Postgame: The End

In their final game this season against a team within their reach, the Calgary Flames saw their season all-but-mathematically slip away against a team they just couldn’t beat all season.  Corey Perry showed why he’s in the Hart Trohpy conversation, leading the way in a 4-2 Anaheim Ducks win over the Flames.  Needing to win out down the stretch was not the ideal situation, but it’s the situation they were in…and not surprisingly, that didn’t happen.

What Happened

it was a pretty good start for Calgary, getting things going at 2:58 with the captain taking a pass from Alex Tanguay and sniping his 37th past Ray Emery from the right circle.  Jarome Iginla found a seem and made no mistake, and you can’t deny he’s produced a whole lot more down this years stretch than he did last year.  But the Flames got into some penalty trouble shortly thereafter, with Ales Kotalik and Robyn Regehr taking minors in short succession.  While the Ducks weren’t able to score on the 5-on-3, Bobby Ryan found a way to put a wraparound past Miikka Kiprusoff at the tail end of the man advantage to tie things at one.  On another powerplay, this time a Mikael Backlund slashing call, Corey Perry would park his ass in front of Kiprusoff and tip home a Cam Fowler shot at 15:40; Perry’s touch was good for his 45th of the season and a 2-1 Ducks lead after 20.  The first period was all Anaheim, with scoring chances heavily favoring them on a 10-2 count, with lots of those coming on the PP.

The second period was all Calgary, and yet, they’d finish without anything to show for it.  Well, unless you count a real sour taste in your mouth.  Late in the middle frame, with Luca Sbisa in the penalty box, the Flames looked to have scored, with Tom Kostopoulos making a nice move to the front of the net before Tim Jackman and/or Matt Stajan seemed to bang it home.  But with the puck floating around the goal line, and floating around Emery, the official apparently lost sight of it and didn’t signal it a goal.  After a lengthyyyyyyyyyyyyy review, it was called a no-goal…and well…I’ll let the discussion carry on below, as it also seemed Ryan Getzlaf closed his hand on the puck in the crease.  To add fuel to the fire, after a contraversial call, Lubomir Visnovsky would score with 69 seconds remaining in the second, a fluky shot from the right point that found it’s way in.  Anaheim took a 3-1 lead into the third.

Aaaaand cue the make up calls.  With Brad Winchester in the box for a call at the end of the second period, Toni Lydman would take a hooking call 19 seconds in, and Calgary would cash on the two man advantage.  Taking a pass from Iginla, Mark Giordano fired one from the point for his 8th of the season and a much closer hockey game.  Calgary would get one more powerplay in the period, and maybe a few more chances, but Perry’s second of the night sealed it into an empty net, as the Ducks threw up the shell and it worked very well for them, en route to a 4-2 win.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  Yeah, the seemingly blown call on the goal hurt this team, the fact of the matter is, Calgary wasn’t great tonight.  They didn’t show a ton of urgency and they didn’t do a whole lot to force the issue in the most important game of the year.  Calgary generated just one even strength scoring chance in the third period, and only three overall…and were not very strong in the first period either.  Just not a whole lot to see for the Flames, and they lost to a pretty good team.

Red Warrior

I’ll go Mark Giordano, as there were a few times on this night where you said to yourself "does the guy have to do everything himself?"  He’s a good defenceman, he played well and was consistent all night.  Add on top of that, Giordano had a two point night, including an important goal on the powerplay in the third period.

Sum It Up

Well, let’s update things…

Elimination Number: 2.5

It just is not pretty for the Calgary Flames.  That elimination number is just too low with only four games to go, and with more games to go for the teams they’re chasing.  The Flames can get to just 95 points on the season, and the Chicago Blackhawks need only five points to get to that same mark.  On this night, it wasn’t meant to be, as Calgary had some good possession but couldn’t turn it into chances on a regular basis.  The moral would be…don’t put yourself in a spot where you need to win out, because more times than not, you probably won’t.

  • Though we already know it, Getzlaf is something of a dirty player.

    That’s the TSN discussion and video of the no-goal occurring. It’s pretty clear that Getzlaf picks the puck off Emery, hides it under him, and then leaves it for McMillan to pull out.

    Unsportsmanlike conduct for Getzlaf.

    Not to mention the cross check by Beauchemin on Jackman right before that, which went uncalled.

    But, really, the Flames just had a piss poor first period, and a piss poor first 3 months of the season. Had we picked up even a couple games back then, our season wouldn’t come down to ANOTHER no-goal call.

  • In other news, did anyone see that Joni Ortio got signed to a 3 year ELC today? Looks like they announced it halfway through the Flames game. Will play with the Heat.

    Perhaps a move to get Kipper on the go this off season? Displeasure I’m sure is high at this point in time.

  • Chicago only needs 5 of a possible 12 points and Calgary is officially finished.
    Realistically they were done in December, 2010.
    Not even halfway through your season. The whole organization should be ashamed. Hey, I got an idea lets fire Darryl Sutter. Then let Jay Feaster force Conroy into retirement. Then trade for a washed up player in Modin. Let’s not make any key decisions that will affect our winning hockey club and its future. Still behind the eight ball or did Theoren Fleury rail that, too.
    P.S. Was Darryl Sutter really at the game last night?

  • Positivism: I’m not really disapointed as this was the finish I expected from the begining of the season; besides, who really wants to see the Flames go out in the first round against Vancouver? At least this way, the owners will be breathing down King’s neck to get this team back on track… and… we still have a first round pick!(yay)

  • Slow clap for playoff ticket refunds.

    This team is exactly what everyone thought it was. Having a hot streak late in the year to make it possible to make the playoffs doesn’t change what this team is/was.

    You can’t have Brendan Morrison as your number one centre and expect to be competitive. B-Mo played pretty well this year (and certainly outplayed his contract) but when the talent depth is so shallow that you’ve got him as the number one guy you can’t really expect to compete.

    ~At least you’ve got Stajan locked up.~ it will stop Tambellini from trying to sign him.

  • This team looks like one of the best older/well paid teams in the NHL, it’s going to be interesting this summer to see if they can get younger and cheaper but still be competitive. Looks like Mudville(Oilers) will be more fun to watch over the next 4-5 years. At least it’s still an Albertan team

    • Bob Cobb

      If when the Oilers are competitive again, hopefully sooner than later, but when that happens, if Flames fans jump on the Oilers bandwagon I will be disappointed. I have tried, being an Oiler fan, to keep up my end of the bargain in hating the Flames, and I hope you will return the favour Flames fans when the time comes. I mean there are two sides to all relationships, and we need both sides to keep this rivalry strong. So I urge you hate the Oilers, fight the urge to put on a blue and orange sweater, strong as it may be, because it will make it that much more fun for us real Oiler fans to look down on you, laugh and say “Were better than you and we know it”.

  • In regards to the no-goal call. I really hope the NHL updates the rule to this in the offseason. I remember the goal about a month ago, i think in the shoot out, where luongo saved a short but his whole body slid into the net. At that time people were saying no goal because you couldn’t actually see the puck across the line, even though common sense says it was.

    In the game last night, the correct call was made, but only because 1/8 of the puck was hidden underneath the blocker, and since the league can’t fully confirm that the puck was 100% across the line, it was counted as a no goal. Does the league not know how big a puck is? Simple math shows that between the visible portion of the puck and the line is large enough for the remaining 1/8 of the puck to be across the line…

    Like I said, the correct call was made, due to a lousy rule. But it certainly didn’t end their season, the fact they gave up for about 2-3 minutes after that and let in a goal, ended their season.

  • It’s just too easy to blame this on Getzlaf, but the reality is you can’t see if he actually grabbed the puck or just shoved it under the goalie’s arm.

    I know EVERY calgary fan thinks he grabbed it and all 6 Anaheim fans things he didn’t. No point talking about how dirty he is, because… he isn’t. If you want the definition of dirty look to the old #14 on the flames… he was dirty.

    Anyway, it’s just a piss off that Calgary is likely to get a mid-range first round pick this year when we could have had a top 5 (and possibly taken cotourier).

    Oh well – let the 3-5 year rebuild begin. The only problem with a rebuild is the organization will likely accumulate in the range of a 5-10 million dollar deficit (based on operating income since lockout)which could prove to turn away the owners from spending to the cap each year in order to save money.

    Look at the Oilers, (yes the suck… but just using them as an example) and how Katz turned this season into a 10-15M profit becuase he only spend 42M on his salary and Edmonton sold out every game. Maybe Flames should consider this? Or is everyone cool with pushing for 8th again? One thing to note is that Edmonton Oilers are the ONLY team (since the 8 and 8 play off brackets) to make it to the SCF…

    Man, we are in a crappy spot

    • By $42M to you mean $49.6M? Of course this doesn’t count Souray who is rotting in Hershey with a cap hit of $5.4 (although he’s only getting paid $4.5 I think).

      The Oil aren’t making their money by not paying players. They, like the flames, have been paying the wrong players but are paying nonetheless.

      • Scott

        Actually, salary is 80% of the operating expense for the oilers.

        So, if they were able to make 4M last year spending to the cap, we can assume that 4M plus the $10M we are under the cap will be about dirhg ton my projection.

        I am just going for…

        don’t hate the player… hate the game, son

  • WRT Jokinen/Bourque/Glencross I thought they just really seemed to throw the towel in when advancing the puck into the offensive zone. There just seemed to be no imagination and a whole lot of frustration there.

    Ultimately, I just think you can’t play like every game is an elimination game for two months. The injuries to Moss and Morrison really hurt our depth as well as the Nemisz-Bouma pair got nailed to the bench late in this one again.

    Le sigh.

    • the-wolf

      Exactly – you can’t play 82 “most important game of the year” games. The mental fatigue is enornmous, especially when other teams step up their play.

  • I’m going to say the right call was made on the no-goal. Not because of the supposed position of the puck on the blocker and such, but because you can’t see the puck in relation to the goal line at all. You can make the assumption that the goal line and crossbar align, but that’s not necessarily true depending on the angle of the camera. Without a look at the actually goal line relative to the pucks position, you just can’t be sure.

    • Scott

      Can they not use the review process to digitally spot the line?

      In the NFL, they can enhance the image, and using a 3D image,can tell where the line is in relation to the ball. The NHL should be able to do this too, I can’t imagine it being too difficult, especially if it just has to be upgraded equipment in the war room in Toronto.

      Without change we will see more plays like last night, where players just jump on the goalie so the ref loses sight of the puck, and then regardless it becomes a no goal situation.

        • Scott

          Haha, I thought I was losing my mind there for a bit. A review should never take 6 minutes, and I think a bit of improved technology should help that.

          Lets just see the flames win out from here, crush the canuck defensemen into the boards, of course which would injure them for the playoffs, and hope for the best. I just don’t want to see this team come out lithless and boring the final three games. Let’s see some fist pumps!

      • the-wolf

        I thought they supposedly used this tech, a 3D extraoplation with a computer model for ‘the goal’ in 2004.

        Sorry, I didn’t include quote the first time.

        • Scott

          I had thought that as well, but it doesn’t appear to be reflected in the games. Lets just hope they address it this offseason.

          Of course on the other hand, maybe they noticed the Flames were playing today and decided to turn the technology off…

    • OilFan

      One goal certainly doesn’t break the season – just to get that out of the way.

      But, to what Kent said, I don’t get why the NHL doesn’t just equip the crossbar and posts with a series of wireless miniature cameras. Use 3/post/crossbar with a slightly wide angle view. Posts cams look straight across the goal line and crossbar cams look directly down.

      This isn’t science fiction. Pinhole lenses have been around for decades and nowadays you can buy cheap ones for as little as $20. For an organization like the NHL, even hi-def and wireless is nothing in terms of cost.

      This eliminates the “angle of view” and would allow the war room in TO to see 100% vertically and horizontally across the 4′ x 6′ of goal line from 9 different cameras.

  • the-wolf

    I should buy a lotto max, because YET AGAIN who called it? A FLAMES LOSS. TIme to take off the rose colorerrrrrrrrrrrr I mean Flames color glasses and see the forest for the trees Flames fan. Your team is DONE. Old man Marher can say it’s not over until it’s over, but sorry sir it is. How can a team who hasn’t beaten a SINGLE team above them in 3 weeks make the playoffs. Too bad you guys can play the Oilers and Avs 20 times a year, then yeah you would make it.

    Nice to see your 3mill invesment Bourque no show agian! The only thing missing from his game was his usual stupid penalty.

    I feel bad for Iggy. It’s too bad he can’t get his 1000th point in a Van jersey. If only he had a real centerman like Kes or Henrik. Heck I think he’ll even take Higgins at this point.

    MOck away Flames fan but facts are facts. My team is going to the cup finals and your team is booking tee times AGAIN. I know many of you will join our wagon, because it’s “the canadian thing” to do. No problem, our wagon will take you pions, heck don’t act like some of you aren’t trading in your finest reds for whites as we speak.

    There is always next year to miss again Flames fan.

    signed Todd from “THE GREATEST CITY in CANADA” Vancouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuver.



    what the NUCKS
    are cookin.

    Just so there is no hard feelings, we will bench all our star players to make the last game fair.

    • OilFan

      “know many of you will join our wagon, because it’s “the canadian thing” to do. No problem, our wagon will take you pions”

      really you have been miss lead. It was the Vancouver Can Nots fans thing to do for forty years oh yeah i forgot the fluke year vs the Rangers. BTW the Oilers beat Vancouver that year, Messier, Graves, Lowe, Huddy etc.

    • I wouldn’t play the lottery dude – you may have been right about the Flames, but there is no way in hell that the Canucks are going to win the cup this year….Especially now that they’ve lost Malholtra.

  • I don’t know why the media (and a number of Flames fans) are writing off the Flames so quickly.

    They’re three points out of 8th. You can talk about the games-in-hand that Chicago has all you want, but to say that the Flames are “all-but-mathematically” out of it right now seems a bit ridiculous. The Globe and Mail today says it would take a “miracle of biblical proportions” for the Flames to make 8th by Game 82.

    That ridiculous. It’s like the media and a number of Flames fans have forgotten what the Flames have managed to put together since April.

    I’m not a Flames fan. I’m an Oiler fan. I still hope the Flames don’t make the playoffs just for the sheer pleasure of knowing that Flames fans will be suffering as much as we are.

    But I honestly don’t know why, in a league where they hand out one point for two different kinds of losses, everyone is choosing to write the Flames off.

    Games-in-hand only mean something if you win them. Three points are three points. It’s not a canyon or an ocean or a valley or any type of insurmountable gap.

    The Flames are still in this thing … and way more in this thing than they were at Christmas.

    Again, I’m not cheering for you, Flames Nation. But do I hope you haven’t stopped cheering.

    • OilFan

      This reminds me of 2000 at the opening of the MLB season when the Jays beat Tampa in their first game of the season.

      I remember the Jay’s announcers saying, “well it looks like the devil ray’s have are already mathematically eliminated 1 game in…” and laughing my ass off.

      I think the fans just don’t want to get their hopes up again as it is too difficult to deal with the reality of another post-season of 17th ave without red everywhere.

      No shame in finishing 9th or 10th though. Only crappy thing is another mediocre pick at best coming up

  • Super_Gio

    Well then…yes indeed Mathematically we are still in it but when has math ever come though for me? lol..
    Listen…This off season there should be lots happening. First off-load Bustmeesters outrageous contract. Seriously 6+mil on a defensemen who doesn’t hit/score and all he does is Chew up 29+ mins of ice time? get rid of that contract and let a kid step in (honestly what do we have to loose)…seriously done with that guy. Next – Bourque. Mr. Invisible himself, when he is not scoring he is absolutely useless.
    Glencross probably won’t get re-signed but you never know..Kipper…. With this new signing of this Finish dude kinda makes you wonder if there making room…That would free up some space. Not necessarily a fan of trading Kipper but if it works out in the end so be it.
    Just my two cents. Frustrating…

  • Scott

    All I can say is boo hoo…. Flames cost me $160 in point spread winnings last night!!! The March Meltdown will continue in St. Louis. It’s not going to be pretty. Flames will down a couple of goals and throw in the towel enroute to beat down by the Blues…. aka destruction of Detroit. Play the Over on the game. Flames’ combine record for mid-March to the end of the season (last season and so fal this season) has been a dismal 8 and 17. Give or take a game. Add in the sesaon before that… makes it look even worse I’ll bet.

    Don’t know what the Flames’ org are going to do this off season. Me thinks Feaster is not the man for the job. This is not based on the team’s body of work since he’s been interim GM, but we need new blood who is able to judge talent. As much I think we need a franchise goalie, I feel that Kipper is no longer that goalie. The weak goals he has given up during the most important games are signs that he’s no longer elite. Maybe he can fetch the org a top five pick this year???? You think we can convince the Avs or Isles to part with their pick???