pic via Chris.Chabot
Boy oh boy, has everyone had a deep breath after that game?! Whew! I think I speak for everyone who
was subjected to watched this game when I say, wow, this game sucked. Like, I could try to think of more diplomatic language but why mince words? A mixture of bad bounces and horrendous play contributed to a shellacking in Glendale and the Flames look once again like a team that is poised for a lottery pick. Also, the Coyotes must be the only team in the NHL that can win a game 6-0 and make in an excruciating experience for both teams.
The Flames played in consecutive nights after a 4-3 win in Denver last night and came into Phoenix ready to unleash their furious offensive attack on the poor Coyotes. The Flames scored four times from four different players in Colorado after being shutout in three out of four previous games. However, if as though Monday’s scoring fiesta was merely a dream, the Flames were shutout again, this time on the road 6-0 at the hands of the Coyotes.
The first period was rather bland with neither team getting many good chances. The Flames struggled to find their legs in the opening minutes but were able to keep the Coyotes from scoring an early goal which should be considered a victory in and of itself. Joe Colborne, who is coming off one of his best games as a Flame last night in Denver, drew a penalty which led to the Flames best chances of the period.
Reto Berra got the start in net and looked relatively solid in the first, though he was barely tested. Dennis Wideman had a great chance on the power play but Thomas Greiss denied him with a bizarre glove save from behind his head. The shots ended 9-6 for the Flames, seven of which came from defencemen including three from Dennis Wideman. The Flames also out-chanced the ‘Yotes 8-4.
Then things went to hell. Early in the second, Colborne tried to make a skilled play in the offensive zone at the end of a long shift and turned over the puck. Boedker chipped the puck in front of the net and banked it off of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever survivor Shane Doan and into the net. A crappy, flukey goal. One worthy of Phoenix.
One minute and 36 seconds later, Korpikoski took a slapshot and hit all-snub team member Radim Vrbata in the back and falling on a platter for Martin Hanzal who buried it. Both goals sucked and you have to feel for Berra who has played very well recently but has received zero help from his team. In fact, in four of the last six starts for Reto Berra, he has received no goals in support. As in zero. Nadda. So, though he is not making people forget about kipper, this past stretch of games has been unfair for him.
With eight minutes to go in the second, noted rodent Mike Ribeiro fed Boedker in front who snuck one by Berra on the short side making it 3-0. This one wasn’t a fluke and didn’t look too good on Berra either. Still, it would be nice for the Flames to give him something resembling offensive support. The Flames fell completely flat in the second and as a result, lost the game. The period ended 3-0 for the Coyotes with the Coyotes out-shooting the Flames 7-5 though the chances were tied 6-6.
In the third, Hartley tried to scramble the lines including moving Joe Colborne up the depth chart and early on the Flames had some good offensive pressure but could not score. Mid-way through the third, Giordano made an exceptionally soft play and Lauri Korpikoski banged home the fourth goal of the night for Phoenix. Late in the third, former Hitmen defender Michael Stone ripped home a slapper past Berra to make it 5-0 for the Coyotes. For good measure, Rob Klinkhammer scored on a powerplay and made it 6-0. Mercifully, the game ended there. The shots ended 30-27 in favour of the Coyotes, so six goals on 30 shots is obviously not a great night for Berra.
All in all, it was an awful game for the flames.
THE RED WARRIOR
This one is tough because of the general malaise that surrounded the team throughout the game. Paul Byron, whom I love, had another good game and generated offence throughout the game. Joe Colborne looked pretty decent at times today and I think he has put two pretty good games together for the first time in a while. But even the players who were kind of good still sucked. The whole team sucked. Period.
However, I am going to go with Dennis Wideman who had five shots on goal, though many of them were on the power-play. The PP just looks so much more relaxed and confident with him on the point despite the fact that the Flames were unable to score on any of their man advantages. Hopefully he can provide some offence for this club moving forward because the Flames haven’t received much of anything from their other rearguards this season with the exception of possibly Giordano or Russell.
|Away||1||18:49||Stempniak missed net||1||5||6||36||50||89||5||7||22||23||29||32||5v5|
|Home||1||12:12||Chipchura shot blocked||1||3||14||18||24||53||5||7||8||16||29||39||5v5|
|Away||1||6:33||McGrattan shot blocked||1||5||6||36||50||89||5||7||16||17||18||29||5v5|
|Home||1||5:31||Hanzal shot blocked||1||5||6||11||17||28||3||6||22||23||29||32||5v5|
|Home||1||5:10||Hanzal shot blocked||1||5||6||11||17||28||3||6||8||15||29||32||5v5|
|Home||2||16:18||Hanzal scores on rebound||1||3||11||17||28||53||3||11||22||27||29||32||5v5|
|Away||2||11:22||Brodie hit side of net||1||11||16||28||53||5||7||23||24||29||32||4v5|
|Away||2||9:35||Stempniak shot blocked||1||3||6||50||53||89||7||11||22||29||39||44||5v5|
|Away||2||8:03||Colborne shot blocked||1||3||5||11||17||28||5||6||8||15||29||39||5v5|
|Home||3||9:44||Vermette shot blocked||1||3||18||36||50||53||3||6||13||22||23||29||5v5|
|Home||3||9:04||Vrbatal hit side of net||1||3||11||17||28||53||5||7||11||24||29||32||5v5|
|Away||3||0:34||Byron missed net||1||5||6||14||24||28||8||17||27||29||32||44||5v5|
|Period||Totals||EV||PP||5v3 PP||SH||5v3 SH|
SUM IT UP
Another loss, albeit an exceptionally ugly one, in this inevitable march towards the deadline and then draft day. However, this one was especially terrible. The Flames were the victims of some bad luck in the second but were unable to capitalize on their power-plays or get a greasy goal that might have allowed them back in the game. Then the wheels fell off and the Coyotes scored six straight goals and the Flames were completely lifeless.
With the exception of last night’s tilt against the Avs, the Flames are not getting any production from their vets especially Stempniak, Cammalleri, Galiardi, and nothing from the back-end. Also, I think Darren Haynes identified a problem for a team trying to generate offence:
I figured out why the Flames fourth line has been on the ice so much tonight. Because they have two fourth lines.
— Darren Haynes (@DarrenHaynes_CP) January 8, 2014
By all accounts the game was played in slush, making any attempts at a comeback even more improbable if the suffocating death grip of Tippet’s Coyotes with-a-lead wasn’t enough. The Flames collectively no-showed in the second and third and didn’t get world-class goaltending (though I am sure no one should be expecting that this season) and as a result were beaten. Badly.
The Flames return home for a date with the St.Louis Blues who I believe, and this is not official, have 19636017.9 Olympians on their roster. Quite an achievement.