Postgame: Chicago Wins

The title of our postgame article tonight is pretty apt, as there wasn’t a ton to dislike from the Calgary Flames on Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks, but it was the home team doing their thing en route to a 4-1 victory, their seventh straight over Calgary at the United Center.  I liked most of the effort for the Flames, but when you let Chicago’s best players do what they do best, their likely going to win.

What Happened

I sure did like Calgary’s first few minutes, as they were hard on pucks and made life pretty difficult on Chicago’s blueline and kept Ray Emery pretty busy early on.  But a skilled opponent creates scoring chances even when they’re back on their heels, and that’s exactly what the Hawks did, with Duncan Keith hammering home a loose puck from the point beating Mikka Kiprusoff, who was out of position thanks to a good chance a few seconds earlier.  Keith’s first of the season gave Chicago a 1-0 lead they took into the first intermission with scoring chances tied at seven after 20.

I thought Chicago controlled the latter stages of the first and they carried that through into the middle frame, earning a powerplay midway through the period.  With Roman Horak in the box for high sticking, Brent Seabrook would get his first of the season thanks to a one-time shot from the point at 12:11.  With chances again even, this time at five, the Flames trailed by two heading to the third.

Calgary would finally break through just past the midway mark of the third period, with the Flames doing the job off a faceoff win.  Mark Giordano would feed Olli Jokinen parked in the slot, and at 10:50 Calgary was back within one as Jokinen was good for his fourth of the season.  But with Calgary chasing and trying to even the game, they’d get a little sloppy and allow the Hawks to regain their two goal lead.  Viktor Stalberg converted his fourth of the season as he was able to slip by Mikael Backlund to receive a Marian Hossa pass.  Chicago added one more into an empty net, as Patrick Kane slid home his sixth with four seconds remaining.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  This one was quite simply a case of Calgary’s opponent being better than them.  Scoring chances were even, which speaks a little to a chasing Flames team, but also speaks to a fairly decent effort overall.  However, the Hawks are an elite hockey team in my eyes, and their top six has the ability to finish at a startling pace, and on this night, a better team was good enough for the win.

Red Warrior

I’ll go Mikael Backlund, as I thought he was one of Calgary’s most dangerous offensive players, and certainly the best player on the top line.  I know he finished -2 (while Iginla and Tanguay were both -3) but that number doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story, as they ended up in the plus when it came to chances.  For his first game of the regular season, Backlund looked great, and it was great to see him back.

Sum It Up

This is the issue with continued steps taken backwards for the Flames, as after getting to .500 three times and no further, the team now takes another step back and is two games below the even mark.  Now they’ve got a game against the Avalanche in Denver on Saturday night, a team the  Flames have won seven straight against.  Hopefully the Avs aren’t due.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The flames can’t get anything for any of their players .They either suck or have expensive nt\nm clauses nobody wants crap.If they could unload those contracts they would have by now.

  • RedMan

    I think the Flames organization is completely delusional with their “plan”. Talking about completely changing a team via middling prospects or UFAs. It makes no sense and is crazy….

    a) when was the last time a transformative UFA was up and went on to completely alter their new team? In the new NHL UFAs are usually overpriced players that can be added to compliment a cup run of an already strong team (See Vancouver last year, Boston, Pittsburgh, Chicago the list goes on and on and and on)

    b) Flames mgmt talks about prospects and kids reshaping the team. Its a pipe dream. Guys like Malkin, Kane, Toews and maybe eventually Stamkos, Tavares, Hall, Nugent-Hopkins reshape teams. These guys are #1, #2 or #3 draft picks. Not late second rounders toiling on the farm team. The Flames do have some great prospects coming up who will be servicable NHLers, but transformative players? Its a false dream. The last time the Flames had an organizational altering prospect was Iggy. There is exactly zero players of this pedigree in the system right now. Could it still happen (See Zetterberg)? Yes of course.. But having that as your PLAN is like me having a retirement plan built around winning the lottery sometime before I’m 60.

    This team needs to build from within, and its gonna be slow. I’m not a fan of the tank job for lottery picks (see Edmonton) and do believe there are other ways to do it. But the talk of reshaping the team in 1 or 2 years via UFAs and middling average prospects currently in the system is an absolute pipe dream. This team is going nowhere and I see absolutely no reason to be optimistic. Zero.

  • RedMan

    no surprise at all schevvy, i wont be shocked if hags is promoted to first line minutes. nothing feaster and butter do with the line up is shocking anymore. whos next stajan?

  • amaninvan

    I just cant see what good a coaching change will do. Unless the new bench boss slaps on the skates and scores a few goals, it wont matter. Scotty Bowman couldn’t get these guys to score. 4 goals in 4 games – three of them losses.

    We have too many players that cant score (Kosto, Jackman, PL3, Stempniak) And those that can score look like they have no urgency. Iggy looks bad. Tangs has dissapeared. Bourque looks asleep. WTF happened to Moss?

    • amaninvan

      no urgency may actually be no motivation. the flames country club led by its director of giggles and grins iggy dont seem to pressed to buy into the butter system, whatever that is.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Feaster’s big test for me is to see what he does if the Flames are in this position come Christmas.

    Will his playoff “guarantee” cloud his long-term perspective & have him pulling a Darryl-esque type move by bringing in veteran help by trading picks & or propsepcts. I really don’t think so & I think the organization is past that, but if that were too happen, my little sliver of hope for the future will be absolutely crushed.

    I also worry that if Jay’s management decisions (i.e. re-signing Babchuk)continue to be ignored by the coach (i.e. not playing Babchuk), we’ll see a coaching change sooner than some people may think.