Post-Game: Well I Mean That Could Have Been Worse Probably™

Well, hockey’s officially back. Someone obviously forgot to tell the Flames because they were clearly the second-best team in a game that might’ve been close, but never really was, I guess. At least it was entertaining. 

Game StatsAdvanced Tallies – Scoring Chances (soon)

First, the talking head segments we were subjected to tonight were really lacking in quality. Second, I noticed a couple of things during the pre-game: Really, Brian McGrattan? Johnny’s cheer was awesome. I also thought Beazley might’ve said Flambes? I never really had a problem with Ms. (Mrs.?) Liscano, but our resident Werenka expert had a different opinion:

Oh man Ryan Miller is the Canucks goalie haha. JONAS HILLER’S STRAPS ARE ANAHEIM ORANGE THAT IS GARBAGE YOU GOTTA CHANGE IT JONAS

The Rundown

Willie Desjardins has one of the best mustachios in the league… Haha that ref camera so dumb. Man I love Backlund… Why are they chanting Miller? It sounds the same as Hiller… I like Paul Romanuk… Russell had a nice spin move in the defensive zone to elude Vrbata early on. Bollig whiffed on a nice chance about 4 minutes in, which was too bad. We missed a nice chance just after that, too, as Sportsnet’s coverage cut out for the third time in about 20 minutes. I’m sure it was fun. That first power play unit was a nice set – 4/5, 13/11/23. They generated a chance before drawing another penalty; nothing came of it. Curtis Glencross had the next moment of note, just missing on a chance in the slot about 7 minutes in. Backlund was demoted at this point (not really, Stajan just went off after his first shift) being forced into at least one shift with the bash brothers. Seriously, I can’t get over the fact that Ryan Miller would decide to live in Vancouver after 2010. That would haunt the hell out of me. Paul Byron decided to open Luca Sbisa’s cup and the Canucks made them pay for his indiscretion, as the other Swiss national on the ice whiffed on a weird one from Alex Burrows (god damnit) via Dan Hamhuis about 14 minutes in. 

Our boys decided that it was a good time to allow the Sedins and Vrbata to set up in the offensive zone for an extended period of time, but Hiller did a nice job and the threat was eventually eliminated. Hartley decided that *now* would be a good time to limit Gaudreau’s ice time, as the mighty mite was benched for at least 5 minutes. Raymond would take a tripping penalty at 16:30, as he got his stick tangled up in the feet of Jannik Hansen (Dutch!): but the Canucks couldn’t capitalize on the PP. Fans in the Dome were booing about something that shouldn’t have been booed about, but they would be satisfied mere seconds later as my boy TJ Brodie just beat the hell out of like three Nucks on the right side to draw a penalty. The Canucks would have the last chance of the period, though, as Jonas Hiller was forced to make a nice glove save. Shot attempts in the period were 19-16 Vancouver, shots 13-9. At one point after the Flames’ 5-on-3 PP, the Canucks outshot the Flames 7-2. Yeesh.

Rajun Stajan would be back on the bench for the second period, which is good. Nothing materialized from the rest of the PP, and the next 5 or so minutes was full of your basic back and forth play. Byron would quickly force a turnover around the 5 minute point, rushing the puck quickly up the ice and placing a shot perfectly between Miller’s pads to both atone for his earlier mistake and tie the game up at one. 

That would be short-lived, though, as the dastardly Zack Kassian was gifted on a whiff and potted his first of the season mere seconds after Byron’s marker. It was at this point I officially grew tired of the dumb ref cam, because it was making me feel exceedingly nauseous and I only wanna puke at/during hockey games from beer. (Mike Johnson had a nice takedown of the lame duck coach, as well – plenty of players play in the final of years of their contracts and no one ever talks about them being lame ducks.) The Flames would go on the PP for about 20 seconds and then Glencross would take one of those dumb Glencross penalties (seriously he does this garbage at least once every two games) to bring it to 4-on-4. Backlund had a nice chance on the open ice, drawing both defensemen and beating them both to get a hard shot off just before the Flames switched over to PK mode. Nothing would come of any of those infractions, but we’d have a fun time a couple minutes later trying to figure out if Radim Vrbata high-sticked a puck into the net to give Vancouver their third goal. I thought it was a GHG right from the start and Toronto confirmed it to make it 3-1 Nucks. 

Jiri wasn’t gonna stand for that, though, as he and Seanahan would forecheck the hell out of Dan Hamhuis and some other dude to bring the Flames back within one. Derek Engelland would earn his paycheck a couple seconds after the ensuing faceoff, as he pinched into the zone poorly, limply wristed a shot behind the net, and left his assignment – just Daniel Sedin, who won the Art Ross trophy like two seasons ago – wide open to take a breakaway on the far side. Hiller would make a nice stop, though, bailing his defenseman out. The Sedins are still really run to watch in the offensive zone, by the way. Shot attempts in the period were 20-10 for Van, shots were 13-7.

Not much happened in the third until an odd little sequence of events led to Tim Peel seeing six Canucks on the ice, blowing the whistle to give the Canucks a penalty, and then not actually giving the Canucks a penalty. So, uh, yeah. I’ve never seen a situation where a ref has reversed a call (outside of the NFL). 12 minutes in, the shots were 6-6 – it was a pretty low event period until that point. Hiller would be forced to make another nice stop on the Sedin-Sedin-Vrbata line a little later on, and another nice chance from Backlund a little later would excite us a wee bit as well. Gaudreau had the best chance of the period up until that point, on a 2-on-1 with Byron – but Miller was able to deflect it away. The Flames would have a couple more moments of pressure but nothing would stop Henrik Sedin from scoring his 1st of the season in a pretty athletic way. Shots were 9-7 Flames, attempts 19-11.

Red Warrior

Mikael Backlund. I don’t know what he did to deserve his benching in the 3rd period, but he had at least five solid scoring chances in the game and he fought the top line to a draw while carrying around 4 of the worst Corsi performers on the team tonight.

Why The Flames Lost

Probably because all of you left before the end of the game. Also, Vancouver’s just a better hockey team. The Sedins and Vrbata look like they have ESP and Willie Desjardins is not John Tortorella. Stop playing Joe Colborne at centre. Johnny didn’t score, but I’ve still got my Gaudreauner.

The Flames play tomorrow night in Deadmonton, the land of ebolic, haemorrhaging dreams. I think it starts at 7.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    Well then. I guess rather than saying anything that will get me banned from the site, I’ll just reiterate what others have said.

    I’m no professional writer so I don’t really know why you would want my advice on how to write something readable. That also means I don’t have anything to tell you to do differently. I would suggest that you seek the assistance of people that do this sort of thing regularly. I’m sure you know people to talk to.

    I’m currently 8 time zones away from home right now, and so I was unable to watch the game. I read the article in hopes of getting a feel for what happened in the game. I did not. I didn’t even know the score until I clicked on a link. So thanks for the link, I guess.

    You may not see me commenting on too many of your posts in future, as I am unlikely to read too many of them.

  • Byron Bader

    Was at the game last night. Some things that came out from seeing things in person …

    Gaudreau makes a play that very few people see developing basically all the time. He was incredible with the puck on his stick. He also hussles like crazy when he doesn’t have the puck. He’s certainly no Ovechkin when he doesn’t have the puck. He works to get it back. He uses the boards all the time. It’s interesting how he uses them. Most players would try to throw the puck away or get hit and lose the puck when they’re running out of room. Numerous times, he would be inches from running into three guys and he would wrap the puck around the boards (very fast) to a completely wide open Flame on the completely other side of the ice. It didn’t work a few times and I think that’s cause the receiving player wasn’t expecting a puck to come anywhere near him at that moment. Curious if he becomes better and better at that.

    The goon squad was horrendous. They were in their own zone basically anytime they hit the ice and for significant periods. It was tough to watch. However, Bollig, individually, was much, much better than I expected. He can caress and handle the puck much better than a McGrattan or a Gazdic. A player with skill is probably still a better option but he wasn’t as bad as I would have expected. Englend is a better skater than you would think as well. Very smooth. He wasn’t making very good plays with the puck however but the guy can move pretty good for a big shutdown d-man.

    • Byron Bader

      Thanks for your takes.
      I have definitely noticed Gaudreau’s quick little plays that seem to surprise his line mates, especially in the preseason. I have a feeling that when he has some consistent line mates that get to know his rhythm, there will be some pretty spectacular displays on hand. Also concur about the board-wrap. I think the extent of his vision and creativity are just starting to show through.

  • Byron Bader

    For all of you trashing the new attempted format:
    Obviously Justin can write normal write ups. He has many times in the past. So can nhl.com, and numerous other sports outlets. If you guys want the same stagnant unchanging writing, you should read nhl.com… it’s not justins job to appease everyone, and obviously he has been able to write very coherent articles in the past. I enjoyed the new take, and next time if you guys don’t, maybe don’t bother commenting. There are*** other sites doing what you’ve asked, so instead of wasting everyone’s time being douchebags, you could type a different link in your search bar. I appreciate justins writing and analysis, and if you don’t- read someone else’s article where you can expect the same, unchanging scoresheeet recap.