Post-Game: Out-Matched In the ‘Peg

shrug

The Calgary Flames came into Winnipeg on Saturday night without much in the way of general motivation for the final game of the pre-season. They already had a guarantee of a winning record, by virtue of Thursday’s win against the Jets in Calgary. A few veterans were getting their first taste of pre-season action, but outside of getting a few guys some reps and shaking out the cobwebs, the general hope was likely “Please God, don’t let anybody else get injured.”

The 2014-15 Calgary Flames, you see, will likely not have a lot of depth in terms of scoring, so likely they just wanted to get to October 8 against Vancouver in one piece.

They dropped a 4-1 decision to the Jets at MTS Center, and now regroup back in Calgary before unveiling their roster on Tuesday.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames were generally out-played five-on-five and couldn’t generate much on two early power-plays. The Jets seemed to gain momentum during the period and had a few good chances, but the returning David Jones opened the scoring mid-way through the period when Andrej Pavelec seemed to lose track of the puck and Jones tucked it in the net. The Jets answered back later on the power-play, with Blake Wheeler tipping a shot past Jonas Hiller. The Jets out-shot Calgary 8-5 in the first.

Jacob Trouba scored on Hiller early in the second, with that marker counting as the eventual winning goal. The rest of the period was largely a carbon-copy of the first, with the Jets keeping the Flames to the outside and the Flames taking penalties to keep momentum from building up. The Jets out-shot Calgary 7-5.

The Jets scored two minutes into the third, with Evander Kane evading Hiller’s pads, and then things proceeding basically like they did in the second. The Jets kept Calgary to the outside, the Flames didn’t generate much, and both teams occasionally got into shoving matches out of restlessness and realizing they had a period to kill before real hockey begins. Mikael Backlund sent Tobias Enstrom awkwardly into the boards and got 14 penalty minutes (ending his night), a scrum ensued and somehow Calgary ended up with a power-play. And because this is how the night went in general, a six-on-four advantage (they pulled Hiller for the extra man) ended up with a Bryan Little empty-netter and a 4-1 loss. Winnipeg led in shots 10-8 in the period and 25-18 overall.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

The Jets generated more chances, better chances, and capitalized on their chances. And after giving Calgary seven power-plays last game, they took fewer penalties (Calgary had just four PPs) and Calgary couldn’t do much with the extra-man. The Jets scored on their man-advantages (once in six chances), and that was that.

RED WARRIOR

Nobody especially stood out for me in the game tape, but let’s go with Ladislav Smid. He played over 24 minutes, 3 shots and blocked 3 shots. Good for him, I guess. Lance Bouma also had 5 hits and 3 blocks, so good for him, too.

SUM IT UP

The Flames lost! But the game doesn’t really matter. Let’s just hope they put in a more energetic effort on October 8, when the 2014-15 season kicks off for realsies.

  • KiLLKiND

    I didn’t get to see the game tonight but from the comments I read from the pre-game it sounded like Calgary really had a lackluster game with really poor efforts from almost everybody any word on that or if this game might impact cuts?

  • KiLLKiND

    Pretty much everybody on the Flames were prone to noticeable mistakes and there were some particularly bad overall performances. It was pretty ugly, no way getting around it.

    That said, it was the final game of the preseason, away from home, mostly featuring players with job security…so it was basically a meh, who cares game.

    It was the most uninspired I’ve seen them play in quite some time but given their effort level from the beginning of last season up until now, especially given the circumstances, I am more than okay with swallowing my critique and moving on to the beginning of the meaningful season.

    Expectations tempered, I couldn’t be more excited for 2014-15. It may not always be pretty but I’m pretty sure it’s going to mighty interesting. GFG.

  • Graham

    This club is going to have to outwork the opposition and come together as a team to have any hope of being competitive. Its only preseason, but given the Flames records of slow starts, this kind of an effort simply isn’t good enough.

    • RedMan

      It is always tough to play as a team when the lineups change from game to game.

      Slow start may be in the books as they are on the road for 6 straight games after the home opener! They will have to make full use of time on the road for bonding with the new veteran players…as per usual I don’t see more than 1 or at most 2 rookies still here Wednesday night!

      Go Flames Go!

  • DoubleDIon

    Someone want to remind me again why McGratton is on the roster? The apparent reason we have an enforcer is to police the ice, yet our skill guys get abused and nothing is done about it. Do we seriously need to waste a roster spot on a guy who will only go after another heavyweight?

    • Derzie

      The answer is no. Never did need him. Never will. Seems like a good guy in the room but that is mascot material not hockey player material. The cuts will tell us how hard we plan to tank this year. I suspect HARD.

    • RexLibris

      A heavy weight enforcer’s mere presence on the roster has 2 benefits…1) makes your roster players braver 2) sends a message to the opposition who will most likely have an enforcer(s) in the lineup.

      IMO McGratton’s presence is justified. You don’t win championships with 12 gifted scorers.

      I do agree the Flames do not need more than 1-2 enforcer’s hence I suspect some kind of trade will be in the works.

      • RexLibris

        Hogwash. Do you have any proof? How does a guy sitting on the bench most of the night make you braver. How does a guy you never are on the ice make you braver. The only time I remember any of this is when some cheapshot artist is hiding behind a goon.

        • Rock

          The proof (or examples) are endless…McSorley was not much of a player but protected Gretzky, Kurri, etc from the goons…If I can recall they won many championships! ps..I hate the Oilers, that was just a quick example that came too mind.

          With the eventual emergence of Monahan, Gaudreau, Granlund, etc. the role of an enforcer on the Flames will become much more important! These young guys are sent messages on the ice by the opposition. The enforcer will not only give them confidence but will settle any issue that may arise regardless of the number of minutes he may play!!

          • CDB

            Love how mcgratton and bollig settled the issues last night. Just like the issues were settled after ference jumped stempniak and beat his face in last year. Huge deterrent…..

          • SavardianSpinorama

            Sure…what is your alternative? Play all skilled players and let Johnny, Grandlund, Monny etc fend for themselves?

            Who did the Blackhawks pick up on waivers this weekend? Carcillo? He is not known for his community work or goal scoring is he?

          • MonsterPod

            The Blackhawks last time I checked won a few recent Stanley Cups. Guess who they picked up on the weekend?…..Carcillo……

            As I mentioned in a previous posting Carcillo was not picked up for community service or goal scoring. Not a bad model to follow than the Blackhawk…free no charge!

      • Rock

        Just look at the job grats did with monhan last season. Nice to score goals but a complete team has a lot of role players and right now grats is good for the young players

  • DoubleDIon

    Not enough room for kids on this roster. Stajan is an ok player, but did we really need to throw 4 years at him?

    Setoguchi and Bollig’s spots could have been for younger guys like Jooris, Reinhart, Arnold, Ferland or Knight.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Dear Flames,

    The ‘car’ of life should always be moving in top gear. Never idling. Never in reverse (and no passengers – no one rides for free!).

    On to the next …

      • Jeff Lebowski

        I’m from the future. We don’t use cars.

        Also, it means shrug off any set backs and just keep going forward. What else?

        It’s meant to be light hearted too. Sunday Funday!

        Anyway, we should lighten up. Everything is coming along nicely. Patience.

  • supra steve

    Would like to see Baerschi, Gaudreau make the final cut. I suppose if we already have a better version of Byron (Gaudreau), we wont need him and send him to the A. Also we dont need setoguchi, we need room for guys like ferland, reinhart, and grandlund to eventually get called up.

    I only want to see Bennett if Backlund is suspended for the start of the season for his hit last night.

    • Scary Gary

      I wouldn’t get too worked up, there will be more injuries under the Hartley coaching style and they’ll get their chance.

      In other news Giordano and Backlund made the sportsnet all-hockey cover, so there’s that.

    • The Last Big Bear

      So gentlemen, how long will it take this season for Oilers fans to realize that this ISN’T going to be the year, and they all either disappear or start talking about the draft?

      I set the over-under at 19 games.

      Thoughts?

      (This doesn’t include the inevitable last-season Oilers roster addition that doesn’t actually improve the roster but convinces fans that they’ve added the one missing piece, fueling their summer delusions of non-inferiority).

      • Jeff Lebowski

        It won’t happen. Some Oiler fans are like Tugg Speedman (especially Harry. Actually precisely like Harold).

        Tugg Speedman: In a weird way I had to sort of just free myself up to believe that is was ok to be stupid or dumb.
        Kirk Lazarus: To be a moron.
        Tugg Speedman: Yeah!
        Kirk Lazarus: To be moronical.
        Tugg Speedman: Exactly, to be a moron.
        Kirk Lazarus: An imbecile.
        Tugg Speedman: Yeah!
        Kirk Lazarus: Like the dumbest mother f*&^%r that ever lived.

      • RexLibris

        Aren’t they always very proud of their team in the offseason, then eventually litter the ice with their jerseys 30 games in? It’s like the circus never leaves town.

    • SavardianSpinorama

      What did you think of Ben Sievens .902 save percentage his last fifteen games of the season in 2013/14, Harry?

      PS learn how to spell “sieve.”

      It’s kind of basic grade three English:

      “I” before “E” except after “C.”

  • Kevin R

    Wow, this is kind of a deep thread here. We will have many nights like last night. Every team does, at least we don’t have to pay guys 7.0mill per to have nights like that. Lets not lose perspective. All these kids we want in the starting lineup & probably won’t make it, will all be playing NHL games at some point of this year. The goal once again is no different than last year. Play entertaining hockey, watch young future core players make big steps in their development & secure another future franchise player next June.

    We should have a pool here at FN predicting how many NHL games & points our young players (must be under 22 to qualify) Like Sven will get 35 games & have 18 points, Bennett will have 4 games & 2 points, JG will have 73 games & 52 points, Ferland will have 25 games & 14 points, Granlund will get 30 games & 12 points, Reinhart 15 games & 5 points, Knight with 10 games 4 points, Arnold 10 games 3 points, Jooris 35 games & 18 points, Wotherspoon 25 games & 4 points, Seiloff 20 games & 2 points…………………….

    Sorry guys, my mind is messed up because I am so stoked, I have my 1st year round pool tonight, one tomorrow & one on Tues. Hockey is baaaack!!!!!!

    • SavardianSpinorama

      Rottweiler 🙂

      Harry has “spellchecker.”

      I guess he doesn’t understand that a word underlined in red can be clicked on and corrected.

      Also, I can see how he made the mistake, as Edmontonians tend to get things backwards quite a bit. It was supposed to be:

      “Bennett before Draisaitl.”

  • Burnward

    So, we dress almost all veterans and a completely lacklustre effort is the result? What does this say? Lets not forget, this is supposed to be a rebuild and the kids are working their butts off and out-performing the vets by a huge margin in that dept. “Never given….?” I’m starting to have serious doubts. The kids seem to have to earn it over and over again, the vets? A free pass.

    Setogucchi was a waste of a signing, what was the point? If this is how the regular season starts, like last night, then I expect some really big changes.

    No offence to the writer of the article, but I’m having a really hard time wondering why the dismissive nature? To me, this game speaks loud volumes and I hope Flames brass are hearing it as I do.

    • RexLibris

      I am glad that we shipped him to Montreal instead of Ferland. At the time they were both rated similar. There was a little bit of fan outrage about losing him, but I`m glad Ferland wasn`t dealt.

  • Rock

    Bennet showed a clear 80 point season ability versus draisatl a 20 G 50 A ability.

    the only thing that made me nervous as an oiler fan was.
    His play reminds me Brule
    Who had a history of injures
    cause small player cannot play a 6’2″ 220lb player game.

    They end up with extensive IR time.

    Did not follow bennett this pre season.

    Did he have any injuries?

  • Rock

    Figures as soon as we dress mostly veterans and barely any rookies/kids, not only do we lose, we look bad doing it. Management plans to tank this season, there’s no doubt about it. They just can’t come out and say it. We all know it’s true.

    • Rock

      I believe it may be true and I support it. Never again may there be a time in history that the Flames can draft an elite generational player like McDavid or Eichel. To a smaller degree also Hanifan.

      Think about it…what benefit do you see if the Flames finish 20-23rd over all vs. 28-30 overall?

      IMO the best strategy is to focus on young player development this season not the standings! Make a run at the playoffs 2015/16 season. NOT NOW!!

      • Parallex

        I just don’t feel right advocating losing. We’re the Calgary Flames, not the Edmonton Oilers. We shouldn’t be talking about draft picks or generational talents before the season has even started. No professional franchise in any sport should commit to losing “now” and winning “later”.

      • Parallex

        15/16 is a little to optimistic to start thinking “run for the Playoffs”…

        14/15: McEichefin
        15/16: Climb out of the basement, draft 6-8
        16/17: Bubble team
        17/18: Lower seed playoff team
        18-19: Higher seed playoff team

        So I figure two more seasons until we can start having an degree of expectations towards a push to make the playoffs.

        • Parallex

          Fair enough, perhaps I’m too optimistic. Regardless one of Eichel, McDavid or Hanifan will greatly help you achieve your goal.

          I do not advocate losing…but progression can be achieved i.e. culture, player development etc without necessarily advancing in the standings.

          Also the young players are better served playing top minutes in the minors than 6-8 minutes occasionally with the Flames.

  • Burnward

    Of course as soon as I post that Baertschi and Jooris are both reassigned to the AHL. So much for meritocracy. Can’t wait to watch David Jones, Setoguchi, Bollig, etc light it up this year. All of a sudden I’m not excited about the 2014-15 season – I’m scared. And a little embarrassed. What’s out top line? Glencross-Backlund-Hudler? Spare me.

    • Parallex

      Relax…Sven and Jooris are better playing top minutes in the AHL. If they continue to progress and prove themselves they will be called up. The vets you mention are just gap players and are not here long term!

  • Parallex

    I suppose that Sven’s fate was set as soon as he was scratched for the final game. He had a good camp though missing a game didn’t help his cause. He will be back. Better to assign him now and not half way through the season. Jooris wasn’t able to show he could play LW so he gets sent down till needed. Ortio was supposed to play in the AHL so no biggy.

    The last few moves will be interesting. Byron is not a future piece. Bennett sounds like he is getting assigned to Kingston unless Backlund is suspended. Even then Granlund probably stays if healthy enough.

    I predict Johnny stays. Byron and Seto or Bolling get waived. Potter too. Diaz gets a 2 – way contract.

    • Parallex

      I don’t see Diaz getting anything less than a 1 way contract. My guess is that if his camp was ok with accepting a 2 way deal they would have signed on with some team by now.