Post-Game: A Mostly Tepid Affair



It was the sort of game that tends to happen in Phoenix – slow going with offense and flow hard to come by. The Coyotes play a restrictive, disciplined system under Dave Tippett which tends to turn things into a grind through the mud. The Flames, playing in their second night of a B2B and lacking one half of their top defensive pairing with Giordano out due to injury, struggled to find their footing through a majority of the evening as a result.

The Rundown

The first was a pretty uneventful affair. The Coyotes controlled play at even strength, although they didn’t actually direct that many pucks on net. Nevertheless, they looked dangerous, in part because Joey MacDonald seemed really uncomfortable whenever the puck crossed the Flames blue line. He badly misplayed a faux shot/pass play during a Phoenix PP, leading to an easy empty-net goal for Radim Vrbata to open the scoring. Things ended 1-0 on the scoreboard and 4-3 in terms of scoring chances for the Coyotes in the first.  

The second was more active for both teams, although the Coyotes continued clogging shooting lanes and getting their sticks in front of Flames shots. Calgary still only had five shots on net about half way through the middle frame. Phoenix upped their lead to two goals off a crease scramble, where Mike Ribeiro managed to deflect a fluttering puck down and past a surprised MacDonald.

Lee Stempniak brought the Flames to within one near the end of the second period. A TJ Galiardi pass to Kris Russell off the rush resulted in a toe save by Smith. Fortinately for the Flames, he was unable to save the rebound.

Calgary opened the third with perhaps their best flurry of the game. For the first five minutes the visitors controlled play, out-chanced the hosts 4-1 and managed to tie the game off of a nifty Joe Colborne break away goal, which was set up by Jiri Hudler, extending his NHL leading point streak to nine games.

Things weren’t tied for long however, because Mike Ribeiro fired his second goal into a yawning cage after some sustained pressure by the Coyotes. That was all she wrote for the Flames who would only generate another two chances for the rest of the period. Rob Klinkhammer iced it with an empty-netter.

Why the Flames Lost

Because their goaltending was suspect and they couldn’t do much against the Coyotes persistent, constricting defensive play. Calgary definitely missed Giordano as well, which resulted in a very uneven top-3, bottom-3 rotation on the back-end. Chris Breen’s NHL debut was undistinguished – he played just 6:26 and was outchanced +0 -4.

Flame of the Game

Dennis Wideman played nearly 30 minutes of ice and lead the team with 6 shots on net. He ended up scoreless and -2, but it was still a pretty decent effort on a night that didn’t feature many stand-out performances for the Flames.

Scoring Chances

# Player EV     PP     SH    
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 22:30 8 6 00:26 0 0 02:06 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 23:25 9 6 03:47 1 1 02:31 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 18:00 4 6 02:27 1 0 01:24 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 10:08 6 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 12:41 3 1 00:00 0 0 02:01 0 1
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 17:13 0 4 04:22 2 1 00:49 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 04:00 1 1 00:00 0 0 01:22 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 16:37 5 7 02:58 2 0 00:00 0 0
21 HORAK, ROMAN 04:04 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 14:16 5 2 02:47 1 1 01:44 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 17:13 4 9 02:13 1 1 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 21:33 4 8 03:05 2 1 00:00 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   13 15   2 1   0 1
39 GALIARDI, TJ 12:35 5 3 00:00 0 0 00:56 0 0
43 BREEN, CHRISTOPHER 06:26 0 4 00:00 0 0 00:36 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 17:30 3 4 00:00 0 0 01:13 0 1
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 10:01 2 2 02:51 0 0 00:00 0 0
54 JONES, DAVID 13:27 3 4 02:34 0 0 00:58 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 12:09 2 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 4 3 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
2 6 7 5 7 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 6 5 6 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sum it Up

Calgary falls to 4-3-2 and have now lost three of their last four. The Flames weren’t completely outclassed by Phoenix in this one, but they were never in the driver’s seat either. If Mark Giordano is out for any length of time, the team will have to find someone who can play more a few minutes a night to bring a bit of balance to the blueline. Also, there’s no question that Karri Ramo will be playing the next game.

    • SmellOfVictory

      Huge dropoff from a top pairing defenceman to the next available guy (which looked like Butler for a lot of the game – gross).

      Also, it drove me nuts that the guys on the ice at the end of the game involved Cammalleri and Glencross; one of whom is barely back from injury and clearly rusty, and the second of whom has been a disaster for the majority of his TOI this season.

  • JumpJet

    Unrelated, but can anyone tell me where I can find a semi-accurate lineup for the Heat? I’d like to see where some of the young guys are playing and with whom.

  • Captain Ron

    I sure hate watching the Coyotes play. It’s a dreadful style of play that is an insult to the game. It is even worse watching that sh!t live. I feel sorry for the fans in Phoenix.

    Tippet, Butter, Dutter, it’s all the same great big pile of brown bananas.

    Colborne’s goal was a thing of beauty!

  • cunning_linguist

    Boy did we ever miss Gio. We really don’t have a top 4, Russell really shouldn’t be there in the 3-4 spot, boy if we get injuries, this can get ugly very quickly. Still think the kid line generated the most excitement. We need another line to step up or these guys are going to get smothered. I wonder when Berra gets a look.

  • cunning_linguist

    Surprised at the lack of killer instinct in coyotes game tonight. From two minutes in we looked like a team with a hangover from yesterday’s exhilaration.

  • loudogYYC

    Looked like someone poured cement into Macdonalds pads, cuz they were barely moving tonight.

    I really like the confidence Colborne is showing, I think we’ll be ok when Monahan is sent back to junior. Between Stajan, Backlund, Colborne, Horak & B. Jones, the Centre position will be as good as it should be this season. No need to sell false hope in a hockey market like Calgary.

    Gio will be missed if he’s out for more than a few games, good thing we have all that cap space!!

  • beloch

    It was good to see Colborne still out-chancing the opposition, even if his TOI took a small step back. That goal will hopefully give him a little confidence. While he’s definitely overshadowed by the other rookies on the team there does seem to be hope that Colborne will quietly develop into a quality NHL’er this season.

    Monahan was out-chanced, but had nearly 20 minutes of TOI this game and probably faced some tough competition. By Thursday we should know if Hartley is relying on the kid or just wanted a long last look!

  • seve927

    To give some credit when it’s due, Butler’s been pretty good the last couple of games.

    Couldn’t handle watching this game. Watched the last half in about 5 minutes this morning, and it looked like a good decision.

  • RedMan

    I had to choose between going to bed with my wife or watching the game… I went to bed.

    Glad I did as I both outchanced and outscored the Flames. and carried the play at even strength.

    • Captain Ron

      If the Flames get up by a couple of goals you’ll probably enjoy the game.

      If they get down by a goal or two early you’ll be looking for a rope to hang yourself and end the misery. At this point go back to the room with your wife. It will be more fun.

  • 25cent

    If Gio is out an extended amount of time, I think Cundari should be called up. Had good synergy with Brodie last season, and is able to play more minutes (and survive) than Butler/O’Brien/Breen. Or give Seiloff or Wotherspoon a chance?

      • piscera.infada

        Right call, How so ?

        He is playing close 20 minutes a night in the best league in the world.

        Making an argument to extend his ELC one more year may make sense but to project our cap situation 3-4 years out seems just as ridiculous to me as drafting for need 3-4 years out.

        • Parallex

          Because he’s not going to make a difference for us this year (we’ll be bad regardless of whether Monahan is here or whether he isn’t)so sending him down makes sense from a cap efficiency standpoint. Also it’ll give us more minutes to showcase potential deadline trade bait and an extra roster spot to evaluate other prospects further along the development track (Knight/Horak/Reinhart and hopefully the College guys after their season is over).

          If we send him down he’ll get to play a ton of minutes in all situations for the 67’s, then he’ll get to play in the WJC, then he’ll almost without question get traded to London or Barrie and get to experience CHL playoff action.

          We need to play the long-game here far more then we need to have some instant gratification.

          • piscera.infada

            “We need to play the long-game here far more then we need to have some instant gratification.”

            This! …And, when in doubt do the opposite of what the Oilers would.

          • RedMan

            “…Also it’ll give us more minutes to showcase potential deadline trade bait”

            that is (in my opinion) the only sensible argument to sending him down so far.

            I’d still say keep him up. Let him develop.

      • piscera.infada

        I’m very conflicted by the whole thing. I honestly don’t think either will hurt him, and I can’t say with any certainty if he’d develop any worse in the O’ than in the show. One thing’s for sure – he’s made it a very tough decision for management, and that bodes well for the future regardless of what they decide.

  • mattyc

    Hey Kent,

    question about the scoring chances –

    What exactly is the methodology for them? I was under the impression that it was a cut and dry in or out of the trapezoid/shape thing, but I noticed there’s a few outside from last night?

  • BurningSensation

    My final thoughts on Monahan staying/going;

    – He’s been among the six best forwards on the team every night, and on several occasions he was arguably the best. In that sense, he’s done everything possible to ‘earn’ his spot, and so if he stays I am totally cool with it. He’s been getting sheltered minutes and performing well, with responsibilities (like his ice-time) being added to gradually. In short, he’s been positioned by his coach into situations he might succeed in, and then delivered. All in all, I’ve really liked how the Flames have handled him so far, and Monahan has done nothing but make the case he is a fringe top six NHL roster player right now, with his arrows all pointing up.

    – I also think its perfectly reasonable to send him back down. It’s been a small sample size for Monahan, and while he’s performed exceptionally well in it, there are some areas of his game that might be better developed against OHL opposition. Face-offs, his foot speed (which is average, but could be improved), ice-time, an added year of muscle and physical maturity, not burning a year of his ELC, the opportunity to win, his health and safety, etc, are all good reasons to prefer to send him down regardless of how well that sample size was turning out.

    Either way, I’m good.

  • mattyc

    “We need to play the long-game here far more then we need to have some instant gratification.”

    I think long term he progresses more in the nhl playing 20 minutes a game, vs 23min or so in the ohl.

    As for other prospects they’re better served playing 20 minutes in the ahl vs 5- 8 minutes in nhl (see horaks ice time yesterday).

    • Parallex

      I would respond to this by saying that he’s probably not going to get 20 min on the reg once Stajan is back (which is soon) and he’ll also be getting 20+ minutes per game in the playoffs when the rest of the Flames are working on their golf game.

      Longterm it’s better for the Calgary Flames for him to go back to the CHL. I don’t think they will send him back but it would be better for the team if they did so.

  • Parallex

    Was at the game, taking my in person fandom losing streak to 5 games (one of the few non-perks of living in SoCal, and of course I skipped the LA game this time!). Game was as dull in person as on TV, and the crowd had to be under 10,000 actually at the game – pretty dead in there, even though it’s a nice place to watch hockey (and you get a great seat for $40). Flames really missed Gio, every other D man was a bit off as a result. Joey Mac was frightening to watch. As previously noted, there really wasn’t anyone who stood out.

  • Parallex

    It’s pretty fortunate that Calgary ended up with Monahan after Carolina picked Lindholm. I’m sure Lindholm is a skilled player but you can’t teach size and this gives Monahan the edge when playing against men. I’m not sure who Feaster would have picked if both had been available, but Calgary ended up with a player who fits the org very well and looks like our version of Jonathan Toews.

  • Parallex

    I think that, as long as the 67s don’t make the playoffs, Monahan can be sent to Abbotsford if they make the AHL playoffs.

    could be wrong, but it seems to make sense…