Post Game: Grand Theft Ramo

We learned some things tonight folks. We learned that Ben Bishop probably shouldn’t be allowed to handle the puck. We also learned, and are continuing to learn down the stretch, that Karro Ramo is capable of stealing games for the Flames as he did tonight. 

The Flames won 4-1 on the strength of two quick first period goals and some very good goaltending despite being outplayed for virtually the whole game. It feels good beating the Lightning but I don’t want to talk about why okay? So don’t you dare bring it up in the comments…

Read all about the game after the jump.  

GAME SUMMARY

The first started relatively unassumingly with both teams playing like two teams that don’t see each other very often. Seven minutes in after a defensive lapse from Russell and Butler, Ramo stopped J.T Brown on a breakaway on Tampa’s best chance of the early first. It was around this time that the Lightning broadcast mentioned that Van Brabant was a very inexperienced defenseman for the Flames. I suppose that’s true. 

Things picked up after that. Ten minutes in, Ben Bishop put an absolutely perfect pass on Mike Cammalleri’s tape who fired it into an open net for his 25th goal of the season. After three or four replays, I am still not sure just what the hell Bishop was thinking but either way I am sure Cammalleri will take it. Just 15 seconds later, Bishop tried to ring the puck around the boards which led to another turnover and a goal by the now absolutely, for sure, unquestioningly, soon-to-be-resigned Kevin Westgarth for his fourth of the season (one less than Clarkson). Flames up 2-0.

After the second Flames goal, the Lightning realized that the game had actually started and began taking the play to the Flames. However, the Flames were able to hold the Lightning off and get into the dressing room up two-zip.

26 seconds into the second period, T.J Brodie cross-checked Killorn and gave the Lightning the first powerplay of the game. The Flames were largely able to hold the Lightning to no good chances and were able to kill it off without much danger. The early part of the second was dominated by the Lightning including Ryan Callahan somehow missing an open net after Filppula put it through Ramo. 

Overall, I thought Filppula looked great for the Lightning all game, continuing the unbelievable season he is having. I saw this on twitter earlier in the week and it’s completely true, can you imagine how much better the Wings would be if they had chosen to re-sign Filppula rather than entering the free-agent market with Weiss?

Seven minutes into the second, Alex Killorn held Cammalleri and sent the Flames to their first man advantage of the game. The Flames got reasonably good pressure off the first faceoff of the PP, but never really managed to regain offensive possession of the puck. Zone entries on the powerplay have frankly been brutal for the Flames this whole season, especially on the road where the entire powerplay has been doo-doo.

Halfway through the second, Chris Butler took a slashing penalty and sent the Lightning back to the man advantage. The Flames were close to their 13th short-handed goal of the season when Colborne put a nice pass on Monahan’s stick but Bishop turned it aside. The Flames killed off the penalty again without many chances for the Bolts.

It looked like the Flames were going to be able to get to the room up two goals but with four minutes to go in the second, the Flames got caught making a bad clearance and Butler got caught, well, playing hockey and Palat was able to bring the Lightning within one. That was Palat’s 20th goal and 54th (!) point of the season for the 23 year old. The Lightning really dominated the remainder of the period and Ramo made a great point-blank save with under 20 seconds to go to preserve the one goal lead heading into the third.

The Bolts started the third the way they ended the second, by completely dominating play against the Flames. The Flames were hanging by a thread. As a result, Giordano took a tripping penalty and sent the Lightning back to the man advantage. However, the Flames showed some great poise and killed off another fairly uneventful Tampa man advantage. 

The vast majority of the third period was played in the Flames end and it looked ugly for Calgary. The Flames basically decided that they were going to go as far as Ramo would let them in this one, and he stole it for them. With about three minutes to go, Stamkos rang one off the post on one of Tampa’s many chances of the game. Then, with two minutes and 19 seconds to go, Eric “Still in the NHL” Brewer took a tripping penalty and sent the Flames to the PP to mop up the rest of the game.

Rather than just running out the clock, the Flames had one of their best entries of the whole game and had Glencross find Cammalleri who took a low shot that was kicked back to Glencross who iced the game for the Flames. Glencross would then take the puck off of Matt Carle neatly for an empty netter which is a pretty rare occasion for the Flames. The shots finished 32-25 for Tampa Bay and Ramo   .  

THE RED WARRIOR

I thought T.J Galiardi had a pretty okay night despite not exactly being given great linemates. After rough nights against the Leafs, I thought Giordano and Brodie were solid again and generated some of the precious little offence that the Flames had all night. Glencross had a couple of goals but one was an empty netter and one was in the final moments on the powerplay. Backlund had four shots tonight but wasn’t really that much of an offensive force. Still, it just illustrates his ability to consistently generate offence even if he wasn’t all a major factor. 

The clear choice tonight was Karri Ramo who stole this game for the Flames. The Lightning were in control of the game for almost the entire 60 minutes and Ramo was the reason that the Flames came away with two points. Good on him against his former club.   

SUM IT UP

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The Flames won a game that they probably didn’t deserve to tonight against a superior opposition with a barely NHL-level roster and they have their goalie to thank. I think Ramo’s play in this late part of the season is surely enough to give him a pretty good shot at being the starter heading into camp next year.

On another note, man, Tampa has some good young players don’t they?

The Flames are right back at it tomorrow against the Panthers. It’s another 5:30 MT start and you can watch the game on SNET – West.           

     

  • ChinookArchYYC

    1. I agree beating the Lightning feels good for the reasons you don’t want mentioned. 2. Ramo looks better in a Flames uniform than a TB one. 3. This is good for the Flames, finding a way to win when you don’t play your best will help this team in the long run and of course 4. Scoreface!

  • cgyokgn

    Very opportunistic scoring but we’ll take the win considering the lack of depth and experience. Ramo was stellar and was probably the only reason we were able to “compete.” It’s good to see the Lightning back in the playoff picture. Of course, we just helped the Habs regain home ice advantage. That will be a fun series to watch.

  • beloch

    Hartley seems to be deliberately throwing the teams weaker possession players in over their heads just to see how they do. Monahan and Colborne played very tough minutes tonight and Butler/Russel played tougher minutes than Brodie/ Giordano! Russel also led the team in TOI. As you can probably guess, Rustler got destroyed out there! Yikes.

    • MattyFranchise

      Great to see coach getting guys out in new situations, providing them insight and opportunity to learn and grow for the future. Overall thought the team did fairly well, they had their chances and made good on what they needed to win. Van Brabant also looked pretty good, tough on the boards several times and defensively aware.

      Keep up the good work. Best way to get better is everyone continuing to develop and playing well as a team.

      • Jeff Lebowski

        Cammy also commented how their tactical forecheck system created the turnover by taking away the rim.

        I don’t think people appreciate how tactical, detailed systems play really is. We say players make blunders but the reality is they are baited.

        I recall a game where Hanowski turned puck over that resulted in a goal. People blasted him but it was a similar deal. Tactical play creates chances via turnovers.

        These guys are exceedingly good and smart. Sometimes you have to tip your cap to the opposition. They break down video and game plan specific tactics to exploit tendencies.

        A facile understanding allows fans to label guys as idiots or that they suck.

        There may be better plays to make but the speed of the game (especially the speed felt at ice level) makes players put the puck without looking just due to patterns or habits.

  • MattyFranchise

    Flames had 25 shots, not 15. They were outshot and outplayed but this isn’t the Leafs we’re talking about.

    Also, Ramo is now at 0.919 at EVS% for the season.

  • Derzie

    While watching the game, my wife was casually looking on. Numerous times she said ‘why is it always in the Flames end’. My immediate response without a roll call was always ‘McGrattan shift’. I was correct every time. Hartley must be trying to tank it a bit.

    • loudogYYC

      That’s my go-to response as well. ‘Don’t worry once the Goonies line is on the bench we’ll push back’.

      I’ve noticed Hartley playing the kids and more limited players in more situations lately. Win-win if you ask me.

  • loudogYYC

    So I was snooping the Extra Skater game sheet for last night. Stumbled upon a section I don’t remember noticing before called the “Momentum Chart” (right under the “Win Expectancy Chart”). Here is the description, copied word-for-word.

    Each team’s momentum based on hits, fights, timeouts, icings beat out, compete level, coaches’ death stares (est.), and jerseys thrown on ice.

    I died.

    • mattyc

      early, meaningless game with two half-ahl lineups. Makes me hope we aren’t playing out the string again like this next year (although we probably will). The fact that a site like this (which writes about everything flames related) doesn’t even acknowledge the game, is a pretty big indictment of the importance of these games…

      Edit: I should add that I’m still watching on gamecentre, so I don’t know what that says about me either…

  • The Last Big Bear

    Yeah there seems to be a paucity of game-day stuff recently.

    I know its Florida, but we’re pretty big Flames fans, and this IS a Flames-dedicated website…