Post-Game: The Rumble At Rogers (Arena)

Sometimes a game is just a game. Sometimes it’s just three periods of guys fighting over two points in the standings. When one of the teams is as deep down in the standings as the Calgary Flames are, those games sometimes become routine for all involved.

And sometimes, a game kicks off with a freakin’ line brawl with five sets of fights on the ice, resulting in eight players getting ejected and all of a sudden, things get pretty damn interesting.

The Flames lost 3-2 in a shootout tonight, in a shockingly competitive game against a team 19 points ahead of them in the standings, the Vancouver Canucks.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames kicked off the game by icing a starting line-up featuring Ladislav Smid, Chris Butler, Brian McGrattan, Kevin Westgarth and the returning Blair Jones. The Canucks, seeing this line-up of Calgary’s best and brightest, retorted with Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Tom Sestito, Dale Wiese and rookie Kellan Lain, making his NHL debut. And so, this happened just two seconds in.

Aside from Sestito and McGrattan, who were engaged in the first fight, everyone else got tossed from the game. As a result, both teams had to roll with four defensemen and 10 forwards for the remaining 59:58. The rest of the first period was fairly back-and-forth, with occasional scrums resulting in even more penalties. The two squads combined for zero goals and 178 penalty minutes in the first period. The Flames had a slight edge in shots (11-9), attempts (23-17) and face-offs (7-5) in the first, and Vancouver never really seemed to get their bearings.

During the intermission, Canucks coach John Tortorella stormed the Flames locker room area to give the boys in red what-for regarding the shenanigans.

The second period featured only four penalty minutes – both minors for the Canucks – and two goals! Amazing, eh? Mark Giordano – on one of the two Canucks penalties – scored 97 seconds into the period off a face-off. Just over two minutes later, Ryan Kesler (who took the penalty that the Flames scored after) tipped in a Zack Kassian shot to even things up at one-apiece. The rest of the period was a bit lower event than the first, with many broken plays, turnovers and near-misses. The shots were 11-9 Calgary and the Flames had a 9-7 face-off edge, but shot attempts were even at 18-18.

Mark Giordano’s three minor penalties highlighted the third period, where the Canucks seemed to finally get the chance to play their style of game – albeit late, with a tired and bruised bench. The Flames opened the scoring early in the period, once again, with Matt Stajan taking advantage of a feed from Lance Bouma on a broken play (along with a partial screen from T.J. Galiardi and a Canucks defender) to beat Roberto Luongo and put Calgary up 2-1. That lead lasted for the better part of the period, before Vancouver finally broke through on their power-play, taking just four seconds of a Giordano slashing minor to beat Karri Ramo. Yannick Weber got the goal.

The rest of the period was back-and-forth and punch-counterpunch, but with far more of it played in Calgary’s end than in Vancouver’s. Regulation ended with the game tied at 2-2. Vancouver led in shots (10-8), shot attempts (19-16) and face-offs (12-10) in the third period.

Overtime solved nothing, with Vancouver leading in shots and attempts by a 5-3 margin, and five minutes of play featuring many tired, tired hockey players. Lots of missed passes. Calgary led in face-offs 2-1. Joe Colborne kicked off the shootout like he usually does, with a goal, but the Flames were unable to solve Roberto Luongo subsequently (with Jiri Hudler, Lee Stempniak, Sean Monahan and Mikael Backlund failing to score). Yannick Weber and Chris Higgins scored in the skills competition for Vancouver, allowing the hometown squad to skate away with two points.

WHY THE FLAMES GOT A POINT

To be blunt, they were able to sucker the Canucks into playing their kind of game. In a finesse game, the Canucks skewer Calgary. But through hard work, tenacity and some gamesmanship by Bob Hartley, the Flames eked out an overtime appearance and got a point. If John Tortorella doesn’t take the bait and instead puts five hockey players out instead of dancing bears, maybe Vancouver executes their game-plan. But the Flames go to San Jose with a point, and the Canucks probably aren’t all that happy with their win.

SCORING CHANCES

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 19:14 Kesler 1 2 14 17 22 33 5 7 17 18 31   5v4
Home 1 18:43 Kesler 1 2 14 17 22 33 5 7 17 18 31   5v4
Home 1 18:39 D.Sedin 1 2 14 17 22 33 5 7 17 18 31   5v4
Home 1 18:31 Kesler 1 2 14 17 22 33 5 7 17 18 31   5v4
Home 1 16:54 Booth 1 2 8 15 17 20 6 7 18 24 31 39 5v5
Away 1 14:40 Backlund 1 6 17 22 23 33 6 7 8 11 24 31 5v5
Home 1 13:40 H.Sedin 1 2 6 14 22 33 6 18 22 31 32 55 5v5
Away 1 12:25 Backlund 1 2 8 14 36   5 6 11 22 24 31 4v5
Away 1 12:16 Giordano 1 2 8 14 36   5 6 11 22 24 31 4v5
Away 1 10:14 Stempniak 1 8 20 22 23 33 5 18 22 31 39 55 5v5
Away 1 9:09 Brodie 1 6 7 15 23 36 6 7 8 11 24 31 5v5
Away 1 6:38 Byron 1 2 8 15 22   6 7 8 23 31 32 4v5
Away 1 5:36 Stempniak 1 2 8 15 20 36 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Home 1 3:35 H.Sedin 1 6 7 22 23 33 6 7 17 18 31 39 5v5
Away 1 1:00 Stempniak 1 2 8 14 22 33 6 7 18 22 31 39 5v5
Home 1 0:04 Booth 1 6 7 15 23 29 5 6 8 17 23 31 5v5
Away 2 18:28 Galiardi 1 2 8 14 15   5 6 11 22 24 31 4v5
Away 2 18:24 Giordano goal 1 2 8 14 15   5 6 11 22 24 31 4v5
Home 2 16:10 Kesler goal 1 6 7 15 23 36 6 11 22 24 31 55 5v5
Home 2 9:49 Booth 1 2 7 8 22 36 6 8 11 24 31 55 5v5
Away 2 8:50 Bouma 1 8 14 15 22 23 5 7 16 17 23 31 5v5
Home 2 7:50 Kesler 1 2 8 9 17 20 6 11 22 24 31 55 5v5
Home 2 3:10 Richardson 1 6 15 22 23 29 6 16 17 18 31 55 5v5
Away 2 1:32 Backlund 1 2 7 8 17 20 5 7 8 11 31 39 5v5
Away 2 0:38 Stempniak 1 6 9 17 20 23 6 11 22 24 31 55 5v5
Away 2 0:09 Bouma 1 2 8 14 15 22 6 11 17 31 39 55 5v5
Away 3 16:00 Stajan goal 1 2 7 8 15 36 7 17 18 31 39 55 5v5
Home 3 14:41 Edler 1 6 9 15 20 23 6 8 23 31 32 55 5v5
Home 3 11:58 Burrows 1 6 14 17 22 23 6 7 11 17 31   5v4
Away 3 7:33 Galiardi 1 2 8 15 20 29 5 7 17 18 31 39 5v5
Away 3 7:05 Galiardi 1 2 8 15 20 29 5 6 17 18 31 39 5v5
Away 3 6:32 Stempniak 1 6 14 17 22 23 6 11 22 24 31 55 5v5
Home 3 4:03 D.Sedin 1 2 8 14 17 22 6 11 22 24 31 55 5v5
Away 3 2:31 Stajan 1 8 20 23 36   6 18 22 31 55   4v4
Home 3 0:50 Kassian 1 6 9 15 22 23 5 6 17 22 23 31 5v5
Away 4 4:15 Brodie 1 2 6 17 20   5 7 23 24 31   4v4
Away 4 1:18 Stempniak 1 2 8 15 22   5 7 18 22 31   4v4
# Player EV     PP     SH    
5 GIORDANO, MARK 27:07 8 2 04:49 4 0 01:36 0 4
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 30:56 8 11 05:07 5 0 02:02 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 31:01 10 2 01:18 1 0 03:23 0 5
8 COLBORNE, JOE 15:13 3 3 02:29 1 0 00:10 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 21:45 7 4 03:53 4 0 01:29 0 1
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 02:48 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 12:14 5 4 00:00 0 0 03:01 0 5
18 STAJAN, MATT 17:59 7 4 01:04 0 0 02:25 0 4
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 20:57 7 5 02:33 4 0 00:53 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 15:56 2 3 02:12 1 0 00:10 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 21:27 6 5 04:38 4 0 00:00 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   16 11   5 0   0 5
32 BYRON, PAUL 14:25 0 2 01:27 1 0 00:00 0 0
39 GALIARDI, TJ 13:55 7 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
55 O’BRIEN, SHANE 20:19 6 7 00:00 0 0 01:07 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 8 8 5 4 3 0 0 0 0 4 0 0
2 6 4 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 5 4 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
4 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

RED WARRIOR(S)

Calgary’s blueline has been, to be charitable, “uneven” this year.

So losing two guys two seconds in isn’t great. But Dennis Wideman, Mark Giordano, Shane O’Brien and T.J. Brodie both worked their tails off. Wideman played 38:05 and had four blocked shots. Brodie played 35:42 and had five shots on goal. Both Giordano (33:32) and O’Brien (21:26) played a ton despite taking penalities.

Full marks to the four surviving blueliners.

Honourable mention to Lance Bouma, who created offense and hit guys and blocked shots and all of that.

SUM IT UP

Calgary played an objectively better team and got a point in their barn. That’s not bad.

They pack up their 16-26-7 record and head down the coast to San Jose, where they visit the Sharks at the SAP Center on Monday evening.

There’s a chance that there’s supplemental discipline from the NHL, though, for all the shenanigans that kicked off the game. I’m not sure if it’s anything suspendable, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see a fine levied to either Hartley or the club.

  • SB

    You did Alberta Proud Flames – this from a Oilers Fan.

    Everyone from AB-BC Border east salutes you. Poor Burrows and

    his broken face. Payback for Sam Gagners Jaw, i wish it came from the

    Oilers but glad the flames took control over that Shit Van team.

    Pat yourselves on the back today.

    Too bad the Nucks are going to kick the crap out of my Oilers Now.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Hartley’s starting forwards were provocative, there can be no denying that. Any rationalizations otherwise are just homer fans ventilating.

    However, Tortorella is a dumb, jerk for going to the hallway. What the hell did he think was going to come of it? An apology? A spark for his team? Goof.

    There was no sensible reason to do that. Tortorella is not a sensible person. He’s an ego filled, cartoonish, blowhard. A perfect fit for that ridiculous franchise.

    Bieksa is a disgrace, as well as Kesler and Burrows. The history of that franchise is filled with these kind of guys. The blame falls on the canucks but they can’t help themselves. They’re genetically modified to be idiotic at all times. Just look, listen, read their fanbase for evidence of stupidity. It’s not correlation, it’s causation. Being in Vancouver and affiliated to the canucks (working or cheering for them) makes you dumb ass dumb.

    • RedMan

      how many minutes per game does a line have to play before they can start the game?? this line plays all the time not just 90 seconds per game… is there rules that suggezt zome players are entitled and others arent? I azzume if they are allowed to dress they are allowed to ztart. Nobody pulled a Oiler or Canuck, like Burtuzi or Ferance, and forced zomeone to fight…even after they declined…

  • I’m not sure what Torts was upset about re. the starting Flames lineup since he & everyone else in the league assume all Flames lines are 3rd or 4th line quality anyways. This undermines Tort’s defense. What About Bob? Well, he just provoked Torts and the result was a classic meltdown. Love it, the Flames are IN HIS HEAD now.

    • SmellOfVictory

      If by in his head you mean, turtling in the dressing room then yes you are correct.

      And I’m glad you pointed it out, every Calgary line is a 4th line (or third line at best).

  • SmellOfVictory

    I think the fact that the Nucks actually had two decent defencemen ejected, while the Flames relieved themselves of a pair of pylons, probably helped the outcome of the game.

  • mattyc

    Flamers are run by Burke and coached by Heartless. There is no way the Canucks put out a skill line to get jumped. Burke loves his thug hockey. I can’t blame Torts for putting out that line. It was a lame move by Calgary but whatever. It’s hockey. I’m glad Torts went off on the Flames but that going to the dressing room part was a bit much.

    Burke is up to his old tricks again. If you look at his history, he doesn’t put together championship teams. He emphasizes the thugs and tries to mix in skill. Calgary, get used to this mindset!

  • RexLibris

    I have no issue with Hartley baiting Tortorella. You play the game you think you can win and that’s what Hartley did. Tortorella bit and ended up looking like a total ass in the process an is probably going to miss some games at a time of year when the Canucks RELLY can’t afford him to. In contrast Hartley was calm an composed and let the Canucks do the complaining.

    If I’m a Canucks fan I’m pretty unnerved with how easy it apparently is to get the entire organization off its game. This has been going on for years now. If they had played their game thy win this in a route instead they get suckered in to the mud with us.

    Really proud of what I saw out of Wideman, Brodie and Gio last night. Character performance from those guys last night!

  • RedMan

    After the beating the Flames took against the Jets, this was probably orchestrated by Brian Burke against his old team. Torts and Hartley have bad blood. When Bob was in Atlanta and Torts in TB, Bob tried to get into TB’s dressing room. Still, Torts can’t do that. He knows he crossed the line there. McGrattan, Westgarth, Jones are not Jon Scott, I don’t think they would have tried to fight the Sedins. Maybe some pushing and shoving or they would have waited until they were matched up again to drop the gloves. Torts should be suspended.

  • RexLibris

    I’d say I’m surprised that Flames fans seem perfectly happy to play the game with full intent to injure (like giving Burrows a bunch of licks to the face) and good it up (like everything the Flames did last night), but I’d be lying.