Postgame: Living Dangerous

Calgary’s 2-1 shootout win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night saw the Flames play a pretty mediocre game and still come away with two points.  Calgary decided to play with fire for a second straight game, letting an inferior opponent control the hockey game for far too long, and this time it cost them.  The Flames had their four game win streak snapped Thursday thanks to a 3-1 loss to the New York Islanders.

What Happened

With an opportunity to win a fifth straight game, Calgary got off to a really nice start, scoring just 71 seconds in.  Tim Jackman would be good for his first of the season on an odd one that somehow found it’s way past Evgeni Nabokov giving the Flames an early lead.  However, it seemed like a one goal lead prompted Calgary to hit the sack, as they sleepwalked through the rest of the period and losing the scoring chance battle 6-2.  Even still, the visitors carried a one goal lead to the intermission.

Just over three minutes into the second period, the Islanders drew even on a nice P.A. Parenteau pass allowing Andrew MacDonald to rifle home his third of the season.  It was actually a better period for the Flames, at least for the first ten minutes or so, but once again any advantage they had evaporated and the Islanders controlled things till the end of the second.

#91 on the home side really took over in the third period, and John Tavares was able to give New York their first lead 3:20 into the final frame.  Tavares broke down the right side and blew by Chris Butler making a nice move on Miikka Kiprusoff along the way, finishing his 12th of the season, but just his fourth in 24 games.  The Isles did a fairly nice job of defending their one goal lead with Nabokov making a few stops along the way.  Brian Rolston sealed things into an empty net at 19:17, snapping a New York three game losing skid in the process.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  Because for far too long, they were the second best team on the ice.  Even though New York didn’t generate a ton of opportunities, they were the team who controlled the balance of this hockey game.  The Islanders are better than a 15th place team, in my opinion, but they’re still a team the Flames should control and they didn’t come anything close to it tonight, thanks to a very, very flat performance.

Red Warrior

I gotta give it to Tim Jackman, as he scored his first goal in over 60 games and helped along Calgary’s most effective line.  He was the only player to finish well in the plus for scoring chances at even strength, and he was helped along by decent nights from Tom Kostopoulos and Brendan Morrison.  Nice night for Morrison as well, as his assist on Jackman’s marker was good for his 600th career point.

Sum It Up

As Kent stated in the post below, Calgary’s poor play at even strength caught up with them tonight.  It didn’t bite them against the Blue Jackets, but that’s two consecutive games the team hasn’t brought it or anywhere close to it.  They were unable to score on their two powerplay opportunities, and even with a fairly solid night from Miikka Kiprusoff, the Flames lost to the 15th placed team in the East.  Off to Ottawa on Friday night.

  • stallsky

    Was not a fan of the game. Not many made plays and some what sluggish pace which favoured the Islanders. Had it pvr and missed most post game but I hope you ripped the refs for missing the 5-3 call. Does it change the game outcome yes, but team didn’t play well enough to win this game. Not Happy Iggy’s time down vs recent games but did look over matched vs John T. and co. Think Leland gets the start tomorrow night and I hope the boys come back ready to go.

  • stallsky

    Once again the Flames were great at playing slumpbuster tonight. While I didn’t think the Flames were going to win every game from here to the end of the season, I did have a sliver of hope that the energy and hard-work-no-quit attitude would show up for the rest of the season. These last two games have drove the point home to me, that they have not changed at all from the last 2.5 years. I do hope they play well to the trade deadline so that other GM’s will hopefully overpay for anyone over the age of 30-31 (Iginla and Kiprusoff included). Hopefully Feaster and King can get it, that this club is not a top or middle tier team, it is a bottom of the league team. The Flames need speed and youthful exuberance, not the same old-same old. The core of this team (minus Regher) has been together long enough for a Stanley Cup run to happen. It’s time to go in a different direction.

  • stallsky

    The game against the Jackets was a brutal win, and, tonight against the Islanders, the Flames recieved the result that they truely deserved. You put nothing in and you recieve nothing in return. The paperbag is wet and the Flames can not fight there way out of it! Calgary is older and thats fine, why not sit some of the older players in a rotational program. It might do the players good!!!! They did it during the Lanny years!!!!

  • I watched it all tonight on TV oh my not a happy camper was I, but Smiling Jack there behind the bench, he was livid a few times – especially when it looked like there should have been a goal or a penalty during that late powerplay. That could have changed things, but the lackluster play couldn’t.

    The Flames haven’t controlled the puck quite so well as I would have like to see – and that energy is waning a bit. Oh it was sooooo hopeful with that early goal.

    I hope Iggy gets some goal action in Ottawa 🙂

    Everyone have a wonderful, safe New Year’s weekend!

  • Franko J

    “We didn’t play smart in the third period.”
    “Junkyard dog mentality.”
    “Played too soft tonight. Not enough edge.”

    Brent Sutter, coach of the Calgary Flames, post game comments.

    For the past two seasons plus, I could honestly say I have heard those comments from him almost on a game to game basis.

    Eventhough I’m no fortune teller, I bet after tomorrow nights game against Ottawa, the same comments will be reiterated once again.

    Outworked and outplayed again tonight. Talent and skill from one player on the Islanders did the Flames in again tonight. Much like what happened with Tampa Bay. Where is Calgarys’ one talented and skilled forward to carry the team through on poorly played games?

    Everyone talks about Iginla trade rumors, how about Miikka Kiprusoff? If it wasn’t for him tonight the game could have been easily 5 or 6 goals for the NYI.

    Unfortunately, Blake Comeau, Roman Horak, and Paul Byron are not the answer right now. The youth is struggling right now for this team and are not providing any spark in past few games.

    When Calgary plays against teams who can skate this team reminds me of the “Snickers Commericial”, however, there is no snickers to grab and we continue to play slow and old.

    With exception to the 4th line, rest of the forwards were totaly absent again. Not too much to talk about with their play tonight.

    Losing Smith will hurt Calgary in the transition game. I don’t think Sarich can make a tape to tape pass out of the zone. TJ Brodie is struggling, playing with a slower dman. Butler, another glaring gaff tonight. Like the team Butlers’ play inconsistent. Jbo is slowly wearing down, and Scott Hannan has so much try, but he is playing on one leg. Too bad so many Flames don’t have the warrior mentality like Hannan.

    Tied for 11th in the Western Conference after tonight.
    Middling team with average results. Four wins in a row is a miracle for this team.

  • RexLibris

    I was kind of worried something like this might happen: a loss devoid of any emotion against a team that statistically should be beatable, but has enough talent to bury any team that doesn’t at least put forth a consistent effort.

    Anyway, for any fans writing the team off after this loss, wait to see the team’s response against Ottawa. If they soil the sheets against the Senators then bring on the painful analysis.

    On the bright side, the team is still very close to a post season berth. Wait and see.

  • RexLibris

    Man o man. As soon as I soften & think this team is showing more and maybe I am too hard, they stink out 2 games when they should be gaining momentum like a juggernaut. Maybe it’s because we got too close to being in theplayoffs, the ole fear of success syndrome. The games are not about to get easier & these kind of efforts will be rewarded with 3-4 goal losses.

  • Truculence

    Bad overall effort, but one thing that really sticks out to me is the fact that the Flames are a really easy team to play against. They lack any intimidating d-men outside of Sarich, and he is usually out there against bottom nine anyways. I mean, Butler, JBo, Brodie, and Smyth may all have great mobility and outlet passes, but other than Jay, they are not competent shut-down d-men, and none of them are overtly physical. Thus, when the other team comes out hitting and battling, our D are usually mired in chaos.

    I think the current trend to go with a mobile d-men corps bereft of a couple of stay-at-home hitters that can clear the crease is not a good strategy. This team should aggressively pursue Boychuk in the off-season, as he would address this need in the top-4.

  • beloch

    For the third consecutive year, the Flames’ playoff chances sunk with another stinker against the lowly Islanders. Albeit it’s in December this season instead of March.