Post Game: Flames Drop Ball on NYE

pic via Simonpix

Hopefully by now everyone has shaken off the effects of their festivities last night and awoke this morning ready to face 2014 with all the grit, pugnacity, and of course truculence, that one would expect of a Flames fan. 

If you didn’t watch the game or drank yourself into a state of forgetting, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Flames 4-1 last night on the strength of three points from Brayden Schenn and a solid goaltending performance from Ray Emery. Also, I think that we can now definitively say that these third jerseys are cursed. Like, saying Macbeth while using a black cat to smash a mirror under a ladder cursed. So let’s never use them again and pull the satanic horsehead ones out of storage.

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The Flames had been insanely good in New Year’s Eve games coming into last night, having won six straight times on NYE. However, the magic wore off and the Flames offensive woes were painfully evident once again. 


The Flames debuted their newest acquisition last night, noted goal-scorer/deterrence creator/code enforcer/right kind of game player Kevin Westgarth. As was mentioned on twitter when Westgarth was acquired, he had only played more than 10 minutes in a game three times in his entire 133 game NHL career. Well, he played 10:42 in last night’s game so I suppose that means he is stepping into a larger role here with the Flames. That is mildly nauseating. 

The Flames got off to a slow start and were behind the eight ball from the opening minutes of the game. Mark Streit scored three minutes into the game on a wrister from the point forcing the home side to play catch up right off the bat. Reto Berra was making his third straight start since the Christmas break and really didn’t have much of a chance on the first goal as there was chaos in front of him.

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The first ended 1-0 with the Flyers out shooting the Flames 10-7 in the first and carrying the majority of the play including Streit hitting a post not long after he had scored and Brayden Schenn having a goal waved off for goaltender interference.

Calgary was able to push back slightly in the second, but were unable to convert on a power play seven minutes into the period. It took a neutral zone turnover and a slick pass from the most loveable Flame at the moment, Paul Byron, to spring Sean Monahan down the left wing and snap a wrister past Emery to end the Flames home scoring drought 25 seconds short of 160 minutes. Let’s not do that again this season okay Flames?

Despite the momentum generated by Monahan’s goal the Flames weren’t able to get to the room tied. Brayden Schenn spun and slide one past Berra at 18:31 of the second, a goal that despite miserable defensive coverage in front of the net by Butler, Berra would have like to have back I am sure. The Flyers went into the room up 2-1 despite being outshot in the period 11-7.

The third saw the Flames chasing the Flyers who looked quite comfortable defending the lead. The Flames seemed ham-fisted and frustrated in the Flyers end, forcing pucks and squeezing their sticks. This team just does not have a shred of confidence in the offensive zone right now and scoring only once during a three game home-stand makes this exceptionally clear.  

The Flyers iced the game at 10:14 of the third with a Scott Hartnell tip off a Luke Schenn shot that ended with Berra familiarly sliding out of position. This loss was not on Berra though, this team needs to find a way to score more goals, even though they are seriously lacking in firepower up front.


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Though Paul Byron had another good game and scored yet another point (don’t we just expect it at this point though? clearly he is the best and we all love him), I think that Monahan deserves this one. To be blunt, Monahan has absolutely stunk since returning from a hairline fracture in his foot. He has seen his ice time fall off the table and was even relegated to goon patrol over the past couple games.

The most obvious difference in his game post-injury has been his foot-speed, or lack thereof. The game was looking like it was eating him alive at times and it looked as though it was only a matter of time before he watched a game from the press-box. 

While this game wasn’t a reversal of those criticisms, the goal he scored was a nice one and he looked to be making decisions a bit faster. Monahan finished with 15:46, of ice time which is up nearly five minutes from the Vancouver game and, to use everybody’s favourite stat, was even in a 4-1 loss (which is good right?). His underlying numbers were good last night as well which is a welcome change from the first few games since his return where he was getting massacred. Hopefully he can continue to regain the mental and physical quickness that surprised so many during the opening weeks of the season.  


The Flames can’t score right now and their goaltender didn’t steal them a game. When a team is scoring 0.33 goals a game over a three game stretch, it is super hard to win. Especially with this roster.

The Flames don’t play again until Friday at 7p.m. when they faceoff against the team that robbed…you know what, it’s still too soon. The Flames will play the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are a surprising 23-12-4 and sit second in the Atlantic division. I hope Gelinas suits up and exacts some sort of revenge. 

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  • Michael

    I suspect that Philly is the kind of team that Burke wants in Calgary, big, mean, good speed and skill. Philly was relentless in chasing down the puck, winning key face offs, and shift and after shift it looked like boys playing against men.
    Westgarth looked like a decent fourth liner, like the fact he was willing to pay the price to get in front of the net.

    • Michael

      I would agree with you. Was at the game last night and couldn’t help notice the size of the Flyers and the ease they had in simply pushing away the tiny Flames forwards. Burke has the right plan in place and the quicker he can execute the better. I would start with a top notch goalie. As much as Berra and Ramo make the odd outstanding save they do not have the ability to steal a game.

  • Michael

    So we are a team that has scored 0 goals in two straight games and we decide to play two face punchers instead of the skilled forward we just recalled from the minors. Oh, how this makes so much sense. Jurkee has said he is a man of little patience, I’m becoming a fan with little patience.

    Every team which people bring up as case examples of teams with size and grit are also teams with skill and can play four lines. Sorry if you don’t allow your skilled players a chance to play because you are so busy trading for and playing Grit your plan will fail.

    • everton fc

      I’m not as concerned about the losses as I am about the eroding trade values of our UFAs, if the trade deadline was tomorrow we would not do better than a second round pick for Cammi, third rounder for Stajan and a fourth rounder for Stemps…….better to trade for prospects I guess……..big strong prospects!!!


      • everton fc

        I’m not concerned with the losses either.If your trading the UFA’s for big strong prospects hopefully they are more like Ferland, Bouma rather than Westinghouse or McG. Also easier for the UFA’s to play well if there is some skill to play with rather than Grit Chart face punchers.

    • everton fc

      I suspect your generally a negative person regardless. To be all over Burke who just got here and has executed a grande total of 1 transaction tells me that I would rather side with a veteran GM with a proven track record of astute trades and building championship teams. Would you rather have Kevin Lowe lead this team? Jay Feaster?

      Take a pill and go for a walk. It’s a bright sunny day outside it will do your impatience a world of good!

      • TheoForever

        Primo to suspect that I am generally a negative person would be to presume wrong. I’m all over Burke mostly because I don’t believe he is the Hockey giant that many believe. I have a different vision than he has. No I would not prefer Lowe or Feaster but I did prefer the general direction that the Flames seemed to start the season with than Burkes vision. His proven track record is debatable and many on the sight would agree. I took a walk didn’t need a pill. By the way I used the word impatience because Burke used it and I don’t see you dumping on him. I would love for Burke to prove me wrong(I have said this a couple of times) and have this team be a contender sooner than later. See I responded and did not even call Burke by my nick name( which really is in jest because of his desire for size{where’s the beef and bad take on his name, I was going to use Turkee but it did not work with the idea of beef). I hope you and his supporters are right and I will give him props when he earns them but to date I don’t see any. Plllless and still a Flames fan.

          • everton fc

            Absolutely. At this point I would be mostly focused on our UFA’s but I would not be against a good trade. Gio would almost be untouchable for me but I would listen to any deal but it would have to be very good and I don’t believe a team trying to win this year would be willing to pay my price for him. I also think we have to consider trades for just about everyone except Monahan. However I believe that at this point of the rebuild that I would give up our core or our top prospects. Draft and UFA signings would be my preference.

  • everton fc

    the locals seem to over value the ufa crew. just what is cammie worth when compared to say vanek, or moulson. stajan? usually teams that win championships draft their core. and not all the key components are top ten selections. just throwing this out therre but what would gio be worth to a contending team? in light of neon’s new contract gio has to be incredible value.

    • TheoForever

      I agree that we probably over value our UFA’s but that should be expected and the based upon the love affair that many have with Beef Jurkee many expect great things(I’m not so sure). Would you be prepared to trade Gio? I would not. As for Vanek, Moulson are not both teams trying to sign them? Buffalo would really be a winner if the NYI continue to struggle and then also swap Moulson for another first rounder.

      • everton fc

        in regards to trading gio, if the reward was substantial enough, say quality nhl ready prospects and/or a package of higher picks i certainly would entertain it. trading gio may be a stort term step backwards in the rebuild however the yield may be potentially beneficial. hows a package including gio to the leafs for kadri,gardner and liles sound as a starting point?

      • everton fc

        moulson has stated he wants to play for teddy, and yeppers trading him for yet another first would definitely benefit the sabres immensely. also a thought to consider, would james reimer be available now that it appears bernier is the leafs top tender.

  • Derzie

    It is line in the sand time here in Flames land. Reading posts is like watching an election in the US. Someone makes a sane comment about skill winning hockey games (i.e. Democrats) and half of the ratings are trashes (i.e. Republicans)and half are props. Always 1/2 of each. 50/50. Brains vs. Brawn. Science vs. Religion. Common Sense vs. No Sense. Burke has drawn a line that leaves 50% of us in the cold. He’s brought the US political process to Alberta. It shows more than ever that half of Alberta thinks they are Texans. Truculence and goonery. Giving bad hockey players too much ice because they are big. Burying skilled prospects in the AHL. I am stunned with how for the first time in 20 years, I do not want to watch the Flames. The year started so promising. Seeing Ken King in the box again with his old buddy Brian tells me this is not my team anymore. The fat, arrogant, hand squeezing, white oil barons have come out of their lair and are putting their mark on this team. Tragic times.

    • TheoForever

      It blows me away how many stats advocates & writers on FN who have written some very long researched articles on how most of the Flames prospects & draft picks need seasoning in the AHL & or other development leagues. I have read where rushing decent prospects was bad bad bad & supported by many of the stats advocates that post here. Burke comes in & does what has been preached on this site & sent one of our best prospects down when many of us wanted Sven to be our savior & win the Calder. Is he not doing the right thing with Sven? If you went to any games you would see how we are not a big team. Our skilled guys now are Byron???? I wrote that guy off last year. I think Kent referred to him as a career AHLer in an article early in 2013.

      You dont think Burke doesnt know that really, short of Monahan, there is really no sure thing on th team to even build a new core around. Quite frankly, if sending Monahan to Abby was an option, it would have probably been done by now. Now you are getting bent out of shape in that Burke has made a few piddly trades & it wasnt for Crosby or OV or something like that. Burke is not going to wait & see if Monahan is that 1st piece to build around, nor is he going to wait another 3 years to see if our top 3 pick in 2014 is going to be that piece. He is going to pry a big building block away from some team & he is going to pay a huge price to get it & he is going to start this rebuild from scratch. Players like Brodie, Gaudreau, Gilles or Seiloff turn out, then we are that much further ahead. God speed to Burke. I dont know if many want to wait until we get 3 1st overalls to restart building the foundation. Feaster may have been on a not bad path, but it was going to be a long & winding road. I’m embracing Burkes approach & am praying that we see shrewd trading, shrewd drafting & bold UFA signings to get us back to a team that feels we may be a few pieces away from something special.Welcome to parity in the cap world of the NHL.

    • Don’t worry about being trashed today for not being a Burke fan lots of that going on. I agree that the season started well and the direction seems to have changed. Part of it has been I believ the injuries to Wides and Russell two puck moving defensemen who helped the pp along. They have been replaced by players with more grit but less talent, hopefully Wides will be back soon.

  • Hey Derzie – not sure what your issue is with the oil industry but who do you think owns the corporate suites, many of the season tickets and advertise at the games. Who contributes significantly to the Flames Foundation. Hint: It’s not Greenpeace.

  • TheoForever

    To those defending Darzie my main issue with this opinionated self-righteous demagogue is that he is an anti-religious, left wing, tree hugging racist.

    As for Burke, I believe he will give us Leafs West, a team not good enough and deeply flawed. The speed up of the rebuild will most likely just lead to more years of bubble 8th spot finishes.

    Feaster, was an accident waiting to happen as in ROR offer and didn’t get enough in some trades, etc. However, he set Flames on the path to exiting hockey.
    Watching Flames this year it was a shock to see a team create scoring chances, change positions in flight and so on. I realized how boring this team has been for a long time.
    It has been a long time since a Flame forward was able to skate like hell and take away the puck too.

    Yeah, we have to get bigger, but we have to be able to make plays too.
    One way to make life easier for the young forwards in the system is to have a fast, puck moving defence, guys like Russell, Boyd, Giordano and Wideman are just fine. Add couple guys like Smid and we have a well balanced defensive corps.
    But I’m sure Burke will put an end to that.