Postgame: Well, that’s familiar

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Tell me if you’ve heard this before: The Calgary Flames control the balance of the play for the majority of a hockey game, do some good things down low possession wise, and yet come away without a victory.  That was very much the same for Flames prospects on Sunday night in Penticton, falling 6-1 at the hands of San Jose to open the 2011 Young Stars Tournament.

What Happened

The Flames started off slow, but from about the five minute mark of the first period on, they were the team controlling the play.  However, by that point it was already 2-0 San Jose, and the team couldn’t seem to buy a break offensively after that.  Some unfortunate luck combined with some finishing issues and some difficulty moving to the scoring areas and things can very quickly turn into a frustrating game.  San Jose’s goaltending tandem of Thomas Heemskerk and J.P. Anderson were also very good.

First Period

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1. San Jose. Charles Inglis (Ben Thomson, Joe Antilla) 3:13
2. San Jose. Michael Sgarbossa (Brodie Reid) 4:45

Second Period

3. San Jose. Trevor Cheek (Nathan Moon) 7:46
4. San Jose. Curt Gogol 16:07

Third Period

5. San Jose. Brodie Reid (Michael Sgarbossa, Dylan Wruck) 0:57
6. San Jose. Sena Acolatse (Antoine Corbin, Joe Antilla) 7:51 (pp)
7. Calgary. Roman Horak (penalty shot) 15:35

Basically, it was a game where the Flames really controlled things for the first 30 minutes or so, but were down by 3-0 and 4-0 scores.  In a lot of ways, it mirrored some of the issues the big club encountered for much of the last two seasons: possession, shots and chances but no rewards.  And just like any other hockey team, frustration certainly started to set in as things went along.

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It has to be said that Joni Ortio was not strong in net, as the Calgary keeper allowed all six goals, a number of them of the soft variety.  The coaching staff attributed a lot it to Sunday being Ortio’s second game on North American ice, something that will very certainly need some work in the coming months.  There’s a chance he might be back in net Monday, as he’s the one they need to give the most reps to.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  It would be easy to blame goaltending, but when you don’t score your first goal until late in the third period (on a penalty shot no less) it just isn’t accurate.  Ortio was not very good, that’s accurate, however in this case he wasn’t the sole culprit.  The Flames couldn’t score; bad luck, good opposing goaltending and an inability later on to get to scoring areas all played their part.

Red Warrior

I’ll go Max Reinhart, because he was the best player on Calgary’s best line on Sunday.  He and Patrick Holland were both very strong and worked really well as a forward pair, but Reinhart specifically stood out.  His first period opportunity was created entirely by himself shorthanded and almost lead to a Flames goal…twice.  He was strong possession wise, good in his own end, physical and made things happen offensively.

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Sum It Up

Some good things for the Flames prospects, some bad things for the Flames prospects.  Bench boss Troy Ward was fairly happy with the overall scope of the game, in terms of structure and adherance to it.  But, clearly there were some defensive lapses and some goals that shouldn’t have gone in, so, it’s back to it on Monday.

  • ChinookArchYYC


    I missed the first period but I thought Brodie looked like he was trying to do too much and struggled in the second period. He seemed to settle down and I thought he had a stronger third period. How did he look live? I can’t argue with your assessment of Reinhart. – he played well. It was nice to see the skill level in both Reinhart level of Baertschi. It’s no wonder their is a lot of excitement surrounding them specifically.

  • To sum up what I saw today:

    – Baertschi definitely has good offensive instincts and deft hands. His defensive play is lacking somewhat, but I think the scouting reports mentioned this as his weakness

    – Breen is big and hulking, but that’s all he has going for him. He made several big mistakes, especially on clearing attempts (the 1st goal and Gogol’s goal). Brodie was also having issues, but I’m more inclined to believe his were due to a bad game, not being prepared, etc.

    – Reinhart looks damn good and seems to care. His hustle on that SH breakaway and willingness to stick with the puck makes me think he’ll be playing in the NHL one day. Overall play was quality too. Just couldn’t finish / was robbed by great goaltending.

    – Agree on the Holland/Reinhart tandem working well

    – Holy crap on a stick was Ortio bad. He should’ve been practicing on North American ice all summer, not waiting until his first game to get used to it.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I was very disappointed in Brodie’s play. Ortio wasn’t good but he gets a pass as he was getting used to the ice. Brodie on the other hand should have dominated at this level and he really looked over his head. He did improve as the game went on. Breen was equally bad, but my expectations of him are lower. None of the D were particularly good.

    I was very happy with Reinhert. I also thought Baertschi established himself. Holland also looked good. In fact, the forwards as a whole looked pretty good. They need to score though. Almost 40-shots on two goalies and only a penalty shot trickles in. Not good enough.

    All in all it was a warm up game though so we will see if they recover tomorrow.

  • Ortio was indeed bad, but sometimes goalies just suck. We’ll see how he does in the next game.

    I liked a lot of what I saw from the forwards. I think the best thing to do in this sort of tourny is to ignore the score and focus exclusively on quality of play.

  • ortio models his game after kiprusoff, and we all know that kipps is prone to blowouts on occasion as well… so who knows. the kid had a bad game, sure, but from what i’ve seen in previous camps and the WJC, he’s got some serious starter potential…

    also, from my eye, a healthy johnny negrin is the best defenseman in a flaming C. while i thought that a couple years back, it surprised me yesterday.

  • BobB

    Man, Ortio was brutal last night. He needs to draw a line, regroup and move on. I only dropped in to watch live the last period and a bit and he looked bad then. Now that I’ve seen the goals… ouch.

    He was off. His timing was off. He played too deep. This stuff about big ice vs little ice is slight of hand by coaching, cause the goals he let in have nothing to do with ice size. None of the goals against were lateral plays

    The first GA he was too slow setting after being way out of position, the second GA he was a step too deep. Third was brutal, he dropped his ass and he was two steps too deep. The Fourth too deep (again) and I would have liked to see an active stick. Fifth he shifted weight from V-low (strong first save) to a right leg paddle down, which doesn’t make any sense in any world and the sixth he was too deep and dropped his ass(again!).

    Get Clint in for a video session… the problems are easy to spot, and shouldn’t be too hard to address.