Postgame: So That Happened

Aside from the final five minutes of the hockey game, the Calgary Flames played one of their more controlling games of the season on Thursday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Unfortunately for the Flames, the final five minutes was enough for them to scuttle all the prior positives as Calgary coughed up a pair of goals and ended up falling 4-3 in a shootout at the hands of the Blue Jackets.

What Happened

Much like their game on November 21st in Columbus, the Flames didn’t have the strongest start to the game, allowing Columbus to open the scoring at 5:23 of the opening frame.  Antoine Vermette was able to push home a rebound in the blue paint for his third of the season (and second against Calgary) for a 1-0 lead.  But as Calgary started to take the game over in the second half of the period, they’d get things all square again when Lee Stempniak was able to beat Curtis Sanford as the Jackets goalie was out of position on the play.  Stempniak’s sixth of the season had the game tied after 20 with shots 15-5 in favour of the visitors; however, Kent had scoring chances 5-3 Calgary, which was a much more accurate barometer of the period.

The second period was one of the best all season for the Flames, as they crushed their opponents possession wise and limited the Jackets to just two scoring chances period.  Calgary scored on one of their nine in the waning seconds of the period, as Rene Bourque blazed his seventh of the season past Sanford from the left circle with just 19 seconds remaining in the period.

With a one goal lead, the Flames were pretty solid in holding Columbus off early on and they’d seem to seal things within the first six minutes.  Blake Comeau would finally break the streak, scoring his first of the season at 5:48 as his left circle shot deflected off of Vaclav Prospal in front of the net.  With a couple powerplays in the period, the Jackets had a few chances to score, but were thwarted by Miikka Kiprusoff when they were there; that was until 15:55 of the period.  Off a faceoff win, Nikita Nikitin would score his first of the season from the right point to get the Jackets within one which lead to the Columbus equalizer with the net empty.  On some miscommunication on an icing call, the Jackets were able to gain possession in the offensive zone; a Nikitin shot would be tipped in front by Rick Nash at 19:02, tying the game on Nash’s eighth of the season.

Overtime saw Calgary generate three unsuccessful scoring chances, but after nothing was decided in the extra five, it was shootout time.  Alex Tanguay and Lee Stempniak were stopped on their first two shots while Jeff Carter and Fedor Tyutin were unsuccessful on their chances it was Nash again winning the game, beating Kiprusoff five-hole on the third Columbus shot.  Sanford would stop Bourque to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 win, just their second on the road this season.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  Well, a bad five minute stretch.  Calgary would have been full marks for a regulation win, as they were dominant by the scoring chance metric and did a nice job bullying the Jackets in the third period.  But mistakes, faceoff losses, and bad decisions in the third period forced this to a shootout, when you flip a coin.  Columbus stole one in Calgary, and the Flames played well, but I don’t know how much consolation that’s going to be.

Red Warrior

Blake Comeau.  His line with Mikael Backlund and Lee Stempniak was a force to be reckoned with in this one, all on the ice for eight even strength scoring chances.  Comeau gets the nod thanks to his +7 ES scoring chance differential and his first goal of the season, which we hope is something that starts a trend for the speedy forward.

Sum It Up

The Flames simply cannot afford to give away points, one, two, or otherwise.  They gift wrapped two to the Red Wings last week without getting one of their own, while they gave away a chance at two points tonight.  It’s frustrating because it really does wipe out the type of game the Flames needed to play.  Ah well, onto the road they go.

  • Truculence

    Yeah, that sucked hard. Comeau had a really good game. I love his physical play, although he seems prone to penalties like Glencross and Borque during key moments of the game. Speaking of Borque, it seems like he woke up tonight: physical, intense, and pots a goal.

    And what can I say of Brodie. I absolutely love his game!!!!! He is satisfactory in his own end, but downright dangerous in the offensive zone. And his tape to tape passes seem out of place on a Flames team, lol. This guy’s a keeper; I’m glad we ended up with him instead of Erixon.

    Hopefully, in the shakeup that is inevitably to follow this year, the Flames keep Stempniak and Comeau (without overpaying, of course). They are 28 and 25 respectively and provide great scoring depth on the second and third lines. As Baertchi, Reinhart, and our lottery pick from this year are integrated into the team next year, we will need such players to help carry the offensive load.

    Trade Kipper, Moss, Jokinen, Hannan, Jackman, Babchuk, Kosto and Borque at the trade deadline, imo. I love Kipper, but now is the time to parlay his play into a high draft pick or blue-chip prospect.

    • Truculence

      @ Olli

      “Trade Kipper, Moss, Jokinen, Hannan, Jackman, Babchuk, Kosto and Borque at the trade deadline, imo. I love Kipper, but now is the time to parlay his play into a high draft pick or blue-chip prospect.”

      And just who do propose be our starting goaltender if Kipper is gone? Make no mistake, I understand wanting to trade a top asset to help with the rebuild, but you still need a quality goaltender between the pipes and Karlsson hasn’t shown he’s quite ready for that workload and it’s premature to assume Irving will be up to the task.

      • Truculence

        I agree, man, but finding a replacement level goalie is not difficult in the off-season. Kipper is prone to follow up a solid season with a mediocre or horrible one. He’s not getting younger, either. If we keep him, we will be looking for a goalie in a couple anyways, so why not move him now when you can get something of value back?

        Just my opinion, of course, and I’ve been known to be wrong countless more times than correct 🙂

  • Franko J

    PSSSSST the proverbial balloon which you can call this season is slowly deflating.

    When I heard earlier in the day that Columbus had only 1 road win coming into the game tonight, I rushed to the nearest “Sports Select” and wager against the Flames. Even at that the Flames couldn’t get it right. A tie.

    Who is really the worst team in the Western Conference? On paper it appears to be Columbus, however in reality, after losing twice within the last ten days to the same team, I am thinking Calgary might be.

    This group of players and the coaching staff are not meshing. Major disconnect. Something has to give … eventually. Coach or players .. Who is going to go first?

    Like a good meal with bad service or poorly tasting dessert, the Flames play most games pretty good, however, at the end of night the results are mostly disappointing.

  • Franko J

    Even after Bourque scored his goal, I noticed that when he was giving hi 5’s to the players on the bench he still looked very lethargic and spiritless. In a nutshell, he exemplifies the attitude of this team. A team in turmoil full of indifferent attitudes.

  • It occurs to me that iggy and nash can be very similar on any given night. Fully capable of doing something significant, but often reticent to provide the effort necessary to have their talent manifest itself into anything tangible or concrete.

    Couple that with their rather hefty salaries, captaincies, suspect leadership and “play like a sumbitch for canada resumes”. They are somewhat alike…. in a frustrate the hell outta their fans kinda way.

    • Truculence

      Man, you Iggy haters must all be under 18. How else can you either forget or be oblivious to what Iggy has done for the Flames all these years. So he is not a PvP option anymore at the age of 34. Alright, I get it. But the guy can still score and plays with tremendous heart. He has to be used in a manner that suits his talents, i.e. easier zone starts and sheltering.

      However, for the majority of his career, he has produced “tangible” results, as he scored 30 or more in 10 straight seasons without the help of another elite player! He has been a great leader on and off the ice. But to believe a power-forward can keep dominating after 34 is naive. Their style of play does not age as well as, say, a two-way forward such as Langkow. Iggy has been the heart and soul of this team for almost two decades, and I have been honored to watch him play for the Flames. Anyone who says he has been prone to play lethargically, without spirit, is an idiot who must have jumped on the bandwagon recently. Until age 32, Jarome was one of the greatest NHL players of all time, and will assuredly be guaranteed a place in the Hall of Fame.

    • SmellOfVictory

      They’re vaguely similar, but there are differences. Iginla at Nash’s age was twice the player that Nash is. I rarely felt frustrated with him. Currently, however, Nash is probably better overall and he plays the PK – something I don’t think Jarome ever did (at least, not very much).

  • Franko J

    @ Olli

    “Just my opinion, of course, and I’ve been known to be wrong countless more times than correct :)”

    Your opinion can’t be worse than the last manager of this team.

  • everton fc

    I have a good vibe about Irving. Time will tell.

    Moving Kipper to get a pick the likes of Matt Dumba… Would be a wise move in a rebuild. We need to rebuild on defence, too. Often overlooked in these discussions…

    Moving Bourque may get you a 2nd in a deep draft. Moss is 31. Might be time to parlay him, as well, as Stempniak looks set to crack 20 goals this season. (Wonder if Brent was the one who picked Stempniak? Can’t imagine Feaster would have had this insight…)

    I’d move JBo, if at all possible. Even for a 2nd and a prospect if you could get it, again in a deep draft. We’ll need the salary space to sign these kids to longer contracts, reasonably-priced contracts.

    I’d keep Jokinen. But he may also have some value on the trade market. Understood… But he might also be a nice fit with some of these kids, and seems to have the right attitude. Seems to be “coachable”.

    Don’t see where a guy like Byron fits in, unless he’s on a 4th line – a nice 4th line would be Byron/Moss/Nemisz… But you need a guy like Jackman (Desbiens?) who can serve a pseudo-toughguy purpose (no, we do not need a goon)

    Stajan would be wise to consider the KHL. I mean this sincerely. He might be able to resurrect his career. He’s currently on pace to score less goals than last year.

    Remember this: not all high picks blossom. Some become third liners. Backlund is a good example. Sven seems an obvious NHL star. The rest… You never know, but the prospects look better than they have for some time. And I think Ferland may be the surprise of the group.

  • ChinookArchYYC


    Comeau was an ok pick for Red Warrior, but I personally thought this was TJ Brodie’s game. He was really good against Collumbus and was more deserving.

    The Red Goat goes to Cory Sarich, at $3M he should be Calgary’s top 4. Instead, Sarich is the 7th defenseman. Nice guy, but I won’t miss him next year.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Do any of you guys follow incarceratedbob on twitter? He was killing adam schefter on nfl free agency and sometimes tweets hockey scoops. He is saying iginla has been approached by the flames to go to MTL. We would get patches, weber (of the yannik variety) and a pick. Maybe salary too. Let’s see if this pans out…

    • ChinookArchYYC

      No thank-you. Offer up Iggy & Kipper for Cammy, Price and Ryan White (I know, Montreal won’t part with Price, but you nver know until you ask). Then offer Moss to the Rangers for Prust & a 5th rounder. Now you have a line of Prust, White & Jackman. Offer Bourque and a pick/prospect to Anaheim for Ryan Getzlaf. See what you can do to get Setoguchi out of Minnesota (it’d cost ya). How do you like that 1st line (Cammy, Getz & Seto)?

      Oh to dream!!!

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    @Brent G. – Patches is likely Max Paciorety

    @Cmon Im Olli Jokinen – C’mon is right. You’ve gotta be kidding. I, for one, am not a new Flames fan and I’m not new to the Trade Iggy theme either. I’ve been saying that since before we started missing the playoffs again.

    You say he plays with tremendous heart but should get “easier zone starts and sheltering”. Which is it? When was the last time you saw him play like he cared, like a leader? Leaders don’t necesarily have to light the lamp every night, but they ought to be visible on the ice.

    Calgary certainly wasted his talents early in his career by not putting a decent team around him, but the past is gone and so is the Iggy that can “lead” a team to greatness.

    If he’s going to stay on this team, it ought to be without the “C” on his chest, and as you say, in a sheltered offensive role. I don’t think a captain ought to be very sheltered. If you like military examples, soldiers in battle are not led by the last man out of the fox hole. If Iggy needs to be sheltered all the time, who’s going to follow him?

    • T&A4Flames

      Yes, I’ve noticed lately that some of the ‘Keep Iggy’ supporters have resorted to calling anyone who disagrees with them an “idiot” and such.

      They should perhaps check out the CP forums.

      I don’t mind a tall when people disagree with me and while I can be quite vitriolic sometimes I’ve never resorted to name-calling.

      I was Iggy’s biggest supporter ever since his WJC and even more so after seeing him live against Chicago in the playoffs. I’ll never foreget big, bad Cehlios running him from behind and cross-checking him straight into the back. And then Chelios falling down and Iginla seeming completely unfazed. I knew then we had something special for sure.

      For several seasons the Flames stood something like an 80% chance of losing if Iginla didn’t score.

      Because he was the only scorer coaches basically let him do as he pleases on the ice. I don’t think he was the motivator in 2004, but his play was beyond awesome.

      He became too iconic for too long and the team allowed it to happen. They sold icon over team. IMO Murray Edwards has become Harold Ballard, Jeremy Jacobs and Bill Wirtz in the 80’s. Just good enough to sell hope and fill the seats, sell beer and jerseys.

      Iginla has become out Raymond Bourque. He will soon become our Mats Sundin.

      Things changed after the lock-out. Slowly, but surely. I fully believe a combination of those 3 things listed above contributed to breaking his spirit and attitude. Too much pressure to score for too many years mixed in with no discipline being forced onto his play and added to being made bigger than the team.

      – Darryl called the team “a special group” to
      – Keenan stated he spent his entire time trying to get the team to lead from within to no avail.
      – Iggy dropped his power game to play finesse even though he still comes to camp as the most fit player. There’s a disconnect there.
      – The timing of his scoring became suspect and his droughts became longer. Only scoring when the Olympic roster was not set did not sit well with me.
      – Playing poorly and then dropping the gloves when the game was out of reach became annoying.
      – Lanny McDonald even stated he cherry-picked.
      – Grant Pollock is reporting unhappiness with “his act” in the dressing room (props to whoever posted that Outlaws link – great stuff).
      – Who else was Regehr always calling out when he talked about the scorers and leaders not committing?
      – Skrudland’s comment to Kent Wilson about “who will stand up to him now?”
      – Mike Rogers (check out his blog) even takes him to task.
      – The Fan constantly berates the “leadership group” without naming names.

      Iginla is the leader, face of the franchise and captain, so he bears the blame, who else could the non-specific references be referring to?

      To say that Iggy shows up for every game and gives it his all and to say that he supports the coaches by exemplifying their systems is simply not true.

      At this point I could handle him just playing offense, but where’s the passion? As ‘Shutout’ said, they’re not the “Calgary Iginlas.” It’s not Iggy’s face stitched into the carpet under the eternal light, it’s the Flaming ‘C.’

      The team has to be bigger than any one player. They must sell ‘team’ and not ‘icon.’

      I was once his biggest booster, but Iginla has not earned my support the last few seasons. He makes $7 million/year, good for him. But that’s his compensation, I don’t feel the team, the fans or the city ‘owe’ him anything.

      And I can’t see one reason keeping him benefits the team more than trading him would. His presence here will contribute nothing further than ruining our draft position. I agree with Pollock, if Iggy really cared about the team, city and fans he’d ask for a trade because it’s so obviously what’s for the best of the team.

      While I’m tired of his performance here, his scoring history and rep (go the finals once as coach, GM or player and forever have a job and be a hero in the NHL)at the trading deadline ensure a quality return.

      It’s the right thing to do. My final word on the matter until the deadline (cheers all around!).

  • Brent G.

    @ Steve

    Yeah, it’d cost more than Bourque and change to get Getz out of Anaheim, or would it? According to Burke no one thought they could get Phaneuf out of Calgary…turns out all they had to do was ask and I think we can all agree it cost Toronto nothing but their unwanted.

    • supra steve

      When the Flames pulled the trigger on Phaneuf he seemed to be stagnating, and was becoming a problem in the room. I understand why they moved him, just unhappy with how it was done (no bidding war) and the return.

      Anaheim has stated a desire to shed salary, so trading a big $$ guy is possible. I just don’t think they would like to take back someone like Bourque with his $$ and term the way they are.

      Not to mention the kick in the nuts Bourque took from Kelly Hrudy a few weeks back on HNIC. Now even if you have your head in the sand you know what kind of effort you’re likely to get out of him.

  • everton fc

    Anaheim won’t be moving anyone anytime soon, now that Boudreau’s in place. They give 4-6 weeks witht he current cast to see who stays, and who’s expendable.

    As for Iggy to MTL… or anywhere else… I like Iggy. As a person, and as a player. But he may not fit here, as long as Brent’s coach.

    Another type of coach may be able to get the most out of Iggy, but not this one. Not even saying this is Brent’s fault; this system seems to play away from what Iggy’s seems to think his “game” is. The pressure from the fans, the media… It must get old, and for a pro whose represented his country and this franchise well in many ways… He deserves some peace of mind as his career nears completion.

    I think he’d go to a team like Boston. Detroit. And so forth. You want a kid like Ryan, or perhaps a Getzlaf, Iggy’s perhaps bait. But does Anaheim want to age?

    A team like the Wings seems a decent destination. Or the Bruins. Ir the Sharks, perhaps (could you poach Lucic or Clowe in a deal that includes Iggy? I’d like to see more guys like Lucic/Clowe on our roster)

  • everton fc

    @ Steve

    I was mostly just throwing out names and Bourque was the one I thought made the most sense to go to the Ducks. It’s more of a case that in my mind, if we trade Iggy we need a true Captain and leader. Someone we can build around and can help the next wave develope and hopefully contribute to this team for years to come. For me Getzlaf is perfect due to his past and current ties to the city and he would be a true force in that dressing room and when needed, on the ice. I wouldn’t expect him to be our entire offense and at this point I think he’s a better 2 way player than Iggy (and a better cap hit).

    The big thing for me is if we clean house sometime within the next 9 months I don’t want to have our prospects pushed into the NHL before they’re ready and have all this pressure heaped on them. I remember the “Young Guns” experiment this team did in the 90’s and I don’t want to see it again. Too many kids had their careers hindered/shortened because of that.

  • T&A4Flames

    So, it looks like Sarich has requested a trade. We should be able to get something for him. I don’t take Sarich as a guy who would ‘demand’ a trade; I think he just wants to play. I wouldn’t have expected anything public from him though.

    I, unfortunately live in Edmonton but at least I get to hear opinions on the Flames from other perspectives. Media here seems to think several teams would love to get Sarich. Here is hoping.

    • Truculence

      Haha, are you kidding what Edm media are you listening to that puts value on a 3rd pairing, over priced, often injured, unhappy Dman? Not the same Edm media I’m listening too.