Post Game: Scoring Isn’t So Hard!

Coming off of a game in which the Sharks had approximately 6,987 shot attempts and didn’t score a single goal, it seemed fairly obvious that the Sharks would be fairly frustrated and looking to score a pile against a vastly inferior Flames lineup. Perhaps the Flames would put up a valiant fight, similar to the last meeting with the Sharks, and everyone would go home satisfied and altogether one step closer to Ekblad or Reinhart or whomever your heart desires.


Well, obviously this Flames team cannot be stopped. Backlund should be the captain of team Sweden and Giordano should be anchoring the top pairing in Sochi. Look for Sean Monahan to captain Canada in Korea also.  I’m sorry, its just… it’s just been a little hard this season so forgive me for being irrationally proud of these loveable goofs.

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The Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 4-1 and won their fourth straight game, the second of which against a top-tier opponent, and generally looked in control for the entire game. It was a very impressive, very solid victory and the Flames are doing a lot of things very well recently, the most important of which may be scoring goals (19 in their last five). Find out how they did it after the jump. 


The Flames spent the majority of the early minutes trying to establish a forecheck and attempting to keep San Jose to the outside. The Sharks looked very sluggish in the first period and the Flames were able to get a lot of pucks towards San Jose backup netminder Alex Stalock. 

At the nine minute mark of the first, Mikael Backlund, who rules, drove the net from the right wing and made a fantastic skill move, undressing Matt Irwin to get a shot on net. The rebound found Lee Stempniak who is apparently still allowed to score which is weird and he slid home his eighth of the season to put the Flames up 1-0. A minute later, the Flames went to the power-play when Joe Pavelski held Matt Stajan but the Flames were unable to capitalize. 

The Flames played an extremely good first period and went into the room up 1-0 and outshooting the Sharks 12-8 and generally carrying the play. In the first, the official Flames twitter account even dabbled with some of the fancystats, citing Lee Stempiank’s perfect 100% Corsi for. I heard that upon reading this, Kent’s heart grew three sizes. So, good things all around.

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At the three thirty eight mark of the second the Sharks were already out-shooting the Flames 4-1 and looked as though they were going to turn the tide back in their favour. But the Flames (and more specifically perhaps two deserving Olympians?!?) had other ideas. Mikael Backlund, who cannot do wrong, fired a shot wide of Stalock that ended up right on the tape of Giordano who put it home to make it 2-0. 

For the balance of the remaining time in the second period, Karri Ramo was very solid for the Flames, keeping them up 2-0 despite the Flames being out-shot 13-8 in the period. His best save was off of a breakaway miss by the Sharks at the 7:24 mark of the period.

The third started badly for the Flames. The Flames had a defensive meltdown right out of the gates and someone named ‘Eriah Hayes’ ended a very long (160:36) shutout streak for the Sharks (their 104th shot) less than a minute into the period and the Sharks were only down by one. The very next shift, David Jones ran one off the post that could have quelled any chance of a comeback for the Sharks but alas, we were in for a wild third. 

After scoring the early goal, the Sharks began to tilt the ice towards Ramo and it became clear rather quickly that if the Flames were going to win this game it would be in large part because Ramo would have held the fort. That is not to say that the Flames didn’t have their chances. Kris Russell and Mikael Backlund were both stopped cold by Stalock at the seven minute mark of the third, easily constituting his best saves of the night to that point.

After the Flames managed to calm things down midway through the third, on a seemingly harmless play and quite similar to the Backlund shot, Smid hammered a shot wide of the net, finding birthday boy Joe Colborne who flipped it to wunderkid Sean Monahan, batting it out of the air and past Stalock to make it 3-1. That is Monahan’s 15th of the season and ties Tomas Hertl, though Hertl has played a great deal fewer games. 

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Perhaps most improbably of all, Jiri Hudler scored A FRIGGEN EMPTY NET GOAL for the Flames, their first (!) of the season and unsurprisingly the last NHL team to score one. Good on ya hoodler. The Flames won 4-1 and out-shot the Sharks 30-28 overall. 


The Flames played a very solid game so it is tough to pick this one. I thought Stempniak had good jump in his legs and it was nice to see him pot one. Though I like what Stempniak brings, I think he will make another team very happy quite soon. Improving his trade value is another good reason to like him scoring. Obviously Giordano continued his very strong play with the game winning goal and 25 minutes plus of ice time. Backlund played exceptionally well again tonight registering two assists tonight, making that five points in his last three games. Hell, I think David Jones has looked pretty good these last few games as well.

However, I think the obvious and neccessary choice is Karri Ramo who only allowed one goal to a very talented (albeit seemingly cursed) Sharks squad and made 27 saves in the victory. That’s another quality start for Ramo who rebounded nicely from a rocky start in against Nashville where he was pulled. I believe that Ramo has certainly done enough to seperate himself from Berra as the clear-cut starter though Berra’s play over the last month or so has been decent as well. 


The Flames genuinely deserved this victory, which is a remarkable statement in and of itself given the calibre of their opposition. Even thought the Sharks clearly were not on the top of their game (lately still stunned from last night’s 3-0 shutout loss to the OIlers) the Flames were largely able to dictate play and got some timely goals and saves. You know, the kinds of things that teams who win games normally do!

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I know that this little winning streak is starting to make a lot of us a little uneasy about the prospect of dropping out of the top three in the draft order but at this point I would just say, relax. There is still plenty of season, and likely plenty of losses, still ahead in order to secure that coveted draft spot. Right now, enjoy the fact that if you paid money to see the Flames play tonight, you didn’t feel compelled to rip off your jersey and hurl it onto the ice.

The Flames win their 20th game of the season and improve to 20-27-7. five points up on 29th place Edmonton and nine points up on Buffalo (who also won tonight). Their game is on Saturday night on HNIC against the Minnesota Wild.  


  • beloch

    I watched some of the Oilers’ game last night. 59 shots, 59 saves. Scrivens won that game with almost no help from his club. 59 shots set a new Oilers’ franchise record for shots-against, and also a record for sucking. 59 saves set a new regular season NHL shut-out record. The rest of the team scored some very flukey goals at the other end of the ice, but none of them were really well deserved and can be chalked up to lapses in concentration from a very frustrated Sharks team and a opposing goalie who was getting so little work that he was probably napping. Never has a team deserved victory less. If you thought the hockey-gods owed the oilers anything after the season they’ve been having, they probably used all their karma up in that one game alone!

    The Sharks came into tonight’s game mad, frustrated, consfused, and were owed a truly titanic karmic debt by the hockey gods. They were in the ugly kind of mood that frequently gets teams like the Flames lit up in epically embarrassing fashion. Yes, the Sharks were looking for a punching bag, and that bag was all red. However, that punching bag turned out to be a boxer ready for a fight!

    The Sharks did not suck tonight. They played well. The Flames played better. Everyone delivered a solid effort and Hartley’s system has never been played better. It absolutely stymied the Sharks for large amounts of time! Throw in some quality goals from the usual suspects, plus Stempniak, add a quality start from Ramo, and you’ve got yourself a regulation win over a tough opponent.

    Okay, maybe the Sharks wrists were sore from shooting the puck so much last night. They certainly didn’t have to skate much though. They sat in the Oiler’s end most of the night! Still, it warmed my jimmies right to the core to see a top-5 team waltz into Alberta expecting 4 easy points and leaving without so much as an OT point after being outscored 7-1!

    • FlamesRule

      Beloch, I don’t find myself agreeing with much of what you say usually but kudos tonight!

      Hartley’s got these guys playing a team game finally and the effort is overshadowing any lack of skill.

      Fun to watch!

  • crapshoot

    Even if it’s just for a short stint, it’s pretty nice to see a few teams racking up consecutive losses when passing through Alberta. After all, that is the way it should be, isn’t it? The Oilers rivalry feels much better when there is a bit more to it than battle for last place.

    What also makes me a happy fan is that when the Oilers finally muster up the effort to try to pass us in the standings, the Flames go on their own win streak to keep them at arms length. Might be counter-productive in some ways, but it still feels good.

    Also, this group makes me proud. We might just have a fairly promising team on our hands. Who would have thought that it would actually feel much better to spend a year at the bottom of the standings than suffering through the annual go-for-it-frustrations of the late Iggy-era?

    Lastly, PHOENIX! GET YOU S**T TOGETHER! In order to push the Canucks out of that final playoff-spot, you can’t be losing to Buffalo! It’s not acceptable!

  • Colin.S

    Good or bad news depending on how you look at it, but the Flames are only 3 points out of 26th in the NHL(we have a couple games in hand on the Islanders as well). I don’t see us getting much higher unless teams in front of us fall off hard, but you never know these days.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    In spite of my attendance last night, the Flames won! The good guys were good in all three zones and buried their chances, they earned the win.

    I haven’t decided if I like Colburne at wing, or I just like him better there than at center. He was okay tonight.

  • RedMan

    even in a win, it seemed to me that often, when our fourth line was on the ice, the ice is tilted against us. Is that just me looking for it, or does anyone else see or feel that as well?

    Been a great year so far with an exception of a few games – very entertaining

  • RedMan

    I just want to say that I believe a win is ALWAYS more valuable then a loss. It is better to teach Monahan the feeling of winning and how good it feels rather than how it feels to lose. Even though the flames would get a high draft pick. If the flames end up drafting 4th or 5th that’s OK as long as they play hard every night, show some fight, and compete. Being a successful NHL team is just as much about teaching good habits to young players as it is about acquiring skilled young players. I believe the Flames can do both. But it means always trying to win. If that means they draft Sam Bennett instead of Ekblad, or we draft Driasitl (I don’t know the spelling). Then that’s OK because we’re developing players properly.

      • Lordmork

        For the right price, anyone on the team should be available. For compensation for the pain and agony of seeing Gio play in Edmonton, that sounds about right.

      • Lordmork

        He is exactly what they need. in my opinion the Oilers are within one or two players of becoming a playoff team , in the coming years, Giordano would be that player. The overpay noted above, is probably a stretch but Giordano is a great value salary cap wise which will bring value back at the trade deadline in the form of picks and prospects.

        • piscera.infada

          I know it was a joke scenario, but IMO that’s not an overpay. The Oiler’s would be poaching a number one defenceman, in his prime years, who happens to be the captain of their most heated rival, and oh yes, they are in the same division. You don’t get that deal done without giving up something that the Flames fan base can look at in 4 or 5 years and say “yes, that was a horrible trade for the Oilers”.

  • Scary Gary

    I had a blast last night, you just never know with this band of likeable coharts, they looked great.

    The best moment of the game was when the flames were scrambling blocking shots in front of Ramo as the sharks were pressing; I think there were four flames in front trying to keep the puck out. Not ideal obviously but you could tell they gave a crap and were fighting for each other, which most times is enough.

  • Rockmorton65

    Although I honestly can’t see it happening, it is an interesting scenario. Imagine we do this. We give up Gio, but we get Eberle, two of Reinhart/Ekblad/Bennett and two legitimate shots at McDavid.

    I don’t think the Oilers are one player away from being a playoff team. I think Gio makes them significantly better, but there are some systems issues that would have to be corrected for them to make the playoffs.

    A couple years of patience, and suddenly were rolling with

    McDavid, Monahan, Backlund, Eberle, Stajan, Hudler, Wideman, Bouma, Bennett, Baertchi, Brodie, Ekblad, Seiloff, Gaudreau, Poirer, Ortio and Gillies. That doesn’t take into account anyone we pick up in free agency or good drafting. Interesting thought.

    • supra steve

      Please explain how we could turn Gio into Eberle + Oilers 2014 & 2015 first rounders?

      If I were MacT, I would be looking for a LOT more return for that package of outgoing assets.

      • Rockmorton65

        Easy. Gio would easily be worth Eberle and a first. Because he would be going to our most hated rival, there would need to be a significant overpayment (another first). The only way this deal happens is if MacT bends over.

        • supra steve

          I disagree. Gio is a very good NHL D-man, I could see him getting the Oilers to the table in some kind of swap for Eberle, but if you want even one of those first rounders you are going to have to be prepared to give up Monahan as well.

          • Rockmorton65

            I disagree. This wouldn’t be an even deal. For Edmonton to get a key piece that helps them turn a corner in their rebuild, who will haunt the Flames for years to come, not to mention dealing with Brian Burke, and you are looking at an extremely lopsided transaction.

          • piscera.infada

            I disagree (per my earlier post), it has nothing really to do with the player in question’s skills. There’s no way Burke fields a call on a legitimate trade with Edmonton (or Vancouver, if they needed him), without the starting price being prohibitively high. Look at it this way: you’re esentially giving your best defenceman to a team you have to play five times a season, and could potentially be battling for a playoff spot with in the future. It has to be a return that nets you the same impact that MacTavish would think it will have on the Oilers.

            That said, I could see it settling as Eberle and a First (either 2014 or 2015), and that is still a deal I’d take. You can’t however, discount the fact that he’s a guy who’s been great to the organization, has been great with the young players, and is our current captain. If they offer only Eberle, I laugh my ass off (and I like Ebs as a player, and would love to see him in Flames’ silks).

            The only other reasonable offer I could (maybe) see would be Gio + Baertschi for Eberle and a first in both 2014 and 2015. But again, I don’t think Baertschi will be traded, nor do I think he should. If this organization gives up on him (a la Niederreiter) I would see it as a step back – although the two firsts and Eberle would likely make that inconsequential. Then again, you have to think about the fact that he ends up burning you for years.

          • supra steve

            In a 2 team league, we might have MacT over a barrel. But this is not a 2 team league. Nashville is rumoured to be considering moving Webber, and if the Oil were dangling Eberle plus 2 first rounders a lot of quality D-men would suddenly be available.

          • piscera.infada

            I agree with that. I don’t think that move will happen, nor do I think it should happen. It doesn’t hurt the Flames if Giordano doesn’t move. I was simply arguing that if the Oilers want Gio, the cost will be prohibitively high. Moreover, if any team in the pacific division wants Gio, it’s an equally high cost. I’m not taking Eberle straight-up for Giordano, and I like Eberle. I just don’t see a way you trade that kind of player for Eberle, without getting a whole lot more in return.

            I’m also skeptical of the Weber move, just because it still leaves Nashville with a gaping hole. In a couple years, maybe.

          • beloch

            I think case in point was already illustrated at last years draft. Oilers wanted Cory Schneider in the worst way & jaws dropped to the floor when Vanc traded him to New Jersey for the 9th overall. I heard the Oilers were offering the 7th overall ++ & Canucks refused to trade Schneider to the Oilers for reasons you have hit on here.

          • beloch

            You must be drunk man…

            What would Toronto want from Ottawa for say Phaneuf?? (and I would take Gio over Phaneuf all day)

            I can tell you that talk about Gardiner (who isnt that great/established) is 1st plus…..

            So yeah Gio to PROVINCIAL RIVAL is gonna cost Eberle 1st + something else.

          • supra steve

            I am not underestimating Gio’s value. A lot of you are underestimating Eberle’s (and the value of a top 3 pick).

            The assumption here seems to be, Edm is just kookoo banans for Gio and will gladly overpay in order to pry him out of Calgary, whatever the cost, because they just gotta have Gio. Why does anyone think that?

            Gio is not the only quality defender out there. If Eberle and two Oil first rounders (one in the top 3 and the next probably in the top 15) were being made available, why would St. Louis not consider making a pitch, or Nashville, or Boston, or any other team?

            Speaking of Boston, they moved Kessel for 2 first rounders, why is Eberle not considered at a similar value here?

            Gio is a prime piece, what makes anyone think that one prime piece could be traded for 2 or 3 prime pieces?

          • beloch

            The Oiler’s play a game with little defensive structure (SWARM!) and one thing that sticks out every time I watch them is how often their forwards go off cherry-picking when they should be helping out with defense. On this team, Eberle is mid-range in terms of QoC and offensive zone-starts, but his possession rates are still not very good. The kind of game the Oilers play exaggerates the point production of their forwards beyond what it would be if they were playing in a defensively responsible manner. If Eberle came to Calgary and learned to play a two-way game, his point production would probably shrink by a large amount.

            You are correct in pointing out that there are other quality defenders out there. There are also plenty of forwards that could be acquired in exchange for Giordano as well. I’d far rather see the Flames go after a player that knows how to play a complete game. Heck, remember when we thought Smid was a bargain because he was playing top minutes in Edmonton? There’s a reason Edmonton is where they are in the standings. The cream of the crap is often still crap.

          • The Last Big Bear

            We don’t think it’ll happen.

            That’s the whole point.

            Edmonton would have to significantly overpay to get Giordano, and that overpayment could get them other, better assets.

            Nobody in the entire world thinks this trade would happen.

  • piscera.infada

    Gio for a 1st and Eberle? That’s a fair deal, and actually a good value for the Oilers. If anything there should be another pick for the Flames in there.

    • piscera.infada

      The Oilers don’t have any other picks to trade…..

      The Oilers 2014 first rounder and Eberle wouldn’t be too bad, the Oilers 2015 first round pick could be something like 8th overall with the addition of Gio, very small chance of winning the lottery…


  • beloch

    The Oilers desperately need to import some players with a good work ethic and leadership. Giordano would provide those in spades, just as he currently does in Calgary. That’s the thing about trading for Giordano. Besides being a great player, he’s a leader. That’s not something that comes cheap.