POST-GAME: Lost in the Desert




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The Flames looked to go into the desert, find the magical oasis and leave with two points to finally put them over the .500 mark. Instead they ended up running out of gas, lost, and will be on the plane tending to some really bad dog bites.

Experimenting with yet another goaltender, Calgary seems quite content to try and make hay out of whatever the opposition gives then on any given night.

Tonight, Mike Smith didn’t give them a thing, and after clawing their way back against Dallas last night for the win, they simply had nothing left in their canteens once they got to the desert.

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The Rundown

The much anticipated debut of Danny Taylor didn’t start off too great. Just :41 seconds into the game Phoenix was on the board when former Flames fan favorite, David Moss, would center the puck right in front of Taylor. Calgary was too busy asking Mosser how he enjoyed the desert air to notice Keith Yandle, and just like that, it was 1-0 for the Yotes. Taylor didn’t have a chance, but I’m sure many fans were already shaking their heads.

That was it for the first. Phoenix out-shot Calgary 14-8, out-chanced them 8-5. The only brightspot was that the Flames kept it out of the net on the Coyotes PP, the only one of the period for either team.

The second period was even less eventful. Despite the Flames out-chancing the Yotes 5-1 and out-shooting them 13-10, they weren’t able to generate enough offense to get the puck past Mike Smith; even on their one and only PP of the period and game.

On we go to the third. So it’s going to be just like the final period against the Stars right? Dig deep, press hard and just will your team into coming from behind again for the win… Yaaaawn, nope.

:30 seconds into the third, Mikkel Boedker would put the Yotes up by two. Ekman-Larsson would shoot wide left of Taylor and the puck would come right back out to his left. It seemed that Danny tried to track the puck behind him but was looking over the wrong shoulder. By the time he realized the puck came back out the other side, it was on  Boedker’s stick. The good news, Taylor slid over in time to make the save; the bad news is he left his pad open, which Boedker banked the puck off of and into the net. Not a good goal for Taylor but he was playing well enough to excuse it in his first game, the team however, was not.

After that, the third can be summed up with, "the Flames just didn’t have anything left."

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At 9:27, Antoine Vermete would make it 3-0, and  that was all she wrote. To add insult to injury, Raffi Torres would make it 4-0 and David Moss would get his second assist of the game.

Why the Flames Lost…

Because despite generating 15 scoring chances, they couldn’t get anything passed Mike Smith. With 30 shots-on-goal you would think that some of them would leave you saying, "Ohhhh that was sooo close". Not tonight.

Because the team didn’t bring any energy with them from Dallas. They played the game and despite keeping the score close for two periods, they were pretty much playing from behind the whole night.

Because their special teams was a non-factor tonight. Despite keeping the Yotes offthe scoreboard via the power-play, the Flames only had one themselves and couldn’t capitalize on it. If Calgary could have tied the game with Ekman-Larsson in the box, we might have had a different game in the third (doubt it though).

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Because the Flames only managed to win 29 out of 73 face-offs. Part of the Flames success in generating chances and being able to score often, has come from controlling the play. Calgary had 41 hits on the night yet only created four takeaways from Phoenix. Calgary isn’t talented enough to win games when they are playing from behind in all categories.


In a game like this? I don’t think so.

I’ll give an honourable mention to Danny Taylor. He let in four but really only one was a stinker, and let’s face it, tonight the whole team stunk. Calgary’s best line was their fourth line… THEIR FOURTH LINE!!

That means their was no one tonight providing any spark, of any kind, for this team. That means no Firestarter.

Ex-Flame, David Moss, had 16:03 of ice-time, 2 assists, 1 hit and was 50% on his face-offs. He can have it!

Sum it Up

Yeah… Hartley should be upset about this one. It seems for every step forward this team takes, they are just as likely to stumble back.

The Flames may have been on the 2nd half of a back-to-back night, but it was still a pretty pathetic effort tonight. Calgary went .500 on this mini road trip, but finds themselves a game under overall. Worst of all, they burned a game-in-hand that they didn’t have the luxury of giving up.

Anyways, you can’t whine about it after the fact. Take your beatings from Hartley and then put this one behind you. The Flames face the Kings on Wednesday back in the Dome. LA is a team that is currently behind Calgary but now has a game-in-hand on us. Wednesday night should be considered yet another must win… but then again, aren’t they all for this team?

Gametime against the Kings is 8:00 pm. It’s the late one on TSN’s double header night, which means they’ll probably join the game in progress.. cause well, that’s what TSN does when the Flames are on.

If I’m Hartley, I give the start right back to Taylor. Can’t put this loss on him when his team can’t score even one for him. Give em another chance? Hell, why not.

  • RKD

    New coach, same results. Adding Cervenka, Hudler and Wideman may have uprgraded our skill in the top 6 but it hasn’t changed the team’s inconsistent play. Win one, lose one, world beaters one night and then basement dwellers the next.

    The top players always struggle, how many times does the Iggy-Cammy-Tangs line struggle. We keep hearing the same story again and again. Phoenix and Nashville are miles ahead of us because they play consistently and hate to lose.

    5-6-3, if 56 points is the cutoff the Flames would need to go 21-12-1 need to play .620 hockey just to squeak into 8th.

  • CDB

    One stinker? If that was Leland Irving people would be out with pitchforks. admittedley Taylor looked more stable and calm in net than irving but i count 3 goals that shouldn’t have happened. First goal is a shot from the goaline he kicked into the slot. 3rd goal loses track of the puck, still has time to gt across and then let’s a feeble shot along the ice leak through him. 4th goal I won’t even bother with.

    It’s comical Irving gets roasted for getting deked out of his jockstrap when guys are left all alone, but we make excuses for those goals. I guarantee you those goals tonight caused for more muttering than almost any of the ones Irving allowed, despite that fact Taylor did look better.

    Winnable game, but they were under tough circumstances. They still could have gotten a point out of it. This team gets out goaltended way too regularly, and they aren’t good enough to compensate. It’s simple. Ya they struggled to generate offence. They’re facing a tough defensive team, on the road, and the opposition is rested when they are not. That’s to be expected.

    If I was on that team I could live with giving up a goal when schwarz is in untouched, shoot outs by high end players are palpable too, so are shots from the slot. But those low grade chances cannot go in on the road in the second game of back to backs. Especially not on this team. Chances and shots were close. Under tough circumstances they need better in net to give them a chance to steal a point or two

  • BobB

    I didn’t see the game, but based on the highlights… those last three goals on Taylor were pretty ugly. Not sure how well he was tracking the puck during the game, but he sure wasn’t on those.

    The fourth he just moved out of the way of.

  • jeremywilhelm

    As much as I do it. Blaming the players in this is not worth it. This is a poorly constructed team up front. One NHL center on the roster. One. Good teams win with center depth. You can usually make due with weakness on the wings and shallow D depth or even some mediocre goaltending. This team is missing 2 of the most important parts of a good team. And until that is addressed, they are going absolutely nowhere.

    You add a center like ROR to the roster and you have a team like Phoenix, not great but good enough to challenge every team in the league.

    • jeremywilhelm

      Irving had 5 starts. Taylor has only had one.

      They are both not good. Unfortunately it looks like nothing is available this season. Hopefully Ramo is legit.

    • supra steve

      I think the reason that Taylor is being given a little more slack then Irving is because he actually beat Irv for the starting job in Abby. Irv was handed the job in Calgary, having only to out-perform Karlsson. Based upon merit, that job should have gone to Taylor to begin with (in a fair world). I was at the game this evening and was not surprised (or upset) that the Flames lost. 4 goals on approx 40 shots is not a horrible debut,though I’m hoping there is improvement ahead. A Ramo/Taylor (or MacD) tandem next year could be interesting.