POST GAME: Serious JuJu



So here we go again.

Tonight the Flames were facing a team playing in their third game in four nights, and their back-up in net. Granted the Chicago Blackhawks are a far superior opponent than the Avalanche were, afterall, they are still one of the few to lose in regulation. However, they were coming off back to back shoot-out losses and the goal for Calgary was still the same; dominate a weary opponent, bide your time and capitalize on mistakes without giving up any.

Easy right?

The Rundown

Normally, after what happened in the Flames last outing, it would be a no-brainer to say the team needed to come out with some jump and take it to Hawks early. Not so in this case because there was a high probability that they would get burned by a team like Chicago.

Add to the fact that despite this only being Ray Emery’s second start of the year, the Flames have historically had problems getting pucks past the tender, and you have the makings for a cautious, fairly low-event first period.

And that’s exactly what we got. No scoring in the first, a powerplay for each team, and a pretty good tilt between Jackman and Bollig. Calgary out-shot Chicago 10-6 but the Hawks took the slight edge in scoring chances 4-3.

In the second period, the tempo started to pick up. The Hawks came out swinging first, dominating the Flames for the first five minutes or so by out-chancing Calgary 3-0. But the Flames weathered the early storm and the game stayed tied. For the rest of the period you could see Calgary start to put the game plan in motion. Moving their feet and subsequently moving the play down the ice, they started to generate some quality chances of their own. In fact, despite the score remaining in a scoreless tie at the end of forty, Calgary out-chanced the Hawks 6-5 while out-shooting them again 10-6.

At some point during the second intermission, someone mocked the hockey Gods so badly, that this game was only going to result in one way. Whether Joel Quenville had a voodoo doll stashed somewhere, Emery sacrificed a live chicken beneath the depths of the Saddledome, or if Patrick Kane beat someone up because they tried to offer their two cents… I don’t know.

But the only way to describe what happened next was Bad JuJu!!

The third period began with a big push by the Flames, in fact, the first quarter of the period was all Calgary. Despite that it would be the Hawks to get on the board first, when Patrick "Mr. Cab Driver" Kane" would bat a bouncing puck at Kipper. Miikka got a piece of it with his pad as he came sliding across, but not enough as the puck would trickle into the net as Kipper hugged Shaw’s stick.

To the Flames credit, they did not let the goal get them down, nor did it stem their play; if anything it amplified it.

After the goal by Kane, the Flames threw wave after wave after wave at the Hawks. They were relentless in their assaults and had Chicago reeling by the midpoint of the period. Only no one told Emery. With every wave and every assault, Emery seemed to make more and more unlikely saves. Even the announcers said, "Glencross is going to need therapy after this game!" And it was true. Curtis alone was stopped on several chances that were almost certain goals, but with Quenville’s voodoo doll and the bad juju and all… Chicago kept their lead.

FINALLY!!! At 13:23 of the third, Dennis Wideman… with the patience of Job, the nerves of a sniper, and the forethought that they just couldn’t put the puck past Emery…. Waited, waited and then put the puck in off Brent Seabrook’s skate. Whatever, we’ll take it! 1-1. It was a power play goal against a team that was 23 for 23 on the road with their PK, and it circumvented the voodoo sh…tuff, so it was all good.

Then the improbable and unimaginable happened. The high flying, goal scoring, Jay Bouwmeester joined the rush late and snapped a beauty past Emery with only 35 seconds left in regulation. Like money in the bank, 2 points were coming the Flames way; no way this one could go south right?

Yeah, well Quenville bent over and picked up his doll that he had tossed down the hall after Wideman cheated fate, and gave the little guy a jab. Bang, Marian Hossa ties the game with 2.8 seconds left on the ticker, and all Flames fans thought their tickers had just stopped.

The Flames did everything right in the third. They out-shot Chicago 24-6, 20… yes TWENTY of those shots were scoring chances (so were all 6 of the Hawks shots). They went 1 for 2 on the PP, yet were still tied and the teams were going to overtime.

The extra frame didn’t help Chicago at all, but Emery did. The Flames dominated, and I mean Dominated the Hawks in OT, out-shooting them 3-1 and out-chancing them 6-0. Emery stopped all three and on 26 different occassions, the Hawks players blocked shots from Calgary. Despite a power play for the Flames, they were going to a shoot-out. It was a travesty, it was robbery, it was unfair. Whatever you wanna call it, that’s what it was. Even CBC’s Elliotte Friedman commented on twitter… 

The shoot-out was less exciting and quite frankly predictable. Even though it was nice to see Hudler and Cervenka join Tanguay as the trio, all three were unsuccessful, while ol’ "Mr. Cab Driver" was able to tuck the puck between Kipper’s pads for the win. Game over.

Why the Flames Lost…

Been over this… Picture says a thousand words!

Red Warrior

I’m going to go with a couple of guys tonight. Sharing the honour will be Mikael Backlund and Curtis Glencross.

In the first period, Calgary’s top 2 lines had zero shots; Backs had three on his own. Once again he was flying tonight and making things happen, creating chances in the offensive zone.

His line continued to dominate in the second as Stempniak taking the lead in shots taken by Flames players.

In the third, it was the Curtis Glencross show, unfortunately minus an appearence from Scoreface. In the waves of assaults thrown at Emery, it was Glencross that should have benefitted the most. He hit the crossbar, tipped two more directly at the net and could have two more from each side of the net. All denied by Emery and the iron.

Sum it up

This is going to be a tough one for the boys to take. It’s not going to be enough to say at least they took a point away from the Chicago Blackhawks.

They dominated, they deserved the win and they were denied. But hey, it is what it is and they have to move on from this.

I’m not going to take any pot-shots tonight or assign any blame. Kipper looked miles ahead of how he played two nights ago and the defense was pretty solid holding the Hawks to 6 shots each period and then shutting them down in OT.

Despite the loss, it was clearly the best game the Flames have played this season. Many fans commenting on just how entertaining the team looks. That’s a plus isn’t it?

And DID YOU SEE THAT CRAZY PASS CERVENKA MADE FROM BETWEEN HIS LEGS??? This guy has some sick skills with the puck.

They have two days to be pissed and then get over this one. Leave it in Calgary as they now embark on a three game road trip… they don’t need the extra bagage.

Things get under way in Detroit on Tuesday. Game time is 5:30 on SNET-W

  • internuncial

    I just tuned in for the third period and all I have to say is that I never saw that much good, exciting, fast, dangerous, all-around hockey goodness from the Flames in any game (any month?) the entire time Butter was coach. I know, I know, the Hawks were tired and all that, but the Flames have played some tired teams in the past 3 years and they NEVER dominated a period like that. I don’t know what Hartley has changed, but, like, holy sh!t.

    Sometime last night I stopped thinking about the draft lottery…

  • T&A4Flames

    I think what some people on here seem to think is that we have to tank to get McKinnon or Jones. I just don’t think that is the case. This is a strong draft. Regardless of how we play, if we continue to drag the bottom depths, selling off a few vets, and that includes Iggy and Kipper if need be, and then maybe trading up could allow us 3 top 15 picks. Every draft has guys that slip in the draft for whatever reason. Remember Grigorenko just last year.

    I think so far this team has shown that is has some guys ready to take the mantle; no longer do we ‘need’ Iggy to carry the mail. I don’t want him to go but I do want him to win a cup.

    Our own pick could be top 5 if this continues. Trade and acquire 3 1st rnd’s and hopefully trade up. Maybe Barkov or Monohan,, or Ristolainen all slip to us. My point is, for the 1st time in a long time we don’t have to sell all our assets, because we only have a few, and sink to last to build up our future.

    • T&A4Flames

      I agree, except getting 3 top picks out of the top fifteen.Teams willing to give up there first rounders for Iggy and Kipper will be top 6 looking for a final push.That will dictate 20 to 30th picks,and i,am not sure how you can turn those into the 15th and lower.

    • We don’t HAVE tTO tank to get Mckinnon or Jones and it is a deep draft, but if aren’t going to make the playoffs, and losing to Colorado shows the same inconsistencies of the last few years then it is time to give Iggy and Kipper a chance somewhere. I love the way this team is playing but it obviously won’t be enough unless we start winning every game. My fear is that this team does pull it together to tease fans once again – we don’t trade iggy and lose him for nothing and again do not draft in the top 10 – Baertshi is great but not a franchise player who can carry this team. To be hones Mckinnon is exactly what this team needs. If we can’t get in the top 6 of this conference by March then Feaster should cripple us. Play Irving every other game and move some players.

    • T&A4Flames

      Do you honestly think that moving Iggy and Kipper will put us in the bottom of the league for 5 years. Keeping Iggy and Kipper will very soon ensure we are bottom of the league. They’re both still good players but soon, like next year or 2, they will not be able to do the roles they are currently expected to do, if they already aren’t there.

      • T&A4Flames

        To expand on this.., we brag about how we didn’t suck like the oilers. At least we aren’t as bad as them etc. but outside of Calgary other teams and fans around the NHL just see two teams who both missed the playoffs for the last 3 years. Neither team was a contender or a factor in any way.

        During those 3 years of futility, the Oilers got Taylor Hall, Ryan Nugent Hopkins, and Yakupov. Players who will transform their team for the next 10 years, maybe longer.

        Getting 9th place is easily the worst spot to finish. A few exciting games down the stretch hoping to grind into the playoffs are soon forgotten. Elite superstar draft picks transform your team for decades.

    • T&A4Flames

      I certainly commend your passion and dedication to this team. We just disagree on what needs to be done and that is what this form is for. You make some great points.

  • T&A4Flames

    TO @Gingras34:

    While I agree somewhat with some of your points, and that we do have some good prospects like gaudreau, baertshi, granlund etc… these are all sitll the complementary pieces like the Loobs and Hrdinas that you need to win (and some of them may not work out), but can’t carry your franchise. As an organization, the Flames need to address who will be the next Nieuwendyk, the next Iggy. Yes, as you point out losing Iggy would mean losing a 30+ scorer, but past management has put this team in a position that it has to find the future franchise players and fast. Trading Nieuwendyk was tough on the fans, but we know the how that story ended.

    Sutter put a great team together for 08-09, he sacrificed our future but it was a team that would have been a contender if not for our entire top 4 D being injured. That was bad luck, but as a rule: “It takes 5 years to build a team and then you try like hell to keep it together for 2 or 3 years.” Sutter started in 04 and it ended in 09. Sad to say, but it is time for this team to move.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Every game the Flames win in regulation is a game that someone ahead of them in the standings doesn’t get any points from. So there is some benefit to a shortened season – no Eastern Conference games.

  • Im curious as to how good of a handle Flames marketing (i.e. Ken King) has on the tolerance the season seat holders have for anything resembling a scorched earth rebuild.

    And in context…. trading iggy and kipper at this very late point in there useful life cycles probably doesn’t fetch anything representing a home run in current roster players coming back. Which leads one to the observation that an accumulation of draft picks is the most potential value likely available in a trade.

    Given recent picks… would one entrust the replacement of iggy and kipper in the organizations asset chest to this group of scouts and management?

    Clearly its not difficult to grab a good player out of Seth Jones and the two moose heads. Beyond that….

  • People can say theFlames ahve played well all they want. If that’s the case, it’ll be itneresting to see how they make out when they play poorly.

    I’ve liked Hudler and Cervenka so far. I can live with Wideman too, like I’ve said before, he’s as advertised and his contract is too long, but I can live with that.

    Iginla’s been a selfish 1-dimensional floater for years now. He sure as hell doesn’t belong in the same conversation as Sakic and Yzerman.

    Iginla, Cammi and Kipper are all worth more at the deadline though. When are people going to realize it’s not 2004 anymore? Iginla era is over and he needs to be jettisoned so that the team can move on. New leadership is required.

    All 3 of those pieces would net decent returns at the deadline. And I’d consider JBo, but the potential in the return would have to be really worth it.

    Ramo steps in next year. Sure, it’s a gamble, but one worth taking.

    Backlund, Baertschi, Glencross, Stempniak, Hudler, Cervenka and Tanguay – I can live with all those guys. They can all skate, they all work hard and they can all contribute offensively or at least on possession.

    The team doesn’t tank into oblivion, but they also potentially receive some picks and/or prospects who start filling in the holes.

    No team wins the Cup without 3 or 4 superstars in their 20’s and frankly, I only care about winning the Cup and not 9th or 10th. The fact that some fans are happy with that shows just how long Calgary has been a loser club.

    Sorry, but Iginla isn’t leading us anywhere, especially next year at 36 years old. Get over it and move on.

    And while fans here are once again fawning over the current group of prospects as though we were the Pilers circa 1979, they’d best be advised to go back and read the press clippings and fan hype over the previous few generations of prospects. Not nearly as many make it to the NHL work out as well once in the NHL as people speculate.

    We have improved in that area, but some fans here act as though Baertschi is good for 40 this year and Gaudreau is a lock for a p/pg next season.

    Point is this: Calgary needs more young top end talent and the draft is the only way to do that and in order to get and quickly, they need to acquire more picks. 2013 is both high end and deep so the team had better not blow their last good chance at real change.

    Which they probably will.

    • ^ what he said!!

      People saying they don’t trust the scouts and draft picks outside the top 3 are risky. I agree! Simple solution. Get 29th or 30th. Then you are guaranteed top 3. Simple.

      I’d suggest that trading kipper anytime soon would do the trick. No kipper and this team is done. Iggy will ask out. Presto.

      People expecting Sven to be the new superstar Iggy should share what they are smoking with the rest of us.