Post-Game: Spoil Sports

The Calgary Flames hit the road on Friday night, heading down to the heart of Texas – Dallas, Texas – to visit the Stars. With Dallas in the thick of the playoff hunt, the Flames were sure to be in for an intense 60 minutes of hockey. With fourth-string goalie Joey MacDonald in net, they overcame a rocky start and played a strong final 20 minutes and gave themselves a chance to win.

And then they won. Again. Against a team fighting for their playoff lives. With a key goal scored by a rookie.


The Stars got out of the gate quick, generating a few chances and out-shooting the Flames early – although the Flames managed to keep them to the outside for the most part. Each team had a solid chance during the period, but the Flames came on late after their rough start. Shots were 10-9 Calgary in the first, though they dug themselves out of a 6-0 shot hole early. But no goals were scored in the first.

It was goals a-plenty in the second period. Antoine Roussel put Dallas up 1-0 just 13 seconds into the period. It may have tipped off a defender’s stick, but Joey MacDonald probably wants it back either way. Mike Cammalleri answered back six minutes into the period; Joe Colborne won a board battle and fed it to Cammalleri, who put it top shelf over Tim Thomas. The Flames kept pushing for a go-ahead goal, couldn’t capitalize on their chances, and then gave up two goals late in the period – nearly identical tip-in efforts from Jamie Benn and Erik Cole. We headed into the break with the Flames trailing 3-1. The Flames led in shots again by a 10-8 margin.

The Stars played keep-away for much of the third, largely keeping Calgary to the outside. Neither team generated scoring chances, until the Flames kicked it into high gear late in the game. Paul Byron scored his 4th of the year on a power-play. Mike Cammalleri jammed home a rebound of a T.J. Brodie point shot to tie things up late. Neither team took many chances once the game was tied up, so we headed to overtime. Flames out-shot the Stars 9-7 in the third.

Overtime solved nothing, with a couple scoring chances and shot on goal for each side. Jordie Benn scored in the shootout to give the Stars a lead, but Sean Monahan scored to tie it up, and then Corban Knight – fresh off his first NHL goal on Wednesday – got the game-deciding goal, beating Tim Thomas.


Dallas came out of the gates strong and then faded, especially in the latter part of the third. The Flames stumbled to start but made adjustments, coming out in the third period down 3-1 and playing a smart, aggressive game. The Colborne-Backlund-Cammalleri line scored twice.

And then Sean Monahan and Corban Knight added their efforts to give the pesky Flames two points.


Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 13:51 Whitney 6 13 16 18 23 30 3 8 13 23 35 56 5v5
Away 1 11:54 Colborne 6 22 30 33 39 72 3 8 13 23 35 56 5v5
Away 1 11:09 Scrum in front 4 13 16 18 24 30 4 10 15 35 44 58 5v5
Away 1 9:42 Glencross 12 21 23 30 38 55 4 16 20 35 39 44 5v5
Home 1 8:50 Goligoski 6 22 30 33 39 72 3 8 13 23 35 56 5v5
Home 1 5:35 Chiasson 12 21 23 30 33 38 3 16 20 23 35 56 5v5
Away 1 1:31 Cammalleri 6 22 30 33 39 72 5 7 8 13 23 35 5v5
Home 2 16:45 Benn 16 21 23 30 38 55 5 11 17 32 35 44 5v5
Away 2 13:41 Cammalleri goal 6 12 14 30 33 91 5 7 8 13 23 35 5v5
Away 2 11:36 Hanowski 4 22 24 30 39 72 5 7 10 15 35 58 5v5
Away 2 11:10 Westgarth 4 22 24 30 39 72 5 7 10 15 32 35 5v5
Away 2 10:52 Bouma 6 16 30 33 39 72 5 7 11 17 32 35 5v5
Away 2 9:20 Byron 4 14 24 30 91 3 7 11 32 35 4v4
Away 2 8:07 McGrattan 12 13 18 23 30 55 3 4 16 20 35 39 5v5
Away 2 6:26 Bouma 4 16 24 30 38 72 5 11 17 32 35 44 5v5
Home 2 5:45 Benn goal 6 14 30 33 43 91 4 11 17 32 35 44 5v5
Home 2 4:49 Goligoski 6 14 30 33 43 91 5 7 8 13 23 35 5v5
Away 2 4:03 Cammalleri 6 22 30 33 39 72 4 8 13 23 35 44 5v5
Away 2 4:01 McGrattan 4 22 24 30 39 72 4 16 20 35 39 44 5v5
Home 2 3:31 Cole goal 4 16 21 24 30 38 3 11 17 32 35 56 5v5
Home 2 2:57 Roussel 4 16 21 24 30 38 3 11 17 32 35 56 5v5
Home 3 18:23 Seguin 6 14 30 33 43 91 5 7 17 23 32 35 5v5
Home 3 17:42 Morin 22 24 30 39 55 72 4 10 15 35 44 58 5v5
Home 3 16:56 Chiasson 6 16 21 30 33 38 5 7 8 11 13 35 5v5
Away 3 14:54 Glencross 4 14 24 30 43 91 5 7 16 20 35 39 5v5
Away 3 9:35 Colborne 6 16 21 30 33 38 5 7 8 11 13 35 5v5
Away 3 7:10 Byron goal 6 18 30 33 72 4 7 8 20 32 35 4v5
Away 3 5:43 Glencross 6 22 30 33 39 72 3 20 32 35 39 44 5v5
Away 3 4:32 Cammalleri goal 6 16 21 30 33 38 5 7 8 11 13 35 5v5
Home 3 3:45 Jo. Benn 4 22 24 30 39 72 3 16 17 23 35 44 5v5
Away 3 0:50 Byron 14 24 30 33 43 91 5 7 20 32 35 39 5v5
Home 4 4:22 Seguin 24 30 33 72 91 5 7 8 11 35 4v4
Away 4 0:46 Giordano 4 14 24 30 91 5 7 8 23 35 4v4
# Player EV PP SH
3 SMID, LADISLAV 20:23 4 6 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:33 5 2 01:03 1 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 24:09 11 5 01:08 0 0 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 27:09 11 4 01:01 1 0 00:00 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 19:53 7 5 00:28 1 0 00:00 0 0
10 KNIGHT, CORBAN 07:24 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 20:21 5 6 01:08 0 0 00:00 0 0
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 20:28 6 4 01:08 0 0 00:00 0 0
15 WESTGARTH, KEVIN 07:32 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 14:10 4 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 15:13 2 6 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 19:03 6 1 00:28 1 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 18:33 5 6 01:08 0 0 00:00 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 17:47 6 5 00:28 1 0 00:00 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   19 13   1 0   0 0
39 GALIARDI, TJ 16:24 6 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 21:19 6 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
56 WOTHERSPOON, TYLER 13:23 1 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
58 HANOWSKI, BEN 06:16 2 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 3 4 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 9 5 9 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 4 5 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0


I hate choosing these things because there’s usually a bunch of contenders. Tonight, let’s go with Mike Cammalleri, who had two goals, was buzzing around the net all night long and arguably had his best hockey game in literally months.

Honourable mention to Joey MacDonald, who played his first NHL hockey in months and months, and gave the Flames the chance to win it with some key stops.


The Flames won! They hit the road immediately, jetting to Glendale, Arizona to play the Phoenix Coyotes. Game time is 8pm MT on Hockey Night in Canada.

  • AF

    I’m lovin’ it.

    MacDonald played surprisingly well, kept us in the game. Anyway, it’s fun to watch this team right now. They don’t quit. Resilient team effort!

  • We need to keep Corban Knight up on the big squad. Despite the small sample size of games played, he has really impressed me with his composure and clutch.

    Great win tonight. Cammy was great, and proved that he deserves a contract extension. Get it done, Burkie!

    Glennie chips in. Great! Also, on the subject of returnees: Joey Mac looked shaky at first, but looked great as the game progressed.

    On the Stars, the Benns really impressed tonight. Cool seeing Jordie Benn get his first NHL shootout goal, congrats man.

    All said and done, great win, and gotta love McGrattan’s constant begging for a shot in the shootout. Why not eh?

  • beloch

    I gotta say I really hope Burke keeps Hartley around. He’s doing wonders with these guys. I was so great seeing Hartley, Gelinas and others laughing before the shootout started as McGratten asked to be the first shooter. Looks like a great dymanic in that room.

  • sathome

    Giordano has the second best points per game of any defenseman in the league, as a member of the Flames. If he hadn’t missed some time, he would definitely deserve to be in Norris contention.

  • loudogYYC

    Another great win tonight, to say these wins don’t mean anything is short sighted. Monahan and Knight were winning all their battles in the 3rd and looked like vets while they were at it. Can’t wait to see Baertschi doing the same next season.

    A little off topic, how’s this for a crazy idea at the draft: Flames sign Cammalleri to 3 year, $15M deal and then trade him to Anaheim for their late 1st and a prospect while retaining $2M of the contract, giving the Ducks Cammalleri at $3M/year.

    I’m not even sure if this is allowed under the new CBA, but I thought I’d share it anyway.

  • TheoForever

    @ loudog

    I have been thinking along the same lines, sign Cammy for extra money, trade him retaining some salary. I think Burke will try that, since apparently owners are willing to spend some money.

    • beloch

      The owners weren’t keen on spending cash this season. Before the deadline Burke said they were willing to take on bad contracts but that just meant it was a possibility if the return was obscenely high. They could have taken on salary to increase the return for Berra or Stempniak, but they didn’t. Let’s face it, it’s easier for the owners to sell “We’re planning for the future by being careful with our cap space now!” to the fans than “We wouldn’t make the playoffs if we spent to the cap, so let’s suck real good, pick high, and make a down-payment on the new arena!”.

      Next season there’s a possibility the Flames could make the playoffs if they spend to the cap and make some big trades. However, the long-term payoff would likely be higher if they focus on developing the talent that’s coming out of Abby/college for another season rather than bumping them down so a bunch of overpriced UFA’s can play. Ticket sales are still strong and the fanbase is far happier than could be expected given where the Flames are in the standings. It doesn’t make sense to rush the rebuild.

      Burke is going to be busy making changes to the team this off-season, but he’s not any more likely to blow cap-space on deals like loudog mentioned than he was at the trade deadline. It will be a possibility, but Burke will demand a return that other GM’s will likely find prohibitively high.

      • loudogYYC

        Although I agree the Flames talk of spending to the cap or taking on bad contracts has been all talk and no walk, I doubt salary retention on Stempniak’s remaining $625K & Berra’s $212K would’ve increased the return we got for them.

        Retaining $2M/yr on Cammalleri to a contending team with little cap space would be a win for both teams and the player too. I have no insight so mostly I’m just being hopeful.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    The Heat also won.

    It’s great that the Flames are developing a winning attitude; the work ethic has been there almost all year.(There have only been a handful of games where they have not competed.)So things are quite hopeful for next year; some have even suggested that we might be back in the playoff picture next season. That really depends on the approach that Burke and the mystery GM takes in the off season. I think there are two models for Burke to pursue; one being patient with the rebuild and the signing of Stajan suggests he might be more patient than he admits or signing a significant number of key UFA’s and trading some of the veterans or key prospects.

    Most of us on this sight agree that a successful rebuild needs to include a core group of veteran leaders. On the back end we have Gio, Brodie, Russell, Wides, and Smid all signed for next year. 5 of 7 will be NHL vets ranging from a sound 1/2 pairing to sound 4-6 dmen. If Butler resigns we will have more than enough vets on the back end to allow Spoon or whom ever to develop. Up front we currently have Glenx, Hudler, Stajan, Backs, McG and DJones signed. If Cammi resigns and Burke does not accomplish a sign and trade deal then we have all the vets we need to continue with the rebuild. 7 vets plus 4 emerging NHLers in Monahan, Colborne, Bouma and Byron and a bevy of young guys competing for 2/3 spots at most(Granlund, Ferland, Knight,Rhino, Johnny G, Poirier, Arnold etc)would allow us to be competitive and still address the rebuild. The other option is to trade some of this group or sign UFA’s to either upgrade over say McG and DJones and sign two more to fill the 2/3 spots which could be filled by the prospects. I’m not sure what Burke will do but I know which road I would prefer and that would be to let the kids play and see where it takes us and address the holes at the end of next year.

  • Craig

    Biggest thing for me over the past few weeks is how much fun it’s been to watch these games. Holy S#%t.

    I can’t believe how well Byron is playing, it looks to me like he was committed to the gym because he’s throwing that tiny body around and overpowering NHL defensemen.

    Can’t wait till Granlund comes back as well. It’s going to be a fun end to the season.

    • T&A4Flames

      That’s because he’s smaller than all the other behemoths on the ice so he takes them out at the knees. 🙂

      Byron has been awesome. I’ve liked his tenacity since he was first used in the line up. He does look like he’s added more strength though.

      I wonder what trade value he may now hold? I would love to hold on to him but like others have said, we have a lot of small guys in the line up and still more coming. His heart and tenacity are exactly what EDM needs, size aside.

  • MWflames

    wow where did Paul Byron come from? I honestly think I was a little bummed when we re-upped him most recently, but that kid can play. What a pest! When does he start entering the conversation of the core moving forward?

    Also, I think Colbourne has really increased his ability/confidence when protecting the puck with his body and stick. When he does it right he can be a real pain to defend and has created several chances recently off just that. He still doesn’t have a complete game imo, but he definitely has some strengths to work off of that could make him an everyday player in the near future.

    What are everyone’s thoughts on Wotherspoon? I feel like he has played very composed and doesn’t look behind physically. Definitely looks as advertised, steady eddy & physical. He looks like he is behind on the speed of play though which is to be expected. I hope this is an adjusted/adapting thing rather than him just being slow.

    Anyways, that was probably the most fun and excited flames game I’ve seen in years. Good stuff.

    • Jeff Lebowski

      I like Byron too but I don’t see any pest in his game (the way I see or saw pest in Avery, Cooke or Burrows).

      With Byron, I see an honest guy, gives an honest effort, a guy not afraid to get hit, not afraid to be the hitter and not the hittee, a guy with explosive first few steps and pretty good playmaking ability. His ‘limitations’ are his shot and whether he can stay healthy for a full season. Both of which can be improved to some extent.

      He’s a guy who plays like he doesn’t know he supposed to be meek and timid because he doesn’t fit the prototypical build.

      I also agree that kind of mentality is a good thing to have on the team moving forward. Who cares what anyone has to say about you? Just go prove to yourself what is possible.

      Wotherspoon looks great! I don’t see any deficiencies in his skating, just a chosen reluctance to jump up or a preference to stay back and be last line of defence. His actual skating ability is great for his ‘girth’. He’s a solidly built kid.

      He’s got great hockey sense – just defensive hockey sense. He reads the play really well and anticipates where the scoring chance is trying to be had.

      How do I put it best? I never worry about him getting beat on a backdoor play. While others watch the puck, he’s already read the play and is ready for a turnover.

      Even when a ton of traffic in his zone, where it’s easy to lose track of guys and positioning, he doesn’t. Opponents can criss cross, change sides and he just quickly methodically sorts it out.

      He’s like a more mobile, less ‘truculent’ Barrett Jackman in play not personality.

      • MWflames

        Perhaps pest isn’t the best word I could of used, but I also think it works in a less traditional sense.

        When Byron steps onto the ice no one recognizes him as a threat. Yet, he goes out there skates twice as hard as anyone else, is usually one of the fastest guys on the ice, and actually manages to push guys off the puck when nobody in the stadium is expecting it. Byron continually chooses to aggressively forecheck, backcheck and pursue the puck carrier when other players might choose a more strategic approach. This catches the other team off guard all the time. You can see it several times a night, and he often creates chances from this and if not some sustained offensive zone time.

        I imagine he’s a pest to the other team because he’s constantly doing the little things that he does to pressure the other players into doing things they don’t want to do or by taking time and space away much faster than they thought.

        I realize he’s not a pest in the traditional physical and verbal sense, but I imagine several times a night opposing players skate to the bench thinking “who is that little sh!t??”

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Hanowski has been written off on this site many times.

    However, the things I’ve noticed about Hanowski are how much quicker he is on the ice, how he puts the puck into places then goes hard after it, using his big frame to protect and possess the puck. He works well with similar big bodied guys

    Troy Ward has done well so far with him.

    I think he’s a player (maybe not here). He is definitely not ‘terrible’ as has been written on these pages. He’s improving nicely.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Bean-counting cowboy;

    I may take you up on your offer to join you in Lethbridge to watch a game next time I’m out there, sounds like a stellar crowd……

    Where is the best place to watch the game out there; the Legion?


    • Bean-counting cowboy

      The Legion is a bit fancy ‘fer our likin’. But Uncle Cletus has a set of ‘ol rabbit ears up in the attic of the hayshed. Momma got one a ‘dem color televisions a year back er so. So come on down anytime… and bring yer sister. If she ain’t free… yer mom otta do just fine.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I don’t want to pee on anyone’s parade but as well as the Flames have been playing down the stretch similar to last season one must recognize that pro athletes play much better when they do not have the pressure of playing for the playoffs. They are prone to take more risk and try to do things they are normally capable skill wise but are reluctant due to the risk of making a mistake and costing there team mates the game and potentially the playoffs.

    One must also recognize that the opponents when viewing the starting line-ups see young inexperienced players and a team in the bottom 5 making it difficult at times to motivate themselves to play hard competitive hockey. One might argue this but it is the nature of a pro sports and not being able to motivate themselves at a level higher than the opponent.

    Having said this I personally recognize the young Flames talent is indeed developing and playing within the system they are expected to play. They are also very well coached by Hartley who knows how to push the right buttons given his own resume and accomplishment as a Stanley Cup winner.

    Go Flames!! GO Burkie!!

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Boston with their 8th win in a row with 5 goals scored – Iggy with a pair! He now leads the Bruins in goal scoring and is second in points only behind Krejci.

    They are right up there with St. Louis & other top teams for president’s trophy race.

    I would love to see Iggy hoist the cup this year. It would be neat because he won’t have done it as just some aging veteran, but a key cog in the Bruins offense. Cheering for the B’s this spring.