POST GAME: You Can Put Lipstick on a Pig…

You would think with all the new players on both sides of the rosters, that we might be in for a different style of game that we’ve become so accustomed to when the Flames and the Wild. With guys like Parise and Suter on the Wild, they’re bound to be more open and less of the trap right? With the Flames now having a decent power-play, thanks to guys like Wideman and creative playmaking from the likes of Hudler and Cervenka; they’d be able to create more offensive chances for Calgary, right?

yaaaaaawwwwn.. Um No.

Instead it was the same ol’ game style that we always see from these two games, which meant it was inevitably going to come down the goaltending. Backstom and Irving. Who would stay awake alert enough to keep their team in it until the end?

Well, it went all the way to the shoot-out where Irving was just out of his element against the Wild’s shooters, and that would be the end of that.

The Rundown

It was pretty much the same story throughout all three periods and even overtime. Most of the play would stay between the two bluelines, creating very little in offensive chances.

As Kent mentioned in the FGD thread, you would have been hard pressed to find either team complete three consecutive passes.

When you are watching a game like that, it’s not hard to lose track of what’s happened… mostly because you’ve nodded off.

No worries, you didn’t miss anything in the first. Shots were 8-7 in favour of the Mild and they also held the edge in *ahem* scoring chances 4-3. Both teams had one powe-play each, but no one scored; so we went to the intermission knotted at zeros on the scoreboard. See, nothin’.

So that means after the first being a "feeling out" period for the teams, they would come out skating in the second, right? Wrong.

Second verse… same as the first… Both teams exchanged power-plays again, but no, no one scored on those ones either. Calgary didn’t exactly take it to the Wild, but they did out play them. However, even though they would double up the Wild’s chances (4-2), it would be Minnesota that would wake up their goal judge first. With a little under two minute left in the period, Jarome Iginla would cough up the puck trying to clear the zone along the boards. The puck would land on Devon Setoguchi’s stick right in front of Irving. As Irving tried to set for the shot, Setoguchi would throw the puck over to Kyle Broziak. Irving kicked over to cover the new shooter, but really over-played the slide. Brodziak would walk around Leland and put the puck in the empty net.

Sigh.. Shots were 10-10, but with the first major gaffe of the game, the Flames found themselve down 1-0.

The third looked promising when Minnesota would turn the puck over at the Flames blueline. Hudler would break in on the Wild with Cervenka on a 2 on 1, and after looking Roman off, would snipe a wrister past Backstrom to tie the game up.

Both teams would again exchange power-plays, but yeah, no one scored on those ones either. The Flames held the massive edge in scoring chances 2-1, Dominated the Wild with six shots to their five, and well got a goal for their efforts. So it was off to overtime to see if Alex Tanguay could end it in the first minute once again.

Nope. They might as well have gone right to the shootout, cause nothing happened; like absolutely nothing. One shot apiece and Kent gave the home town boys a scoring chance on their shot… Probably because the remote slipped out of his hand and the channel changed while the Flames were in the offensive zone, so he thought, "What the Hell.."

As it turned out the shootout was over before it started as well. Irving faced Parise and Koivu as his first two shooters and he might as well have been watching from the bench. Like someone said on twitter, if there isn’t a book on Leland Irving yet, Parise and Koivu just wrote it.

Why the Flames Lost…

Because Leland Irving was fed to the wolves, otherwise known as Parise and Koivu, and Backstrom faced Blair Jones, Jiri Hudler and Alex Tanguay. 

That’s not a knock against Tangs or Hudler either. Alex is historically the Flames best shooter and should be out there every shootout. Hudler seems to have take the reigns of this team and is doing everything and more that was expected of him.

We heard before he got here that Jiri was good on the shootout and he sure looked like it with the move he put on Backstrom.

But Blair Jones??? Haven’t we seen this show before? Hartley said that Blair has been the best shooter for the team in practice. Practice? We talking about practice now? With all due respect for Hartley and everyone I’m about to slam but… He’s relying on Blair Jones in a game situation to go out under those circumstances because he scores against Leland Irving, Danny Taylor and hell, even Kipper… in practice? o_O

Firestarter

Gonna have to go back to Hudler tonight.

He was the only guy that scored for the Flames in the game, and he was the only guyt that scored for the Flames in the shootout.

Leland played way better tonight than he did against Vancouver, I’ll give him that, but there is no mistaking just how unprepared he is when it comes to the shootout, and that was the decider tonight.

Hudler’s goal in the third was remenicient of Iggy coming down the wing and putting it home with the laser-like wrist shot. The way he looked off Cervenka, freezing Backstrom and putting the puck right where he wanted, is what he has been doing since he got here. Leading by example.

Which takes us back to his shootout goal. Line it up, pulled a sick move and scored when the team needed him to do so. No one else on the team could do that tonight.

Sum it Up

This team is going to go through a lot of uncertainity over thenext few days… maybe as soon as tomorrow.

With the addition of Joey McDonald off waivers, there are just way more questions than answers right now. Is Kipper’s injury more sever than we know? Is there a trade in the works now that the Flames have 4 goalies and 8 defensemen on the roster? They are now at 49 contracts, something Feaster and Weisbrod were adamantly against, so obviously there is going to be movement of some kind.

Unfortunately for Irving (depending what side of the #PlayIrv fence you’re on), since he has already cleared waivers, he seems the likely choice to be sent to Abby. Is that fair given that Danny Taylor hasn’t even played yet? Or.. Is there really no danger of someone claiming Taylor if the put him on waivers?

Feaster has a news conference tomorrow at 10:00 am, so I’m sure many of us will be tuning in with bated breath.

In the end, I still can’t get over the use of Blair Jones (sorry BoL) tonight in the shootout. I’m still shaking my head over it and you just have to wonder what the hell is going on with this team. Going back to the beginning of this article, with different personnel, you really expect to see this team address its issues in a different manner than we have seen over the last few years; yet we don’t.

Stop putting lipstick on the pig! She ain’t pretty, and we’re getting tired of the smell!

  • Avalain

    If Blair Jones was the best in practice then I fully support him doing the shootout. Putting him first is also smart because it’s the generally the position with the least pressure attached to it.

    Honestly, who would you want to do the shootout instead? Iginla? I mean, I can see a case for putting Baertschi or Backlund in if they weren’t injured. But they are.

    Realistically, the only other people I can possibly see choosing are Cervenka or Stempniak. Ok, or maybe Brodie. If Jones is better than any of them in the shootout during practice then why would you not choose him?

  • Avalain

    I think that Iginla was terrible. Why was he on the same line as Hudler and Cervenka. Its like going to a three legged race for teenagers and pairing the best athlete with a 90 year old who needs a walker. Iginla is no longer one of the top three forwards on the team, but because of the Flames so called “Meritocracy” in the organization he is still awarded the top line spot on the team.

    Irving played well, and for everybody who is criticizing his shootout performance has obviously never had somebody with skill come in and make moves like those. I guess if Kiprusoff was in net they would have won the shootout; no wait that cant be right because he has not won more than a quarter of his shootouts in the last few years.

    But at least we have MacDonald to come to the rescue. (as an aside, thank you to whomever made the comment that the move was a mistake and that the Feast had thought he was making an order for burgers and fries. Hilarious, and quite sadly probably true). MacDonald had good numbers last year in Detroit with Lidstrom playing 35 minutes a night in front of him. I think that if the Flames are expecting any sort of saviour from MacDonald they should have convinced Lidstrom to come out of retirement first.

    Terrible move and a stupid decision by the organization. But at least they have shown themselves to be consistent. Two steps forward, and two steps back. But at least there is the chance that in the last 38 games we can have lightning strike in a bottle and have everything come together perfectly so that we can win that esteemed Holy grail of sports and clinch the 8th and final playoff spot (losing out in four straight, but playoff results are not important, only getting in is).

  • T&A4Flames

    “As Craig Simpson said at a fundraiser this year, there is no organization in more of a mess and in more denial than the Flames.”

    Yea, but, Simpson is an arrogant, ex-Oiler ass! Although he may be right… this time. I still don’t like him.

  • What was Hartley doing with the lines in the first and second?

    To me it looks like Hartley is trying to get Iginla away from tougher match-ups. Tanguay’s line saw Parise and Koivu for most of the night until the the third period.

    It means Hartley is paying attention to Jarome’s struggles and is starting to realize he probably doesn’t have a true PvP option.

  • Vintage Flame

    I think Irv played well & deserved to continue. Was right beside him at the game & I know you have goalie experience. From what I saw. When Parise & Koivu just started to skate Irv went way out of the net. That gave both very good experienced NHL shooters lots of time to not decide whether to shoot or deke, but how they were going to deke him. These guys come down so fast the few seconds they take to size up the situation & decide what they are going to do, impacts execution dramatically. Irv needs to just wait those few seconds before skating out & try to hide his stratedgy as long as possible. Thats like a guy with showing his Ace King face up before the flop. He’ll learn, I like Irv & really would like to see him do well.

    Last night I did not see any of Hartleys tempo game, biggest problem is they werent executing the little things. When that happens they revert back to what they have been brainwashed these last several years & that’s defaulting to Sutter hockey. Not sure what happened on that plane from Columbus to Vanc but this is not the same team I was starting to get excited about with an actual transition game & attacking the opposition in waves. Last night was just a reminder of why I have been advocating Flames cleansing themselves of the old core & let Hartley & Feaster start fresh building a new exciting core. JMO

  • Vintage Flame

    Really?! More than the Yotes, Leafs, Blue Jackets, Islanders, Stars, Capitals, Panthers??…

    I think Craig Simpson’s hair gel is seeping into his brain…

    • RexLibris

      @backburner – I’m guessing Simpson wasn’t saying the Flames are the worst team now. But in terms of the team on the ice + prospects in the system + contract mess (can you say no trade clause) + draft picks its hard to argue.

      Sure the Isles suck and the Jackets are horrendous. But the Jackets have ELITE draft picks and are likely due to get another this year.

      The teams you mentioned aren’t worse than us in terms of the team going out on the ice right now, but as an organization they probably are in better shape. We have ZERO elite prospects. NONE. And we are trying to get 9-10th place so we can lock up another middling non-elite pick.

  • Vintage Flame

    Sorry, that was meant in response to:

    “As Craig Simpson said at a fundraiser this year, there is no organization in more of a mess and in more denial than the Flames.”

    I should probabley do some work now…