Post-Game: Flames Hang on This Time

 

 

For the fourth time in this young season, the Calgary Flames jumped out to an early lead. For just the second time, however, they were able to hang on and end things in regulation.

Calgary’s surprisingly potent offense has managed to stake them a lead in every game they’ve played this year, but that has also meant a concurrent collapse in just about every contest as well. The Canadiens controlled the puck at even strength for a majority of time through the early going and made a hard push to even things in the third period, but the Flames were able to weather the storm.

The Rundown

The first period was the Sean Monahan show. The Flames kids line managed three of the Flames four chances of the period and scored on two of them. On the first, Sven Baertschi withstood a PK Subban pinch at the Flames blueline allowing the puck to escape. Stempniak sandwiched two Habs in the neutral zone who were trying to retrieve the biscuit, causing it to squirt out to Monahan, resulting in a 2on1 rush. A deft Monahan pass put the puck on Stempniak’s stick in the deep slot. Price stopped the shot, but the rebound deflected directly onto Monahan’s stick in front of the empty net.

On the second goal, Monahan retrieved the puck behind the Canadiens net after a Montreal miscue and spotted Baertschi streaking into the picture at the side of the net. Another quick pass and another flames tap in.

Montreal pressed in between Flames markers, but their superior possession didn’t result in a higher number of chances. By the end of the first 20, the chance count was even at 4-4, but the Flames were the more opportunistic of the clubs.

Calgary went up 3-0 in the second after Glencross tipped a Wideman wrist shot on the PP. Calgary’s special teams, which have been fairly awful to date, looked a lot more controlled and NHL level in this game. PK Subban would break the goose egg with a howitzer from the point before the period would end. The shots were a lot closer in the second (12-11 MTL) and the chance count was again tied at 9-9.

Calgary broke out a bit for the first 10 minutes of the third, with the kid line managing to dictate play for a few shifts. They piled up another three chances after a particularly good flurry and it looked like Calgary might finally walk away with one.

Alas. Montreal took over play for several sustained stretches after that, piling up five straight chances and a Lars Eller goal which made the final minutes more interesting. Montreal may have managed to push things beyond regulation had Subban not lost his cool and taken a needless cross-checking penalty on Lance Bouma with a few minutes left. The minor short-circuited the Habs come back attempt and the Flames finished the game on the PP.

Flame of the Game

Have to pick Monahan. He was 7-3 in terms of chances at even strength and they scored 2 of the Flames three goals. he also had 3 shots on net, more than 15 minutes of ice and was a key contributor to both markers. An excellent game from the teenager.

Why the Flames Won

Because they took advantage of thier chances in the early going and managed to keep the Habs more or less contained aside from a 10-minute period in the final frame. They also got above average goaltending from Joey MacDonald for the first time this season.

Scoring Chances

 

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 16:43 2 5 00:38 1 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 18:53 8 4 01:54 1 0 02:23 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 20:04 2 6 04:11 3 0 03:31 0 2
7 BRODIE, TJ 18:14 8 5 02:45 3 0 01:37 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 03:58 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 16:06 4 6 00:41 0 0 01:28 0 1
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 04:57 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 06:11 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:59 0 1
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 14:39 3 4 03:00 3 0 01:17 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 12:54 7 2 01:18 1 0 00:53 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 14:38 7 3 01:03 1 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 18:24 2 8 03:54 4 0 00:00 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   14 14   4 0   0 2
38 STREET, BEN 15:20 2 4 01:13 1 0 03:04 0 1
39 GALIARDI, TJ 16:32 3 6 00:41 0 0 00:29 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 14:20 4 5 00:00 0 0 02:45 0 1
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 13:57 7 3 00:30 0 0 00:00 0 0
54 JONES, DAVID 12:48 3 3 01:52 2 0 02:06 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 12:02 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0

 

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 4 4 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 5 5 3 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
3 9 7 7 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sum it Up

Calgary continues to look like an NHL team rather than a guaranteed lottery club. They’re not going to score this easily forever, but it’s not like they are being hopelessly run out of the rink like the 2010-11 Minnesota Wild and gaining points via horseshoes and happy bounces. Calgary looks at least competitive through 4, which is a pleasant surprise.

Next up: The NJ Devils visit the Dome this Friday

  • Lober

    Flames are playing great even without Franchise and Cammy. When Franchise comes back I am guessing he takes most of Streets min away… Street is playing good but sometimes he gets thrown around out there.

    • everton fc

      I’d be surprised and sad if Street goes down. Like I’ve wished before, Street with Bouma and Horak – I wouldn’t mind seeing that. Street with Bouma and Colborne might give the latter a better chance to show he can actually play at the NHL level.

      If they could move Cammy/prospect to Philly for Meszaros/Hartnell and/or a prospect… Would Philly’s cap issues really be solved adding Cammy?

      As a fan, I’d like the team to win now. Compete now. And so on.

    • Parallex

      It’ll actually be almost impossible I figure.

      I say that as one of the louder proponents of sending him back to junior but if the team is both winning and he manages to continue putting up at least the casual fans barometer of individual success then the optics of sending him down become untenable.

  • mattyc

    haha great picture!

    I don’t mind Street in a 4th line role, he’s got a lot of intangibles (faceoffs, reliable safe plays) and is maybe slightly above replacement level defensively, but the puck dies on his stick so often when he tries to go on the offensive. He’s a better fit in the 4th line role than someone like Horak (which is probably why he beat him out for the spot), but he’s killing any offence on that line.

  • MattyFranchise

    “Have to pick Monahan. He was 7-3 in terms of chances at even strength and they scored 2 of the Flames three goals. he also had 3 shots on net, more than 15 minutes of ice and was a key contributor to both markers. An excellent game from the teenager.”

    Who do you mean by “they” because Monahan only had a goal and an assist.

  • Zone Starts:

    Backlund line: 5 O, 2 D
    Street line: 4 O, 6 D
    Colborne line: 1 O, 0 D
    Monahan line: 3 O 1 D

    Icings:

    MTL 3, CGY 7

    11 -1
    24 e
    39 -1
    4 1
    6 1
    5 -5
    7 -3
    22 e
    23 e
    17 -1
    44 -1
    55 -1
    38 -3
    54 -4
    20 -3
    47 1

    • beloch

      You know its easy to lean in this direction but we have Monahan, Baertschi, Guadreau, Porier along with a bunch of other potential top 9 prospects that are showing great promise.

      We have a strong prospect pool of goalies and you wouldnt want to draft them high anyways.

      What we really need it to strenghten our blue chip blueline prospects and I know the higher you draft the better but history has shown dmen develop differently and some of the best ones are drafted out of the 2nd round.

      I dont see why sucking and drafting high is so important when we already have a team that looks competative and is buying in when we already have a solid forward and goalie group in the pipeline.

      We have been drafting well under Feaster so far maybe he will find us a defensive gem…

  • jeremywilhelm

    Colborne has played 20 total minutes for the Flames. No matter how good or bad you are, that’s an absurd amount of ice time for a guy who could be a third liner. He’s getting goon minutes.

    Hartley needs to pull his head out of his ass.

    Just like starting Macdonald again. It’s some questionable decision making on his part.

    • everton fc

      Colborne needs minutes. Agreed. But where?

      I’d say Bouma needs minutes, too. Perhaps removing the goon from the 4th line gets Colborne/Bouma/Street the minutes they need to be productive? How many minutes did Prust/Moss/Nystrom get as the best 4th line in the league, “back in the day”?

      • beloch

        Colborne’s possession so far has been okay, given the linemates he’s propping up. McGrattan is a possession disaster! Colborne might do okay if he is moved up the rotation a bit and kept somewhat sheltered, not unlike Monahan.

        If Monahan stays past 9 games it’s going to mean Colborne will either stay on the fourth line where he’s perfectly competent but doesn’t have much chance for development, or he will be converted to the wing.

        The Flames just traded a fourth round pick for a kid who is doing fine on the fourth line and has upside. Given that most fourth round picks never make it in the big league, that’s a win. If he’s put on waivers he will be picked up, and that would be stupid.

    • beloch

      We have a team that has not yet lost in regulation and looks strong in spite of what most had predicted. To be honest I think that our coach is the last one at this point who should be criticized. While I usually agree with your takes in this instance I’m surprised. Is there a coach tat could have got them off to a better start? I’m all in favor of being tough on a coach when it is warranted but after four games I couldn’t be happier with the way that he has the team working and producing. If he has his head up his ass I hope it stays there because clearly something that he is doing is working…. (all of this said noting the fact that we are four games into a very long season, but so far yay flames!)

  • mk

    There must be a few on here eating some crow after very harsh words about macDonald tonite, While he isn’t the solution long term there is no question that in this instance the coach was right. He played a hunch and that hunch helped his team to earn two points. I just think that everybody needs to be a little more tempered in their evaluations. Kanzig is a face punching coke machine, Hartley is an idiot for playing Macbackup, Jones is a bum, Colbourne is an elite center who is an absolute steal or a terrible hockey player who will never be worth our fourth. So often the reserved wait and see attitude ends up looking the most wise. Most things are far closer to the middle, or end up being there than we anticipate…

  • loudogYYC

    I’m not ready to crap on Colborne yet, he’s new and is getting used to a new system. On top of that, it looks like he’s a bit of a late bloomer so I really don’t expect much for the next month or so.

    I was at the game tonight and 2 things stood out to me.
    1) The Flames move the puck a lot with short, precise passes. It looks so good and it shows the team is believing what coach Hartley is teaching them. This is great news!
    2) Montreal doesn’t have a strong defensive game. Maybe this is an eastern conference thing, but team defense seems very porous to me. I saw the same thing with NYR last night in San Jose.

    I’ve noticed the same flaw in MTL’s game in the past 5 visits to Calgary. Seems like the Flames really have them figured out.

    On a side note, the Saddledome is annoyingly quiet. If it wasn’t for Montreal fans speaking up tonight, I would have been the loud jackass of my section, hands down.

  • Burnward

    Anyone worried about Faceoffs (29th) Goals Against (24th) Penalty Kill (27th) Power Play (19th) ?

    I mean we are supposed to be rebuilding so I am not all that worried… but if I wanted us to be competitive I would be worried. Which brings me to another point.

    Hartley is trying to go with the sure bets every time (why I think Ramo isn’t playing, well other then he did play well last night). I don’t think that bodes well for Joe Colborn.

  • mk

    I doubt the Flames continue to rack up points like this, they probably end in the 25th-28th (right near the bottom of the west) range at the end of season. However, I’m sure as heck enjoying the success while its happening! GO FLAMES GO!

    On a sidenote, Galiardi has been quite frustrating so far. Shows flashes of smart, aggressive fore-checking and play – almost what you’d expect out of a great 3rd liner or decent 2nd liner. Then he goes and does something really blatant, like a penalty or getting caught on a bad pinch. I like the energy at least.

  • loudogYYC

    Have to say, as much I loved Monahan at the draft the guy is vastly exceeding my expectations. I’ve always maintained it best to end him back to junior unless he could prove he was a 2nd line centre on most teams in the league. He’s more or less doing that. Really didn’t think he’d be this good, this soon.

    Still a lot of rookies come out like gang busters to start, playing on adrenaline and then hit a wall. But I’m starting to think that may not be the case with here. Not that I think he keeps up this level of scoring, but I have to eat a bit of crow on this for sure.

  • RKD

    Right now the Flames are playing like a team and not individuals. Some of the credit has to go to the coaching staff so far. Hartley has the team buying into a system and the players executing it. Lucky for the coaches they have some more kids in the lineup who are eager to learn and want to prove they belong in the league night in and night out. Though some have might scoffed at Feaster’s acquisitions, in reality he brought in guys looking to rebound like a Galiardi and Jones a change of scenery was best for them. Russell and O’Brien I’m not so sure about. The Flames have good chemistry so far.