Post-Game: Sharked

After that gong-show in Vancouver, which I personally attended by the way (did you know the Canucks wrote a song for this season? It’s as cool as you would think), the Flames were eager to play hockey again and head into their dressing rooms in peace.

The Flames lost 3-2 to the Sharks though they generally played quite well. Joe Pavelski scored twice, the winning marker coming (off of an offside entry) on the power play, batted out of mid-air.  

The Flames faced a very good Sharks squad on a three-game winning streak. Obviously, the Flames were heavily outgunned and over-matched and were going to need a perfect game to win. Unfortunately for the Flames, they came up short against a very tough opponent but played a strong game overall and looked more like the Flames of October than the Flames that completely no-showed against Winnipeg.    

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below


"Can’t Say They Didn’t Try!"

There were some new faces returning to the Flames tonight after some lengthy time missed. During the pre-game introductions, Roger Millions, bless his heart, was summarizing the Flames who were returning from injury in tonight’s game. Filled with glowing praise, Millions described the impact that a healthy Russell had on a Flames defensive corps that missed his speed, offence, and minutes, all while blocking 105 shots before his injury. However, David Jones also returned. DJ Stonehands was not the recipient of such verbose compliments. Instead, it was noted that he is in fact, tall. That about sums up his season so far for the Flames.   

The game started with the Flames hanging on for dear life, though there was precedent for this. In two games against San Jose heading into tonight’s game, the Sharks had scored twice in the first two minutes. The Sharks had two very good scoring chances in the first two minutes but the Flames survived and kept the game scoreless.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Flames figured out a way to manufacture a goal early on in a game which hasn’t happened a whole lot this season. Outta nowhere, during the first real zone time that the Flames had in the game and newly inked Matt Stajan on the ice, Jiri Hudler made Brad Stuart look like Shane O’Brien with an absolutely filthy set of hands one-on-one and put the Flames up 1-0 four minutes in. Oh, and that was the Flames’ first shot of the game. Brodie and Giordano drew the assists on Hudler’s goal and with that assist, T. J Brodie set a new career high for points with 15. 

The goal seemed to stun the Sharks and spark the Flames who played quite well for the next five minutes, making the Sharks look quite disorganized in their own zone. However, things went very badly incredibly quickly for the Flames.

With seven minutes to play in the period, Justin Braun fired a shot from the point that hit Joe Pavelski, tipped in the air, and landed behind Ramo. All in all, it was a bit of a fluke and spoiled the good start that the Flames managed. Just 21 seconds after that, Tommy Wingels fired a shot from an absolutely horrid angle and somehow beat Ramo. A nasty, team-deflating, game-ending type of goal.

Well, we have seen this movie before right? Bad thing happens, Flames crater, get blown out, and you go check Boston College’s season and hope they are eliminated promptly. You don’t? Me neither.

Well, you might have written off this game but KEVIN WESTGARTH thinks that you are a bad person because of it. The going was getting rough, so the Flames put out the only line they can truly trust to make things happen, to bring the grittenschaften, to truculize. The Blair Jones, Kevin Westgarth, and Brian McGrattan trio. Forty seconds after the Wingels softie, Brian McGrattan took a slap shot from a fair distance, and Niemi inexplicably kicked the rebound to Westgarth who uncorked a patented wrister that we have all come to know and love from the one goal scorer, 2-2 with six minutes left.   

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

So after four goals in 12 shots and three goals in one minute and twelve seconds, things cooled off relatively until the end of the first. The Sharks pressed hard in the final five minutes including Smid taking away a sure goal and Russell blocking another no-doubter to keep the game tied heading into the dressing room. The Sharks out-shot the Flames 10-8 after one. 

The early part of the second period was a lot more calm with both teams attempting to get things under control in their own zone after a wild first. After the tepid first five minutes or so, the Sharks completely took over, including a Sharks fourth-line shift where they completely sewed the Flames into their own zone and rendered them absolutely exhausted. Fortunately for the Flames, the Sharks were unable to score despite starting the period outshooting the Flames 6-1. The Flames were able to push back and had a couple good scoring chances but at the end of an over five-minute stretch without a whistle, Stajan was charged with the game’s first penalty.

Less than thirty seconds into the Sharks powerplay, a bouncing puck (and what looked to be offsides) deceived the Flames’ PK and allowed Joe Thornton to get space in the slot which is never a good idea. He threw the puck shin-high to Pavelski who tipped in his second of the game and 27th (!) of the year, 3-2 Sharks with four minutes left in the second. The second period ended with the Sharks up 3-2 and leading 21-12 in shots but more importantly, perhaps my favourite Flame of late, Lord Byron, was hit with a shot in the second and only played 32 seconds of ice in the period. He left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return to the game. Just know that it is hard to see through my tears.

 The Flames did a very good job of pushing back in the first half of the third period but were largely kept to the outside and were unable to get many quality chances despite having more possession and generating quite a few shots early. The Sharks sat back in their zone, parrying the Flames rushes with relative ease. The third basically melted away between the neutral zone and the peripheral areas of the San Jose end with San Jose strangling any hope of a Flames comeback.

The game ended 3-2 for San Jose and finished with the Sharks out-shooting the Flames 27-23. 


Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 18:59 Burns one-timer from Thornton, miss 7 8 19 31 61 88 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Away 1 18:04 Colborne deflection from Monahan, miss 5 12 31 44 57 83 3 6 8 23 31 32 5v5
Away 1 15:53 Hudler off turnover, goal 7 10 31 38 61 81 5 7 18 24 31 54 5v5
Away 1 12:19 Backlund from Stempniak, save 8 19 22 31 52 88 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Away 1 11:25 Jones from Stajan, miss 5 8 19 31 44 88 5 7 17 18 31 54 5v5
Home 1 7:39 Pavelski deflection from Braun, goal 7 8 19 31 61 88 5 7 11 22 24 31 5v5
Away 1 6:27 Westgarth rebound from McGrattan, goal 15 22 31 43 52 76 4 15 16 19 31 44 5v5
Home 1 0:51 Pavelski backhand from Irwin, block 8 19 22 31 52 88 4 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Home 2 18:12 Kearns from Braun, save 7 10 31 38 61 81 3 6 8 23 31 32 5v5
Away 2 15:42 Bouma from Giordano, save 7 12 31 57 61 83 5 7 17 18 31 54 5v5
Home 2 13:36 Hayes from Sheppard, save 5 15 31 43 44 76 4 11 22 24 31 44 5v5
Away 2 7:22 Giordano deflection from Bouma, save 5 8 19 31 44 88 5 7 8 17 23 31 5v5
Home 2 5:33 Boyle rebound from Marleau, save 12 22 31 52 57 76 3 6 17 18 31 54 5v5
Home 2 5:07 Pavelski deflection from Thornton, goal (5v4 PP) 5 8 12 19 22 31 5 11 22 31 44 5v4
Home 3 16:02 Nieto from Marleau on 2on1, save 7 12 31 57 61 83 3 6 17 18 31 54 5v5
Away 3 15:08 Monahan backhand from Colborne, save 7 10 31 38 61 81 4 6 8 19 23 31 5v5
Away 3 13:42 Jones from Stajan on 3on2, miss 12 22 31 52 57 83 4 6 17 18 31 54 5v5
Home 3 10:46 Desjardins deflection from Kearns, save 7 10 31 38 61 81 3 11 15 17 31 44 5v5
Home 3 10:40 Pavelski rebound from Burns, miss 7 8 19 31 61 88 5 7 8 15 23 31 5v5
Away 3 8:54 Hudler deflection from Russell, save 12 22 31 52 57 83 4 11 24 31 44 54 5v5
Away 3 8:27 Monahan rebound from Colborne, miss 15 22 31 43 52 76 3 8 19 23 31 44 5v5
Home 3 4:51 Nieto deflection from Stuart on 3on2, save 7 12 31 57 61 83 4 6 8 19 23 31 5v5
Home 3 4:16 Burns on 2on1, miss 5 8 19 31 44 88 4 6 11 22 24 31 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
3 SMID, LADISLAV 18:08 2 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 23:20 4 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 20:22 5 3 00:00 0 0 00:26 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 18:44 3 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:05 5 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 14:59 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 21:42 2 6 00:00 0 0 00:26 0 1
15 WESTGARTH, KEVIN 06:06 1 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 04:31 1 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 17:31 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 18:37 4 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
19 JONES, BLAIR 14:08 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
22 STEMPNIAK, LEE 22:21 1 5 00:00 0 0 00:26 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 15:28 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 21:47 3 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   11 11   0 0   0 1
32 BYRON, PAUL 06:16 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 18:29 3 3 00:00 0 0 00:26 0 1
54 JONES, DAVID 16:46 5 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 3 5 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 2 4 2 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 4 5 4 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


I thought there were a lot of strong efforts in this game as the Flames held their own for the most part. I thought Lance Bouma played well and had a few scoring chances mixed in with his requisite 21090 blocked shots per game. T.J Brodie had some nice rushes again this game to go with the assist that gave him a new career high. It would be great if he could find the back of the net a few more times this season as he has been close a number of times over the past few games.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

pic via Teka England 

However, Kris Russell finished the game leading all skaters with 23:20 of ice time and one assist and generally looked as though he was back in the shape that he was before the injury. With Stajan’s signing today I would hope that the Flames have given a great deal of thought to tendering an extension to Russell as well who has been a very nice surprise this season.


It looked as though this game was going to be a high scoring shoot-em-up after a crazy first period with four goals. However, the Sharks clamped down in the second and third and head-locked the Flames into submission. The Flames dropped to 16-27-7 and remain in 27th overall, three points up on the Oilers and six points up on Buffalo (though the Sabres have three games at hand on the Flames).

If there is such a thing as losing in an acceptable manner, and there is no agreement from anyone that there is, this might be it. This was basically the most that many could have expected from this roster, even with the returning bodies, that is still a long way from being able to compete with teams like San Jose.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

The Flames return home for a date with another Pacific division foe, the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night, 7:30 puck drop. 

  • jeremywilhelm

    I’m not sure how well players can actually make their shot better, but TJ really needs to learn how to get his shot on net. He is terrible at it. The only weakness to his game.

  • beloch

    At this point, each point only hurts the Flames, and this was the best kind of loss. They played well and it took flagrantly (and fragrantly) bad officiating to deny them. The lads can hold their heads high after this one!

    In other news…

    Stajan was re-inked for four more years at $3.125/yr. Assuming there are no performance conditional bonuses driving it up, that cap-hit is down a wee bit from his current $3.5M per year. The term might be a little bit long given that he’s 30, but this is probably not a bad signing. He should help stabilize the team through its rebuilding years and, should the decision to trade him be made, that’s not going to be a terrible contract to move.

    Hartley was fined $25K. Officially, he’s being held responsible for Westgarth instigating the goon-fight. If NHL coaches were fined $25K for every goon-fight they stage I don’t think you’d find many people lining up for the job. I think the league fined Hartley just to look like they’re doing something about that line-fight.

    Torts is out for 6 games. No contact with his team is permitted. That’s just fine with me, although the rules clearly stated he should have been ejected from the game on Saturday[1]. If the league can’t get it right on game-day, at least they sometimes come through later in the week, unless it’s a game-winning goal scored on an offside play…

    [1]“Whenever a coach or other non-playing club personnel becomes involved in an altercation with an opposing player, coach or other non-playing club personnel on or off the ice, he shall be automatically suspended from the game, ordered to the dressing room and the matter will be reported to the commissioner for further disciplinary action.”

    • piscera.infada

      With respect to Torts not being ejected from the game – it is truly a matter of what the Referees saw (or didn’t see). As it happened off the ice, between periods and between the benches (off the ice) – the referees have no ability to determine a course of action on an altercation they didn’t actually see. (I believe they exit the ice on the end of the Rink in Vancouver) Assuming the league saw the altercation at the time it occurred – they have no ability or even jurisdiction to tell the referee what call to make – they only have the ability to deal with video-replay of on-ice events as the rules allow. So as much as I thought Torts should not have been in the game after the altercation – I don’t see how the refs could have removed him from the game within the bounds of the rules of the game.

      I am however surprised at how short Torts suspension is. I was anticipating a time period equalling 10 games. I am curious if the Olympic Break played in to this suspension?

  • beloch

    So another superior team played to the flames level… I hope no one thinks this was another good effort by the Flames… no team in this league enters a game against this team with anything but a night off in mind… but let’s continue to pretend we compete with anyone in this league… idiots

    • RedMan

      there are times when the only thing we can be happy about is, “at least we aren’t the Oiler’s”.

      This isn’t one of those times.

      We aren’t EXPECTING our guys to win, but we are hoping they do while we enjoy the effort. If they just show up, give it their best effort and continue down the road of rebuilding with the goal of peaking at a later time – fine.

      these teams are far superior skill-wise… are you surprised?

      Now, If we were the Oilers, and were supposedly finished our rebuild with half a dozen so called stars, expecting to make the playoffs after wandering the desert for so many years, it would be painful.

      Or, if we were the Canucks, who are past their prime, but still trying to hold onto hope (like the Flames did before finally selling Jbo, Iginla, Reghere and Tanguay)far past the “best before” date…

      now, thanks for trolling here and making me feel so much better by reminding me, I’m not in your shoes.


  • Michael

    The Flames haven’t had a true #1 center since Nieuy, and the lack of quality centermen has been a team weakness for years. Monahan still needs a couple more years, so I have to wonder if the Flames really will go forward with Monahan, Stajan, Backlund, Coulborne? This group isn’t good enough to get the club back to a playoff contending team, so I wonder if the Stajan signing signals that one of the other guys will be traded. Monahan is safe, Colborne fits the roll as a fourth liner, Stajan has a new contract, so I wonder if this makes Backlund the odd man out. The Flames package Backlund plus for a top six center?

  • Michael

    Regarding Centres for next year the draft will likely determine if they pick Reinhart or Bennett, and moving Colborne to wing where he has shown well. Knight and Granlund will be given a look and possibly Arnold, with the great long-term hope of a maturing Jankowski in 2 more years.

    • piscera.infada

      That’s kind of the brilliance of the Stajan signing, IMO. At this point we have “depth”, but depth in the form of “hope” (ie. prospects at one of the most important positions, but no real idea if any of them are players at this level). Having him longer-term (yes, probably one more year than I would have liked), means you don’t have to go whale hunting at the draft. You like a defenceman or winger more than a centre you don’t feel you have to fill that “organizational need”. Obviously BPA still applies, but I think this signing fosters that, rather than hinders it. It also creates a more fluid situation where as you state, Colborne can be moved to the wing more permanently (if his development shows he’s better suited to that), you also get to wait until the younger centres in the organization are ready to go, rather than stuffing them into the roster to plug holes, and hope all goes well. Certainly, it will make someone expendable down the road, but if there are many good showings, that’s now a position of strength, if no good showings, it’s not a glaring position of weakness.