Post-Game: All She Wrote

The 2013-14 Calgary Flames season ended tonight. Game 82 was a loss to the Vancouver Canucks. The game was the first NHL appearance for Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold, which allowed everyone of us who’ve watched all these games something different to look for.

Here’s how it happened.

THE RUNDOWN

The flow of the first period was decent, with the Flames faring fairly well at even-strength but failing to capitalize. The Canucks, on the other hand, were opportunistic and made the most of their chances. Daniel Sedin opened the scoring mid-way through the period. Then he scored on a power-play (caused by a Kevin Westgarth roughing call) off a puck that ping-ponged around in the Flames zone. Calgary led in shots 11-10.

The second was when things fell apart. Vancouver scored three times – Frankie Corrado’s 1st, Ryan Kesler scoring off a lost face-off and a lost board-battle, and Yannick Weber scoring on a late-period power-play. Karri Ramo was chased after the fourth Canucks goal, and I must admit I questioned the point of starting him at all. He had nothing left to prove this year. That power-play goal? It came off a bit of a scary play that initially seemed a bit innocuous…

Paul Byron, going after the puck, awkwardly sent Daniel Sedin into the glass. Sedin got stretchered off and Byron got a game misconduct (and the Canucks got a five-minute PP). Sedin did regain both consciousness and feeling in his extremities, so thankfully the scary moment was the worst thing that came of it. But still, a bit disconcerting to see each guy end their season in that manner.

Oh, and Johnny Gaudreau scored his first NHL goal, tipping a Chris Breen shot (that was previously tipped by Joe Colborne).

The Canucks out-shot Calgary 11-3, which was roughly an accurate reflection of the play in that period.

Nobody scored in the third period. Neither team seemed particularly engaged, and thankfully (outside of a shot-block by Kris Russell that seemed painful) nobody else came out of the game with any noticeable maladies. Calgary out-shot Vancouver 8-2 in the final frame of the season.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

To be blunt, they failed to take advantage of a Canucks club that played (and lost) the night before. Sure, they were missing some key players, but the Flames completely failed to dictate the play – especially in the second period – and the result was one of their least inspired outings of the season.

Hopefully they’ll get out of the gate better next game.

Oh wait, nevermind…

SCORING CHANCES

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 16:04 Bouma 5 6 7 21 29 35 15 16 17 31 42 43 5v5
Home 1 15:15 Matthias 9 15 18 26 27 35 4 8 20 23 31 41 5v5
Away 1 13:49 Arnold 3 14 23 33 35 40 4 31 32 43 46 53 5v5
Home 1 12:48 D.Sedin goal 5 6 7 22 33 35 4 15 16 23 31 42 5v5
Away 1 9:34 Giordano 3 14 23 27 35 4 5 20 24 31 32 4v5
Away 1 9:01 Russell 5 17 18 22 35 4 5 8 23 31 53 4v5
Away 1 8:50 Giordano 5 17 18 22 35 4 5 8 23 31 53 4v5
Home 1 6:55 Kesler 3 17 22 23 33 35 5 8 17 31 44 5v4
Home 1 6:06 H.Sedin 3 17 22 23 33 35 5 8 17 31 44 5v4
Home 1 6:03 D.Sedin goal 5 6 9 15 27 35 4 31 32 43 46 53 5v5
Home 2 19:48 Kassian 3 9 15 23 27 35 4 18 24 31 44 53 5v5
Away 2 18:56 Galiardi 17 18 23 35 40 46 4 31 32 39 44 46 5v5
Home 2 16:16 D.Sedin 3 14 22 23 33 35 4 8 18 20 31 43 5v5
Home 2 13:05 Kesler 3 17 22 23 33 35 5 8 23 31 44 5v4
Home 2 12:28 Jensen 3 7 15 23 27 35 4 18 24 31 44 53 5v5
Home 2 8:23 Kassian 3 9 15 23 27 35 4 18 24 31 43 53 5v5
Away 2 4:40 Gaudreau goal 3 7 21 23 29 35 4 8 23 35 43 53 5v5
Away 2 4:02 Hudler 3 7 21 23 27 35 5 18 20 24 35 44 5v5
Away 3 19:06 Monahan 3 17 23 33 35 46 4 8 23 35 44 5v4
Home 3 16:21 Kassian 3 5 9 21 29 35 4 16 35 39 43 46 5v5
Away 3 12:28 Galiardi 3 7 21 23 29 35 5 16 18 35 39 44 5v5
Home 3 11:04 Kassian? 7 14 17 18 26 35 5 15 17 35 42 46 5v5
Home 3 7:25 21 9 18 21 26 29 35 15 16 17 35 42 43 5v5
Away 3 2:12 Glencross 3 9 15 23 27 35 18 20 35 39 43 44 5v5
Away 3 0:48 Bouma 5 6 7 9 27 35 15 16 17 35 43 44 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:08 3 8 01:46 3 0 03:01 1 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 17:27 2 1 01:31 3 0 05:41 0 3
8 COLBORNE, JOE 12:50 1 2 01:31 2 0 03:33 1 3
15 WESTGARTH, KEVIN 12:19 2 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 11:59 3 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 10:28 2 2 00:00 0 0 04:21 0 2
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:08 3 4 00:00 0 0 03:20 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 13:02 2 2 01:13 1 0 01:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 14:04 1 2 01:31 2 0 03:02 1 1
24 HUDLER, JIRI 10:35 1 3 01:13 1 0 00:41 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   3 7   3 0   0 3
32 BYRON, PAUL 10:40 2 1 01:13 1 0 00:22 0 0
35 MACDONALD, JOEY   5 3   0 0   1 0
39 GALIARDI, TJ 11:31 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:19 0 0
41 BILLINS, CHAD 14:03 0 1 01:13 0 0 00:00 0 0
42 CUNDARI, MARK 10:56 1 3 00:44 0 0 00:00 0 0
43 BREEN, CHRISTOPHER 13:51 5 5 00:00 0 0 02:15 0 0
44 BUTLER, CHRIS 21:29 5 2 00:14 0 0 05:41 1 3
46 ARNOLD, BILL 13:35 2 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
53 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 13:40 2 4 01:31 2 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 5 2 3 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
2 3 5 3 4 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 4 3 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0

RED WARRIOR

Johnny Gaudreau didn’t have an outstanding game, but on the sliding scale of a blowout loss, there were a bunch of positives to take out of his first NHL game. He got a goal, had some nice passes and was surprisingly effective on the forecheck and protecting the puck in the offensive zone.

A solid NHL game for an outstanding collegiate player, and hopefully the first of many.

SUM IT UP

That’s all she wrote for the 2013-14 Calgary Flames season, gang. The Flames finish the year 35-40-7 for 77 points. Up next is the Draft Lottery on Tuesday and the run-up to the Draft. Oh, and the Abbotsford Heat’s quest for the AHL’s Calder Cup.

There’s tons of stuff left to talk about, but from all of us at the site, thanks for visiting and reading, discussing and (occasionally) arguing with us about the Calgary Flames. The only thing more exciting to us than writing about hockey is knowing that people are actually reading and actively caring about what we’re writing about. You guys make this site possible, and we can’t thank you enough.

But enough of all that mushy stuff, we have a busy week (and months) ahead of us.

  • redhot1

    Gaudreau looked good. Making smart play in the neutral zone, nice passes etc. I thought his goal was good too, both he and his stick were in the right place at the right time. Its a good sign when scoring looks that easy for a player. And, he was + 1 in a 5 to 1 game.

    BUT, I did think he looked quite weak in terms of strength (which is understandable). If he gains some strength this summer, I think he might actually challenge for a roster spot next year.

    I think he’s the perfect prospect for our team. A sublimely skilled player with 1st line potential down the road (if he works hard). All because of smart drafting by Mr Feaster.

    We have promising rookies on this team, and the future is bright(er).

    Thanks everyone, its been a fun season, and I think next year will be just as interesting.

  • Truculence

    Gaudreau didn`t look all that small. Seemed to me he was just as tall as Byron. Needs to gain some weight and core strength obviously but he actually looks taller,imo, than St. Louis and Gionta.

  • the forgotten man

    Great to see Gaudzilla (h/t Kent) get his first…congrats!
    Byron hit or more appropriate, his push, on Sedin was bush league and reckless…either take your man into the boards and check him properly or hold up. Byron now deservedly has a bullseye on him come September and for a guy his size not too bright a move. Irregardless of player or team those boarding hits make me nauseous whenever I see them…you are risking a man’s livelihood and the ability to walk whenever you make a stupid hit like that..big thumbs down on Byron.

    • rhyno 365

      Byron did not intentionally do it remember the game is twice as fast when on the ice. He is not a dirty player its just reactions and instincts. Natural reaction is take the man then the puck. He didn’t even shove Sedin that hard he was skating into the corner and the nudge he received was enough to put him into the boards awkwardly. End of story if they thought it was intentional they would of tried to take his head off way more then the couple of punches he received.

  • redhot1

    Was at the game. Great to see Johnny G get his first goal. He was tenacious on the forecheck and even won a few board battles. He drew a penalty for being like 40 lbs, but generally didn’t let his size hamper him.

    On the Sedin hit…weird play. Was definitely reckless, but didn’t look flagrant. The result however was scary. Sedin really didn’t move anything but his fingers and had everyone in the building holding their breath. Curious too see if there is any suspension. As I said, the hit didn’t look egregious live (some Van fans felt the same way). But there was no replay shown in the building.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Byron’s play, is a play that happens 10 times a game and 9.8 times out of 10, nothing happens.

    This time Sedin got hurt. It happens. People need to pull their heads out of their asses and calm down.

    • Truculence

      You see a guy pick his stick above his head and shove a guy in the numbers from behind into the boards 10 times a game? Are you sure you are`nt watching replays of Slapshot?

      I may be a Flames fan, but that was a very reckless play, irrespective of the fact that Sedin should have done more to protect himself.

      What if Kassian had done the exact thing to Gaudereau in that game? It`s not a dirty hit, as Byron didn`t intend to injure, but it is reckless and serious injury could have ensued.

      I also thought it was classy that Giordano came over to ask whether Sedin was alright.

      p.s. that was really classy of you to demand that people pull their heads out of their a$$es when they condemn an act that led to a guy getting stretchered off the ice. But I guess we`re all tough guys behind a key board.

  • BitGeek

    I hate seeing hits from behind. Both players have a responsibility to do better in those situations. Paul could have held up and Sedin knew that Paul was there, and should have done more to protect himself too. Needless to say, it is unfortunate to see a player go down as a result and it can be scary till you know what his fate ends up being. Reports are that Sedin will be ok so hopefully Byron doesn’t suffer too much in reaction from the player safety committee either.

    PS: “irregardless” is not a word, – the word “regardless” works just fine in its’ place. Also while we’re talking about pet peeves, and other words that don’t exist, neither is “unthaw”. The word you are looking for is “thaw”. Ok I’ll stop being a douche now. lol

    • beloch

      I’ve never been a fan of how the league punishes players for outcomes rather than the plays they make.

      Byron did not hit Sedin clearly from behind and in the numbers. It was behind and to the side, and the hit was both back and shoulder contact. Sedin was almost close enough to the boards to be safe, but not quite. That’s a borderline play that wouldn’t have drawn a penalty half the time if the outcome had been different, but it was still a dangerous play. Random chance laid Sedin out flat on the ice. I would not be surprised if the league gets even stricter on boarding.

      • BitGeek

        The hit might have been legal, and 9 out 10 times nothing serious happens. It’s unfortunate when the results are not good and even worse that reactions to the hit are so extreme. Like you said it was a borderline play because Daniel was far enough away from the boards to make it dangerous. That’s the part that bothers me about hits like that.

        Could Byron have held up a bit? I think so. Did Sedin see Byron coming, I believe so, and if that’s the case could he have protected himself better? I also think he could have. Both players could have done something different, but like you said – that kind of hit is almost routine where there are no problems 9 times out of 10. That may be why neither one did anything different in this case, perhaps both believing that there would be no issues with the way the play was unfolding. Plays like this happen so fast, making reaction times that much shorter but the unnecessary risk is still there.

      • BitGeek

        Touché!

        However, even your source indicates that it is non-standard and recommends that “regardless” be used in its place. (Irrespective is also a good alternative).

        I can’t help it if it bugs me. It’s a pet peeve. There are lots of words that have become entrenched in the English language through misuse. I am being hypocritiical because even I use nonstandard words in conversation too. Lol

        I did acknowledge I was being a douche about it by even mentioning it didn’t i? Lol

        Ok, sorry about the diversion, back to Hockey and the flames.

  • beloch

    The possession stats over at extraskater actually favor Gaudreau heavily. He played 15.2 minutes, faced second-line competition and was buried pretty deep with just 28.6% offensive zone starts. That’s a hard welcome to the league my friends! Hartley did not give Gaudreau the kind of shelter most rookies have been getting. Gaudreau, however, rose to the challenge. His 5on5 CF% was 57.9% and his 5on5 CF% relative was +17.6%. This tied him with Galiardi, who faced similar competition but had far easier zone-starts. Only Byron, who was an aboslute possession beast until he was ejected from the game, was clearly ahead of Gaudreau. Oh, and that goal was a beaut too. He snuck into the perfect spot at the perfect time and feathered that shot in beautifully. Great hands!

    This is a one game sample, which we all know is virtually meaningless. Don’t get too worked up over this kid just yet! However, there is absolutely no reason to be pessimistic about Gaudreau based on his performance tonight. He looked like a fine NHL player tonight and not one bit like an undersized rookie struggling to find his feet in the league. If there was another game this season Gaudreau just earned his place in it.

    P.S. Arnold was good tonight too. He had almost exactly the same deployment as Gaudreau and his 5on5 CF% was 50.0% on the money (+7.6% rel). There’s nothing to complain about there! The only caveat is that we still don’t know how good Arnold will be without the “Gaudreau effect” working in his favor.

    • jeremywilhelm

      Byron is such an anomaly. He doesn’t produce many shot attempts himself, but when he is on the ice, the puck makes its way to the net more often then not.

      And intriguing player. I’m a fan.

  • Nick24

    The Sedin incident was defiantly a scary thing to see, but you see that type of play all the time. The only difference here was that Sedin wasn’t quite ready. It wasn’t like Byron ran him or anything, and I’m not sure that I’d even call what Byron did a hit.

  • MattyFranchise

    I was at the game, specifically to watch Gaudreau, and I came away very, very impressed. HIs play along the boards was noteworthy. He battled hard, rarely getting outmuscled, and on one play, even skated away with the puck while Stanton was draped all over him. He’d also win puck battles by slick stick work. On one play, he lifted a stick, stole the puck, and threw the puck out front setting up a nice scoring opportunity. He made crisp passes all night, and his stick was like velcro anytime a puck came his way. Besides that, his vision and patience was probably the best of all the Flames out there, and, at least according to my buddy and I, we was clearly the most dangerous Flames out there. This guy is an NHL talent, and I can’t wait to see a full season of him next year.

  • RedMan

    my guess, regardless of the use of the word irregardless or the word a$$, is that Byron gets two or three games for the hit. it isnt intent, its outcome, and at the end of the day he put a guy into the boards and will pay. regardless

  • RedMan

    i really want to thank the Flames for losing this one and putting us into the fourth draft spot. imagine if the oilers would ever get a fourth draft spot, how fast they would rebuild into a contender?

    • redricardo

      IMO a perfect game last night except for the Sedin injury which marred the enjoyment.

      For his NHL debut Gaudreau got his first goal, was very noticeable each time he stepped onto the ice, and got his nose dirty and showed his checking and passing skills. Essentially he showed he could play with the big boys in the 1st period, providing some glimpses he can control and dominate the play, which Hartley noticed starting in the second and put him on a top line for scoring punch.

      Arnold was good too..hard on the boards, solid checking, played well positionally (including defensively) most times although with a few slips. However without Gaudreau his line sagged offensively.

      Regarding Sedin it was unintentional on Byron’s part but really just part of the natural flow and a “hockey play”. I’ve been impressed with Byron this year with his physicality which is part of what he needs to do to play in the league – it’s just unfortunate this occurred.

      As well an excellent outcome to nestle into 4th (or 5th) for our pick (thanks you Islanders for coming back in the 3rd!). We don’t get into top 4 picks very often (ever!) and for the sake of losing a meaningless game will hopefully come away with one of Reinhart, Bennett, Ekblad, Draisaitl, after which there is a step down in quality.

  • RedMan

    Gaudreau looks like a fantastic talent, but unless he puts on soem decent weight and gains some serious strength over the summer he’s going to get murdered over the course of an 82 game season. Definitely needs a year of seasoning in the AHL.

    Arnold too, just to adjust to the game, same as Knight needed.

    The Heat are going to be even deadlier next season.

  • redricardo

    I think the Sedin hit shows a current trend in the NHL which is extremely dangerous… Players not protecting themselves.

    Watch the replay. Sedin is skating into the corner. He looks up and sees Byron coming in after him. He looks down, puts his head down, and turns his body so his back is to Byron and pulls up just short of the boards.

    He knows Byron is coming. He knows he’s going to play the puck. Which means the guy two feet behind him can totally hit him. There is no onus on the players anymore to protect themselves.

    I want to eliminate checking from behind as bad as the next guy. Dirty play that has no place in the game, because 9 times out of ten you can’t even see a guy coming if he’s behind you. But when you see a guy coming and purposefully place your body in a dangerous position?! It’s a play that’s all too common these days, and I don’t get it. Protecting yourself needs to always be your first priority.

  • BurningSensation

    My thoughts;

    – Johnny G reminds me of a slower Paul Kariya. He has all the same tools, the; shiftiness, stickhandling, the rifle shot, and short burst skating, but he lacks that otherworldly 5th gear Kariya had.

    – So far, I also like him and Arnold together. Arnold comes from the Craig Conroy school of centremen, and his familiarity with J.G. is handy. These two could grow together to be the core of our 2nd line.

    – I have always thought of Paul Byron as that AHL/NHL tweener who is good mentoring kids on the farm and acts as the occasional injury call up for the 3rd and 4th lines. I was wrong. Kid can play, and I hope we re-sign him.

    – We have 5 picks in the first 3 rounds of the upcoming draft, and whatever you think of the Jankowski pick (jury’s still out IMO), we’ve been killing it at the draft the last few years.

    – I have to believe that unless we get leap frogged and have to pick 5th, we’ll be drafting either Bennett or Draisatl. I project Draisatl. A WHL kid with size, hands, who plays center? They’ll ignore the birth certificate and we’ll all be scrambling to perfect our pronounciation.

    – Good teams start with good farm systems. Ours is becoming a very good system. It’s just a matter of time.

    • beloch

      Regarding who Gaudreau reminds us of..dare I say Theo Fleury without the nasty agitator demon although still highly competitive and obsessed with making each minute count.

      Gaudreau’s is fast, has hockey sense and advance thinks where the puck is going to be (not where is currently is), has glue-like stick-handling skills, and amazing touch with the puck. But it is his skating in close quarters is where he excels, is able to instantly change directions, turn on a dime and make people miss both the puck and his body.

      In Fleury-like fashion, one of Gaudreau’s chief talents is to suck two defenders in to check him while then passing to the open man behind..he did this with two Canucks behind the net while then passing out to Arnold(?) in the slot who got a clear shot off.

      A pleasure to watch and something to look forward to in the fall!

    • beloch

      Except that BB has reportedly said he doesn’t like the Deutschland Dangler. Apparently he said he was “big and not much else.”

      Personally, I’m hoping we trade up for Ekblad.

  • Tenbrucelees

    Can I just say that it was most gratifying to see Big Ern and Westgarth on the starting line and Hartley getting RIGHT under that idiot Torts’ skin. Unfortunately probably for the last time as Tortorella has proven himself to be virtually unemployable.

    Oh and Johnny G. Yes man.