the line up soon, would it be reasonable to expect a trade?

    My guess would be Sarich, Hagman, Morrison and Glencross could all be on the block… not for lack of effort, (except maybe Sarich); but they all seem to be the only spare parts Calgary could afford to move for decent returns and/or salary dumping, and not completely gutting the team.

    I think that with any luck and the right amount of Cap space the Flames won’t need to resort to a re-build phase and could turn this thing around for next season. They just need to make the right moves… now!

    The best thing Sutter can do is attempt to fix the cap mess we’re in by unloading some salary for next year; Let the chips fall where they may and then gracefully step down as GM at the end of the season.

    It will be a painfull season at best for Flames fans; but I think this is what is realistic, and makes the most sense. Blowing things up will only result in bad moves and bitter feelings as we all remember from the Young Guns era… this rebuild has to happen from the top – down, and is a lot more complicated than just trading Iggy and Kipper.

  • icedawg_42

    Feaster is already the GM in waiting. The Flames are sub-par on this season of non-redemption for Darryl Sutter so it’s time to part ways with him and hand the reigns to Feaster.

    Feaster can then make coaching decisions and hopefully realize that the window for this core group of players has closed. If that is realized the organization can then start to make some of the tough decisions to try and move some of the core to get young up and coming talent to get us through the next few years, while at the same time they hopefully get their scouting situation improved.

    It doesn’t have to be a complete rebuild but the Flames are going to go through some growing pains to try and get better. Waiting for this current group of players to turn things around is only prolonging that process. The organization needs to decide when to say when.

  • T&A4Flames

    Perhaps the 5 D on the PP was just an attempt to get some of the players with NMC/NTC to get ticked off enough to ask for a trade. We can only hope.

    As a note, I think we all know that Sutter has earned to much loyalty from the Flames brass to be fired; he’ll be promoted and I don’t really have an issue with that. As long as whoever (Feaster) takes the GM role has a new, fresh vision of where to take this team.

    Iginla and Sutter need to sit down together and realize a championship isn’t going to happen anytime soon and collectively agree that they should part ways. Iginla deserves a shot at a winner and shouldn’t feel any shame in moving on.

    • everton fc

      …the 5 D on the PP stunt was just a big middle finger to all the Flames top players by Brent Sutter.

      …loyalty? It’s more about results than loyalty. Above average to average regular season team every year and only 1 playoff miss. Some questionable moves, but some good ones as well. 2 straight playoff misses qualifies for the “firing Sutter discussion” to seriously open IMO.

      …if the Flames miss the playoffs and Sutter is promotoed it would be another big middle finger from a Sutter, this time to all the Flames fans. A fresh vision isn’t possible for the new GM when your new boss is rewarded for failure.

  • everton fc

    @Gagne

    You are correct. Kisio would be a far better option. Lanny was sort of a joke. Guess I needed to make that clear.

    Playfair was not a joke, but I sense if there’s a shake-up, he is linked to the past regime. I don’t think King should be retained. Why? As for Feaster… I’d rather have someone else. Someone fresh. New. Like Kisio. Someone like Yzerman would have been great.

    As for Tanguay, Jackman, Staios, Sarich, Morrison, Jokinen, Conroy, Kostopoulis, Babchuk, Kotalik, Ivanans all burning out their contracts, I think we keep Tanguay. Jackman, as well. The rest won’t be Flames after their contract expire.

    Beeker73 hit the nail on the head – this is (and should be) a watershed moment for the franchise. Clearly Brent is perplexed. I feel for him, because he didn’t put this team together. But he doesn’t seem very inspirational. That’s the way I see it. King, Darryl and Brent need to go. It would take the pressure off the players, the fans…

  • everton fc

    Perfect Scenerio:

    D Sutter gets “promoted”
    Feaster comes in, trades Reggie, Iggy and Kipper to Washington(or some other team that will win the cup this year) for their young AHLers’.

    Then Feaster is fired,and we all blame him for trading away our hero’s.
    Someone new comes in like Kisio, rebuilds this team.
    In 2015 iggy, reggie and kipper resign with the flames to retire as flames.

    This is a win win, Sutter keeps his reputation, Feaster takes the blame and is run out of town, Iggy, Kipper and Reggie finally get to win a cup. Retire as flames.

    Fans are all happy.

    Win-Win-Win

  • T&A4Flames

    I’ll bet against the odds!!! Flames will make the playoffs n shut all u complainers up! Funny thing is, if they do make the playoffs I’ll b right this whole time, n all u complainers will once again b cheering for the flames acting as if u weren’t whining 4 months earlier!
    What’s 63% really!!! It’s not that difficult!

    I Hate BandWagon Jumpers!!!

    • everton fc

      You sound like a Cubs fan, selling out the games for 100 years straight and supporting a management and ownership who rakes in the cash but doesn’t field a winning team cause they don’t have to.

      Fans complain and whine because they care and they want this team/franchise/players to succeed.

      Its not bandwagon jumping unless you tune out the team, don’t follow or care what they do until the team is popularized in the media.

    • Gange

      Very articulate of you. That PhD must be serving you well.

      The reality going forward is that the one of the worst scenarios that could happen is making the playoffs. With a dearth of talent a high draft pick, if used correctly, would be the best thing for the team.

      As a true fan since 1980 I guess I just want what’s best for the team long term. Not something that will make me feel good today.

      Honestly I look at all the people who “must win today” as bandwagon jumpers TYVM.

      If the team is still here in 2030, I’ll still be a fan.

      But thank you for your insight.

      • Grumpy

        Kent-You tolerate the Negative commenters,Sutter and Jokinen haters to make unintelligible grunts without much complaint. Hold them to the same standard and we will take your requests a bit more seriously.

        • PrairieStew

          The point, for the most part is discussion and analysis based on observation. While trufan may believe .630 is possible, a little insight would be expected if you are going to bother to shout down the others. Complaining about the players or management is one thing, complaining about the complainers is another. If you want to attack my position, please give reasons why you disagree rather than brilliant repartee like this :

          ” Funny thing is, if they do make the playoffs I’ll b right this whole time, n all u complainers will once again b cheering for the flames acting as if u weren’t whining 4 months earlier”.

          And, for the record, I still think they can make the playoffs because : Their schedule so far has been weighted heavily to tougher teams, the west is extremely tight, they have lots of games left with St Louis, Dallas, Nashville, Minnesota – all the teams they will be competing with. This from a guy who was a primary advocate of “blow the thing up” last summer.

  • everton fc

    I think we need a change behind the bench and in the front office. They are responsible for the on-ice product (Pres/GM) and lack of on-ice inspiration (current coaching staff)

    Look at Tampa. They didn’t blow up the team. They have a new, young, inspirational GM, and a new, inexperienced coach. And they GA is horrific.

    Yet, they are winning.

    We could deploy the same strategy. Playfair becomes our Guy Boucher.

    I’d like to see this. And who says this current regime drafts Landeskog? Where evidence they will draft the right type of player(s) necessary to change the direction of this (our beloved) franchise?

    As for jumping off flaming bandwagons… Never! I’d root for this team, and got to he games, regardless. I love the Flames. Which is why I am also disgruntled, like many here.

    (Incidentally, I have never been on the blow-up-the-team bandwagon, nor the trade-Iggy/Reggie/Kipper bandwagon. Nor will I be. Look at the Oilers since they punted Ryan Smith, the face of their franchise, and a decent guy, as well. Lowe was responsible. He’s gone now. Smart move)

    • CitizenFlame

      I liked that you refenced T-bay as an example for the Flames to follow instead of so many others who tout the Oilers, Blackhawks, Penguins, etc. I’m not a fan of the blow it up and suck for 7 years model for becoming an elite team. Tampa is an example of a team that had some good pieces (St Louis, Lecavelier) and was able to draft some good players (Stamkos & Hedman) add a few good free agents (Gagne, Ohlund) to retool their team into a competitive team. I think Calgary has better pieces in place than Tampa did. If Calgary could snag a top 5 pick this year and maybe next I think that would be great. I also think that Calgary needs to follow T-bays example and move now to bring in a good GM to ensure this happes.

  • CitizenFlame

    Thanks for the comments boys 🙂

    @Gange
    You must be a Golfer since the worst scenario is making the playoffs.
    But there’s other ways around rebuilding instead of throwing away the season just to get a high draft pick that could end up a bust anyways.

    About the complainers or true fans, fans are just fans, let the gm’s/owners/players play! If all the media in Calgary would just let them play without Talkin B.S everday about trades/firing gm’s, coaches, I’m sure we would be in a better situation!

    As for the situation were only 7 points out of 1st in our division, 6 out of playoff picture, everbodys acting like there’s six more games left of the season!

    Relax People

  • everton fc

    @TruFan

    I thought along the same lines last week – “We’re only a few points out of first in our division…” And thought this game would be a competitive battle towards top of the table.

    The team last evening showed they are incapable of making that next step.

    That is the root of the current situation. It’s toxic, I’m afraid.

    Don’t blame the press. Look inside the dressing room, at practices… strategy… which includes trades… free agent signings… scouting… drafting…

  • That_Angela

    @Trufan,

    You do the team more of a disservice by blindly accepting that which is placed before you. Some of us would rather feast on turkey and all the trimmings, while you seem pleased with limp and lukewarm hamburger from McDonald’s.

    Those who criticize want the best out of the team. We want the team to play with heart, with pride, with consistency.

    We want them to play good hockey.

    We aren’t getting that. Our cranberries are canned, not fresh.

    And it sucks.

    That doesn’t mean anyone is less or more of a fan than anyone else.

    We just refuse to accept that this is the best team we can be given to watch.