Post-Game: Licking Envelopes



There is a Classic Simpson’s episode where Bart misses a school field trip to the chocolate factory. To keep him busy, Skinner puts him to work licking envelopes in the office. Tongue raw and mind numb, Bart inevitably glances in desperation at the clock on the wall, which ticks slowly for a few seconds and then actually reverses. Bart groans in despair.

Tonight was the NHL equivalent of licking envelopes. The Blue Jackets and Flames met and battled to see which team could ice the puck more, chip it off the glass with greater aplomb and sit back in the neutral zone harder. It was a snorefest, and that’s being kind. The Flames lost in OT to boot.

The Rundown

It’s not accurate to say nothing happened. At least the first period gave us this:


(gif via @clib52)

Berra’s old school Hasek-like pad-stack helped keep things close in the first since the Flames came out pancake flat to start the game. Shots were 7-6 in favor of the Flames, but the Columbus mostly controlled play, outchancing Calgary 7-2. Nick Foligno opened the scoring when his shot from the top of the circles glanced off of Brodie’s ankle and found the top corner.

The second period wasn’t much better. With the lead in hand, the Blue Jackets were satisfied with establishing a neutral zone shell and making life difficult for the Flames. Calgary had a lot of problems transitioning through the neutral zone as a result and even in the rare moments they gained the offensive zone, they almost never established meaningful possession. Shots ended 8-7 for the Flames and chances were 2-2 in the middle frame. The first 10 minutes of the period were played without either garnering a single useful scoring attempt.

The shell began to collapse (collapse being a relative term in this contest) in the third for Columbus as Calgary finally managed to gain some traction. Cammalleri and Baertschi managed back-to-back chances to open the period before Colborne finally broke through with a backhand break-away goal. The Flames were the only team to generate chances in the third (4-0), but it wasn’t quite enough to avoid extra time.

In OT, Calgary carried that momentum forward and bumped their unbroken chance run to 5-0 with a Cammalleri near strike, but he couldn’t beat Bobrovsky. The Jackets ended things soon after on a goal mouth scramble after a 3on2 break resulted in flailing bodies, multiple blocked shots and then a yawning cage and easy tap-in for Nikitin.

Why the Flames Lost

Because it took them more than half the game to get their legs under them. For at least 30 of the 63 odd minutes, Calgary mostly just stood around in the neutral zone, missing passes, dumping the puck off the boards and generally doing nothing in particular. The Blue Jackets was the team that played last night, but you would have never have known it by watching the first couple of periods.

Red Warrior

He didn’t score or anything, but let’s give it to Mike Cammalleri. Calgary wasn’t dangerous in general, but Cammalleri still managed 5 shots on net and was on the ice for a team high 5 scoring chances at even strength.

Scoring Chances

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 18:07   3 23 24 29 47 55 6 13 38 42 58 72 5v5
Home 1 17:43 Bouma backhand 3 6 11 16 17 29 5 6 39 40 58 72 5v5
Away 1 13:15 Jonhson PP 3 18 29 39 44   7 18 19 51 71 72 4v5
Away 1 13:06 Johnson PP 3 18 29 39 44   7 18 19 51 71 72 4v5
Away 1 10:40 Foligno goal 4 7 13 18 22 29 7 18 19 51 71 72 5v5
Away 1 7:17 Johansen 3 7 13 18 22 29 18 19 21 51 71 72 5v5
Away 1 5:38 Comeau 6 11 16 17 29 44 6 14 24 55 58 72 5v5
Home 1 5:12 Cammalleri 4 7 13 18 22 29 7 18 19 51 71 72 5v5
Away 2 10:39 Anisimov PP 4 6 11 22 29   7 13 38 42 51 72 4v5
Home 2 8:18 Stempniak 4 7 13 18 22 29 18 19 21 27 71 72 5v5
Home 2 8:11 Cammalleri 4 7 13 18 22 29 18 19 21 27 71 72 5v5
Away 2 6:28   3 23 24 29 47 55 6 14 24 55 58 72 5v5
Home 3 19:35 Cammalleri 4 7 13 18 22 29 18 19 21 27 71 72 5v5
Home 3 18:30 Baertschi 3 23 24 29 47 55 7 13 38 42 51 72 5v5
Home 3 16:32 Colborne goal 3 23 24 29 47 55 7 14 24 51 55 72 5v5
Home 3 4:27 Bouma 6 17 23 24 29 44 18 19 21 27 71 72 5v5
Home 4 3:36 Cammalleri tip 6 8 13 29 44   21 27 55 71 72   4v4
Away 4 2:41 Anisimov 3 7 11 24 29   6 13 42 58 72   4v4
Away 4 2:36 Nikitan goal 3 7 11 24 29   6 13 42 58 72   4v4


# Player EV     PP     SH    
3 SMID, LADISLAV 16:12 3 5 00:00 0 0 03:30 0 2
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:33 4 1 00:00 0 0 01:59 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 23:11 3 1 00:00 0 0 01:15 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:50 4 4 00:00 0 0 02:19 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 11:53 1 0 00:00 0 0 00:13 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 09:17 1 3 00:00 0 0 02:24 0 1
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 18:27 5 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 07:55 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 09:32 2 1 00:00 0 0 02:22 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 18:35 4 2 00:00 0 0 02:48 0 2
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 16:04 4 2 00:00 0 0 01:41 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 16:52 3 2 00:00 0 0 00:06 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 19:17 3 4 00:00 0 0 00:06 0 0
29 BERRA, RETO   9 7   0 0   0 3
39 GALIARDI, TJ 11:49 0 0 00:00 0 0 02:20 0 2
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 20:54 2 1 00:00 0 0 02:57 0 2
47 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 14:28 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 11:19 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 2 6 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
2 2 2 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 1 2 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Sum It Up

Another one that could have gone the Flames way with a few more bounces, but it’s hard to argue they deserved it as well. Calgary’s even strength play has grossly regressed since their surprisingly competent first 10-games or so and they are starting to approach league worst territory by this metric.

That isn’t a shock given expectations heading into this season, but it makes watching and enjoying the club’s play difficult right now.

  • beloch

    After exiting the 1st period the sportsnet commentator decided to focus on that save. “Hey, screw the replays of the rest of the period, I could watch that save on a loop for 15 minutes!”.

    I threw up in my mouth a little, because focusing on the one tiny positive, but utterly meaningless thing in order to block out a great big sea of suck made me feel like a true-blue oiler fan.

  • year one is always the toughest. Especially when its been preceded by a bunch of bumbling and suck that wasn’t (officially) part of the “rebuild”.
    The alberta pro hockey thing is a comedic tragedy that is so pathetic it isn’t even funny.

    I look forward to the reality TV thing the flames will do called re-ignition or some gawd awful thing that will “rival” that schlock up north. What is larry and his wife doing these days?



  • RedMan

    i wonder if this is the time they bring a couple guys up from the minors.

    also what of the trade rumors regarding bringing in anogher D.? del zoto or whatever his name is?

  • crapshoot

    Since I live in Sweden I got up at 4 in the morning to see this game. Due to the Jackets being a crappy team depleted by injuries, playing a back-to-back coming off a 0-7 loss against one of the absolutely worst teams in the league, I figured this had some ingredients to make it a fun game to watch, you know, from a Flames-fan perspective. And this is what I got? THIS?!?

    • yomamen11

      The same here (Slovakia).

      Nice goal by Colborne. Boy got hands. He is former first round pick and Flames got him for nothing. Good move by management and I hope that guy will make progress and help us on C position.

  • beloch

    I’m really ambivalent about Colborne still. He’s freakin’ fantastic if you think of him as a rookie with just 37 games in the NHL under his belt. On the other hand, he’s played just 37 games in the NHL in the
    since he was drafted in the first round by Boston. That is a glacial progression curve! It’s great to see he has some utility in a shoot-out and also good to see him drive the net and be rewarded like that. Still, I can’t shake the feeling he won’t stick in the NHL unless he takes goon-lessons from McG. I’d be pretty happy with his amount of skill if he was simultaneously filling one of Hartley’s obligatory face-puncher slots.

    Feaster made an intelligent gamble by acquiring him. A fourth round pick is easily worth paying for a fourth line center with size and upside (Hey, he’s still a few years from peak!). His value has probably appreciated a reasonable amount since the start of the season. Maybe he’s not going to be a fit in Calgary, but I think Feaster will flip him for a nice profit if he isn’t.

    That being said, Colborne is probably not going to be a legitimate top-6 player ever. Backlund, who is just 9 months older, might. I’d like to see some better minutes invested in Backlund.

    • McRib

      Agree, Colborne looks like a player, he should be a player, but he isn’t a player.

      I remember when Boston drafted him and TSN went on about how rich kids rarely pan out…. and for once they were actually bang on!!! You know it’s the same reason Hunter Shinkaruk plummeted in the draft… I attended the same school as Colborne (two years before) and knew a handful of his teammates on Camrose and Denver. So having followed him closely the past five years I can honestly say I have seen him score goals like this before and he should score them more often, but he doesn’t. Right when you have given up on him he always pulls one of these out of his hat just to frustrate the hell out of you.

      Top. 6 Players need to bring it consistently, but he sits back far too often letting others do the work to think he will ever change. For the amount of points he put up on Camrose and Denver always found it bazaar for the teammates I have talked to of his to say they didn’t like playing with him at all. For the kind of ice time he is receiving to only have five points so far is actually fairly awful. Honestly I am told he is a nice kid and don’t mean to belittle him, but Calgary will soon find out the same thing Boston & Toronto did.. Fortunately we only paid a middle round pick and I’m sure another team will give him a go after us.

  • beloch

    FYI Johnny Hockey with another 3 points last night, He’s now leading the league in scoring, ppg and he’s tied with the most gwg.

    Plus, Mr. Arnold is doing just fine as well!

  • Bob Cobb

    You lost to Columbus? Hahahahaha, that’s about the same as your wife cheating on you with a guy in a coma. Life can’t get much worse for the guy in the coma ,after losing 7-0, but they still have more to offer than a fresh Flames team.

    • McRib

      Fans of NHL Teams with AHL Caliber Defenses shouldn’t be so quick to judge other teams loosing, as it is inevitable that their said team will enter into another loosing streak again momentarily.

    • NHL93

      It’s difficult for teams like the Blue Jackets to get up for the Oilers…they are of Junior caliber and have lost >500 games since 2006. They are basement dwellers despite the league granting them 3 !st overalls. Same can be said for there football team.

      What a LOSER city….god awful!

    • Rockmorton65

      It’s funny you should use the metaphor of a guy in a coma. Someone who’s completely oblivious to what’s going on around him, who occasionally scores. Sounds like a lot of the Oilers to me.

      • everton fc

        We should chill on the Happless Oilers. Karma’c a bitch man and our Flames been burnin rather dim of late. Face it, we were owned in that 3rd period on Saturday. It wasn’t pretty. We played basically okay against the Jets and last night was some ugly hockey. We can make fun of the Oilers as much as we’d like, we have the same amount of wins in the playoffs these last few years. NONE !!! Let’s right this ship, then we can invade the north and fly the Flaming C high above Alberta’s capital. Until then, we are just talkin out out butts.

    • RedMan

      we can’t all be as lucky as you, and get to cheer daily for a team as awesome as the Oilers.

      I mean, we all know that NO team will ever win as many games as the oilers are, er, I mean will, win…

      you are such a lucky fan…

      • Bob Cobb

        I am a lucky fan aren’t I Jeff thanks for pointing that out, and to boot I don’t live in Lethbridge so I got that going for me too. Enjoy the wind and Hutterites.

  • McRib

    Michael Ferland now has 11 points in last 7 games with Abbotsford. Getting excited to see him and Corbin Knight later this year with the big club.

    Of note Chad Billins also has 6 points in last 2 with the Heat as well. Suprised more wasn’t made of his two game call up thought he looked very solid in both games.

    • everton fc

      Troy “G” Ward has said Ferland’s skills are AHL-level or better now. He’s simply a 21 year old kid with the maturity of an 18 year old, but he’s maturing under Ward’s care. Growing up. And his teammates seem to like him – when he scored his first goal down there, the locker room was excited for him

      Ferland would have immediately dealt with Ference, if her were on the ice the other night. He’ll take on anyone to defend his teammates. Which is why he’s well-respected in the room these days. The Abby players see this in him. As does Ward.

      Ferland will be an everyday NHL player when he’s reached his age, maturity-wise. I have high hopes for him. Pulling for him. Remember, he came to the game later in life, than most of his peers, “same age”.

      • Rockmorton65

        Excellent comments…agree on all counts. I as well am pulling for him. I watched him in Penticton and was one of the top young stars in the tournament. Also off the ice he and Monahan were like magnets. All the players really respect him on and off the ice!!

  • NHL93

    Ferland reminds me of what Gary Roberts was when he first came up.. north/south winger with okay hands and a mean streak. Would love for Ferland to develop the same way as no.10!

    • everton fc

      I cannot prop this enough.

      You don’t need a lot of face punchers, you need some guys, on several lines, with the skills to make guys like Ferrence pay for their actions. Maybe, just maybe and even then not often, you have a super-heavyweight like Big Ern just in case.

  • Bob Cobb

    Say whatever you want about the Oilers, they’re playing better, won 3 in a row, and will be ahead of the Flames in no time, by the end of the month in fact.

    Enjoy losing to another coma victim in Florida, Losers!!