Post-Game: High Event, Low Event

The Flames came into this weekend in grave danger of playing themselves out of the NHL’s bottom five with a pair of wins. If their goal was to maintain a strong draft position, well, mission accomplished. They dropped a 6-5 decision to the visiting Nashville Predators in a game that was uncharacteristically sloppy, uneven and featured 11 goals.

And weirdly, it may have been the lowest-event 11-goal game you ever did see, especially with stretches in the first and third that greatly resembled the prior low-event Preds/Flames wars of the past.

THE RUNDOWN

Things started off poorly for Calgary. Victor Barkley and Shea Weber both generated goals off slap-shots from scoring chance areas. On their first two shots on Joni Ortio. Within one minute. The Flames clawed back and, after drawing a late-period power-play, Kris Russell rifled home a goal off a nice passing play to make it 2-1 heading into the intermission. Calgary led in shots 9-6, attempts 22-12 and face-offs 11-10.

The second period was crazy. If you liked goals, it had goals. Many, many goals. And fairly iffy defensive play, and sub-par goaltending. Patric Hornqvist beat out Mark Giordano’s defensive coverage and tipped in a cross-ice pass to make it 3-1 Nashville. Paul Byron caused a turnover in the Nashville zone; Kris Russell then fed it to Mike Cammalleri, who one-timed his 21st goal of the year to make it 3-2. Mark Giordano tied up the game with a slapper from the point (that was tipped by Jiri Hudler) to make it 3-3. All good, right? Nope. Victor Stalberg ended Joni Ortio’s night with a wrap-around that made it 4-3. Not to feel left out, the Predators pulled Pekke Rinne after he got caught out of a position as Lance Bouma fed Mikael Backlund for Backlund’s 18th of the year to make it 4-4. The goalies to end the period were Joey MacDonald and Carter Hutton. It was that kind of a period. Calgary led in shots 10-9, shot attempts were tied 15-15, and Nashville dominated the face-off dot 14-9.

The third period featured three goals and about an eight minute section with no scoring chances and a lot of perimeter play. Things were tight defensively and it looked headed to both overtime and a shootout…when the Flames lapsed in the D-zone – just like in the first – and the Preds scored twice in fairly rapid succession. Shea Weber scored on the PP to make it 5-4 and Matt Cullen got his first goal of the game (and his 4th point) to make it 6-4. But the Flames fired back (again), and this time it didn’t take them the whole period, as Cammalleri got his second of the game from an absolutely bizarre angle to make it 6-5. They pulled the goalie and pressed late, but couldn’t get the equalizer, and the club’s record in one-goal games dropped to 20-15-7. Calgary led in shots (10-7), attempts (18-11) and face-offs (10-9) in the final period.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Every time they got the game tied, they just couldn’t get over the hump. They played well enough to win, but their goaltending and defensive play was just bad enough for them to lose. Given how well they’ve played during the year, they were probably due for a game like this. Burn the tape, gang, and move on towards Edmonton tomorrow night.

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 14:51 Bartley goal 4 16 17 37 39 44 3 15 19 35 57 64 5v5
Home 1 14:13 Glencross 5 7 18 20 24 37 6 7 12 27 35 59 5v5
Away 1 14:03 Weber goal 5 7 18 20 24 37 4 6 7 12 27 35 5v5
Home 1 8:04 Smid 3 18 20 24 37 56 4 15 35 42 57 84 5v5
Away 1 4:22 Cullen 5 8 23 37 44 51 4 7 12 25 35 42 5v5
Away 1 2:28 Hornqvist 5 17 18 37 44 6 7 12 27 35 59 4v5
Home 1 0:34 Russell goal 3 7 18 20 24 37 6 27 35 57 59 84 5v5
Away 2 18:51 Jarnkrok 4 8 23 37 44 51 4 15 19 35 42 57 5v5
Away 2 17:18 Nystrom 3 11 13 32 37 56 4 24 25 33 35 42 5v5
Away 2 16:57 Wilson 3 11 13 32 37 56 4 24 25 33 35 42 5v5
Away 2 15:52 Hornqvist goal 5 18 20 24 37 44 5 7 12 27 35 59 5v5
Away 2 14:02 Nystrom 4 11 13 32 37 44 6 24 25 33 35 59 5v5
Home 2 13:39 Cammalleri goal 4 11 13 32 37 44 6 24 25 33 35 59 5v5
Away 2 11:54 Stalberg goal 4 16 17 35 39 44 4 24 25 33 35 42 5v5
Home 2 11:21 Cammalleri 5 7 11 13 32 35 6 7 12 27 35 59 5v5
Home 2 10:11 Stajan 4 18 20 24 35 44 4 15 19 35 42 57 5v5
Home 2 8:22 Galiardi 7 8 24 35 39 44 3 19 35 57 64 5v4
Home 2 7:50 Byron 7 8 32 35 39 44 15 16 35 42 59 64 5v5
Home 2 6:29 Backlund goal 5 7 11 13 32 35 6 7 12 27 30 59 5v5
Home 3 19:25 Backlund 4 11 13 32 35 44 6 24 25 30 33 59 5v5
Away 3 16:52 Fisher 4 8 23 35 44 51 4 7 12 27 30 42 5v5
Home 3 6:33 Glencross 5 7 18 20 24 35 4 15 19 30 42 57 5v5
Away 3 2:53 Cullen goal 5 7 18 20 24 35 6 7 12 27 30 59 5v5
Home 3 1:12 Monahan 4 5 13 18 23 24 4 6 12 24 27 30 5v5
Home 3 0:58 Monahan 4 5 13 18 23 24 4 6 12 24 27 30 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
3 SMID, LADISLAV 17:38 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:48 0 0
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 16:29 5 5 01:50 0 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 22:35 6 4 01:34 0 0 01:58 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:37 6 2 00:46 1 0 00:48 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 13:41 1 3 00:46 1 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 15:03 4 3 01:20 0 0 00:36 0 0
13 CAMMALLERI, MIKE 15:55 6 3 01:34 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 10:40 0 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 10:25 0 2 00:00 0 0 02:10 0 1
18 STAJAN, MATT 17:01 7 3 00:00 0 0 02:10 0 1
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 15:17 5 3 00:39 0 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 14:52 2 3 01:34 0 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 15:21 7 3 00:44 1 0 00:00 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 15:40 5 3 00:02 0 0 00:36 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   6 3   1 0   0 0
37 ORTIO, JONI   4 8   0 0   0 1
39 GALIARDI, TJ 09:35 1 2 00:21 1 0 00:00 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 17:18 4 7 00:30 1 0 01:58 0 1
51 AGOSTINO, KENNY 12:40 0 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
56 WOTHERSPOON, TYLER 15:11 1 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 3 3 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 6 6 6 5 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 2 4 2 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

RED WARRIOR

Mikael Backlund. A goal, an assist, +3. 5 shots, 54% in the face-off circle.

Also, stick-tap to Paul Byron, who had zero points but was +3.

SUM IT UP

The Flames (28-35-7) now have 12 games left in the season. They’re now snugly ahead of the Islanders but behind the Carolina/Ottawa/Nashville trio, and sit in 26th place.

They visit the Oilers tomorrow evening up in Edmonton. Puck drop is 8pm MT on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

  • Lordmork

    Will Backlund make 20 goals this year? Unless he goes ice-cold, it sure seems likely. Super impressed with him. Probably my favourite player in the NHL right now. Skilled and classy. I hope he gets the chance to lead the team someday.

  • MattyFranchise

    Overall the game was a bit of a disappointment but jee whiz what an exciting finish. Props to Cullen, his D left him out to dry in the final minute and he performed admirably.

    EDIT: Oops that was a brain fart, I meant Hutton.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    It’s weird that the game was so high scoring and outside the actual Flames goals, was not very entertaining. I think I know what it feels like to be a Leaf fan over the last 2 seasons now.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Thank goodness for no points… Somebody needs to pull a Tonya Harding on Cammy though. Enough already… It’s like he’s pissed at Burke for not dealing him and he’s single handedly scoring us into the 8th pick while at the same time driving his own price up… Dastardly!

    • Truculence

      He’s playing for a higher value contract for next year; just not from this team, apparently.

      Agree on the no points thing, though. I always get a good laugh when some people advocate that their team must fight to the bitter end and claw for every point they can get despite not having a chance at the playoffs so that they don’t become the Oilers. My question is: where the hell is that effort and skill for the first 80% of the season and why is it not replicated in the ensuing season(s)? I mean we went on a similar tear last year at this time and we still suck.

      Maybe that logic should only apply to teams that are not in rebuilding mode.