Postgame: Some Good, Some Bad

The Calgary Flames had some really poor stretches of hockey Thursday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which played a big part of them trailing 4-2 after two periods of play.  They also had some very good spans of hockey, which was the main reason why they were able to force extra time with a pair of goals in the third period.  In the end, a Steven Stamkos marker 30 seconds into overtime was the difference, with the Lightning prevailing 5-4.

What Happened

The first period was an odd one, with Tampa Bay scoring on their only powerplay of the night at 5:11.  With the puck down low, Teddy Purcell tried a pass out front from in behind the net, but it was cut off by bodies in front.  Unfortunately, one of those bodies in front was Chris Butler, who deflected it off his torso and in for a 1-0 lead.  While it seemed like the Lightning had the balance of play for most of the opening frame, it was Calgary winning the scoring chance battle, finishing 5-2 in their favour.  With 33 seconds remaining in the period, the fourth line would go to work again, and this time would come away with a goal.  After goaltender Mathieu Garon misplayed a soft shot, Tim Jackman pushed a nice pass to Matt Stajan in front snapping a 36 game goalless drought for him.  Stajan’s first had things tied after 20.

Early on in the second, the Flames would score on a powerplay of their own, but not really.  With a Dominic Moore penalty expiring, Jarome Iginla would take an Olli Jokinen pass in the slot to fire home his 12th of the season just as the penalized player stepped back on the ice.  The even strength marker gave the Flames their first lead of the game and it lasted for just over eight minutes.  At 10:10, a scramble in front eventually allowed Tom Pyatt to go upstairs for his third setting up the go ahead goal less than two minutes later.  Ryan Malone took a Stamkos pass at 12:05 to fire home his seventh restoring Tampa’s one goal lead.  With just 34 seconds to go in the middle frame, the Lightning lead would swell to two with Nate Thompson putting one off Butler on a two-on-one opportunity, giving them a 4-2 lead.  Tampa ran the second period, coming away with a 13-5 edge in scoring chances and make Calgary pay for a poor stretch.

The third period saw things swing all the way back to the Flames, however.  Outchancing the protecting Lightning 10-2 in the process, Calgary would tie the game starting with Rene Bourque’s tenth on the year just 58 seconds in.  On a breakaway, Bourque would fan on his shot, scoring off the heel of his stick through Garon’s legs setting up a furious push to the finish.  On their third powerplay of the night, they’d tie things on a pretty passing play started by Alex Tanguay.  He would fire a slap pass to Jokinen at the left side of the net making it easy for Jokinen to cash his ninth on the year at 16:48 sending us to overtime.

The extra frame didn’t last long, with Stamkos taking an Eric Brewer pass 30 seconds in to win it with his 19th, sending the Flames to their second consecutive defeat.  On the glass-half-full side, it gave the Flames points in eight of their last ten.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  It’d be easy to say "flip the coin in overtime" but when it comes down to it, Calgary’s second period was the real thing that sunk them.  They put themselves in a spot where they had to expend a ton of energy just to get back in this one, and while they were successful, they couldn’t come all the way back.  Once again, the Flames had an opportunity to control this game and didn’t.

Red Warrior

Stajan got it last game as I thought he may never score again, so can’t give it to him tonight, so instead I’ll look to Alex Tanguay.  I’ve really liked him lately and he’s done a good job on his line with Brendan Morrison and Rene Bourque.  Tanguay finished with a point on this night and was on the ice for five scoring chances at even strength.  I’ve really liked Tanguay over the last couple weeks.

Sum It Up

If the Flames are going to want to stay in the hunt for the rest of the season, they’re going to have to find ways to earn points/wins in games like these.  They had a stinker of a second period and seemed to be down and out, but took advantage of a mediocre team to come back and tie it.  No they don’t get the win, but there were some positives for the visitors who now take on Florida tomorrow night.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    To me it seemed tonight was a night where the Flames really missed Giordano. The shot-blocking & strong defensive play would’ve helped in a few situations where some Flame defenders (Butler et al) seemed a bit over their heads. Could’ve been the difference in this one had he been in the lineup

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Butler looked, well, ahhhh, not good this evening. Haven’t really liked him as a top pairing defenceman at all this year. He has good moments here and there but they are few and far between. Oh well, hope they all play well until the trade deadline so Feaster can maximize returns on all trades, including the captain.

    • Bean-counting cowboy

      Lets face it. We knew the blueline was unproven & thin going into this year. When Gio went down I thought it was disaster. Actually, Butler has been doing OK, dont think he is a top 4D let alone top 2. Smith & Brodie have been great additions but they still have a learning curve to go up. Really, they are playing very competitively but they are nothing more than a .500 team. This is not a playoff team, no where close. Anyone that is a UFA the end of this year should be trade bait come Feb & big decisions on bigger pieces being traded should be considered. But I really see us turning a big corner going into next year. Was an entertaining game tonight.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Did anyone catch Feaster’s interview during 2nd intermission. I don’t recall a recent interview with Jay where he was so visibly upset at what they were seeing on the ice, especially in the 2nd where they only had 5 shots. He usually tries to put some type of positive spin on things but not on this night.

    Regardless if you think the team should get props for coming back or if they get a thumbs down for not taking control of the game when chances allowed…bottom line is that a loss is a loss. I don’t care too much about the loser point…this team needs W’s.

  • RKD

    I thought Butler struggled, he did have some hits but he was fighting it tonight.

    Very poor second period, 3 goals surrendered in 9 min and 18 shots against was not good.

    Glad the Flames came back, it was good to get a point out of the game.

  • MC Hockey

    I don’t know y’all…I think you are piling on. I do agree Butler could be better tonight, but he is probably a top 4 D-man just due to his all-around skills being good. Instead, did you notice Brodie was covering up for the slow Carson? Carson needs to get back to NHL shape and speed or he will get burned! And the 4th line was great…excellent possession stats (Corsi or Fenwick) and their time with the puck was mainly in the TB zone.

  • flamesburn89

    I must admit the Flames have done well since my last post here, despite losing Giordano.

    In truth, if the Flames make the playoffs this year, it will be nights like this that let them in the backdoor.

    The Flames had a bad night, with some unlucky bounces, and didn’t lose. They “pointed”.

    Good teams find a way to win on bad nights. Borderline teams find a way to “point”. Bad teams just lose.

    The Flames haven’t written themselves out of the story yet. Now they just have to win consistently enough — and to point consistently enough — to sneak past some tough competition into the final 16.

  • Truculence

    Considering we play Florida tommorrow with a rookie in net, and Chicago to finish this little sojourn in the East, this point may be the only one that our boys earn during the trip. If that`s the case, kiss them playoffs goodbye.

  • Franko J

    Always an interesting game between these two teams. Plenty ebbs and flows when these two teams play one another. I find that each teams captain and leader parallel the teams play. Watching how both played tonight it is obvious why both teams are struggling to make the playoffs. Both Iginla and Lecavilier had at times good stretches of play mixed in with so / so play. As well, you can see from a Lightnings’ perspective who is the emerging leader (youth and skilled ability) to carry the team in the now and future. After the goal was scored in overtime by Stamkos I asked myself the question who from a Flames’ perspective is the one player on this team in the now and future who can carry this team? Honesty as I go through the roster I don’t see such a player.
    This is why I think the 2012 draft is pivotal to the Flames organization.
    No matter how this season develops or “plays out” for the Flames, they
    have to keep building through the draft. With the upcoming draft deep in blue chip prospects, it is imperative the Flames find the heir successors to replace the aging talent on this team.

    • yomamen11

      Agreed, thios could be the deepest drat since 2003 and is pivotal. We need to get as many picks as possible. Still ticked we threw away our 2nd in the Regehr trade.

  • yomamen11

    Yeah, Stamkos showed who the real superstar was out ther last night.

    On the plus side,only 4 more goals to go until we can trade Iginla.

    Things I find amusing:

    1) points in 8 of their last 10. And here I thought we were 31 games into the season.

    2) Calgary sucked in the 2nd but turned it on in the 3rd and showed who was better. While this really just demonstrates once again what an inconsistent group of slackers this team has been, it’s odd that the opposite side of the coin is never looked at. I thought TB turned it on in the 2nd and exposed how poor Calgary is at playing an up tempo game. They then thought they had it in the bad and slacked in the 3rd. but I guees not, it was all Calgary being awesome. Which is why TB scored 30 seconds into OT.

    – Iginla to the Caps for their 2 1st rounders and Holtby.

    – Kipper to TB for Carter Ashton and a pick.

    – Jay Bo to Philly for Schenn. With Pronger out for the season and an abundance of centers I think it’s doable.

    That said, much like I tought Hamrlik made Phaneuf look better than he was, I think Jay Bo makes Butler look better than he is. Butler has actually surprised me this seasona nd I’ve been impressed as he hasn’t been slaughtered, but he’s not a top 2 guy, more like a #4 D.

    Which actually makes me re-think moving Jay Bo, because who else do we have? Still, getting rid of that contract would be nice. Hmmm…….

    • yomamen11

      Was reading some of the rumours on that hockey buzz but the JBO to Philly one intrigues me the most. JBO has really elevated his game especially since GIO went down. Wow, if we could get a B Schenn & a 1st from Philly for JBO, I would say do it. But boy, that would definitely waive the white flag on this year. I think JBO would be a great top 2 d to rebuild around but his contract sucks. Totally torn but we would sure be getting Schenn at a lower price. Just think, there are many who would have gladly given Iggy to LA last year for Schenn & a 1st. Add a 1st rounder to the Kipper deal & suddenly we have 5 1st rounders coming up & possibly parlay 2 of them into a top 3 pick. I would then say Feaster has balls, big balls, he da man:)

  • yomamen11

    From Twitter:

    Darren Dreger Things are heating up on the Kyle Turris trade front. Sources indicate a deal could come down today.
    2 hours ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

    Darren Dreger Told the Calgary Flames are out of the Turris hunt. Ottawa still has interest. Wpg isn’t in. Toronto is in its freeze (lol)…

  • Franko J

    @ the-wolf

    Remember we also gave up a 5th round pick for P3L.
    If you look at the history of this Franchise, the first round picks have been suspect at best(sucked), however, the picks in the third round and lower have been pretty good, especially the last few drafts there have been some hidden gems to develop.