Postgame: Men Playing With Boys

We talked about Wednesday’s game between Calgary and Vancouver being a real opportunity for the Flames to be honest with themselves.  And after watching a 3-1 win for the Canucks, it’s pretty clear how honest the Flames need to be.  You can’t knock the Flames effort necessarily but this was a Vancouver team toying with their opponent and coasting to a far-too-easy win.

What Happened

The Flames didn’t start this game very well, with Ryan Kesler scoring just 70 seconds into the hockey game.  After an offensive zone turnover, the Canucks went down the ice and Mason Raymond fed Kesler in front of the net, and his 20th of the season put Vancouver up 1-0.  They’d go up by two late in the period with Kevin Bieksa scoring his fifth of the season at 16:12 and it put the Canucks into a very comfortable situation.  It was a pretty bland first for the visitors, as they generated four scoring chances on 12 shots, but for the most part were controlled by the home side.

Speaking of bland…how about that second period for the Flames.  They generated 14 shots on net, and only one of them could be considered dangerous, so don’t let the 14-5 shot edge fool you.  Once again, the Canucks gave the Flames almost nothing from the blueline in, and midway through, they’d score their third goal…Daniel Sedin redirected his 22nd at 9:27 off a Bieksa shot, and that’s all the Canucks would need.  Scoring chances were 3-1 in favor of Vancouver, even with the lopsided shot edge Calgary enjoyed.  If there was ever a case of shots on goal not telling the story, the opening 40 minutes was it.

The final frame really was meaningless, and with the Canucks sitting back a little bit, the Flames actually generated some scoring opportunities.  Roberto Luongo held his ground when he needed, and the minutes ticked down.  In the dying seconds, Tim Jackman pushed home his sixth of the season, a career high for him.  It came at 19:49 and served as nothing more than a goal to break Luongo’s shutout.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  They didn’t have anything for 40 minutes, and they were down by three heading into the third, plain and simple.  When you only have four quality scoring chances through two periods against a truly excellent opponent, you’re not going to have a lot of success.  It’s not easy to do, and the Canucks get a ton of credit for doing enough to win the hockey game.  But the fact is, the Flames are not as good as Vancouver, and that was heavily on display tonight.

Red Warrior

I’ll go with Mikael Backlund.  I know he’s only counted with one even strength scoring chance for, but on a night where the Flames continually shot the puck from the outside, at least the kid tried moving the puck to the scoring areas.  He added an assist on the only Calgary goal, and after being out of NHL action for more than two weeks, he was just fine.  I’ve been very vocal on Backlund sitting, because I thought it was ludicrous he was sitting for development and hockey reasons, so it was nice to see.

Sum It Up

Not a whole lot to see here.  The Canucks beat the Flames because Vancouver did a nice job of pushing them to the outside.  I’m not necessarily knocking the Calgary effort, because they had nice stretches of possession and got lots of shots on net, but they aren’t at the same level.  That was pretty clear on this night.  They’ve got Detroit on Friday and then a four game eastern swing next week.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    @ Dotfras

    You’re right. Even though it’s going to take a long time, we’ve got to start sometime and it might as well be now (ie: last summer).

    @Nolan Moore

    I once heard that the most NHL teams, and their scouting departments, don’t actually do a better job of scouting than Central Scouting (this is hearsay only, I have no backup for this). The Flames would probably be better off without a scouting department. Maybe the money the save on a scouting department could go into reducing the price of Heroin Beer.

    • I agree that the retool should have begun last summer. Losing in the 1st round of the playoffs is one thing, but not even making it, having no 1st round pick, etc etc should have been a glaring sign for ownership.

    • I bet you detroit would beg to differ.

      They haven’t had a pick in the top 10 in the past 20 years and their picks are perpetually amazing and under the radar during the first 6 rounds of the draft.

  • I dunno, I think scouting is the most important thing a team can do. Detroit arguably has the best scouting, thanks to Jim Nill. As to the heroin beer, I happen to work there, and trust me I wish it was a little lower. Just nice that prices didnt rise this year.

    • Before everyone starts to annoint Jimmy Nill as the second coming, I strongly suggest that you take some time to read Jimmy Devallano’s bio, or CV. The best owner in the NHL Mr Mike Illitch bought the Dead Wings as they were then known as. Illitch is a very wise business man, first action was to hire Jimmy D the Red Wing legacy starts with this hiring. Jimmy D afterall started as a scout became close to Scottie Bowman, then Bill Torrie. He advised the Isles to hire Al Arbour.Now Jimmy D’s disciples are the most sought after hockey minds. Ken Holland,Stevie Y,Jimmy Nill, Chelios,Shanahan The Wings should be the model to emulate.

  • Ricky

    1. King should have been aware of Darryl’s proposed moronic player moves at the time and approved them.
    2. If King did not know what Darryl was planning to do he should be fired for that alone.
    3. Now Feaster is to give King his “plan(s)” moving forward for King’s approval.
    4. King doesn’t know his ass from a hole in the ground about hockey and he is still the guy to approve the plan moving forward? OH MY GOD!!!
    5. Feaster says he wants to keep the core of this team together even though they are old and are at the peak of their market value now and their market value will only decrease big time in the near future? Even though this core has been the same now for at least 5 years and we haven’t accomplished a bloody thing? I hope that Feaster is lying to us about this because if he is telling the truth we may as well have kept Darryl. They are just rearranging chairs on the Titanic.
    6. This organization is in the biggest trouble that they have ever been in and that includes the 7 years of missed playoffs because back then the team pleaded poverty and said that they did not have the money to compete with the big boys. Now they have as much money as the top teams and cannot manage their assets worth a damn.

  • Ricky

    May not get Sean Couturier, but hopefully Ryan Nugent Hopkins drops a couple of spots, and falls right into the FLames laps. (unlikely, but hey, lets be optimistic.)

  • Regarding Gilmour, should anyone really care, here’s a good run-down of the incident in question:

    Doug Gilmour fun fact: he once did an instore autograph thing at some long gone shop in that little strip mall that runs along Bow Bottom, just to the West of Deer Valley mall. Being young and not yet properly valuing my time, I went down to see him. All I remember is the important thing: he was wearing tight black leather pants.