POST GAME: Buried Alive



So where do we begin with this tonight?

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Justin mentioned at the top of the FGD, that the Flames 1-2-1 didn’t look too fancy. Well then what does a 1-3-1 record look like?

"Tonight, Calgary will welcome the Colorado Avalanche to the ‘Dome. The Avs are on the second game of a back-to-back (losing 3-0 last night to Vancouver in the rainy city), and are currently sporting a depleted roster – meaning that tonight is a great opportunity for the Flames to pick up two points."

Did we mention that the Av’s were going to go this one without Ryan O’Reilly, Gabriel Landeskog, Steve Downie, and… uhh.. Oh yeah! Their backup in net!

The Rundown

The first period started as we had all hoped and predicted. Calgary came out skating, looking to take advantage of an Avalanche team that was playing its third game in four nights; while the Flames spent the last four days resting and practicing. (We talkin’ about practice? Already)

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Keeping the game at a high tempo in order to allow your opponent to run out of gas early is a pretty good game plan as long as you don’t commit any bonehead plays and cough up a bad goal. Well that’s just what Calgary did, control the play and bide their time while J.S. Giguere made some timely saves to keep his team in it.

As it turned out, at 7:23, Colorado would be the first team to blink when Matt Hunwick had his pass picked off by Jiri Hudler. The new Flame would deliver a nifty pass over to Matt Stajan for the one-timer. However as we all know, Matty Franchise doesn’t scor that often, but he did get the shot off fast enough that Giguere had to kick out the rebound back to Hudler, who would then put the sharp angled shot in the back of the net.

Tim Jackman had the chance to double the lead with a little over three minutes left with a fantastic tip off of a Chris Butler shot. The deflection cleanly beat Giguere, but not the post behind him. The missed opportuity would prove costly as the Av’s would tie it up at the 19:13 mark after Chris Butler would throw a blind pass right on the stick of John Mitchell; who would beat Kipper with a snap shot on the far side. One both Kipper an Butler would like to have back.

Not dwelling on a late tying goal, the Flames quickly re-established the lead at 1:49 of the second period. Brodie would start the play behind his own net with a quick dish to Stajan. Matty would then hit Hudler with the stretch pass. Then in one of the nicest tic-tac-toe plays we’ve seen in the Dome, the puck would go from Hudler to Cervenka, back to a trailing Stajan and finally finished off by Hudler. Flames fans were feeling pretty good at that point.

Unfortunately the Av’s would answer back 1:41 later, when P.A. Parenteau would lob a backhand towards Kipper that somehow found its way through his pads. A broken play behind the Flames net at 16:58, with Stajan dancing a do-se-do around Cody McLeod results in the puck finding its way to a wide open Mitchell, and then quickly behind Kipper. 3-2 for the refugees.

This time it was the Flames turn to score a late one to tie up the game. Alex Tanguay, still needing just one assist to reach 500, would instead register his 3rd goal of the season. Again, the series was set up by some nice passing, and again it was Hudler making it count when he touched the puck. So at the end of two, we were right back where we started, all tied up. The Flames had the only PP of the period, and it was the first of the game as well. It wasn’t overly productive for the team with the 4th best in the league, so we’ll just move on.

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The third period was the one where the Flames should have really put this one to bed. The Av’s should have been gassed and with the four days rest, Calgary should have had a lot left in the tank. Alas, would’ve, could’ve, should have… didn’t.

It’s not like they didn’t try, but somebody forgot to tell Giggy that jig was up and it was time to end this thing. Shots from the point weren’t finding their way, and Giguere turned away Mikael Backlund when he and the Flames would bring the play in tight as well. In the end, it was the Flames caught off guard when the Avalanche occured with less than three minutes left in the game.

At 17:20, Paul Stastny would score on the power play before Giordano even had the chance to sit down after tripping Matt Duchene. Stealing the puck behind Kipper, he would turn and wrap it around, sliding the puck under Miikka’s left pad. Then, at 18:49, Stastny would score again as picks up the puck off a Wideman blocked shot, and fire it past an out of position Kiprusoff. Not Kipper’s fault, but it didn’t provide an excuse for his performance tonight either. The icing on the cake came at 19:12, with P.A. Parenteau potting his second of the night into the empty net. We won’t fault Kipper on that one either.

Why the Flames Lost…

There are a number of reasons why Calgary lost this one. They didn’t capitalize on a lot of the chances they got. Yes they scored two incredibly nice highlight reel goals, but that’s not what wins hockey games.

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An unlucky bounce for Jackman (Sound familiar?) and some missed chances by Backlund. If those go the other way, the Av’s cave and are licking their wounds exhausted right now. But, the Flames also took Colorado for granted and the fact that they were facing a struggling team and their back up.

Perhaps the four days off after the win over the Oilers was too long and the team lost that excitement. Maybe it was another game where they did great with the secondary scoring while the top line was no where to be found. Honestly tonight, it was hard to tell who the #1 line was. Another game with no goals from Iginla or Cammalleri. Tanguay got on the board, but it was while on the ice with Hudler.

Then there was Kipper. Needless to say it was not his best effort out there. While I’m not going to blame him for the empty netter, of the other five, he was easily at fault for at least three of them. Kipper has looked shaky to start this season and many of us are getting less vocal about his ability to pull it together sooner rather than later.

Although the buck may stop with Kiprusoff, the blame doesn’t;  Chris Butler and Cory Sarich can stand right beside him. Hell, they might as well, cause they were doing a good job of standing around during the game. Honourable mention goes to Dennis Wideman too. While he was generating a lot of chances in the offensive zone, he also generated a few in his own.

Red Warrior

Not much of a stretch to realize that Jiri Hudler was the best on the ice tonight for the home team. He got the ball rolling and then got the team back in the game when they needed it. Jiri is showing a lot of leadership on this line, pulling it together and making it seem like the trio has been playing together for over 20 games, rather than 2. What makes it more impressive is that one guy is a guy who can’t speak english (although that’s not an issue for Jiri) and has never played in the NHL… and the other guy is Matt Stajan!

He might have this honour for awhile.

Sum It Up

Time is ticking on the Flames and the sand is going to start running quicker and quicker in the hour glass. This was supposed to be an easy two points, but then again nothing is ever easy for this team.

It doesn’t get any easier as the Flames get ready for a hellacious month of February, where they face the Canucks, Blues, Kings, Wings… the Stars twice and the Wild three times. Oh to kick it all off, they get the Blackhawks this Saturday.

Hope for the best people.. and maybe say a prayer or two. Unless your prayers include names like Jones or McKinnon, then you just shut up!

See ya Saturday, 8:00 p.m. MST on HNiC.

    • Kevin R

      Pay no attention to this guy, we have retarded flames trolls at oilernation too… I think he forgets about the fact that the flames have been competitive last couple years while we’ve been without a doubt the worst team in the NHL since 2006! But I do think you guys need to rebuild! Not to the point we’ve done up here by being a league joke for years on end, but by trading guys like iggy, kipper, cammi for future guys

  • Oilertown

    Arg, this is annoying. Fighting amongst ourselves with Oiler fans calling us Bub. Seriously?

    I think the point is that I would trade our entire team for the Oilers team 100 times out of 100. As I pointed out, even with Sidney Crosby and Malkin, the Penguins got 29th place once more time so making fun of them for not being good yet is extremely premature…

    We just don’t know what it looks like to have 18 year olds playing on our team. Even generational superstars take time to develop…. The annoying thing from Oiler fans is that they think they were so smart and so strategic. The fact is, they got to this point by a combination of complete incompetence, pure fluek, accident, being shunned by every UFA, a general miserable failure and 5 years of complete suckery.

    Now is our chance to try something similar with less pain, on a quicker path, with an organized and coherent plan. Our core is old, and hopefully tradable. A half season is perfect to get a lotto pick without a full season of pain. We just need to commit to it.

    I think fans would support it. A lot more than 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th, 9th.

    • Oilertown

      Actually, now that the early returns are starting to come in, the concept of a scorched earth rebuild isn’t just about “complete incompetence, pure fluke, accident, and being shunned by every UFA(except, I might add, Sheldon Souray and Nik Khabibulan)”. I will concede being a general miserable failure and only 3 years of complete suckery (the first 2 years after the cup run were merely incomplete suckery). But to rebuild the way the Oilers have takes patience and the courage that seems to lacking in Flames leadership:you do have to be bad for a while, not make premature free agent moves and when you move (a la Justin Schulz) be strategic and decisive. The idea is, if you build a promising future, useful free agents will come, not the other way around. (see Suter and Parise signing in Minny, an up and comer, not Detroit, who pursued them just as vigorously). Yeah, it looks easy (just suck), and the complete returns aren’t in. But Oilertown was right – the Eberle-Hall-RNH gave as good as it got against the Thorton line last night (and are collective over 30 years younger).

      • Oilertown

        I don’t think we need a scorched earth policy. the fact is Nathan Mckinnon is what this team needs… The draft is deep, we get a couple first round picks in trades, use them to move up and we can turn things around quickly. Czervenka, Backlund, Mckinnon, Reinhart gives us some stability at centre. It’s all about good drafting – ala baertshi. Ottawa is a prime example… only had a couple bad years. Snagged Karlsson at something lie 20th overall – proves you don’t HAVE to finish last 4 years in a row to acquire top end talent. just have to have decent scouts.

        • Oilertown

          You don’t have to but it sure helps. A lot of drafting after the top five or so seems to be luck -( Eberle was a real break for the Oilers at 22 overall) , real hard to do it consistently and get enough elite level talent to turn a franchise with a shallow talent pool around. Once you get elite talent (and I’m talking Sedin elite,Datsyuk Zetterberg elite not Skinner elite) it seems to be a lot easier to attract the higher level UFAs). Look at Vancouver, they haven’t drafted and developed a roster player since 2005 and have been dining out on the Sedins and UFAs for 5 years now. It doesn’t seem realistic to hope your scouts pull a rabbit out of the hat every year. Ergo:Total suckage for at least thee years.Not easy to stomach for sure, but more reliable. Only a Canadian market like Edmonton (and Calgary) is solid enough to attempt it.

          • Obviously Calgary is a fair case for a total rebuild but you still need good drafting… getting quality in later rounds like gaudreau, (might not make the show, but if he does it will be as a star) is just as important. Hartikainen will be an important piece for the Oil, so far a better turn out than first round Pajaarvi. Failed rebuilds are all about drafting. Look at some of Columbus’ and Panthers’ picks over the years… some real head scrathcers… I like Feaster’s mandate of always taking the best player available. Jankowski could be a prime example of the type of pick that could speed up our rebuild.

      • Sorry Schultz pisses me off… via what erixon did to us.

        What was strategic about grabbing Schultz? Nothing, he }|*}! his team over instead of atleast letting himself get traded.

        All Edmonton had to do was backup the dump truck filled with money and get the young lads to tell him how much a$$ he would get going out with them to the bars.

        Just like trading erixon wasn’t any amazing feat…

        • Oilertown

          Not even close Ana screwed up by not signing him when they should have hell what did they have 4 yrs to do it. Schultz came to the team he wanted to play for you know the one with a nice present and great future. Every team in the league offered him the same contract. So try again sunshine.

          • Oilertown

            I like how you side stepped the main point to try and prove you are right, we call that circular arguing…

            MAIN POINT WAS it wasn’t some brilliant move all they did was sign a UFA!!
            As you even said “every team offered him the same contract” (which you or I would never know) so no it wasn’t some amazing move. If fact I would argue bringing in someone like Cervenka took a lot more “thinking outside the box”.
            finding someone not that well known from the chek league and bringing him to North America.

          • Oilertown

            Lol most sought after player outside the NHL and you don’t think every team offered him max dollars that’s just pure comedy. Something like Cervenka who was very well known as the Oil were gonna sign him 2 or 3 years ago to play with Hemmer. They took a pass on him because he was and is overrated. Him and Hudler are playing on something of a high right now and will come crashing back to earth I expect 30-40 points combined between them this year.

          • Kevin R

            I guess I think a bit more of Hudler and Czervenka than you do. Both brilliant moves… any time you can get a player bred in the Detroit system jump on it! – I’d take Filpula, Helm, anyone from Det. Czervenka is absolutely zero risk.

            I’ll put $20 on 40?

          • loudogYYC

            Wow man, you’re so Edmontonan I can almost smell the industrial waste in your posts. If I could see you, I’d crack my beer open with the protuberant tooth I imagine you have. Good to have you here 🙂

            In all seriousness though, you don’t win cups with wing depth and youth. Every Stanley Cup winner has a solid 1C, 2C and 3C.

            Centre is the most important position in hockey and when you guys got started on your draft streak, you picked an all-out, injury prone LW that gets hurt during a pre game skate and by a slow-as-molasses Sarich. Meantime Chiarelli quietly thanked you and picked the centreman that will allow him to trade Krejci in a year in order to fill any hole they may have and look brilliant while he’s at it.

            I like the talent on your team, I really do. I just see you guys running into cap trouble before you’re even good enough to make it to a conference final.

    • Oilertown

      Wait till Hudler and Cervanka come down off the high there playing on it won’t be so fun anymore. Hemsky for Iggy you guys get a player that has more productive yrs left and we get a player that helps fill some size on our second line. Sounds like a fair trade all around.

      • Oilertown

        You don’t actually think that’s a possibility do you? Iginla+Tanguay+Butler could possibly snag us something like simmonds+Coburn+1st rnd. Hemsky is no help to anyone when he is injured half of every season.

        • Oilertown

          Hemsky is absolutley healthy finnaly after the Reguer days.
          And if you think Iggy who is on his last maybe 2 good years and a washed up Tanguay and whoever the heck Butler is is worth that much your in dreamland.

          • Kevin R

            You & Doug the Goof should just [email protected]#* off please. All I hear from trolls like you clowns is how good your team is & will be. How many more top 5 picks will you need to win a Cup or lets make it simpler, win a round in the playoffs? With how many years of picking from the best position of any team, why does your AHL team suck so badly? Yes your team is loaded with 3 1st overalls in a row, but what about after those picks? Well I guess PMS is going back down to lead the Barons to the playoffs eh. You guys have licked the dregs for so long, you actually believe your dregs taste better than ours now. Now please just go lick the curb up in Edmonpuke.

          • Kevin R

            Congrats they won a game. Are they currently in a playoff spot in the standings? Gee, why not? Eberle was a great pick, I love that kids game. The other guys havent proven anything and may or may not make the rosters of other teams in the league. We have a gem in the name of Gaudreau that just might be our Eberle version. At sometime & some point every dog gets a bone. I apologize for being cranky I know the more you guys troll the probabilty big karma is going to come back & bite you in the a$$. Would hate to see Nugy boy have a Hemsky shoulder & miss more games than he plays each year. You know, stuff like that. So fire away.

    • Oilertown

      Definitely I meant we were put in a position Nd did what we had to do.. But our drafting may have been what made us big time win that deal. But as w you very well know this tale won’t be told till erixon makes it or looses it and same with the prospects we drafted.

      As of this second though WIN!!!

  • Oilertown

    Also hmm after those picks would that be Eberle Petry Marincin Klefbom Reider and many others. What do you guys have to show for missing the playoffs the last what 3 years running outside of Sven who should be in the AHL for a while till he learns how to not get killed out there.

  • Kevin R

    It should be obvious to everyone that we need to rebuild. Look at the Western Conference. The Central is insane. Minnie, Edmonton improved in the northwest, and dallas improved in the southeast. The west is a very tough conference and to be honest Colorado is one of the worst teams. On the second game of their back to back we had to beat Colorado, and we didn’t. This loss revealed a lot about where the Flames really are. Even the most “never say die” fans (and I am one of them – I cheer for us to win until we are mathematically out) have to admit that with mckinnon and jones etc. this is a prime year to finish at the bottom.

  • seve927

    I finally got a chance to watch the Colorado game this morning. Really people, it wasn’t a bad game. I think this team is playing the best I’ve seen them in recent memory. Kipper was not at all as bad as made out to be. I only count the second and fourth as softies. Guess what? Soft goals happen on good goaltenders. Does anyone remember the Devils at the ‘Dome last year? Did anyone think Brodeur had another game left in him? Who was in the Stanley Cup Final again? I thought Kipper looked fine, and still have no reason to believe he won’t rebound.

    A few thoughts on the other comments that are swirling around – like how sucking automatically gets you a team changing player, trying to win means you’ve got your head in the sand, Feaster won’t admit that this isn’t a contender…

    First, sucking doesn’t guarantee you a high pick. Second, a high pick doesn’t guarantee you a good player. Third, there are very few individual good players that can turn a team around on his own. Like one every 20 years or so. So if sucking is your path to dominance, be prepared for 20 years of it or so with no results. I was a season ticket holder back in the Young Guns days. Nothing good ever came of that. I was there when we went through 8 goaltenders in one season. Surely enough to garner a first overall right? Nope, came up with Freddy Brathwaite, and our 8th string goaltender won us enough 1-0 games to keep from getting a top pick again. It takes some luck to suck too.

    On the other hand, if your path to success is drafting well, bringing in good players with good attitudes to fill needs. I like that. That sounds like a reasonable approach.

    I don’t think that a responsible approach is to trade away all veteran players so that your 19 and 20 year olds have to be able to step in and play whether they’re ready or not. Trade Iginla? I’ve got no problem with that. I don’t even really consider him a part of the core anymore. But understand that may go against your plan of getting a first overall. There are a lot of good players on this roster.

    Oh yeah, and the 1-3-1 start meaning we have to play like a 105 point team the rest of the way? Just look at how that changes if you go on a 3 game winning streak. If you’re going to point out how far a loss puts you back, then you have to understand that each win gains the same amount back. You have to beat out 7 other teams. If you can’t win more than 1 of every 5 games, I don’t think anyone thinks you can make the playoffs.

    That’s all I got for now. Thanks for listening.

  • T&A4Flames

    “…who should be in the AHL for a while till he learns how to not get killed out there.”

    Just like Hall & RNH…you tool. Hall has no idea how to protect himself.