POST-GAME: Kings of Wishful Thinking

Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

Tonight your Calgary Flames looked to reach the .500 mark. It’s the eighth time they’ve attempted the feat, succeeding once. In fact they were above the mark for a short period until this road trip

After having their dignity, not to mention their you-know-what’s handed to them from their former coach, GM, and his merry band of brothers, Calgary would try once again to beat the Kings.

The Rundown

Not sure how the boys started out on Saturday as I was fortunate enough to miss the first two periods. But in the first five minutes tonight, they came out with something to prove. Out-hitting, shooting and dominating the face-off circle.

Then at 5:09, Mark Giordano took a penalty for hooking. With LA’s PP not being enough of a threat, Calgary found it to be unnecessary to cover Dustin Brown as he hung out chatting with Joey MacDonald, telling him how he was about to make it 1-0 for the Kings. At 5:39, he did just that and it was. Five minutes later, Jarrett Stoll would make it 2-0 when he too was left open in the high slot.

Calgary managed to find a tourniquet for the rest of the period. In fact, on paper they were the better team. They led in shots (8-7), hits (16-10) and even in the face-off circle (10-5). They out-chanced the Kings 5-3 in the first, but LA got two of those three passed MacDonald and that’s why they ended the frame up by a deuce.

Don’t worry "Joey, we’re not angry anymore…"

Calgary came out in the second hitting some more. The Kings were getting away with some liberties. When the Flames finally got another PP 5 mins in, more fortunate bounces and the Flames inability to penetrate the PK, left Calgary 0 for 2.

After the successful kill, the Kings went for the kill. For about two mins straight the Flames staved off deepening the hole they were in, largely in part to some big saves from MacDonald.

That set the stage for the rest of the period as the Kings ran rough-shot over the Flames for the remainder of the second.

"This period is all Kings. Chances are 6-1. Flames are lucky to still be in it at this point."

The Kings would add one more chance to that total, and as Kent said… Calgary was lucky to still be in this game; figuratively speaking.

The Flames would start the third with a glorious opportunity to get back in the game. Penalties to Mike Richards and Drew Doughty would give Calgary a 27 second 5 on 3. However, their best chance would come off a Matt Stajan post with only seconds remaining in Doughty’s penalty.

Through the first half of the third, the Kings didn’t have a single scoring chance, while the Flames had five and still couldn’t buy a goal to get back in this thing. It was obvious the Kings were content to just run this one out.

With five left in the game, it would be Mikael Backlund to get the Flames on the board. First dishing a nifty backhand pass to Alex Tanguay, he would circle around and take the pass back, just over the blueline. Backlund would then dangle his way around Alec Martinez and snap the puck low passed the far side of Quick. If nothing, it was good to see Backs picking up where he left off before getting injured.

The boost wouldn’t be enough though as Dustin Brown would ice it for the Kings in the empty net. The Flames put the needed effort in for the third period, out-shooting (9-7) and out-chancing (6-0) LA, but it still wasn’t good enough as the Kings slowly choked them out.

Why the Flames Lost…

Because despite dominating LA in almost every category, they missed on the scoreboard; and that’s ultimately where it matters most.

They came out and tried to beat the Kings at their own game. Unfortunately they just didn’t seem to be able to finish on their chances, while the Kings were able to capitalize on two of their first three.


The Flames were out-scored 12-3 on this California roadtrip, so I’m not sure anyone is really igniting anything on this team right now.

That being said, there were two guys that gave it a good shot, and surprise, surprise, the effort came from the young guys on the squad.

TJ Brodie played 22:47 while on the top pairing with Jay Bouwmeester. And he didn’t look a bit out of place. He even set up Matt Stajan with a gorgeous pass while the Flames were on the PP early in the third. Stajan’s shot would have gotten Calgary back into the game, but like I said, it wasn’t the night for Flames bounces and  Matty hit the post.

Mikael Backlund did get on the board. Scoring his fourth goal (first since coming back from injury), Mikis was all over the ice, picking up right where he left off prior to getting hurt.

He logged 17:29 of ice-time and was 70% in the face-off circle

A solid effort by the two young guns! (*just for BoL)

Sum it up

Tonight was a much better effort from your Flames against the defending Stanley Cup Champs. They still fell short, but at least they weren’t dummied all over the place, and they can leave the ice with their heads held somewhat high.

As for the vets on the team, the concensus in the thread is that it was a pretty uninspired effort from the core. For the most part I would have to agree, though I felt that Tanguay had a solid third period.

Undoubtedly this is going to be seen as the nail in the Flames season. It’s going to enrage the fanbase and add even more fuel to the Iggy trade talks. Is it warranted? Does one have anything to do with the other, at this point?

Well the answer to all of it is a resounding yes. It is all connected and you can’t discuss one area without all the other factors coming into the conversation.

Iginla’s agent, Don Meehan, has said there has been no discussion between Iggy and the Flames about an extension. Does that mean it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable happens?

At the game tonight, there were scouts from the Canucks, Rangers, Blues, Ducks, Sabres, Preds, Av’s, Pens, Lightning and two from the Bruins. How many were there trying to find out something on Jarome?

The Flames are now going to have to win 17 of their last 24 games to reach that projected 55 pt total if they have any hope of making the post season.

How confident are you?

One Final Thought…

Remember when Lee Stempniak played for the Flames? What ever happened to that guy?

  • jeremywilhelm

    To Iginla’s credit. He was trying. But as soon as he got the puck two Kings would literally grab hold of him in the Offensive zone with no calls against. It was annoying to watch.

    • Chris Fairfield

      I lost track of how many times I saw either Brown holding Iggy’s stick, Doughty crosschecking or bulldogging, and constantly, no call. In California, I would not expect any different. The California road trip was the proverbial nail in the coffin and it is frustrating to watch this, yet I still do. As painful as it is to say, it is time to put emotions aside and do what is best for this team now, the next few days will be interesting, at least I am hoping so.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Is it just me or is the REFFING TERRIBLE thia year??
    Every game i seem to watch has many garbage calls/no calls.

    Feels like the NFL replacement refs came tothe NHL

  • Feaster is the laughing stock of the NHL right now. I can’t shake the feeling that if he decides to move “assests” come the deadline, he will be fleeced hard. CALGARY TRADES GLENCROSS/IGINLA/ BOUMEESTER FOR STEVE MASON/ 3rd ROUND PICK AND A PAIR OF FLIP FLOPS! Try and digest that for a moment, because Gm Peter Griffin is clever enough to make it happen

  • McRib

    I have said this in the past but this shortened season is a great chance for the Flames to finally clean house. Admittedly, there is big question mark over whether Flames management and ownership have the skills to make real hockey trades. On this score, I’m doubtful Feaster is the man (he’ll never live down the ROR offer sheet)! Worse yet ownership seems paralyzed. Murray Edwards looks to be calling the shots but does this guy know anything about hockey? If he does then he should be giving Feaster the green light to move Iginla, Bouwmeester, Kipper, Stempniak, Cammalleri, Giordano, etc… From what I understand Iginla doesn’t own the team. Yes he holds the hammer but so what, just tell him he has to go (albeit to a real cup contender).

    And since we have reached mid-way of the season, it’s time to give my mid-season grades, although I won’t be giving out letters, just simple pass or fails.

    Pass: Backlund, Brodie, Hudler, Bouwmeester, Stempniak and Stajan (believe or not!)
    Fail: The rest of the team although I’m admittedly on the fence with Glencross, Wideman and Tanguay (I guess I expected more from these three)

  • McRib

    Nate McKinnon! Nate McKinnon!

    A few more losses and we’ll have er locked up. Columbus is on a hot streak… Colorado has their injured players back. Just gotta make sure we somehow lose to the Oilers, which could be tough….

    I’m so excited! I can’t even imagine how awesome it’ll be to have an elite superstar draft pick. Not since Iggy was 19, and even then we didn’t draft him.

    If we can just ink a few more losses in a row here it’ll be a watershed moment for this organization. No matter how hard they resist…

    • Avalain

      I think it’s Tampa Bay, Washington, Buffalo, and Florida that are in our way right now.

      I bet it’ll be Tampa Bay taking MacKinnon from us. Those guys exist just to stymie us in everything!

      • Avalain

        True but if we trade Iggy look out… I know Kent thinks Iggy’s loss would be minimal but I disagree.

        When the Oilers traded away Ryan Smyth it was such an emotional meltdown that they lost something like 20 in a row. I honestly don’t think I’m exaggerating, I think they lost 20, maybe Rex or an Oiler fans knows the exact numbers. But I remember it being an epic meltdown (enjoyed watching it). Now is our turn.

        None of those other teams have the potential to trade away their heart and soul and totally blow it all to hell.

        • Vintage Flame

          I don’t think the other players on the Flames would be as emotionally crushed as you think, if they traded Iggy.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them have the same attitude the fans do, and would be very supportive of him going to get a chance at a Cup somewhere.

          • McRib

            I agree with you and Kent, think the players would all have the same attitude as the fans do.

            Also it would be interesting to see with his departutre, if other guys in the dressing room step up, becoming more impactful. Considering that for years guys like Glencross, Tanguay, Stempniak, Backlund and Stajan have relied far too often on his production night-in/night-out. Losing that luxury might actually produce more scoring by committee….

            Honestly if we also get a young NHL ready player in return for Iginla who steps, I think we are still a competitive team. That just fails to make the playoffs

          • McRib

            So I would just like to clarify something. At the beginning of the year Iggy & Feaster did a bit of a press show to try & address the trade & speculation winds that were blowing so they would not be a distraction. At that time, they said that talks were commencing regarding an extension for Jerome & that Jerome will basically leave those negotiations up to his agent. So continual questions requarding the status of his contract were pointless. Right? Someone, right, this was said, right??? So how is it, the “FACE OF THE FRANCHISE” hasnt even talked to the Flames about a new contract 3 weeks prior to the trade deadline???? Does this even make sense? When I read posts that Iggy isnt going anywhere, he’s tight with the owners, they wont be rebuilding, its business as usual, of course we want to try & improve the team, we just need a new roll of duck tape.

            I’m tired of all this BS! Why cant we have honesty, crap, I dont need intellectual honesty, just honesty. How intellectual it is I’ll decide for myself.

          • McRib

            Jaromes facial expressions the last two games showed me more than enough honesty, he is done with this situation and the fact that they are no longer talking about a new contract or haven’t all season is the nail in the coffin!! If the ownership wasn’t convinced of it needing to happen after this road trip, I think Iginla is at the point of convincing them himself.

          • Vintage Flame

            At that time, they said that talks were commencing regarding an extension for Jerome & that Jerome will basically leave those negotiations up to his agent.

            Most likely they did in fact say that to alleviate rumours, but with the intention of following through. To date though there has been no discussion between Meehan and the Flames.

            I’m tired of all this BS! Why cant we have honesty, crap, I dont need intellectual honesty, just honesty. How intellectual it is I’ll decide for myself.

            unfortunately that is often the case. Teams will never be forthcoming with details of hockey operations. Hell they can’t even be honest about injuries.

          • Vintage Flame

            “I’m tired of all this BS! Why cant we have honesty, crap, I dont need intellectual honesty, just honesty. How intellectual it is I’ll decide for myself”

            Hey if we can only have one I’d rather they just have intellect. They can make smart decisions and lie to us all they like as far as I’m concerned 🙂

    • T&A4Flames

      Don’t forget we still have shite teams in the east that we would have to fall below and then there is still the lottery which can change everything.

      If Edmonton wins the lottery again I’m going to puke!

  • McRib

    “We didn’t play a full game in any of the three on this trip.” Iginla said.

    I would like somebody in the media to ask the follow up question of why.

    Why did you not play a full game? Why is the team unable to compete for 60 minutes?

    Get past the stupid cliché statements of “we were not good enough”, “we did not play hard enough”.
    Push them to say why it is that they suck.

  • Chris Fairfield

    Anyone with any predictions on the following:

    A. Detroit game on Wednesday, win or loss
    B. Nashville game on Friday, win or loss
    C. Will Iginla be in the lineup on Wednesday or will he be a “healthy scratch”

    D. Will Comeau continue to get ice time?
    E. Will Feaster still be employed?
    F. What will the next move be for this organization?

    • Vintage Flame

      A. Win (Kipper always plays good in Detroit)

      B. Win (Iggy seems to show up for Nashville)

      C. That will never happen

      D. Yes, unfortunately, for whatever reason

      E. Depends what he does at the deadline and draft, but its make or break time for Feaster..

      F. The thing you have to understand about this organization is that they will not do a “blow it up rebuild” like everyone thinks they should.. Iggy won’t go anywhere unless HE wants to, he is really tight with the owners.. I wouldn’t look for big changes this year, just hope Flames can land some good picks at the draft, and maybe dump some salary by the end of the year.. other than that, what you see is what you get with this team…

  • loudogYYC

    Reffing wasn’t great tonight but the Flames didn’t do enough to make a difference.

    I did some math last night and for the past 3 seasons, the Flames have finished on average 20 (!) points out of 3rd place in the West.

    Calgary’s combined record: 118-90-38= 274 pts

    3rd place combined record: 138-80-28= 304 pts

    The reason I looked at 3rd records is because that’s what the goal should be! We’ve been 4.33 points out of 8th which is tiny and we still haven’t been able to meet the challenge!

    This finally feels like the time is right, like it’s a no-brainer to make moves for the future! Pro sports is so much about assets and Calgary has failed miserably at that game for the past 10 years or more.
    Trade 2 big ticket players, maybe even 3! Finish bottom 5 and hopefully land Barkov and 1 or two more 1st rounders and start gearing up with desirable/trade-able players and move on!

  • Proposal:
    Iginla to Pit for 2nd and Bortuzzo. In this article: is discussed that Bylsma has enough options and likes Engelland apparently.

    Kipper to Tor for 1st. Although trades with Toronto have gone wrong in the past, this can maybe work for both parties. Toronto is letting go their 1st round pick (probably 20-25 place) and we can invest in the future.

    Trade Sarich and Comeau for pucks.

    Lineup next year:
    Tanguay- Cammalleri- Hudler (soft minutes)
    Glencross- Backlund- Stempniak (though minutes)
    Baertschi- Stajan- Cervenka
    Jackman- Jones- Reinhart

    Brodie- Bouwmeester
    Giordano- Wideman
    Bortuzzo- Butler


    There is a good chance that one the above goalies will improve and will be a leage average goalie. Otherwise we’re screwed.

    Goal: Division leader in 3 years, the 2 1st round picks will have to be ready to rock in the NHL within 2 years for this to be happening.

    • Victoria Flames Fan

      Sorry dude but there is no way Iggy doesnt garner a 1st in the package, otherwise Pitt is out of luck & they can face Iggy on the Bruin team in the conference semis. Tis is Christmas Season for selling teams & probably even Feaster couldnt screw this up. The vulyures(scouts) are already circling the carcus.

      I must say JBO & Brodie looked pretty good as a pairing in this one & I didnt mind Wideman either. Who knows, next fall, full training camp & you have to know Hartley is going to have one of the fittest teams in the league. I cant help think we will see our old Gio back again. Suddenly, I’m not so down about our top 4 & we just need to get butt nastier in our 5-6 D. Combine that with league average or slightly above average goaltending & we arent in as bad of shape. This forward group needs a keg of dynamite. Get 1st’s back from Iggy/Kipper/& get max value for Stemps, Stajan & if GlenX isnt injured & someone dangles a 1st for him, take it.

  • Avalain

    It’s starting to sound like canuck fans are joining the room with all the “blame the ref” talk in here. Plain and simple, the flames lost because they can’t keep up with LA.

  • Avalain

    So the there have been two big differences between the first and third games on this road trip and the second game. Yes, they were all losses, but in the first and third games at least the Flames looked like they were competing. Not coincidentally, IMO, is that the second game was a back-to-back for the Flames.

    I just went through the schedule and the Flames have been incredibly lucky so far with the back-to-back games. They’ve currently had 4 back-to-backs while going up against teams on the 2nd night of a back-to-back 7 times! This of course, doesn’t keep up; going forward the Flames are looking at 5 BTBs while going up against teams on the 2nd night of a BTB only 4 times.

    Now, altogether that isn’t so bad. I mean it’s a total of 9 BTBs and 11 times against a team on a BTB. However, we’ve already squandered most of those already. This is just another example of how our schedule is only going to get worse.

  • McRib

    Gotta hope the Flames either get the first overall pick or the third!! Really not a huge fan of Mackinnon he is beyond overrated in my opinion and I know we would not be able to resist him, would much rather Drouin, Barkov or even Monahan!!!

    Barkov is ideal as he is the big physical centre we have always been lacking and Jones is a no brainer at one. Its funny to imagine if Jones comes to Calgary… and how pissed off the American Media will be that they lost out on such a marketable player with his father being a retired NBA player and all.

    • T&A4Flames

      Well at least he would be drafted by a couple of Americans.

      I like the idea of McKinnon because he can line up at either C or RW, both of which we lack.

      But any of Jones, McKinnon, Drouin, Barkov would be nice. If we can add at least 1 more 1st I wouldn’t mind Ristolainen as a mid 1st rnd pick.

      • McRib

        Another first would net great return even if its near the bottom.. as this years class is VERY deep. Guys like Bo Horvat, J.T. Compher, Morgan Klimchuk, Madison Bowey, Kerby Rychel, Shea Theodore, Ryan Hartman and Curtis Lazar could all be Top. 15 players any other year and likely will not all be firsts.

        Iginla to Pittsburgh for Beau Bennett & a First Rounder or to Boston for Ryan Spooner & a First Rounder

  • McRib

    Flames only lost by 2 goals this game instead of the 4 goals they lost by the last two games. According to the Flames “Intellectual Honest” that means that the team is improving. If they keep improving for the balance of the season then they should be able challenge for a playoff spot.

    You just have to know that this is what they are thinking. Nobody in the organization is going to admit that they are garbage. They will blame the new coach, the shortened season, the injury to Kiprusoff, the injuries to Baertschi and Backlund, and the compressed schedule for their poor standings this year, but they will believe that they are better than they are showing and that next year will be their year. This will be like the one epic drop that the Flyers had before going back to being competitive.

    For every media personality that I read or hear that the Flames “Finally” need to move some assets and look at a rebuild it further pushes my sense of despair in knowing that they are going to do the opposite of what is being said because they are bull-headed in believing they were wrong, ignorant of the facts, and unwilling to follow the ideas from somebody else. The proverbial Nero playing the fiddle oblivious to the franchise burning to the ground around them.

    If I were Vegas I would be giving less than 20% odds that the Flames make any sort of meaningful trade before the deadline that sends out a top 14 player on the team.