POST-GAME: A New Chapter… But Same Story


Your Calgary Flames began a new chapter in this fabled franchise, but the theme remained constant. Having to compensate for a horrific road record, the Flames have been able to provide a counter balance with eight straight wins at home. It’s the same story we here at Flames Nation have been telling for awhile now… The Jeckyll and Hyde team that is polar opposites depending which jersy they pull over their heads that night.

Tonight they would face a team again within reach in the standings with a realistic chance at victory. There’s no place like home, but  home is where the heart is, and after the team’s biggest trade in almost two decades, there is a vast uncertainty as to if there is any heart left in Cowtown.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Tonight’s line-up would also carry the Jeckyll and Hyde  metaphor, as there was a complete and utter disconnect between the forwards, D-men and the keeper.

As you can probably guess by now… we can stop the counter on consecutive home wins. Here’s how it went down…

The Rundown

It was a pretty slow start to this game tonight, which didn’t exactly inspire a dejected fanbase to get into it tonight. Most references that I heard from the Dome were that of a funeral home.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

It appeared that even with Iginla no longe on the roster that your Calgary Flames would look to him for help. During the second television time-out, Iggy would once again grace the jumbotron in a tribute put together by the organization for the benefit of the fans. It would bring the fans to their feet as they rared in ovation. It would also bring the players to their feet tapping, there sticks as the Saddledome lit up with the words "Thank you Jarome". A classy gesture from the organization, even if it came two games too late.

There was only one goal scored in the period and it came from Columbus. Mark Letestu would notch his 8th of the year, shorthanded, as he would receive a gift turnover from TJ Brodie and deposit the backhand passed Miikka Kiprusoff. Even though Brodie has played quite admirably in his new role this year, even when on th top pairing with Bouwmeester, he has also shown signs that there is a lot of room to grow as well.

Columbus would out-shoot Calgary 12-11, but the Flames had the slight 5-4 edge in scoring chances. Columbus had the only 10-Bell chance on the period as it came shorthanded, and that’s why they took the 1-0 lead into the intermission.

The second period would be a different story… from the first period anyways. Unfortunately for Flames fans, the period was an all too familiar story.

Things started out okay as Brian McGratten would draw the Flames equal with a little help from Tim Erixon (*snicker). What might even be sweeter for the fans would be that Erixon would also be knocked out of the game with an upper body injury.

Passed that though, it was not a favourable twenty minute for the home team.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Calgary would score three goals in the period, which by normal standard, would be a pretty good thing. The only problem was that Columbus would add four to the scoreboard.

To their credit, after the Flames fell behind by two, they didn’t fold the tent. In fact after that they would come back with a quick goal of their own.  They always say that the most important shifts are those after a goal was scored. The Flames ability to answer right back was encouraging, unless oyu take into account that they kept letting Columbus score.

As a result they weren’t able to make up any ground and the Jackets were able to take their two goal lead into the second intermission. The Flames out-shot Columbus 11-8 and drew evens on scoring chances (9-9). However when you let in four goals on eight shots, you know your tender isn’t having the greatest of evenings.

Miikka Kiprusoff was not having one of those nights where he looked to steal two points to keep Flames fans happy safely within the confines of the Saddledome walls.

To no surprise Joey MacDonald would come out in the third to man the crease for the Flames, and he was busy early. He would keep the Jackets idle on the scoreboard and even made an incredible save; stopping Prospal on a breakaway after Brodie would again cough the puck up  at his own blueline.

The Flames would survive the first half of the period, largely on the back of #MacBackup, and slowly they would turn the tide in play and start to tilt the ice in their favour. However, as always, time was becoming a factor and it wasn’t on Calgary’s side.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

With six and a half left in the final frame Blake Comeau (Yes THAT Blake Comeau) would have a glorious chance as he recieved the centering pass while wide open in front of Steve Mason. Unfortunately he is that Blake Comeau and the Flames still trailed by two.

When the odds have been against Calgary, the guy have they have hostorically looked towards…. wasn’t there tonight, but Curtis Glencross was happy to assume that role interim. He would succeed where Comeau could not and get the Flames with one. Taking the puck at his own blueline, fighting off two opponents and then carrying the puck all the way into the Jackets zone, he would then fire his patented wristshot to the far side and over Mason’s glove hand.

Despite the Flames out shooting Columbus 11-5, all hopes of saving the home winning streak would come to an end as the Jackets would score the empty netter with 36 seconds left.

Calgary pressed in the final period. They out-chanced the Jackets 6-3 and 20-16 over the course of the game, but they left things to the last minute again (so to say) and couldn’t dig themselves out of a hole they put themselves in.

Why the Flames Lost…

What ever the reason was behind their play tonight, they just weren’t good enough. The forwards did their best to get the team back into this contest but it was too little too late. 

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Calgary has been notorious for taking one step forward and then two steps back. That’s sort of how it went tonight for the team. Everytime the forwards would take them a step closer on the scoreboard, the defense and goaltending would each take a step back; stemming all momentum or chance of a comeback.

Because the goaltending failed them tonight. Miikka is capable of stealing points for this club, we’ve all seen it numerous times before, but tonight he cost them points.

The second period goals from Calvert and Prospal were terrible. He had the angle on both shooters and yet they were both still able to get the puck passed him.

Because the team’s defense was indefensible tonight. 

Wideman gave the Flames the edge on the power-play with the hard shot from the point, but the defense gave up the puck in the wrong place at the wrong time; and all their mistakes seem to end up in the back of the net.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

TJ Brodie had a really rough night. He was responsible for turning over the puck that resulted in the short handed goal in the first, and he also turned the puck over again when the Flames were going for the equalizer; luckily for him, MacDonald bailed him out on the latter.

Red Warrior

I’m going with Backlund tonight.

Backlund has had conversations with Hartley on an on-going basis since coming back from his injury.

Although he’s not on the pace he was before the injury, he is still having an impact and creating offensive situations for the team on a night-by-night basis.

He scored a really nice goal tonight and he was close to breaking through on a few occassions both before his goal and after.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

I was most impressed with his push tonight. He was taking chances and he wasn’t sticking to the perimeter. On more than a few rushes, I could see him going up or through the middle with the puck. If he didn’t have the puck, then he was taking defenders away or getting seperation to put himself in better position.

It was exactly that play that allowed him to score his goal in the second period that started the offensive ralley for the Calgary Flames. He was amongst the leaders for ice-time for forwards and managed to avoid being in the negative.

Scoring Chances

Flames Chances:

Blue Jackets Chances:

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Sum it Up

Many are going to be of the opinion that for the rest of the season, this team is just going through the motions. With their leader gone and the heart torn out of their collective chests, it’s really hard to guage where this team is at mentally.

There is little doubt that Iggy was just the beginning for change in this team. There is much abuzz about the futures of anyone, but in particular, Kipper and Bouwmeester.

Who knows what is going to happen with Kipper and his self-imposed NMC, Bouwmeester is obviously drawing interest and the Flames are undoubtedly already receiving bonafide offers, so one has to wonder just how much the boys are mentally participating in these games.

Calgary had an eight winnnig streak at home on the line and yes they did win the last one without Iggy, but let’s be honest, it was over the only team below them in the Western Conference standings.

Like the team, there is probably a lot of speculation around the fans and their level of involvement or committment to this team for the rest of the season. As stated earlier, it was like a funeral home in the Dome until the Iggy tribute video. I have talked to various fans around town today and most of them are of the sentiment that they would rather see Penguin’s games being broadcasted in Calgary, rather than having to watch how this season plays out for the Flames.

If that is indeed the case, then I would implore you as a fellow Flames fan, that you hold on for just a little longer. The Flames pack their bags for a brief trip 3 hours north to Shelbyville. If the season is lost, the next two games cannot be. 

It’s about pride and it’s about not giving the Oilers fans satisfaction or bragging rights. We’ve all seen the comments, we’ve beaten back the trolls, but the best way to keep them silent is for the Flames to continue to do what they do best; beat the Oilers.

If nothing else… We get to write the Oilers Game Day Blog on Monday night! Game time is 7:30 pm and can be seen on SNT-W and heard on the Fan960.

  • Truculence

    Alright I got this.

    We trade Jbo to Detroit for Calle Jarnkrok and their 1st. Then we trade Kipper to Toronto for their 2nd, they’ll do it, they owe us. That’s it for major trades, we ship off whatever bit parts teams are interested in for late picks… Sarich, Comeau, Babchuk, Jackman etc.

    The Jbo trade should ensure we hit the bottom five picks where we take a centre, McKinnon, Barkov or Monahan depending how the picks ahead of us go. With Detriots pick we take D man Rasmus Ristolainen. With The Pens pick we take RW/C Ryan Hartman.

    We address three major oganizational deficiencies all in the first round and the slow road to recovery gets a swift kick in the a$$.

    Boom goes the dynamite.

    • Truculence

      Yeah, now we`re talking. But instead of trading Bouwmeester to the Wings, how about shipping him and Pens first to the Blues for Perron and their first? Rumors are that Perron is being shopped for a top-four d-man who can play on the left side. We`ll have to eat around 1.5-2.0 million in salary, but it would be worth it as we would get a gritty top-6 forward who is only 24 and a higher first-round pick as well.

      • Franko J

        I like the play of Perron with St. Louis. However, by trading Bouwmeester I would prefer to pick up another pick ( 1st round would be great) rather than giving up one. I say try to compile and aquire as many picks as possible.

        My three choices ( assuming a Bouwmeester trade for one) in the first round and just based on current standings:

        1. Nathan McKinnon (potential franchise centre)

        2. Trade with St. Louis Steve Santini (sleeper)

        2. Trade with Detroit Robert Hagg ( safe pick)

        3. Pittsburgh pick Nic Petan (can you say Eberle small but has high skill level) if pick is kept. Traded see below.

        How about to NJ? They have to forfeit a first round pick in 2013 or 2014, so I was thinking: if the Flames were to trade Pitts pick:

        To NJ: Bouwmeester and Pitts pick
        To Calgary: Adam Larsson, (rights to Clarkson*), 3rd round pick.
        * after the season. Flip Clarkson for picks at the draft if he doesn’t sign with the Flames.

        Just throwing it out there as armchair GM.

        • Truculence

          I`d love MAckinnon, but, outside of winning the lottery, one of Florida or Colorado will take him home. They are on a whole other level of suck. We`ll most likely have to make do with one of Drouin, Barkov, Monohan, or Nurse (and in that order). Personally, I love Monohan. He`s a Kesler or Bergeron type player that can play against other teams`top lines and still put up 30 goal seasons. A real heart and soul warrior.

          • Franko J

            I see Monahan being this years draft version of Kopitar, Getzlaf or Parise.
            When the dust settles on this draft I bet whoever drafts this kid will be most fortunate while the TSN and SPORTSNET AND CBC HOT STOVE PANEL with all there “expertise” will be saying “I can’t believe this and that team past up on him”.

            I agree I think Monahan has the one intangible that has been missing from this team for a very long time. A big two way centre who can play at both ends of the ice and who hates to lose. I’m not denying that Mackinnon or Barkov are just as worthy, but I have a sense that this kid is right for Calgary. Sort of like Galenchyuk in Montreal.

    • Chris Fairfield

      I have a sinking feeling that Iggy isn’t coming back. There was something that he said during his press conference that left a lasting impression. When asked if we would be coming back he said ” I would not rule anything out, but, I want the opportunity to win and once you have won, you want to keep winning.” Unless there is a major overhaul with the upper management and then the players, Iggy won’t be coming back. The other variable is that Pittsburgh still has to resign Letang and other players in the off season and he alone is due for a raise and with the cap level going down for next year, it may be difficult to resign Iggy as well.

  • Truculence

    Yeah, as much as I hate the Oilers, I would rather have the lottery pick. Bring on the two losses.

    p.s.: I no longer have any self-respect in all matters concerning the Flaming C. I will humbly eat crow from our rivals cuz they are most likely right. Just give us our lottery pick and let us go cry in some corner.

  • Franko J

    I see Kiprusoff disappearing into the sunset after this season. Unlike Iginla, there is no market for him. All the wear and tear has caught up to him.

    Trading Bouwmeester will be another positive in moving this team in the right direction. I know Wideman’s contract is another albatross, but I would like to see the team move him as well. I know I’m just fantasizing, but he is another player who will never move this team towards a playoff birth.

    I say looking at this roster right now, I truly believe by Wednesday’s trade deadline Feaster is trying his best to move some players. Now is his best going to be good enough with changing the fortunes of this franchise going forward?

    • Chris Fairfield

      It has been the same story with Kiprusoff since he came back. Slow lateral movement, difficulty in getting back to his feet once he drops into the buterfly and that once cool demeanor has now transformed into disinterest.

  • Franko J

    Well, there should be celebrating, this is exactly what we want happening. Short season, suck badly, pain & tears parting with the old guard & jump all in on the new frontier. The next 6 days & the draft are our Stanley Cup this year. So really, who cares if we lose to the Oilers these next 2 games.
    This is my plan:


    1/We will be shedding almost 28 million in cap space going into next year.(Assuming Kipper is traded for whatever or retiring) We will not be targeting any high priced UFAs, the next year will be a total redo to structure the team properly. We are going to use this cap space to accomplish this goal.
    2/We want the best returns possible & are prepared to spend $$$ to fast track & accomplish this.

    1/I’m trading Stajan for a 2nd round & 4th round pick. I am doing this based on his game has been better & I am going to carry 1.5 mill of his cap hit, giving the new team a 3rd line centre depth for 1.0mill actual salary & 2.0 mill cap hit carried over for next year.

    2/ I’m trading Cammi to a team like Boston & will get a 2013 1st & decent prospect. I accomplish this by carrying 2.0mill of Cammi salary & cap hit going into his last year for next year. That would give new team Cammi at 4.0mill.

    3/I’m going to see if I can get a 1st or 2nd for Stempniak. If not he stays

    4/I’m trading JBO, best return would be from Philly or Edmonton, just doubt JBO waives for these teams. Not sure if Detroit now wants to give what we want for him but likely either Stl for Rattie & a 1st & a 3rd or Detroit for Tatar, a 2013 1st & a 3rd.

    There could be a few other trades if the value is overpayment otherwise we just keep them. If we can get JBO to waive to Philly, I would carry 2.68 mill of his salary & and cap carried over into next year & include a 2014 2nd for Couturier & Phillys 2014 1st. They get JBO at 4.0 mill next year. The dead cap space we carry for next year only is about 5.2 mill(if we get lucky & do the Philly deal), not much more than the healthy scratches of Babchuk & Sarich for most of this year.

    At the draft, assuming we have a top 5 pick, I would add what ever it takes to get a 2nd top 5 pick. Even if we have to trade Reinhart or Brossoit or Wotherspoon with 2 of our acquired 1sts & even Glencross to attain this. Over pay, do what ever it takes, but get 2 top 5 picks. Burke did it to get the Sedins, Feaster needs to get 2 potential franchise players to start this rebuild around. Just my opinion. Kinda excited to see this unravel, this has been so long in coming. It shouldnt have to of been this drastic but it is what it is. I think by the 2014-15 season, we have the cap space to be able to add pieces that will contend for playoffs with a new exciting foundation of our future core. Sorry for the long post, this is the condensed version of what I sent to Jay Feaster:-}

  • Stockley

    If the price is right I’m all for moving Bo. There has to be a 1st involved however, I don’t see any other way the deal would be worth it for a player there’s no pressure to move. Moving him would only inevitably move Calgary nearer the bottom of the standings as an already shoddy D core would become even worse.

    Collecting draft picks is something this team should have been doing years ago. Even if they’d taken the time to plan ahead and start collecting future picks for a draft like this one. Draft enough players and you have to at least hope a few of them will become NHLers in the future. The more firsts they acquire the more chances they have to win the lottery. Wouldn’t it be nice to have two high picks because a team we dealt with won the lottery? Pipe dream but all we have left as fans right now are dreams. I think it was Vintage Flame who tweeted that scenario last night and I hadn’t even thought of it. Sadly even those sorts of dreams make me uneasy since I still have zero faith in the men in charge to make the right selections.

    The realist in me wants losses so the team can draft top 3 and get that missing future franchise player. The fan in me cannot cheer for this team to lose no matter how poor their chances might be. The long-time fan in me cannot in any way, shape or form cheer against this team when they play the Oilers. I want them to beat the crap out of those kids so we can tell all those trolling Oil fans where to shove it. I don’t troll so I have no reason to visit their forums and blogs; are our fans as obnoxious as Oiler and Canuck fans? Honestly have no idea how much of a Flame presence the fans of said teams have to put up with.

    • supra steve

      “Sadly even those sorts of dreams make me uneasy since I still have zero faith in the men in charge to make the right selections.”

      I see nothing from the last 2 drafts to support your lack of faith. Some are sour on the Janko selection (I’m not among them…yet) but other then that I don’t see how anyone can be less then pleased with the prospects taken since Feaster became GM.

      Oh, and who cares if we lose to EDM? Bring it on.

      • everton fc

        I disagree with the positive assessment of Feaster above. He’s proven nothing in the draft, until the players actually make it. Gaudreau is to me the most exciting, albeit risky pick, due to his size. Jankowski? He’s 5-6 years away. Feaster will probably (hopefully!) be gone by then. Along with Hartley, Wesibrod…

        Hartley has no answers. He often says in interviews the same, in so many words. To me, he lacks confidence. Perhaps overwhelemed at the perdicament he’s in. Over his head. Obsolete at this level? Maybe. He’s certainly not proven he’s good with the young guys.

        A wise, tactially superior GM would get us back into the playoffs in a year or two, at the most. This is what we need to push for. Our current “regime” will never get us there.

        A lot of the prospects are on the small side. His signing of Babchuk, Sarich… Modin… Other misses. The returns on Regher and Iginla.. McDonald over Taylor, who deserved a “merit-earned” look. I could go on and on, but won’t, other than throwing in PL3 and McGratton.

        He’s simply not the guy to rebuild our franchise. Or any franchise at this level. My hope is the ownership group and K-King, come to their senses sooner, than later.

        Again, a wise, tactically sound GM (Davidson comes to mind) could turn this shipwreck into a playoff contender and winner, in 2 years time. That’s how I see it.

  • Willi P

    Horrible coaching job by Hartley IMO. Kipper should have been pulled after the third, fourth or fifth goals. It was obvious this team needed a wake up call. Not saying it would have worked but do SOMETHING. ‘artley just stands there and looks like his head is going to explode.

    Team looked lost. I like TJ a lot but he sucked last night. JBo was not much better. I fear Tanguay will never recover from the trade. Might be buying him out next summer.

    • Chris Fairfield

      Couldn’t agree more. Hartley looked like he was in a trance and had no idea what to do next. My 12 year old son was watching the game with me and he said, “Why wasn’t Kiprusoff pulled after the 3rd goal?” It is painful to watch this and I know Iggy leaving has left a huge hole, but everyone knew this was coming and now that it has arrived and gone, it is going to be a slow and painful path to get back to respectability.

  • Willi P

    someone forgot to tell them it was a home game, they played like they were on the road. anyhow, has the time arrived for a complete blowup? hows bout shopping tangs and cammy? cammy to the leafs for bozak or a package of blue chip d prospects like blacker or finn. tangs to the habs perhaps?

  • Graham

    Brodie was just brutal last night, and the team defense was little better. You can fault Kipper for the one goal when we moved away from the post, but I blame the team in front of Kipper for the rest of the goals.
    The Flames are really missing a physical presence on the back end, remember the days when opposing forwards thought twice about skating down Phaneuf’s or Regehr’s side.
    The biggest challenge for Feaster is to establish a team identity and to adjust the roster towards achieving it. The Flames simply have to decide who they are…

  • Graham

    I do think we can fast-track a reload with some shrewd deals. The problems I have with Feaster at the helm have nothing to do with our drafting in the last two years. It seems to be on course. It is the rest of his managing practices that scare me.

    The J-bo to Detroit for Jarnkrok and their first rounder, in my opinion, is a fair trade. Whether they are as hot after J-bo now is uncertain. The first rounder could be a top-20 pick.

    I don’t see Stempniak netting us a first rounder but I do see a fit in St. Louis if he is moved. The Kipper situation is a complete head-scratcher. The NTC he has awarded himself and the below average performance he has displayed make trading him a real question mark. I do think he would solidify the crease in Toronto.

    Moving Cammy to Boston makes a lot of sense, if pissed-off Peter will speak to us. I do see Boston getting Clowe, and if they were to get Cammy too, the Bruins may think they have offset Pitts moves. Cammy has proven to be a go-to guy in the playoffs.

    Sarich, Smith, Bachuk, Butler et all need to be shipped out for any return. I realize we need to field a team to finish the year, but these players are anchors.

    As far as eating salary… in virtually any of the trades above, I am totally for it. We have money, we just don’t have good enough players. By chewing some of Cammy’s, or Kipper’s, or J-bo’s cap hit, we would most likely receive a much better return.

    This years draft is deep. And it is the most important one this team has ever faced.

  • Chris Fairfield

    I am bummed he is gone, and about the prospects of Calgary not being rubbish in the near future, but he is making his Pens debut right now, and I am pretty excited. At least we have a reason to follow SOMEONE in the playoffs.