Post-Game: Kids Beat Third Jersey Curse

(courtesy NHL/

After a relatively uneventful (for them) NHL trade deadline day, the Calgary Flames gathered their composure and headed into action against the visiting Ottawa Senators. While the pesky Sens are a formidable foe, the Flames also rode into battle against arguably their stiffest foe – their new third jerseys. Since introducing the Western-themed jerseys, the club had amassed an 0-8-0 record heading into tonight’s contest – to the point where head coach Bob Hartley even weaselled out of wearing them on Western Night.

On this evening, the Flames – with their diminished roster complemented by several AHL call-ups from Abbotsford, finally won a game in their third jerseys. They beat the Senators by a 4-1 score, and they largely carried the play.

It was a weird game.


After getting zero run support in his first NHL start, Joni Ortio saw his teammates – some of whom were from Abbotsford – score a goal 124 seconds in. Max Reinhart picked up a loose puck in the neutral zone, waited out the defense and then chucked the puck towards the slot. It took a bit of a bounce and landed right by Markus Granlund, who put home his first NHL goal. The Flames continued to push the pace early, to the point where they led in shots 7-0. The Senators finally got a shot on Joni Ortio 9:15 into the first. Then they peppered Ortio with 9 of the next 10 shots in the game, but the Flames took their 1-0 lead into the intermission. The Flames led in shots 9-8, but trailed in shot attempts 24-16. Face-offs were even at 11-apiece.

The second period was more even, skewed slightly towards Ottawa in flow of play. That said, the Flames were arguably more energetic and opportunistic. They got in penalty trouble a bit in the middle frame, but the club’s usual suspects led the way with some nice shot blocks and kept the Flames up. The middle frame saw a nice short-handed scoring chance for Paul Byron and Joe Colborne, and a partial breakaway coming out of the box that Mark Giordano just couldn’t bury.

The Flames got some PP time in, also, and near the end of their advantage, Paul Byron scored on a nice slap-pass set-up by Giordano. Late in the period, Joe Colborne made it 3-0 on a nice odd-man rush play with Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler that turned into a cycle down-low, with Colborne one-timing a nice cross-ice feed from Hudler. Shots were 9-9 in the second. Ottawa led in shot attempts 16-12, while Calgary had a 13-10 edge in face-offs.

The third period was a bit like a murder mystery, as Flames kept disappearing. Dennis Wideman didn’t come out for the third due to upper-body injury. Clarke McArthur checked Jiri Hudler off the puck, and Hudler awkwardly twisted on his way into the boards and collided with no way to protect himself. That led to an on-ice scrum and Hudler’s night ending prematurely. Joe Colborne later went awkwardly into the boards with tangled with Chris Phillips, both seemingly injuring himself and taking a penalty – though he did return later in the third period.

The pace for the Flames suffered due to the missing bodies, as tons of guys ended up getting a lot more time than they’re used to – Brian McGrattan played over 10 minutes. Joni Ortio’s shutout bid was snapped via an odd play; an attempted pass/shot hit Ladislav Smid in the backside, the bounced to Kyle Turris, who put it past Ortio. Less than a minute later, though, Mike Cammalleri put a rebound home on the power-play to give Calgary a 4-1 advantage, which was all they needed. Shots were 14-10 Ottawa in the third. Shot attempts were 20-15 Ottawa, while Calgary uncharacteristically edged them 13-12 in face-offs.


Calgary’s kids came out of the gate looking to prove themselves – they scored two minutes in and really took it to Ottawa early. Ortio was sharp, and seemingly every AHL call-up – save for maybe Ben Hanowski, who merely looked fine – had a nice moment, be it Corban Knight’s screen on Byron’s goal, or Granlund back-checking, or Reinhart creating chances, or Byron hustling… Everyone contributed. A good, solid team win for the Flames on a day full of potential distractions.

Also, fun fact: it took Joni Ortio two NHL appearances to get his first regulation win. It took Reto Berra 26 of them.

Another fun fact: six of the last seven Flames draft classes were represented in the line-up: 2007 (Backlund), 2008 (Brodie & Bouma), 2009 (Ortio), 2010 (Reinhart), 2011 (Granlund) & 2013 (Monahan). Spooky.


Mark Giordano played just under 28 minutes. He had two assists. He was leaned on heavily in the third. He responded the way you’d hope your captain would.

Honourable mention to Paul Byron, who continues to be really good.


Twenty games to go! The Flames have improved to 24-31-7. Wideman and Hudler will be evaluated tomorrow.

I wonder how many Abbotsford players we’ll see up with the main club on Friday night, as the team honours (but doesn’t retire) Joe Nieuwendyk’s number prior to their Retro Night game with the New York Islanders.

  • Lordmork

    This may not be statistically validated, but for the last couple of years the Flames have seemed to play very well when they have a lot of young guys in the lineup. Playing for contracts, maybe?

    Better yet, we have Poirer, Klimchuk, and some other exciting prospects in the pipeline. If we draft smart this year and next, then the future could be very bright.

  • redricardo

    The “Forever a Flame” program is an embarrassment as a fan.

    Why can’t our team just retire a jersey like a normal person?!

    Who do we contact to voice our frustration at such a moronic program?

  • redricardo

    I liked what I saw from Hanowski, he is good along the wall cycling and likes to go to the net. Knight was great on the dot. Granlund and Rhino seem to have good chemistry. Byron nice speed and hustle. Ortio is solid, great glove.

  • Burnward

    Holy hell guys.

    What we’re seeing is some actual depth in our system.

    I can’t honestly remember being excited for a crop of kids…add in Poirier, Klimchuk, Gaudreau and who we get this year…and we have some good stuff on the way.

    Monahan being the real deal is such a huge boost too. He could be our Toews-ish guy. That is so damn exciting.

    Patience, I know, but this franchise is in the best place I can think of in…maybe ever.

    • supra steve

      “Monahan being the real deal is such a huge boost too. He could be our Toews-ish guy. That is so damn exciting.”

      Noticed Turris (3rd overall 2007) scored his 20th last night. Monahan, 6 years younger, has 18. He’s not exactly an assist machine yet, but he does look like a nice pick by the Flames. And he’s only 19!

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The only draft year not represented last night was 2012, because uncle Jay went to high school in the 1st round.

    Are the apologists around here prepared to declare Mark Jankowski a probable bust yet?

    • piscera.infada

      I’m not necessarily an apologist of “the pick”, but like you said, I don’t think Feaster did a horrible job – the optics were certainly horrible at times though. That said, I’m not ready to write off Janko yet… I don’t think he’ll be the guy Feaster/Weisbrod thought he’d be, but he could still be a useful player down the road. Perhaps we shouldn’t take so much pleasure in his slow development?

        • piscera.infada

          I can agree with that..

          But I have to agree with @mattyc, I’m liking Colborne these days. That said, if Janko ends up being an NHLer, it’s not horrible. Sure, he’s not “the best player in the draft” (again, optics), but if he’s serviceable it’s not a total loss. I agree, it’d be nice to have any one of those other guys, but we’re going to have to move on at some point. Feaster/Weisbrod eventually paid the price for it, so I think that time’s now.

      • ChinookArchYYC

        Fair comment. I’m crossing my fingers that Jankowski turns into a real NHLer, I find no pleasure in seeing a young guy fail to experience his full potential. My complaint is that pick was too risky for the first round. In my view, the GM is suppose to hold back the scouting staff and provide balanced guidance when drafting. 2012 was just a silly pick.

      • Parallex

        Yeah, I wouldn’t call him a bust until he shows without a doubt that he can’t hack it as a pro (either by not being offered a contract out of College or signing a contract and then failing to amount to anything in the AHL). He’s trending towards probable bust I’d say… but I’d give him a chance to prove himself as a pro before calling it.

    • mattyc

      Feaster was not an excellent GM, but like you said he did some really good stuff in scouting and drafting. I don’t mean good compared to Sutter but just plain good compared to the league.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      A lot has been written about Feaster and his abilities. He’s gone so it matters not BUT:

      Feaster and Weisbrod seemingly found the magical nexus for amateur scouting (more good than bad). Why would Burke fire them? Why not work with them? It seems he saw his job as POHO to allow people to do what they want, and he judges their work after the fact. Sounds ok, but if you have uncommon brain power working for you, guide it. If you think the team philosophy needs to incorporate bigger players, suggest it. Don’t fire the guys. Collaborate.

      Feaster is not a hockey guy. He got pilloried for that. What he is, is a fantastic manager. Detailed, systematic and proficient. He added to the information infrastructure of the hockey ops. He invested in smart things: Chris Snow, Todd Woodbridge(?). He handled the admin duties that allowed others to focus on their strengths: Weisbrod.

      Hudler, Russell, Granlund, Monahan, Berra, Knight are all players. In two drafts he drastically improved the flames org depth. Nod to Darryl’s keepers as well ( so maybe Tod Button needs credit). Hiring Troy Ward. Decision lens, PUCKS system. Drafting Gaudreau …

      Burke will be a shrewd deal maker. Really? Berra ( in my opinion and Clint Malarchuck and probably joe Sakic’s is going to be a player a possible #1) for a low seated 2nd in a universally described weak draft is not shrewd.

      Cammy for nothing is not shrewd.

      Why is Burke on TV so damn much? I never see Ken Holland or Ron Wilson in the media.

      However, Burke was right about time telling the story on these moves. Perhaps he has a plan. Just like time will tell with Jankowski. The problem people have is they can’t wrap their heads around the appropriate time scale in which to evaluate him. They do their usual, lame, draft+1 scenarios and procalim: see! trending to bust! Is it possible, that the growth metrics need to be adjusted for a late bloomer? How do undrafted guys like Gio become (near) stars in the NHL? Perhaps the old, tried and true metrics don’t apply evenly to all members of the population. Perhaps there is quite striking individual variance when it comes to human development, mental development. Look at Monahan and Jankowski in their draft years. Monahan was a pretty solid kid, his growth came early. Jankowski was rail thin and still growing in height. How can you use the same evaluation unless you’re prone to hugely simplfy in order to see what you want to see? Some junior kids look like full grown men while others look like kids. Please stop being so naively stupid to think your analysis metrics work perfectly for all cases. It doesn’t. Just open your eyes.

      I just have yet to see how this is any better than Feaster other than people’s rumours, innuendo and just general dislike of Jay that feulked all the criticism.

      Intellectual honesty, best player not in NHL. Who the f$&k cares if he’s bringing in quality hockey players ( on the whole – no one is perfect )

      To date all Burke is, is exactly what was advertised. All bluster no substance. At least Feaster gad some very smart things you could focus on when his bluster got going.

      How Burke couldn’t change his role to work with Feaster is hard to digest. Guide him. Instead just fire him? Companies all try to retain talent. Whether you like Feaster had a problem with public statements, one MUST balance ones view with all his positives. Look at how many prospects are excelling either in NHL, AHL, or amateur leagues.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        Yeah allowing other people to run the show that is your responsibility was so smart, that incredibly intelligent Feaster almost gave away Monahan & Kanzig & $5.0mill signing bonus to a player who would have been playing in Columbus. I agree with you that Feaster had an excellent group assembled that hit homeruns in the last few years in the draft & shrewd trades on young players other teams gave up on or had buried in their depth. Everyone hits a fowl ball(Janko), nature of the business.

        Berra was a fluke return & made Feasters poor trading of JBO look a little more palatable.
        I am a Burke supporter but I am very disappointed he did not move Cammi. But after seeing the return on Vanek & Moulson, whose return was worse than Iggy’s & I would take them as rentals all day long over Iggy, I have decided that the offers that Burke saw were probably pretty insulting for Cammi. I think the chance of resigning him were greater than the joke of low ball offers he had on the table. Either way, I find many of your comments mere emotional opinions based on huge assumptions. How do you demote Feaster to director of scouting & keep a happy employee? Feaster would have resigned anyway.

        • Jeff Lebowski

          I won’t argue about what could’ve happened with the ROR deal. But it didn’t. However, it should not have happened, IF IN FACT, it is proven that Feaster made a mistake. Lesson learned, no harm no foul.

          Insulting offers for Cammy? So ego, what people perceive you took in return, must be preserved rather than tangible assets. That arguments loses with me everytime. We will see if Cammy resigns.

          Burke said in his news conference he wasn’t prepared to let Cammy go for nothing. Well it sure seems like that is precisely what he is prepared to do. Why? it’s insulting?!? Terrible , terrible way to make an optimization decision.

          Demote Feaster and he would’ve resigned? Those are the options? And you think I’m making assumptions? People are f’n hypocrites and don’t know head from tails. Emotion has nothing to do with MY analysis. I’m looking at results, not what could’ve been. I stated that time will tell. Your analysis, to me, fits perfectly with the emotional ‘likeability’ of Feaster. You don’t like him, so his moves are stupid. You like Burke so there is some hidden master plan he is expertly following. What evidence? None.

      • Parallex

        “Why not work with them?”

        Isn’t it obvious?… Burke doesn’t want to work “with” anyone. I question whether he even can.

        I mean listen to his pronouncements since taking over… any GM he hires apparently has to believe in what he believes, any coach that’s hired has to believe what he believes… Burke isn’t building a team with diverse talents and beliefs to collaborate for the greater good he’s building a team of “yes men”.

        It’s a pretty sweet gig for Burke when you think about it… He basically get’s all the power (he hires someone that would do what he would do and then ust veto’s anything he wouldn’t), doesn’t have to do much of the actual work (outsources that to the GM), and best of all (for him, terribly for the Flames) won’t even have that much accountability since if he fails he just blames the GM fires him and just hires another puppet.

          • Parallex

            …ok. Are you done with what seems to be outrage that someone *GASP* doesn’t regard Burke as some sort of messianic front office executive savior?

            As near as I can tell everything I said is true…

            Burke basically did say that the person he hires as GM has to share his beleifs.

            Burke basically did say that any coach of “his” has to share his beliefs.

            The only thing that’s remotely disputable is whether Burke’s position will allow him to effectively dodge accountability… and I think you only have to look at how many coaches & GM’s Kevin Lowe (who has the same job up there that Brian Burke has down here) has gone through with his job entirely secure to get a reasonable idea on that. Can you dispute any of that without resorting to some measure of “In Burke we Trust”?

          • piscera.infada

            I don’t “regard Burke as some sort of messianic front office executive savior”, I’m also not a staunch supporter of “in Burke we trust”.

            I also don’t get myself twisted up in his ravings about “big”, “truculent”, “harder to play against”, to prove a narrative that because Burke is at the helm of the good-ship-Flames this organization will now forsake any and all skill as a means of membership to The Cult of the Facepuncher.

            Look, I get it. I’m as much of a Burke-skeptic as the next guy, I really am. I just don’t think that we (as fans) should piss and moan about every little thing he does, while we harken back to the good ol’ days of Jay Feaster – who we all pissed and moaned about for his entire tenure. I mean, at some point there has to be a little buy-in from the fan base, at least for a fraction of a second because like it or not, he’s going to be here for a while. So please, be doom and gloom if you want – you likely just spent a half-decade doing it already, so what’s another decade?

            I was one of the posters calling for a “hockey guy” when Feaster was in charge. It might not be the “hockey guy” I wanted, but at least in Burke we got a guy who is experienced in the role and has some goddamn credibility around the league for a change. So, I’ll reserve judgement on who he picks as GM until he does it, who he drafts until he does it, and so on…

          • Parallex

            That’s fine, that’s your opinion and you’re entitled to have have it… but I don’t think you’re entitled to have a hissy when someone doesn’t share it.

            Burke isn’t entitled to any “buy-in” he has to earn it by making the smart moves and saying smart things. When/If he does that such that the scales balance towards the positive I’ll give him credit for it… but he’s just not doing it. Seriously, I thought lowly of Burke when he was with the Leafs and I’ve seen precisely zero reason to change that stance and I’m not going to for no reason other then Burke’s postal code changing.

  • mattyc

    Holy shit I just realized that Buffalo is going to pick twice in the top 5 likely 1st and 5th (assuming islanders want to be in on mcdavid).
    They also could end up picking 7 times in the first 61 picks. That is nuts

    1st rd 1,5,28 2nd 31,42,52 3rd 61

    This all depends on converting and teams choices.

  • piscera.infada

    Holy crap I just realized that Buffalo is going to pick twice in the top 5 likely 1st and 5th (assuming islanders want to be in on mcdavid).
    They also could end up picking 7 times in the first 61 picks. That is nuts

    1st rd 1,5,28 2nd 31,42,52 3rd 61

    This all depends on converting and teams choices.

    • mk

      Murray has done a pretty good job of getting picks for his assets. Buffalo (in general) has done a good job of acquiring players and flipping them for a good or better return. Moulson, Regehr, Halak, etc.

      I’m interested to see how their rebuild turns out. They really have gone all in on building from the draft. The only pieces they could still move to complete the plan are Leino (hahaha) and Ehrhoff.

  • I think the Janko thing is probably even more on Weisbrod that Feaster. Everything I’ve dug up about the move is based on Weisbrod seeing and then falling in love with the player. It seems the club based it’s first round strategy on that – target Janko and then grab a second rounder by moving down since he would likely still be available in the ’20’s.

    It’s a great strategy if Janko turns out to be the player Weisbrod thought he was. Turns out, yeah, he probably isn’t.

  • Derzie

    Bang on Lebowski. Burke better not undo the good Feaster has done. He wasn’t perfect and Jankowski and Ryan O’Reilly took him down but he did some nice asset work.

  • MattyFranchise

    via extra skater…

    Monahan was the third worst possession player playing a game last night. He had 2 assists which is awesome but he also had a CF% at 5 on 5 of 18.8% which is decidedly less so. CorRel was -21.6%.

    The Hudler/Monahan/Hanowski line as a whole was pretty ok with Hudler CF% at 27.3% and a CorRel of -9.6% while Hanowski clocked in at CF% 35.7% and a CorRel of 0.5%.

    I know I should be focusing on the positives in a game where the kid got 2 points but these numbers are just dismal. I would like to see Hanowski separated from Monahan in the next game to see how well he does. Also, if Hudler could have played in the third I don’t think Monahan’s numbers would be anywhere near as bad.

    And this was with that line starting in the offensive zone 66% of the time. Should not be giving up those kinds of shot attempts in that end of the ice.

        • MattyFranchise

          I think it is the same, under what I suspect is coaching instruction, Monahan is very disciplined in his shift time. Next year with more experience and physical maturity I suspect his shift time average will be 10-15 seconds longer (one more offensive trip) like hurdler, cammy and backlund more recently.

          • MattyFranchise

            I hope you’re right. Monahan is what the Flames needed in a center for a long time. I just hope that his defensive play catches up so he can be a true franchise player rather than a complimentary piece.

            I was always optimistic that he would reach 20 goals this year, and that seems more than likely but I’d like to see more backchecking. In the last few games he has been doing a tremendous job, finally using his size but I’m not going to hold that learning curve against him.

            Learning to play in this league, especially as a 19 year old has to be exceedingly difficult. By eye, he’s passing with flying colours. The stats may tell a different story but he’s getting it done.

  • xploD

    I had to make an account just because I was disgusted with the talk about janko. His last season he was 165 pounds, this season he made it to an average weight, next season there will be another 20 pounds and then you’ll start seeing him play to his strengths and use his size more. But I literally know mark and he’s not going to let his previous statistics dictate his progress. Next season you’re going to see a different kind of beast, I promise you that. Sometimes I think we forget we’re dealing with humans, epiphany’s, strength, practice, realizing the short window of opportunity can all be shifting factors. Hence the need for scouts and not just computer stats.

    • piscera.infada

      We will let actions speak not works.

      As I am sure you must know, a rebuilding franchise is a pretty fragile thing. There is lots of anger and sadness and hope and other assorted things that can be seen here regularly.

      If you are easily offended forums likely aren’t a good place to be for the next few years.

      I hope you are right but statistics say a lot and things haven’t looked the best for him.

      That being said he is a young guy so hopefully he can put it all together and become the player the team needs.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      I hope your right too. I haven’t seen anyone here at FN attack Jankowski the person, and I expect all Flames fans are wishing he is able to make the show. Most of the frustration here has been aimed at the Flames for taking him so early in the 2012 draft.

  • xploD

    I mean yeah it is kind of silly they took him based on prep school stats, they must have seen something magical though. I guess there is big emphasis on ‘project’. I’ve been training for 5 years and 2 years with Mark, I understand where you’re coming from, but people don’t understand how hard it is to put on 20 pounds of muscle and not fat. It requires 5 days training with 2 sessions a day, a hypertrophy program and a speed and explosiveness session, along with eating absolutely perfect every single day. But even after doing that your tendencies are always to play the same way you did before because your brain responds to stimulation in the same fashion until you hit that ‘ah ha’ moment like backs where you play to your strengths. From watching him for years it’s evident he’s playing like he’s 5’11 and 160 pounds still. Next season I’m convinced that you’ll see him use his utility more. He has the skills to score goals, but he’s just not hanging on to the puck or protecting it with his size and generating shots. It is improving dramatically over the past 30~ days. If next season isn’t at a new level I’ll be shocked. Then you can start using the word ‘bust’ -_- but till then, in Janko we trust!

    • mattyc

      Thank you for a different perspective on Janko. I have been a supporter of lets wait and see. The big problem here is that Feaster painted such high expectations. I have spent a fair bit of time tracking our NCAA kids and have noticed that he has picked it up significantly of late. He plays on a team that is defense first and does not always play with his teams best offensive players, yet he has significantly increased his production this year. Two more years of development and growth and who knows what he will be. For me I’m prepared to wait.

  • PrairieStew

    Just to chime in on the Jankowski thing. Remember he was the youngest guy in the 2012 draft. By comparison Monahan was one of the oldest guys in the 2013 draft. Both born in 94 Janko Sept 13 and Mony October 12. I think it is safe to say that a typical 18-21 year old male can reach levels of physical maturity plus or minus a year and a half or so. I would suggest that Monahan is an early maturer, and Jankowski is a late one, so while they are less than a month apart chronologically, Monahan could be as much as 3 years more mature.

    Jankowski has shown progress playing in a tough league. Here’s hoping he continues to grow into his game.

    @mattyc – Janko will be 20 for his entire 3rd season at Providence.

  • Only one critic about Hanowski.

    He may have not contributed on the score sheet in the way the rest of the boys did. However, I have to say Hanowski looked to be a very useful body out there. He was involved in the play down low. A couple of times he beat Ottawa to the puck behind their goal line and ground it out along the boards keeping the Flames in possession. I was actually rather impressed with how he Played. We need players like that to make this team work. I think he will become a very serviceable 3rd 4th line guy on a complete team.
    So in my opinion slightly better than Okay.
    Otherwise spot on, Ryan.