Post Game: Thoughts From A Sad, Drunk Man



Was it Benjamin Franklin, or possibly even Scott Oake who once uttered that famous phrase: "…but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except refs and offensive zone penalties"?

I’m being told that neither man said anything close to resembling this, but regardless, it’s a nice frame for tonight’s theme. Your Calgary Flames fall 6-3 to the ridonculously good San Jose Sharks, but despite everything, the Flames possibly might not just a little bit maybe didn’t deserve to lose this one.

Although they still did.

The Rundown



Not that the Sharks weren’t great, or that some of the penalties were deserved, or that there weren’t some breakdowns from the boys in red that dictated how this game went, but like, damn homey, what was up with the penalties tonight?

Three of them occurred in the offensive zone, which I would say has to be some kind of record, but the Flames existed in the 80’s, so I’ll bet it’s not.

Brent Burns, who looks like a homeless Bob Ross, scored 56 seconds into this game on some pretty spectacular blown coverages by the Flames D, and thus began a long, introspective, booze fueled look into my soul that would last until the final buzzer and Calgary’s two game losing streak.

When I regained focus, Burns, who was tremendous as Martin in Knocked Up, scored his second of the game, a deflection in which I initally thought Scott Hannan scored on (!), which would have been so cruel and unfair that if it WERE Hannan’s goal, it would have been the knell in the coffin for the Flames right then and there. The fact that it went to Burns, who has a Burlington Coat Factory stuck to his head and is a good hockey player, seemed to awaken Calgary.

The Flames scored a power play goal in the second, which is amazing, because the team was usually the one taking the penalties, and also because their power play for the better part of the night was about as effective as Elliotte Friedman trying to quell the idiocy on the HNIC Hotstove Panel. Sean Monahan, of course, OF COURSE, slipped the puck past Antti Niemi on the man advantage, and all of a sudden we had a hockey game.

Until more penalties happened and Joe Pavelski scored. Pavelski had, to that point, a breakaway and a partial breakaway, but Karri Ramo, who was excellent against a powerhouse Sharks team, turned him away on both occassions. Put him in front of the net on a power play, on the other hand, and Pavelski is unstoppable.

So that sucked.

The Flames made it worth watching, I guess, in the third, as Flames Nation favourite Mikael Backlund potted one while killing a penalty (surprise!!!). Calgary brought themselves back into relevance a few minutes later, as Jiri Hudler does what apparently Jiri Hudler does all day, which is score goals.

But it was not enough on this night. Pavelski and Marleau ran wild all over the team all night and hey, you guys all saw it, 6-3 final.

Book of Loob Sadness and Beer count

Not an unsignificant number

Why The Flames Lost

Take your pick in this one. TJ Brodie was uncharacteristically terrible. Giveaways all over the ice, blown coverage, sloppy puck handling, it was ugly. Let’s hope he can put it past him, because he looked like Andrei Zyuzin out there, and we don’t want that to be a develping trend.

The penalties, uh, well they factored in. The Flames took 10 (TEN!!) minor penalties, in which the Fins scored on three of them, which if you do the math, was the difference in this one.

Also, and I don’t know if you guys have noticed this early on this season, but the Sharks are VERY GOOD AT THE HOCKEY. Thornton, by his standards, was quiet (although very good), while Marleau was everywhere, and Pavelski and Brent Burns (seen here going for a pre game jog) were offensive juggernauts.

Tim Jackman and Brian McGrattan played six minutes combined in this one, so maybe the idea of dressing facepunchers who bring nothing else to the table and running your other three lines ragged might not be a great plan either. #goblairjones

The Flamingest Flame

Ovechkin Drives on Ramo

image via Clyde

Yep, he let in 5 goals, but Karri Ramo was terrific. He made 30 saves, many of them six to ten bell Sharks chances, and in many cases he held strong in some very nervous moments while the Sharks ran roughshod over a groggy looking Flames defense.

Which is good news, because hopefully he convinced the coaching staff that he’s worth a few more starts down the road here and we never have to see Joey MacDonald ever again. 


I, like probably you, thought this game was over less than a minute in when the Sharks went up 1-0 so, SO early, and technically I suppose that ended up being true, but the Flaming C at least made it worth watching. It was at times both an exciting and incredibly frustrating game to watch. The Flames did some very good things against what is very obviously the best team in the NHL right now, and there are a lot of positives to take away from it.

On the other hand, there were instances where you got the impression that San Jose were just toying with the opposition, and hey, they’re that dynamic that they can get away with it if they want.

The bad news is that the Flames 5 game road trip through the coast rolls on. The good news is, this SHOULD have been the most trudgingly difficult challenge the team faces, and that part is over. Los Angeles is up next, and although they’ve been borderline Buffalo Sabres this season, this is not an easy win, and Calgary will be in tough.

Sean Monahan is staying on this team. We can cease the debate, it’s basically moot at this point. Play Ramo. Put in Cervenka. Pass it to Sven. Go Blair Jones. Goodnight.

The Nerd Numbers

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 15:00 5 6 02:17 1 1 01:41 1 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 14:37 1 2 04:30 0 1 06:10 1 5
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 15:08 4 3 05:43 0 1 07:33 1 8
7 BRODIE, TJ 17:07 3 4 03:24 1 1 01:50 0 2
8 COLBORNE, JOE 09:43 2 3 03:38 1 1 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 14:08 5 1 00:48 0 0 04:06 2 4
15 JACKMAN, TIM 03:09 0 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 03:19 0 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 10:30 4 1 00:00 0 0 02:47 0 4
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 12:55 3 3 04:46 0 2 00:43 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 12:48 4 5 04:51 0 2 03:18 2 2
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 11:41 3 2 03:29 1 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 11:11 4 3 04:43 0 1 01:08 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   11 9   1 2   2 9
38 STREET, BEN 06:30 0 2 00:00 0 0 04:08 0 4
39 GALIARDI, TJ 11:46 4 0 00:00 0 0 05:46 0 4
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 10:11 3 1 00:00 0 0 04:42 1 3
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 10:36 3 3 03:30 1 0 00:00 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 09:31 6 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0


Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 6 5 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 4 10 3 3 1 1 0 0 0 6 0 0
3 5 4 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 2 0 0


Read ’em and weep. And weep. And weep.

  • Icings were even at 1-apiece, but that measure may be moot tonight will all the damn PPs.

    Zone starts were what you would expect them to be with the line structure:
    Backlund had 4 O and 4 D
    Monahan had 3 O and 2 D
    Colborne had 2 O and 0 D
    Street had 1 O and 0 D

  • Sucks to lose… but San Jose is a better team no other way to put it.

    Still like Brodie other than the rough night.

    I am happy with the progression of Colborne, still not perfect but he is coming along.

    Glencross needs to give his head a shake.

    I understand Sieloff is young but how much worse can he be than Butler or O’Brien. Or Smith.

    Jackman is done. Play Blair Jones.

  • beloch

    Colborne had a significant bump in TOI and probably QoC, but also had better linemates. He looked okay. I remember at least one nice break-out and a couple of sweet passes actually. He was definitely being held back by Mack&Jack before.

    Why did Colborne get moved up this game? He did shine a little against Anaheim after Jackman removed himself from the game and forced Hartley to break out the blender. This might reflect that. Hartley might also be trying to assess what the team really has in Colborne before the final decision is made on Monahan. Colborne is going to be relied on to play center a fair bit if Monahan gets sent down!

    It’s definitely promising that Colborne was able to handled an increased role against the Sharks without getting his skull caved in.

  • Backlund was a MONSTER on D-zone face-offs: 10 wins in 13 draws in the Flames zone. He’s taken the lion’s share of the defensive draws for Calgary this season and is at 48%. Ben Street is at 49% and has taken about half as many.

  • thymebalm

    Seriously. Someone explain Jackman and McGrattan to me. The fans aren’t dumb. You can’t justify a guy that can’t play and takes penalties on a modern era roster.

  • I’ll admit I have a soft spot for Jackman, I always thought he was a capable 4th liner who offered a little bit more than just punching people. Not much, but enough for a fourth liner.

    But for sure his spot, and obviously McGrattan’s, are taking space from others who might do well in their spot.

    And Jackman, man, I don’t know, he’s been dumb in these two games he’s been in here. Headshots, butt ends, he’s never been a dirty player, I have no idea why he’s starting now. But it’s no good for the team, and it’s gotta stop. Corban Knight, Roman Horak, Blair Jones, these guys could be stepping in and playing the roles that Mac and Jack are taking up.

    • thymebalm

      I think Jackman must feel a lot of pressure to make an impact, but not confident he can be the Sidney Jackman of years past. It’s unfortunate, but neither of those guys, as much as they love the game, are doing our team any good.

    • beloch

      Jackman has his uses. I particularly like the park-the-wookie-in-the-crease tactic that they’ve used him for in previous years. He might not be very skilled but he creates a good screen and isn’t easy to push out of the crease. Of course, this tactic relies on having a couple of decent hockey players out there with him instead of another enforcer.

      Jackman is 31. Given that he peaked as an okay 4th-liner/light-enforcer, he probably isn’t going to be in the league for a lot longer. However, I think he’s still serviceable if you don’t compound your liabilities by playing him on a line with McGrattan. Dressing both McG and Jackman and putting them on the same line has proven to be a bad tactic.

      • RedMan

        Except he doesn’t stay on the ice long enough to screen anything (due to the horrendous penalties and butt-ends) and if him and McGrattan can never get out of their own end, there won’t be too many SOG. Last year when we were rubbish it was one thing, but this year we are a work in progress and we have a bunch of young people who need a shot. I have a soft spot for Jackman too, but having the two of them on the ice every game is ludicrous.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Thoughts on the game:

    Backlund was my Red Warrior, and Butler was not my Red Goat (I can’t bear to write his name, but it’s a first.)

    I liked Colburne tonight – rough but some good work.

    The most impressive part of the Sharks game is their PK. While the Flames are merely average on the PP, the Shark are just as dangerous short-handed as they are 5v5.

    Bob Hartly is a very stubborn and is grinding a very big axe. Blair Jones should be playing, especially in light of McGratton and Jackman’s combined 6 minutes of TOI tonight. You’d think he’d put winning in front of grudges but . . . no.

    I’ve been impressed by Sharks teams of old, but aside from an average goalie, this team is the real deal, Easily deserve to be called a top team and barring any significant injuries they will be Top 3 all season long.

    PS. BoL successfully referenced Bob Ross into a hockey blog. FULL MARKS.

  • The Last Big Bear

    Folks we are in a rebuild here games like tonight are going to happen especially against teams as good as SJ. What did we learn about our team?

    On a negative side: we were confirmed in that our defense is not big enough to handle a team of SJ size and ability. Against a team like SJ TJB needs to player fewer minutes to be effective. Russel a 5/6/7 defensemen playing number 4 minutes is just not big enough. We need to be patient while are young larger dmen in Abbotsford develop. Hopefully Breen can come up and by us some time. As much as we hate Butler he played better yesterday.

    Jackman and McGrattan should have been in there element against the big boys but got their backsides stapled to the bench because neither of them can kill penalties or play on the powerplay. At the end of thed ay we had 10 forwards playing against a great big team and got worn down.

    On the positive side: We never gave up. The Kids and Hudler played reasonably well ( as Clyde said in yesterdays column the debate over Monahan should be over). Bouma is a NHLer and Street proved he is a worthwhile PK putting them ahead of Jackman and McGratten. Colborne took a big step forward. Backlund has proven he is a key piece going forward. I also think the Flames must be thinking they need to resign Stemp. Ramo can not be blamed for the goals he gave up and should get a number of starts in a row.

    I also heard that Cammi is cleared to practice which likely means that before this road trip is over he may play. It is now up to Hartley to make some difficult calls. McGrattan should sit he has played 7 and has not done much, BJones should be given a chance and Cammi needs to draw in for Jackman as soon as he is cleared to play.

    Sounds like the kids had a good weekend in the NCAA, Poirier seems like not such a bad pick at #22, the Heat dominate din shoots for two games against the oils kids but only got a split, they play again today. Grandlund in his first two games has a goal and assist and scored in the shootout.

    Cheer up folks this is what the rebuild will look like; assess the games with your head and not your heart or you will go crazy. At least we did not come out of the game with any serious injuries. (Hall in Edmonton, I hope he’s not to hurt)

  • RedMan

    is GlenX upset because he didnt get the C, or how can one explain his new powers of invisibility.

    Brodie crapped the bed but at this point gets a pass. He’s young and just had a bad night.

    like everyone, cant figure out why McG. is dressing.

    other then that, overall very pleased with TJ, Backlund, Monahan and Baertschi.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I too am in the camp of the questioning the need to dress both Jackman & Mac in the same game. Personally, I do see the need for a cop on the team in this league, Mac gets my vote. I have loved some of Jackmans work, but it’s time. Last few years he has lost more of the fights than he clearly has won & has not displayed enough of the hockey talent to move up in a power forward role. Jones in for Jackman was probably the proper decision that didn’t happen.

    What’s the deal with Butler. Yeah he didn’t have that bad of a game last night but that is not the norm for him. I’m sorry but he is not part of the future with this rebuild. I don’t think Smith is either. Please please please start making that #6 D spot a revolving NHL training position & lets give guys like Cundari, Ramage, Seiloff, Tspoon & eventually Breen 4-5 game stints as part of their development programs.

    Lastly, we need a bigger presence Dman capable of playing 3-4 minutes. That is what Feasty should be working on. Use our cap space, some of our vets & some of our decent prospects & try to acquire a Myers or Coburn or some 3-4 Dman. Throw Russell in that package, I don’t care.

    Thank you BoL for putting an end to the Monahan debate. The kid stays & keep with Sven. To quote what Hamish McFly said ” I feel I had to be here, I think it has something to do with our future”.

  • the forgotten man

    So in two starts in a row, Ramo got roasted by #Beastmode. On the powerplay. Poor guy. I like him as a player, and I’d take his ultra-slo-mo sliding (but otherwise solid game) over MacDonald’s complete terribleness any day.

    Monahan had a surprisingly good game IMO. He was very good (aside from one shift) in the first, and didn’t play much in the second (penalties!) but he was much better in this one than he was in Anaheim.

    Mickis, as always, is the best.

    Oh, and #GoBlairJones.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I don’t think anyone has liked what Jackman or Butler have had to offer so far this year.

    When healthy I would roll: