Post-Game: Better Than Expected!

The Calgary Flames crept into the Mile High City on Sunday night, visiting a desperate, winless Colorado Avalanche squad. After a hard-fought 60 minute effort featuring some superb netminding, the Flames flew home having steadied their pre-season record at the .500 mark (3-3-0), while the Avalanche dropped to 0-4-1 following a 2-1 win for the visitors.

THE RUNDOWN

The first period was basically a punch/counterpunch period, with the Avalanche mostly doing the punching and the Flames trying to roll with it. The Avalanche out-shot the Flames by a hefty 13-5 margin. However, Michael Ferland converted one of those five shots past Semyon Varlamov to send the Flames to the intermission with a 1-0 lead.

Both teams exchanged goals in the middle frame. Ryan O’Reilly finally converted a chance to tie the game at 1-1 early in the period. However, roughly 90 seconds later, the Flames went back up. Once again, Michael Ferland scored – off a nice set-up by Lance Bouma – to make it 2-1 for the visiting side. The shots were pretty close to even in the second at 12-10 for the Flames, but by all accounts the most impressive chances were for the Avalanche and Karri Ramo did his best to keep all but one out.

Colorado came out desperate in the third period and dominated play in much the same manner that they did in the first. Calgary did their best to keep things to the outside and to counterpunch. Despite all their chances, the Avalanche could not score – they led 13-7 in shots – and the game ended with a 2-1 victory for the Flames.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

They got excellent goaltending and timely goals. Karri Ramo made 22 saves in the first two periods and Joni Ortio mopped up with a 13-save relief appearance. Without their heroics, the timely goals would’ve been for naught.

RED WARRIOR

Gotta give it to Ramo here. He was in beast mode despite getting just his second sniff of pre-season action after being sidelined with a hip injury.

Honourable mention to Michael Ferland, who put up two goals and four hits in 13:20 of work.

SUM IT UP

Arguably out-manned and out-gunned, the Flames iced a roster full mostly of tweeners and out-worked the Colorado Avalanche. Bolstered by some great goaltending from last year’s NHL and AHL starters, they got a pair of goals and managed to be good enough to win the game.

The Flames and Avalanche fly to Calgary and are back at it in a return engagement on Tuesday evening. The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I like that each game there seems to be a different kid stepping up.

    Thats nice.

    Although I miss the days of Chucko, Carsen Germyn, DVDG, Boyd and Cam Cunning.

          • BurningSensation

            And that question, right there, is the reason that the Flames won’t be able to bring in all kinds of youth this year, even though there are a number of players that should be able to crack this lineup.

            If I’m not mistaken, and I might be, the answer to your question is no. Unless they brought someone else in, they would be at $48.9M with the floor at $51.

          • MonsterPod

            Whew, this must be a rebuild when the highest paid forward (Jones) and highest paid defenseman (Wideman) are totally off the fan radar. We seem to want them gone so we can watch rookies instead but are worried that we’ll fall below the cap FLOOR.

            This ain’t the Flames of 5 years ago, that’s for sure.

          • Kevin R

            Exactly! Those two shouldn’t have been acquired in the first place!

            Won’t fall below the cap floor – most of their salaries will count against the cap plus the salaries of the replacements.

          • McRib

            I agree, the Winnipeg Jets didn’t even want Setoguchi… I repeat a team that finished just above us in the standings with only two more wins. Setoguchi had a few good years as a young player playing in an outstanding situation in San Jose on a line with Thornton and Marleau. However he has always been know as a booze hound / skirt chaser his entire career and has never even come close to working for anything considering the potential he once showed.

            I would rather see young players like Ferland, Granlund, etc win roster spots over him any day.

          • Parallex

            No. Setoguchi makes so little that he won’t count against the floor if he goes down.

            Jones would count for some if he went down but I believe the Flames wouldn’t be cap compliant if he was claimed so for all intents and purposes they can’t put him on waivers… and really why would they? The Flames – Jones + some young guy aren’t going to make the playoffs this year so why spend money that they don’t have spend to get a result that isn’t meaningful. I say they should just roll with all the vets at seasons start and introduce young guys mid-season as trades and injuries allow.

            No sense wasting assets (be it money, ELC Year, or vet. players) just so that the impatient segment of the fanbase can see a prospect in the NHL a few games earlier then then they otherwise would.

          • Burnward

            If Jones is waived (related: he won’t be) there is a 100% chance that he clears. A 30 year-old player making 4 million per year who can’t crack the roster of the 4th worst team in the league? Hot ticket item right there.

          • Parallex

            There is not a 100% chance that he clears… There’s a 100% chance that you think he will but that’s not the same thing.

            And frankly there is no reason to think that he can’t crack the roster of the 4th worst team in the league yet. If you havn’t noticed we’re weak on players who naturally shoot and play on the right side.

          • everton fc

            And frankly there is no reason to think that he can’t crack the roster of the 4th worst team in the league yet.

            Irrelevant. Note that I said IF he’s waived. If he’s waived, it would be because he wasn’t good enough to make the team. Why would any team claim a $4million dollar player who wasn’t good enough for the Calgary Flames?

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Open question regarding the discussion about whether to send Jones down and cap impact.

            For any “regular” NHL player of a certain age or who has played “X” number games…if the player is being sent down to the AHL do they not have to clear waivers first.

            In other words the choices to the Flames are:
            – keep the player on the NHL roster and incur full salary against the Cap;
            – Waive the player. The player is offered in turn to each team in reverse ascending order eg.starting with BUF, FLA, EDM etc.
            – If the player is claimed then 1/2 the salary is retained against the cap by the waiving team, and 1/2 by the claiming team.
            – If the player is not claimed then the team will need to pay the full value of the contract to the player but the Cap impact will be modified as discussed.

            Waived players not claimed will not need to go through the waiver process again through the NHL season ie. so the player can be transferred between the NHL and AHL club several times through the season without needing to be waived first etc.

            So for Jones…IF Edm claimed him, the Flames would have to pay ~$2M of an Oiler players’ contract.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            As noted in post #23:

            Jones would count for his entire salary against the cap less ($550,000+$375,000).

            4 million – $925,000 = $3,075,000 against the cap if I’ve read it correctly.

            That would still leave the Flames cap compliant.

          • Parallex

            No, it would leave us bit short.

            Not so much that it would be impossible to rectify prior to season’s start but even so doing it would complicate managements ability to make deals later on in the season. We wouldn’t have the floor space banked so any deals that they’d want to make would have to be money in-money out deals.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            According to capgeek the Flames have a payroll of $53,936,667.

            Subtract the $925,00 and that leaves the Flames at $53,011,667. The floor is $51,000,000.

            So, really, though I don’t think it would happen, the Flames could send down Jones, Engelland and Wideman and still be above the cap.

          • Parallex

            Ah okey, I see where we’re disconnecting here. I wasn’t talking about salary cap in the event that he’s demoted… I was talking about the salary cap in the event that he’s claimed. Regardless of ones opinion of how likely he is to pass it’s a consideration the team has to make.

            But really why would we want to demote him? I’d rather have Jones in the line-up in the hopes that he demonstrates that he’s worth $2M+ (i.e. the tradable salary level with retention).

            YMMV but we’re still rebuilding here and jettisoning guys like Jones to the AHL or to other teams via the wire is what you do when you’ve moved from rebuiding to building and we’re not there yet.

            Edit: D’oh… I see you figured out what I meant while I was away from my PC while writing this. Boo me and my slow typing skills and lack of use of the refresh button.

          • PrairieStew

            On Jones:

            Why send him down ? Carry 25 guys instead. Let him sit in the press box if he is being outplayed by younger guys. Sending him down when you don’t have to for cap reasons isn’t really helpful. If his attitude is decent he’ll deal with it. No sense in uprooting his family (not sure what he has for family but older guys tend to have kids) and creating a bitter guy who will then diss your organization to his friends and his agent.

            Not sure why they didn’t do this with O’brien last year.

          • SavardianSpinorama

            I am not suggesting the Flames send anyone down. I am only pointing out if some of the kids make their case, the Flames have options available to them.

    • Burnward

      Ryan…how could there be only one spot available for the 3 players you mention on a team that finished 27th and hasn’t made the playoffs since who knows when??

      • Purple Hazze

        I did too…
        Let us see Gaudreau, Bennett and Ferland together in the next game or two!

        Guess that the Oiler trollers are in bed licking their wounds..LOL

      • Kevin R

        Read my mind. Preseason isn’t done yet & the potential for more injuries increases as we see more cuts & regular roster players getting in game action. I would bet money that Gaudreau is a surefire in, & Sven & Ferland & Bennett all stay for the home opener. Going to be fun 1st 9 games.

  • I’d love to see this Ferland kid make the initial squad. I’m okay with having a tough guy in the lineup but you gotta hope we stick to one max per game, and that more often than not it’s Bollig. If I have to watch McGrattan think he’s sneaky by shooting a puck from center one more time I think I might lose it. Plus he’s a liability in the defensive zone. At least Ferland gives you the functional toughness and has a pair of hands that can score instead of punch. I like Grats for the locker room but he’s just not a good hockey player.

    • everton fc

      Stubblejumper is spot on. To continue to compare Ferland with even Bollig is a misunderstanding of his game. He an old-school power-forward. I think he’s capable of 20+ goals a season sooner, than later. He gives more to this team than Sven. And as much as Johnny Hockey.

      I’ve noted here prior he had similar #’s to Lucic in juniors. Note he has not taken dumb penatlies like Kanzig, yet has more natural, innate fire in his belly than Kanzig may ever have. This kid worked hard on himself, as a person, off-season. I am certain Troy G. Ward, who we should have never let go, had a lot to do with Ferland’s development as a professional – living the professional life. I’d rather see Ferland over Setoguchi and Baertschi. He’s a rare, diamond-in-the-rough.

      One of Darryl’s best picks.

      I’ll add that Ferland’s hands are as good, I not better, than most of the prospects, and perhaps some of the pros. Right now. And he took up the game so late in life.

      Let him play. He’s earned it.

      As for D. Jones… Bad move by Feaster. Again. We might as well get used to him, and support him. He wasn’t a waste in Denver. He got hurt here, early. He may prove a lot of you wrong. Like Stajan did.

      Have faith!

      To me, Jones gives you more than Setoguchi, because he has a work ethic. Jones at $750K would be gone in a second. Even now. Setoguchi, as we know, couldn’t stick w/the Jets. He’s getting a last-chance here in Calgary. Which is too bad for a young guy who eclipsed 30 goals once.

      • RedMan

        That’s what I was definitely trying to say but you definitely explained it better. It’s not that Ferland is comparable with Bollig and McGrattan. It’s that playing Ferland on a 4th line energy role instead of McGrattan would be much more beneficial to the Flames. Ferland could easily put up 20-25 points in a 3rd or 4th line role on this team this year and eventually be a 20-25 goal player if he continues to progress like he has. And I think you could play him more than 5 minutes without worrying about defensive liabilities, which in turn allows our players more rest and harder minutes from the minutes they get.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Before camp, I was totally convinced that Ferland would need another year in the minors due to his injury last season, but the guy is making one heck of a case for why he should make the big squad. At the very least, Ferland is going to be a frequent call-up, kudos to him for recovering from injury and getting back in game shape form so soon, especially given his court matters this summer.

    Agree with FF1489, McG is a great guy from all accoutnts, but he serves almost no useful purpose on the ice as it relates to playing the game of hockey and with Ferland and Bollig, he’s more than expandable.

    Btw, what wing was Ferland playing yesterday?

    How was Gaudreau?

    Also, still trying to figure out why Lambert is so convinced that Hiller is the #1 over Ramo?

  • JMK

    Kids update:

    WHL:

    Austin Carroll was involved in an 8-2 loss to Kamloops. Yet managed a plus/minus of +1, 2 assists, 5 shots and 4 PIM. No Kanzig in this game.

    Keegan Kanzig and Austin Carroll were involved in a 4-3 win against Kamloops. Kanzig had an even plus/minus, no PIM, no shots. Carroll scored a goal and had 5 shots on net.

    Noth Victoria boys were involved in a 5-3 loss to Vancouver. Keegan had 1 assist, 0 shots, 0 PIM and an even plus/minus. Carroll had a goal, a -3 plus/minus, 0 shots and 6 PIM.

    No sign of Roy for Brandon yet, perhaps still injured.

    OHL:

    Hunter Smith had 3 games. First one a 5-2 win over Barrie, 0 stats really and an even plus/minus. Second game a 5-4 loss to Mississauga, where he had 2 assists, a +1 and 4 PIM. And last a 4-0 win over Sudbury where he picked up a goal, and even plus/minus and 2 PIM.

    And on a side note Dylan Strome and McDavid are leading the way for scoring so far with 10 and 8 points respectively in 3 games.

    QMJHL:

    Mason McDonald was involved in a 5-3 loss to Moncton, where he saved 31 of 36 shots (0.861). And a 4-3 win over Acadie-Bathurst and saved 30 of 33 shots (0.909)

  • Purple Hazze

    Great to see Ferland on track and showing his potential.

    Many seem surprised with his skill and scoring. However as a reminder in the WHL he had 56 points & 110 PIM in 56 Games in his Draft year and was 47G 49A 96Pts 84PIM in 68 games (1.41 ppg) in his D+1 year.

    The Lucic comparison at the Junior level is reasonably close albeit Lucic is larger (6’3″ 235 lbs) and was a more “truculent” whereas Ferland had much better scoring.

    During Lucic’s draft year he had 19 points and 149 PIMs in 62 games. In D+1 he had 30G 38A 68Pts 147 PIMs in 70 games (0.97 ppg).

  • SavardianSpinorama

    According to capgeek.com:

    BURIED CONTRACTS (Wade Redden Rule)
    Money paid to players outside of the NHL counts against the cap.

    A one-way contract counts against the cap as follows:
    cap hit – [ minimum salary + $375,000 ]

    Example: If Player A with cap hit $6.5M plays in the minors in 2013-14, he counts as follows.
    $6.5M – [ $550,000 + $375,000 ] = $5.575M

    A two-way contract counts as follows:
    minor-league salary – [minimum salary + $375,000]

    Example: Player B’s two-way contract pays $3M/$1M in 2013-14 and counts as follows in the minors.
    $1M – [ $550,000 + $375,000 ] = $75,000

  • Gaudfather

    If Ferland doesn’t make the team out of the gates – I suspect it will only be a matter of time until he gets called up.

    He plays heavy hockey with a scorer’s touch around the net. You gotta like the potential in this kid.

    Looks like Sieloff also played a good game. These two could be two of the biggest suprises this year.

  • everton fc

    I also had a good vibe about Austin Carroll prior to his being drafted. I have a good vibe about him now. (Then again, I thought Guillaume Debsiens would prove himself here. Now plyinghis trade in Austria!) Carroll’s another who may get his chance someday, in a Burke-type system. Not much different a player than Ferland, though Ferland has much better hands and offencive potential. But Carroll can score. And skate. He may be a nice 3rd line guy someday. His sniff in camp seems to have put a fire in his belly already. With a linemate like Arnold, he could really find a niche here.

    Ferland’s no 3rd liner. He has more potential than that.

  • SmellOfVictory

    All this cap floor talk and people still wonder why they paid Engelland so much. Don’t get me wrong he’s totally overpaid but definitely cap filler.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      And they could send him down at some point in time if they wanted. Basically, the big contract they gave Engelland virtually assures the Flames have the flexibility to send him down without risking he gets picked up by another team. So, he gets the Flames to the floor and provides roster options as well.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Right, Engelland hasn’t been as bad as advertised.

      Nevertheless, two contracts (Engelland’s and Jones’) and one other (Wideman’s perhaps) do give the team some roster options, though I am a lot higher on Wideman than most on FN. Wideman’s first season here was strike-shortened and the team was in a state of flux with the Iggy and Jaybo situations hanging over the team, and last year it was injury riddled.

      • SavardianSpinorama

        I agree…I’m fine with Wideman’s contract. He came as advertised..a point-producing D-man stronger on offence and a little weaker on defence.

        He’s racked up 40-50 points in 3 prior seasons, good enough to be a Top 10 scorer amongst D-men (.58 ppg). Since coming to Calgary there was the strike-shortened season and then he was injured and/or likely playing hurt, scoring at .36 ppg on a team 27th in league scoring.

        Looking around the league, especially as a Right-handed offensive D-man…he’s getting paid around market value. If memory serves despite the poor goal production the Flames D was top 10 in scoring last year.

        Any team with cap space and needing to boost their D production would take Wideman in a minute, and Flames would miss his production from the back end.

        • SavardianSpinorama

          The fact the Flames’ D finished Top Ten in scoring is kind of a damning indictment to the forwards, when Calgary finished 23rd overall in team scoring. Hopefully, we’ll see a little more production from the forwards this season.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Interesting to look at the game summary sheets from last night, particularly each players’ TOI.

    COL’s top NHL regulars (Duschene, Landeskog, O’Reilly, Iginla et al) all played high minutes (>19 min TOI) while their rookies and AHL’ers were very sheltered (6-14 TOI). On Defence regulars Holden, Johnson and Barrie all had 20-23 TOI.

    CAL’s forwards’ playing time was a lot more evenly balanced with only Bouma and Stajan getting >17 TOI, Bollig & McGrattan at 9-10, and the rest of the forward group at 12-16 ATOI. On Defence outside of Russell, the 3 guys vying for a spot (Culkin, Diaz, Brookbank) had high minutes 19-22TOI.

    Bottom line: Colorado played to win by playing their regulars high minutes. Calgary played to evaluate their talent, matching AHL’ers and CHL rookies against NHL regulars.

  • Jeremy

    It’s going to be interesting at the deadline as to how much salary the Flames will/have to retain to move some of their old parts.
    Eg. Hudler will be worth a lot to a team, but the Flames need to keep up to the cap minimum. I honestly can see him being moved to a playoff team with the Flames keeping his entire salary on our books.
    You can add Jones, Wideman and Glencross into this example too.

    • Parallex

      None.

      Which I find extremely odd. And yes those extensions (which by god I hope are in the works) should help avoid cap floor issues… might still have to sign someone depending on how much the cap escalates but after this year the Flames should be able to manage most cap floor issues internally without having to dip into the UFA market.