Postgame: Cardiac Nightmare

Is that the end?  I don’t know, but if it is, the hearts of Calgary Flames fans may be happy.  The minds may not be as happy (I feel like Bob Costas), and the feeling of dejection seems to be rather thick following a 2-1 shootout loss to the Los Angeles Kings.  It was Calgary’s 15th shootout game of the season, and a game with, once again, almost nothing seperating the two teams…but had their fans living and dying with every rush.

What Happened

The first period foreshadowed the night ahead, and that night didn’t involve a lot of offence.  It was, to steal from our wordsmith Kent, a tepid offensive effort on both sides, and with final shots favoring 10-8 Calgary, they also had the edge when it came to scoring chances at 4-1.  A couple powerplays either way were fruitless, and after one it was a scoreless game at Staples.

The second saw things opening up a little bit more, especially when it comes to the physical side of things, but once again no scoring.  Just like in the first, Calgary limited their opposition to very little when it came to anything related to scoring chances.  As Kent pointed out, the Flames did a very nice job keeping the Kings to the outside throughout, and you got an indication why scoring has been a struggle all season long in Hollywood.  It was scoreless after 40.

The third period continued much the same way the prior two periods went, until a 65 minute span in the latter stages of the frame.  After a strong shift for the Kings, whose lines were juggled with the loss of Justin Williams, they’d eventually tally the games first goal thanks to Jarret Stoll.  He’d bury a rebound after Miikka Kiprusoff made the initial stop on Brad Richardson, and at 14:08, the Kings lead 1-0 and it seemed like this one might be over.  And then bam, Olli Jokinen found his way behind the LA defence and Steve Staios hit him with a pass; a gutsy little move to slip the puck between Jonathan Quick’s pads had this game all tied at 15:13 for a 1-1 tie, and another extra time game.

Overtime was back and forth, but Calgary held the shot and chance advantage, and as we’ve seen 14 times prior this season, a Flames game would go to a shootout.  After Michael Handzus was stopped, Alex Tanguay put the Flames ahead going roof on Quick, setting up a huge shot for the statistically brilliant Stoll.  He’d beat Kiprusoff while Quick would stop Rene Bourque; Anze Kopitar’s shootout goal would give Curtis Glencross a chance to send this thing to extra shooters, but he’d miss, and the Kings would earn a 2-1 win.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  They only scored once in regulation.  They carried the play to a small degree in this game even strength, and had six powerplay opportunities, but came away with only one goal to show in 65 minutes of hockey.  That’s not surprising, going up against one of the stingiest teams in the NHL, and Calgary was very, very strong defensively.  But in the end, they weren’t able to get away with a regulation win, and the coin landed tails instead of heads.

Red Warrior

I’ll go with Tim Jackman, as I thought he was a beast.  This isn’t even a fall back choice, he really was strong on this night, coming out +4 on the scoring chance count and was a driving force on a line with Ales Kotalik and Olli Jokinen.  All three were strong, but man did I like Tim tonight.

Sum It Up

Crushing loss?  Yes.  Season ending loss?  No.  No one game is going to finish the Flames off, it just isn’t, but this certainly is a tough one to swallow.

Elimination Number: 7

Calgary lost a half a game on the E number, so for theoretic purposes…Calgary could win four of their last seven, and all Anaheim or Dallas would need is three wins.  Not the rosiest of propositions…but let’s see what happens.

  • icedawg_42

    Personally I think that’s about it for the playoff hopes. None of the other teams in the race are really doing anything to show me they’re about to fall out of it. Before Vintage_Flame jumps all over me for being too negative, I just want to say that in or out of the dance, the Flames have certainly given us a lot to cheer for – from a season that we’d all written off to four months of somewhat inspired and fun hockey. Can’t ask for much more (aside from a far better opening to the season). I feel that the ‘post December Flames’ deserve a much better fate than being on the outside looking in. I really wondor what was going on for the first 2 months this year. “Just bad luck” is a tough pill to swallow. As for last night, I really liked the physical play at the opening of the second period. For a couple shifts there, the Flames were REALLY heavy on the Kings, and I was thinking “now THAT’s Flames hockey”. I wish they’d do that more often.

    • As a team you make your own luck. This team will not make the playoffs. 29 regulation wins just doesn’t cut it. Everyone needs to come to terms with Calgary’s fate. This season was self-inflicted and they will crumble under the pressure towards the end. If they some how make the playoffs, they most likely will be out in the first round.
      Yah, it’s going to go down to the wire. Just not in the right position to be successful.

    • Vintage Flame

      Haha.. I’m not going to jump on you for that post. I agree with everything you wrote actually… EXCEPT the part where it’s over. I’m not giving up just yet. Beat SJ and they have taken 4 out of 6 pts on the road. But the HAVE to beat SJ.

      The more this goes on, the more I think it’s going to be decided against Vancouver. That scares me a little. Which Van team shows up? The skeleton roster that doesn’t want to risk injuries against a team with nothing to lose and going for broke… or the one that dresses everyone and even brings back Trevor Linden, just to drive the final nail in the Flames coffin?

      This team does truly deserve a better fate though. If for no other reason, than they are going to be in the exact same boat next season. Which team shows? The first half or the 2nd? And who sticks around for the ride?

  • Peter Mahr mentioned this morning that with Hagman’s injury, Damyond Langkow might be back in the line-up against the Sharks.

    Im thrilled Langkow has been able to recover to this degree and all, but I’m a bit worried he’s being rushed a bit given the teams injuries and dire circumstances. I hope I’m wrong.

  • With Anaheim and Dallas on pace for 97 points, this weekend was quite costly for the Flames, but it’s certainly not over. I figger they can lose only 1 more regulation game or 2 total points to have a shot… and maybe still need a touch of help.

  • icedawg_42

    Oh… the agony of defeat because of the Stoll goal, then hope springs eternal with Ollie’s goal, then the dreadful powerful in OT. For heaven’s sake, set up a good shot instead of having Iggy blasting it from point.

    I know that Kotalik have the poster boy for our anger, but in shootout who would you rather have shooting… him or GlenX? Sorry fans, $3M or $1M… my money is Kotalik every time versus GlenX. Even if he can’t help the team out in any other shape or form, let him shoot! Why? Because he scores half the time!!!

  • CitizenFlame

    Save the eulogy’s for after game 82 folks. The Flames aren’t dead yet. They pretty much have to run the table but they have the easiest schedule of anyone still battling for a playoff spot. They’ll need help and they look like they are running out of gas but Lankow coming back just might be what they need to get another boost.

    As for Langkow, the situation does lead one to believe that he is being rushed back but all accounts say that the Flames have been extremely cautious up to this point. Could this be a test to see how he holds up over the remaining games with an eye towards next season and whether he will be fit?

  • CitizenFlame

    I hate to say this… But overall, Staios is surprisingly clutch on the offensive side of the game. For not being an offensive guy, he has scored some huge goals for this team, and his assist last night proves this. But on the otherside his poor defensive plays.. ala handing bobby ryan a penalty shot in OT, not so great.

    I’d prefer not to dwell on the loss, its 2 out of 4 points, and we all knew they could afford a loss to anahiem. Just as long as they beat Anahiem next time, and win the rest of their games. I think SJ is beatable and seem to be a decent match up for the flames.

  • icedawg_42

    Oh its over!!! My only hope is that its sealed ON April 6th v Oilers!!! I got given tickets to the StinkDome and would enjoy nothing else than watching Clagarys fate be sealed. Drafting 9th, ouch, thats gonna hurt some…

    • Vintage Flame

      You can hope in one hand and cry in the other, and I’ll tell ya right now which one fills up first.
      Go back to your lazyboy, grab a bag of cheetos and get comfy for your “OilChange” marathon.. I’ve heard it’s been renewed for three more seasons.

      Now you better get off the computer because I’m sure your Mom has your Mac and Cheese ready with your toast cut into the shape of tear drops err.. Oil drops… Clown

      • OilFan

        Get ready to complain about all your great players like the first four month of the season NO BOULAVARD OF BROKEN DREAMS i.e Red Mile this season AGAIN. But the Flames are such a superior team lol.

        In the words of Ricky Bobby ” if your not first your last “

        • icedawg_42

          Well…the Oilers certainly have taken that statement to heart – they know they wont be first so they continually shoot for last. Playoffs or not, at least as a fan base we’ve had reason to cheer this season.

  • Vintage Flame

    Me thinks 97 points is the magic number. Flames need to win 5 games out right and get 2 more points from OT/SO losses. The biggest game of the season comes against the Ducks next week regardless of outcome against SJ. Minimal 1 point against SJ is a must, 2 would be a bonus. CANNOT have a 3-point game against the Ducks.

    Hopefully, SJ and Phoenix are going to battle it out for the Pacific title so their games against the Ducks and Stars will be meaningful.

  • Vintage Flame

    Flames fans its time for a rebuilding, don’t you guys get it……its over!!! if you were on the East probably you would make it!!!but not in the West!!Feaster plan A just failed, plan B trade or try to trade your aging core!!

    Go Oil Go

  • everton fc

    Perhaps Langkow coming back into the lineup picks up the intensity even more. I think it will.

    If we can get past the Sharks… and get on a little run… we may be okay. I get a sense Dallas and Chicago may falter. Nashville looks tough. And have most of their remaining tilts at home.

    Nemisz… Man, are we seeing injuries hit us at the absolute worst time. Then again, Hagman has done nothing, of late.

  • The one thing to remember on Langkow is the guy hasn’t played in a year. He’s practiced fully for like…a week. If you’re expecting him to step in and be a true impact player, it’s probably unrealistic.

    He’ll be helpful, but certainly there’s a chance he may be a shell of his former self.

    I sure hope not, because man he was huge for this team last year.