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.

  • interesting to see what the fallout after this drumbing is. the press conference will be undoubted tense, 5 d men on the pp. mikkellson and bad chuck stinking out the joint. maybe connie can put a spin on things seeing he is the unofficial spokesman on the flames.

    • CitizenFlame

      I think I looked at every player on the ice 3 times to make sure I was seeing what I thought I saw. Couldn’t make the PP any worst than what it already was. We can’t score with 4 forwards and our most offensive defenseman so they deserved it, imo.

  • kpears

    The Red Warrior shoulda been Kipper…its gotta be pretty tough on a guy to see his team play heartless and leave him out there for 7 goals…Cant help but wonder what a contending team would send our way…give the poor guy a chance while he’s still on top of his game..and get some youth in return while you can…heard on the TV that 96 pts is looking like the playoff cutoff..and that the Flames need to win 63% of the remaing games to get to that number…I am a huge Flames fan…but also a realistic Flames fan…why pick 12 or 13th…draft high…stock up in trades if possible and still have Rene, Gio, Jbow, Backs, Stajan…a few guys to somewhat build around..we all know that day is coming..but wonder when

  • SmellOfVictory

    Red warrior should’ve been Gio for taking a puck to the effing face and coming back to play.

    Also, I take consolation in the fact that the beating was laid thickest by Raymond instead of that dbag Kesler or the ethereal Sedins.

  • I really dont think the game was as close as you are suggesting.

    4 goals in the third period?

    This is an embarrassment. Spin it any other way you want.

    If you think this team has talent, which I don’t, then whats the conclusion? They have tuned the coach out. If that’s the case, fire the coach. If you think the team, like I do, isn’t talented enough to compete with the elite, then you decide whether you are going to give Sutter another shot at a five year plan or go in a new direction.

    Fire the Sutters, they had their window, it didnt work out. Make Ken King the interim GM and call Playfair up to coach. If Ken King doesnt want to do that, fire him too and get Lanny to do his job, and let Lanny hire the new GM. And give the new GM free reign to bring in talent.

    • I really dont think the game was as close as you are suggesting.

      I’m not suggesting this was a close game in terms of the quality of play…Vancouver was markedly better.

      But, the Flames were still down 3-2 and had opportunities to tie it.

  • coptin_

    you can see that when we play a team that has speed we look totally outclassed,wether it be la,van,colorado,wash.to be competitive in the west you need speed and skill! we have niether we have a veteran club,veteran translates to most hockey people as older,past their prime players that other teams unload.players that are too slow to compete with the speed and talent in the west or third line players that have to play the first or second line cause thats all we have. maybe by next week when we are last in the league maybe the ownership will be embarrased enough to cut the head off this dying snake. i dont remember but have we ever been this low in the standings and out of the playoff picture this early.maybe its time to start wearing paper bags to the games.

  • coptin_

    We can talk about luck all we want. The bottom line is the Flames aren’t losing because they aren’t getting the bounces.

    They are losing because they don’t have speed. They don’t have skill. What they have is grit and toughness. But combine that with inconsistent work ethic and you have a losing formula.

    I for one am tired of waiting for this team to find its “potential.” I have been waiting for a season and a half. I have said it before. What you see is what you get. This isn’t a winning team.

  • CitizenFlame

    I was at the game tonight so my take is a little skewed without the benefit of replay and a play-by-play guy calling the game for me. I don’t know if it lasted the whole game but I noticed in the first that Reggie and JBo weren’t paired up tonight which I was dissapointed in. I thought outside of Reggie, the D-men looked really flat tonight. They were consistently getting beat to pucks getting dumped in, Gio didn’t even realize that he had a guy on him on one dump in until the guy jumped past him, scooped the puck and tried jamming it short side; Bouwmeester lost a foot race with D. Sedin, WTF! Babchuck is pure crap, plain and simple. He is not a NHLer. The White trade was brutal, and in being so, diminished the Phaneuf trade even further, IMO. The forwards weren’t generating anything for the first two periods, I think that I saw Bourque go to the net once, otherwise he was perimeter. Glencross again overheats and takes a ridiculous penalty. And finally Kipper… he made some decent saves early but the wheels fell off in the third. I think that it was Raymonds hat trick goal, that was a two-on-one that was scored short side. I can’t figure why he cheated on that play, the defenceman was down covering the pass. The goalie should have been playing the shooter. No confidence in his d-man I guess.

    This was the perfect storm of suck that the Flames always seem to resort to after a solid win and is completely inexcusable in a rivalry game at home vs. your most bitter opponents.

  • CitizenFlame

    Hey Pat, I probably would have picked Jackman for Red Warrior; goal, fight, and one of the only Flames to have any jump in this game. Can’t argue with SOV either, Gio gets honorable mention for taking a shot to the face and getting back out there for the remainder of this crapfest. One other thing too, I’m pretty sure that a 2-0 is not an odd-man rush, but math wasn’t my strongest subject.

    “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…”

    • Jackman and Gio were both in my mix…I don’t know…it was kind of an empty award for this game. You know…more empty than it usually is.

      As for the odd man rush…okay, you’re right…I have a short time to write that between the locker rooms and coach Sutter and then the show…so I tend to make silly mistakes. Or maybe I’m just not smart.

  • everton fc

    Domebeers is spot on. Fire Ken King, as well. Not sure what you do w/Feaster… But let Lanny and Playfair have a shot. I like this idea.

    Again as I have said numerous time here, and even with no team speed, I don’t think Playfair loses this one 7-2. And I don’t think Lanny and Playfair bring in players like Staois, Mikkelson, Babchuk, Kotalik… I also think Jokinen does better under Lanny and Playfair, but would neve be here, if the aforementioned duo were running things….

    • Gange

      Lanny and Playfair? Really? Ok…not really sure how Lanny got into this. I’d probably look to Kisio for GM and leave Ken and Brent in place.

      I think Mikkelson has some upside. He’s shown flashes of good play. For next year I’d be happy to see him on a 5-6 with Pardy. Reggie and J-bouw as 1-2 and Gio with a pickup for 3-4.

      I’d say that we don’t have a problem on defense for next year. Well other than Sarich but he can sit in the press box and be a 7th.

      • everton fc

        Gange this is the thinking that keeps this train wreck on the tracks. Doesn’t matter where you put the rocks or pylons, the outcome will be the same. A loss. Liquidate the prime assets (Robin, Kipper, Bo), jettison anyone else over 26, keep Iggy & Tanguay as mentors, call up some AHL players and play for draft picks. It’s over Gange and shuffling won’t help.

  • Backburner

    If this 7-2 trouncing is not enough to make some changes happen… I don’t know what is!? Its time to face the music; there is no way this team will make the playoffs this year.

  • Sherw88d

    I was happy that Jackman showed emotion over the pistol whipping the team got. If we’re going to lose, and lose bad, fine – but don’t look like you’re okay with it.

    I really enjoyed the reffing again tonight. Spot on.

    I thought Bouwmeester had some really strong moments – espeically on the PK. Collapsed on the Sedins and was instrumental in alot of the good kills. Then again, they had 3 Power Play goals.

    We can’t skate with elite teams. We were outclassed by Vancouver, Washington and Pittsburgh. Outscored 18-5 in those 3 games alone.

    I’m tired of holding out hope for a spirited performance and then getting steam rolled by teams I loathe.

    • CitizenFlame

      We don’t need to blow things up. We’re in position for a lottery pick the way things are. I’m with Gange, let’s go Landeskog!! He should be right in our range. Then you can just let contracts run their course over the next two seasons. I think ownership should make sure they approve all trades from now on to ensure that Darryl doesn’t trade anymore picks lest he pull a Burke and trade two #1’s just as the Flames are in range to pick up really high picks. I take solace knowing that at least we’re not the leafs and actually getting a #2 overall pick and potentially another one only to give them away.

      I’m not even really mad about the losses anymore. I’m coming down with Oilersitis, where I’m now really looking forward to a high draft pick. I was really pissed when the Flames gave up that shorty in the 3rd last night… especially with all the Canucks fans high-fiving every where (really who the hell let them in). By the time we were walking out of the Dome I wasn’t even mad at all. I was more pissed about all the hats that were thrown for a hat-trick by an opposing teams player. That should never happen in your own barn. Ever.

      • Sherw88d

        When there was a standing ovation in YOUR barn full of rival fans to end the game, its disgusting. I really hope that resonates with athletes that get to sleep on their big piles of money.

        We don’t ask for alot, but getting squished under the thumb by a team that you’ve hated for years – that’s unbearable.

        I’d rather finish last in the league and beat Vancouver 6 times than finish in the playoffs and get lose the season series to the Canucks.

        • CitizenFlame

          I agree 100%. I hate the Canucks more than anything. Also agree with your statement about getting your hopes up only to be steamrolled by your archenemies. Having to endure their fans celebrating right in front of you is almost too much to bear and is enough to drive a guy over the deep end. A couple of beers and I might have donkey-punched the dude in front of me!

  • icedawg_42

    I hate to say it, but I wasn’t really surprised by this…even in the first period, they were losing every battle and race for the puck, and I had that sinking feeling early on. As for “waiting on potential”…I think it’s more of “what you see is what you get”. We’ve all known from the get go that this team is .500 at best. Have to feel for the guys on the ice because though they may be trying, they just dont have the roster to compete. As for drafting high, do you really trust the current front office to
    a: hold on to the pick (snicker)
    b: scout a top end draft pick

    I’ll sum up this season so far in 1 word “AAARRRRGGGHHHH”

    I’m joining the “Perpetually Grumpy Flames Fan” club.

  • PrairieStew

    Missed the worst of it. I was out, so had started the PVR. I was watching up until about the 15 minute mark of the second, when it became apparent that about 45 minutes earlier around 9 pm, someone had sat on the tuner remote and changed the channel. OK then, press stop, go live, oh CRAP.

  • everton fc

    True, outside a small few, we can’t skate with elite teams.

    Funny, though, Jackman can. And does.

    We signed Ivanans, Kotalik, Staois, McGratton… Jokinen a second time, the first at the expense of Cammy. We now have Stajan as a first line centre… Which he isn’t. We pick up Babchuk for White… We do not have a quality backup for Kipper… since Noodles, really. We demote Playfair, hire Keenan, fire him, bring in Brent and Feaster… Can’t seem to draft or develop young talented players…

    Did I mention we can’t skate with elite teams?

    Whose at fault?

    If I made this many mistakes at the office, I’d have been let go years ago.

    Time for a change. Timing is everything. Particularly after a 7-2 drubbing at the hands of our current arch-rivals…

  • Gange

    It’s nice to see Brent as confused as we all are. Makes me feel sane.

    Well if it wasn’t clear before, it should be now that this just isn’t a competitive team at the NHL level.

    Which, for me, is ok this season. Ride out another year on some bad contracts, perhaps lose a GM and get a high draft pick without ever moving Regehr or Iggy. Add some much needed talent through the draft.

    Gabriel Landeskog anyone?

    I’d be ok to see Tanguay, Jackman, Staios, Sarich, Morrison, Jokinen, Conroy, Kostopoulis, Babchuk, Kotalik, Ivanans all burn out their contracts (Noting that they’re not all done this year). Not that there’s not some value in some of those players in the list because there is. However getting rid of these players opens the doors to more options. I’d rather have holes to fill and dollars to spend than where we are today.

  • everton fc

    bad chuck was simply brutal. great trade white for 2 more ahlers. where was rene? on the outside yet again. nice move 5 d on pp.public bitch slap to the team. mats stajan the invisible man at 4 million. great gm move after great gm move. i say remove the gm.

  • Gange

    Over the past 2 seaons in the NHL, 13 and 14, respectively, teams that were in a playoff stop retained their play off spot by mid-April.

    Last year, the Flames were 1 of the 2 clubs in the NHL that lost their spot falling from 3rd (December 1, 2009) to 10th…

    NOW, the club sits in the basement with an OHL calibre team (Oilers) sitting 2 points back with 1 game at hand.

    Clearly the Sutters have things under control. This is kind of exciting if you think about it. Remember those 7 years we didn’t make the playoffs? I would get 2 tickets, 2 hot dogs, and 2 pops for $69.99 back then. [Funny thing is Phoenix has that deal still!!]

    • icedawg_42

      Also a good way to get in the queue for season tickets – by the time the rebuild is done, could be at the front of the line!

      – there are always positives haha!

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Let this be a watershed moment in Flames history. Big changes are due, and I certainly hope they come.

    However, what personnel changes of any significance can actually be made? NMCs and NTCs litter the lineup, as do aged players who have fallen off of cliffs.

    Unless the Flames win 35-40 of the next 57 games, they aren’t making the playoffs. So, they aren’t making the playoffs for a second year in a row, no matter what happens in the office or behind the bench.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Tough game to watch if you are a Flames fan, the Canucks looked good. As mentioned in another post the Flames look slow and old against the faster skating teams. Do we have another Ian White trade awaiting us. What was Darryl thinking……again! I know this was more a salary dump than anything. It is hard to look at the bigger picture of this trade when the end players come back to being part of the Dion trade.

    It will be hard to make the playoffs especially hitting that 63% win mark of your remaining games. I was very much looking forward to the Canucks game especially after how they played against the Wild. Then they lay an egg, sure they were within one goal but the Canucks were all over the Flames, it reminded me of the Capitals game and low and behold it was a similar score at the end. The Canucks wore the Flames down with their skill and speed and once it was 4 to 2 for the Canucks it was game over. The Flames just don’t have that extra gear as these younger faster more skilled teams do in the league.

    I hold Darryl for responsible for this and if one person needs to be moved up or right out it is Darryl unless he can change his ways and quite thinking this team can contend.

    I also still feel it is foolish not to trade Kipper and Iggy and a few of the others if the Flames move into sell off mode and finally decide to look to the future. I love Iggy and Kipper just as much as the next Flames fan but we need to inject youth, speed and replenish draft picks into the system. What a great opportunity to do so and we will still have a good and solid nucleus intact.

  • icedawg_42

    The thing that stings me the most, is that expectations were not high at the beginning of the season – I expected a .500 team, and they’re STILL managing to disappoint!

    • I always agree with you, Icedawg… but I can’t agree with this.

      While TSN’s expectations were that Calgary would be the sleeper EVERYONE in Calgary planned the parade route after we had a perfect pre-season.

      The fact of the matter was, however, that the Flames dressed their entire NHL club every pre-season game against other team’s rookies.

      The Flames aren’t done yet. Still 4 months of hockey to be played. A 7-2 loss stings… but the beauty is there is plenty of cheering left.

  • Backburner

    Peter’s comments after the game were the most telling to me. He stated the Flames lack of team speed is their biggest issue and that they simply can not keep up with elite teams.

    I am sure their is a use of some interesting langauge in the upper offices today. Management is working on borrowed time. Something will happen by Christmas, it has to.