Post Game: Nope! No goals.

pic via Chiot’s Run

Before the game, Sportsnet played the highlights of the last Flames/Blues game on December 23rd. The Flames erasing a two-goal third period deficit, Giordano scoring with five seconds left to the roar of a dome crowd, once again invested in the fortunes of a loveable but altogether out-matched team.

It all seemed real but at the same time too improbable to believe. I mean, I know it’s statistically possible for the Flames to score at home, I just don’t think I have been alive for it. If I have, I must not remember it.

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In the game that I watched, in a cold, distant, and seemingly separate universe from the one that the Dec. 23rd game was played in, the Flames were pummeled at home 5-0 by the Blues. Thats 11-0 the Flames have been outscored in their last two games.The game kinda reminded me of playing one-on-basketball with an older, taller brother. One who was interested to see what you could do sometimes but ultimately wasn’t going to let win. Or score.  



"How much longer is Boston College’s season?"

The Flames began the first period by taking two penalties, which wasn’t exactly an ideal start. They killed both of them off but shortly after the second penalty expired, Derek Roy went five-hole on T.J Brodie, feeding Chris Stewart in the slot who scored on a point-blank shot. After Lance Bouma failed to convert on a cross-crease play, the Blues went back the other way and made it 2-0 off a wrister from Vladimir Sobotka. That goal was a soft one and I am pretty sure one soft goal against, (hell any goal against) is enough to sink the Flames these days. The Flames started the game in a massive hole against a very good club.

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St. Louis completely dominated play in the first period even though the Flames had a four minute power-play to end the period after noted skid mark Max Lapierre managed to both rough and interfere shrinking violet Brian McGrattan on the same play. And lived to tell the tale somehow. However, the Flames PP is more like poo-poo these days (see what I did there!?) and were completely unable to generate any good scoring chances. In four minutes of power play time, the mighty Flames generated two shots. The first ended with the Blues out-shooting the Flames 12-6 and leading 2-0. The Blues led in shot attempts 23-9 after one which I believe is a more telling indicator of how the first really was. 

Early in the second, Karri Ramo robbed friggen Olympian Jay Bouwmeester who should have made it 3-0 early. The Flames then had another power play which was able to have at least possession of the puck throughout the two minutes. On that PP, Hudler had a wide-open, and I mean like really wide-open, net and managed to hit the far post from the low, right wing. Hitting that post was actually a much more difficult achievement than simply putting it in the gaping net so I guess I am not even mad, I just wish he would have called his shot first.

In the opening minutes of period two, the Flames showed a lot of jump and generated some legitimate scoring chances but after not being able to convert, the Blues made the Flames pay. After hemming the Flames in their zone for more than a minute and a half, Tarasenko found a wide open Ian Cole who had an empty net and made it 3-0 blues half-way through the second.

The best chances in the second came on the power play for the Flames who had another man-advantage at the ten minute mark of the second. They didn’t score (what is scoring?) on it but they had some good chances. On a related note, was Lee Stempniak abducted by aliens and his body replaced by the alien equivalent of Clarke Wilm? Scratch that, Wilm would have buried a few more than poor Stemp over this stretch. Also, Lance Bouma had two wide-open nets in this game (you saw the final score so you know how that ended).

The second ended with the shots being a lot closer thanks to three Flames power plays. The Blues outshot the Flames 22-21 after two and led in shot attempts 37-36 though the power plays and St. Louis’ big lead are surely the reason for the Flames closing the gap so dramatically.  

The Blues started the third on a power play and, as good teams do, scored on that power play. The Flames were hopelessly unable to clear the puck from their own zone and Alex Pietrangelo made it 4-0 Blues, scoring his sixth of the season on a deflected shot off a Flames d man. I don’t know who it was. Who cares. Life is pain.

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Then, because he plays for the Flames and is terrible, Kevin Westgarth took a mind-numbingly stupid penalty and sent the Blues back to the power-play. Vladimir Tarasenko scored on a cross-seam pass from Leopold and made it 5-0. Still, Karri Ramo was left to absorb the onslaught, even down 5-0. The only goal that Ramo even had a chance on was the second goal by Sobotka and it didn’t matter because the Flames have forgotten how to score entirely. 

For good measure, the Flames failed on one more power play in the final three minutes just to remind everyone just how inept they are right now with the man advantage. The game ended 5-0. Comedically, the Flames actually ended up out-shooting the Blues 33-29 and probably deserved a goal but certainly no more than that.  


This one is exceptionally hard because literally no one looked good tonight. Let’s go with Karri Ramo who made a couple very nice saves including one off of Jaden Schwartz, long after the Flames had stopped caring. You have to feel for him, who has played solid but behind a putrid, wretched team his last few starts (the Denver miracle notwithstanding)


 pic via sabresfreak   


The Blues are an awesome team. Our dear Flames are, well, a less-than-awesome team. The frantic urgency that the Flames displayed earlier in the season has completely evaporated and we are left with the sobering fact that the Flames are not a good team and are no longer finding ways to win games that they shouldn’t. 

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It is my sincere hope that Burke’s model of "black and blue hockey" looks like the St. Louis Blues because those guys are big, strong, skilled, and have four blue-chip defencemen. This team should compete for the Cup if they don’t kill themselves trying to get out of the West come playoff time.   

It seriously pains me to agree with Eric Francis in any way, shape, or form but he mentioned that it might be time to deal one of the vets and I think that he may be right. I think it might be time to reward some of the guys in Abbotsford who have been playing so well this year and move some of the pending UFA’s along. What’s the harm in giving Ben Street or Chad Billins another look? I no longer buy the ‘insulating’ argument as reason enough to keep them in the AHL, if the rationale for keeping the kids (Granlund, Knight, Reinhart, even Sven) in Abby this year was to give them big minutes, then give them the keys down there. Something should be done with the big club. 

But it’s all good because the Flames should be able to easily handle the Penguins, their next opponent, on Hockey Night in Canada. 

  • RexLibris

    On the bright side, doing these post-game reviews during this stretch has probably secured you a better Karmic reincarnation.

    Maybe in your next life you can come back as a Red Wings fan.


  • Victoria Flames Fan

    Great read… Absorbs some of the pain. The Westgarth trade is looking like a steal as a bottom 3 position is becoming more and more plausible. There is no one at crappy on the Sabres.

  • SmellOfVictory

    I love the fact that everyone has given up on posting the scoring chances for these games, presumably to protect the readers.

    But I really would’ve enjoyed to see the differential for the Westgarth/Colborne/Big Ern line. That is a doozy.

  • MonsterPod

    Whoo, hard to watch these days. Can’t stop thinking about Ekblad. It’s so schizophrenic to cheer for the C but desire a top pick. Like everyone, I want to see the Flames lose most games, but only by one goal. Development is crucial at this point. We don’t want to become ED.

  • redricardo

    We knew we’d be bad, but at the beginning of the season we all applauded the effort. Even losing, as fans we said that as long as the team put forth that kind of effort, we’d be okay.

    Then the Brian Burke era started. He rewarded the GM that started the rebuild, got us out of “salary cap hell”, and controlled the contracts handed out by firing him. The GM that said that he wasn’t bidding on any overpriced free agents this summer, and would give the young guys a chance to play. The guy that preached “meritocracy” and earning your role by contributing whatever you could contribute.

    That guy was fired, and the new guy immediately starting throwing out words like “size”, “beef” and “truculence”. His first act as GM was to trade for a giant goon that should be in the AHL, and even if he wasn’t making bonehead plays (which he is) he’s still a liability on the ice and is making everyone else have to work that much harder, just to overcome the fact that he’s on the team due to one fact: size.

    Now I get that the players are professional athletes getting paid millions to try, and that right now the shooting percentage is unsustainably low. But still. If you’re a player on this team, and you’re looking at the environment the new guy is going for… How many people here would just say “Screw it, I’m getting traded for a giant goon” and go through the motions waiting for the other shoe to drop? Because that’s exactly what this team looks like to me right now.

  • MonsterPod

    “But it’s all good because the Flames should be able to easily handle the Penguins, their next opponent, on Hockey Night in Canada. ”

    Dear God, Malkin AND Crosby in the lineup?!?!?!

    Berra and Ramo will probably alternate after each 3 goal segment.

  • what's up

    Flames fan forever, what’s up though? These guys aren’t snake bit their , Burke bit. Goal scoring problems arrived with Feasters dismissal. Burke has them all gripping their sticks a little too tight worrying about “truculence” and there jobs along with Hartley’s player choices. Yeah we need some talent but give the kids a chance and ship out some vets for draft choices.

  • EugeneV

    Cammaleri is the ONLY player on this team with a goal scoring acumen. Nobody else could even score in the Minors or Junior, so what do we expect?

    So it now appears that the majority of posters today want the team fixed “RIGHT NOW” rather than the rebuild taking a natural course?

    That’s easy, Just start giving away tomorrow for today so we can compete to get into the playoffs, just like we did since 1995. SOOOOOO CLOSE..not!

    Be patient and hope it only takes a couple of years like Chicago or Pitts.

    Hard to watch though, when you care about the team.

    What will happen when he gets traded? OMFG

    We will be way worse than anyone else. 30th all the way.

    • redricardo

      I don’t want the team fixed right now. But I felt a lot better about the natural course before Brian “I’m not a patient man, bring on the beef” Burke took over.

    • EugeneV

      Chicago and Pitts rebuilds took 5+ years
      Coilers are 4 years in and still suck

      Nothing about this will be fast.

      I do agree we should have 29th locked up. Even we won’t be able to catch Buffalo.

  • redricardo

    @ Clyde:

    “Was that the guy that got extremely poor returns on an Olympian and a franchise legend playing on the top line with a contender? Not to mention the ROR fiasco”

    Yup. He made mistakes. And I still felt better about the direction of the rebuild than I did with Burke. My post wasn’t to debate the good and bad history of either guy. Just pointing out… This team looks like they’ve given up. The Burke era was the start of when I would personally start questioning the effort put in (barring the first couple games). And I offered a hypothesis on why that might be.

  • Burnward

    Wow, why are we turning on each other?? Is this team not meeting expectations & projections people were making over 2 years ago??? We suck. We have zero elite talent on this team & we are turning blue from holding our breath praying that Johhny G ill somehow be elite right out of the hop. No one is going to give us anything. Stop blaming Burke because this team cant score a freaking goal. It was happening regardless of what happened to Feasty. We have to draft our way out of this & get a little lucky. Training camp is opening soon & I cant wait. Trade the vets & lets start the Abby to Calgary weekly shuttle soon! Hartley needs to sit these guys down & tell them to have fun & try to enjoy being spoilers. We need to change the fear of failure in that dressing room with need to achieve. Time for Hartley to go out of the coaching box, something along the lines of what Badger Bob did & take the team to an Indiana Jones movie. This is becoming more of a mental blocking thing now.

  • It seriously pains me to agree with Eric Francis in any way, shape, or form but he mentioned that it might be time to deal one of the vets and I think that he may be right.

    Disagree. Trading guys in the middle of a dry spell is the best way to get a terrible return. “Sell low” if you were. Think of the Phaneuf trade after the 9-game losing streak.

    Deep breaths everyone. The Flames weren’t going to win anything this year anyways. Ride out the low points and then auction off guys at the deadline.

    • Rockmorton65

      Burke is one to take his time & not trade from weakness. Nothing deals like the Wesgarth deal is like teams just trading dirty underwear, chances are they are going to be dust rags anyway. Unfortunately a lot of fans see a trade like that as the bigger picture when in reality it isn’t. I am comfortable in the fact Flames have zero expectation. Time is on our side. However, Leaf fans are going to see what kind of balls Nonis has. Wouldn’t want that job for all the tea in China. I know waiting is the best thing & will equate to better returns, it’s just so hard to not want to see kids like Reinhart/Knight/Seiloff,Ortio & Cundari get some prime time. It’s hard not to be impatient in a rebuild.

  • Derzie

    Who are the people in here trashing the angry Burke posts? Look at Toronto and the impact to the flames who are now giving up if they are under 240 lbs except Byron. We are in big big trouble. For years as ken king is in love with big good in his own image.

  • Derzie

    I’m not saying the lineup needs a shakeup, it needs an overhaul, but isnt that what this season is all about anyways? Burkie will make moves, we all know its coming, so “getcha popcorn ready”

    All i know is right now they are atrocious. And to be completely honest with you, i dont even care, lets go get us some ekblad.

  • Haydenr1533

    What do you think it would take to bet big buff out of Winnipeg? Then we do what San Jose did with burns and convert buff back to right wing like when he was with Chicago. Maybe offer up a 2nd and hurdler?

  • Haydenr1533

    Exactly what I predicted would happen by not trading Iginla 2 yers earlier. We’re no better than the Oilers, Panthers or NYI.

    HAd the teamhad the brains to move Iginla then, imagine the return. The supporting cast would’ve remained and the return package would be rounding into form. But no, Edwards had to drag it out to the bitter end.

    It’s a 5 year process now baby. No way around, Burke’s impatience or not.

    • supra steve


      I agree with you now and I agreed with you then, but I think we really have to put this to rest. The trade didn’t happen 2+ years ago, regrettably. So now we look ahead and enjoy the small things that we will get over the next few seasons. We count the days before the draft each summer and speculate on who the scouts have settled on. A lot of us survived the last demise of the Flames, after that one, this will be a cinch.

      Not trying to be critical here, just trying to help you get over this man:)

  • redricardo

    For the life of me I don’t understand where the anger and (perceived) surprise is coming from with this team right now. They’re a last place hockey team. They have been since the beginning of the season, since before that. We’re bottom of the league in terms of salary and cap and ownership is getting what they paid for: a top draft pick. I thought we were all aware that this is what was going on since the end of last season?

    Burke isn’t to blame for this teams sudden drop off a cliff. Yet. He may be in the future if he continues to stock the shelves with face punchers but trading Nemisz (a complete bust) for Westgarth isn’t in and of itself a bad move it’s just an alarming signal to a fanbase already worried about what direction Burke might take us in. These fears are understandable but using the Westgarth trade as a reason this team is floundering is basically an indication that you haven’t been paying attention.

    They were working really hard at the beginning of the season and they surprised a few teams who thought they were gonna get a night off against us. That’s not happening anymore. Teams know that they’re gonna have to actually compete against us to win and, unfortunately, if they do there’s just not much that this team can do to counter. It is what it is.

    Take a deep breath flames fans. This is what year 1 of a rebuild looks like.

    • icedawg_42

      “Burke isn’t to blame for this teams sudden drop off a cliff. Yet. He may be in the future if he continues to stock the shelves with face punchers but trading Nemisz (a complete bust) for Westgarth isn’t in and of itself a bad move it’s just an alarming signal to a fanbase already worried about what direction Burke might take us in.” THIS x 100!

  • Rockmorton65

    I’m amazed that even though we’ve been shut out five of our last seven, two wins since I started my Christmas shopping, and having lost 29 of their first 44 games, if the draft were held today, we’d miss out on Reinhart/Ekblad?!? I’m not taking shots here, but how bad are Edmonton and Buffalo? As bad as we’ve been, there are TWO teams doing worse than us. Kooky. That’s my rant. Lol

    I don’t expect Burke to simply sell anything that’s not nailed down for draft picks, draft 10 to 15 kids and hope a few of them pan out in a few years. I think he’ll trade upcoming FAs for players or prospects that have already shown some promise and are a little further ahead in development, then hit free agency hard. If we win the lottery, I can totally see him trading the pick for some elite level talent.

    However I have been wrong before and I’ll probably be wrong again. Lol.

  • Rockmorton65

    Absolutely agree with everything that you had to say. Feaster had this team going somewhere, a direction towards speed and skill and hard work, aka the new NHL. He’s got his shortcomings, but hey, who doesn’t? With a smart AGM, they could have made a sweet tandem in bringing in gems and drafting diamonds.
    Sure, Burke’s got a direction too. But his direction is two steps backwards towards the old era NHL. I honestly don’t see a difference between Burke and Sutter’s philosophies and we all know where this team went with Sutter at the reins. Having Beef Jurkee as the GM (those who say he’ll never be the “real” GM need to get over yourselves and accept the obvious) worries me, regardless of a rebuild or not. At least Feaster’s rebuild had a plan and he was following up with it.
    Dark days of beef and truculence lie ahead, friends – In $ven we trust.