Post Game: The Kids Are Alright

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So…uh, let’s be real Flames fans. The Flames are suffering from a few injuries. Backlund, Colborne, Stajan, MayRay, all hurting, all out of the lineup. So naturally, there was a pressing need for some warm bodies to step in during their absence, and the kids that were brought into the lineup paid immediate dividends.

Brian McGrattan was also there.

So while (spoiler alert) things ended unfavourably for Michael Ferland in his NHL debut, he was quite good in the beginning, and superpal youngsters Johnny Gaudreau and Markus Granlund were electrifying. The result: a perhaps surprising hard fought win over a better than you realize Nashville Predators.

The Rundown

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Let’s get this out of the way immediately: This was a fun win. Just a real treat of a game to watch. A lot of offense, a lot of chances, skill on display, and yeah, goals. After a heartbreaking shootout loss to the Habs last Tuesday (a game they more than deserved to win), it was gratifying to see Calgary come out with a victory in a contest they maybe shouldn’t have fared as well in.

Nothing extremely noteworthy went down in the 1st, at least not compared as the following two stanzas, but depending on who you talk to, the chances were something like 6-5 in the first period for the Flames, with the hometown heroes outshooting their U.S. stereotypical country music lovin’ counterparts 10-8. As far as this outshooting the opponent thing goes…uh…don’t get used to it.

The second period is where things went Bananapants. Your boy Boring Sean Monahan got things rolling 4 minutes into the frame. He was standing in front of the net and Dennis Wideman shot it. He didn’t think he was going to get a rebound but then he did and he put it in the net. It was hilarious.

The lead wouldn’t last though, as it was tied one minute later, after Craig Smith, the same Craig Smith who once did this, learned from his mistake and tucked home a rebound past Flames ‘tender Jonas Hiller (who true to form, was excellent on this night)

America’s Favourite Team would take the lead at the 11:09 mark of the second when talented hockey player and human trash James Neal potted what would be his first goal of the game, and all of a sudden,it felt like maybe another crushing loss at home was in the cards.

Especially when Anton Volchenkov, noted freight train, put his elbow into the charging head of Michael Ferland, ending the Flames rookie’s night early, which is a real shame, because he was maybe the second or third best player on the ice to that point of the game.

You be the judge, how suspendable is this ish:

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gif courtesy of Steph from Gif Goldmine

Regardless of what happens to Volchenkov as a result of this hit, the fact is, Michael Ferland probably has a concussion, which is brutal, and we wish him a speedy recovery, because he is terrific. Welcme back to the lineup, probably Josh Jooris.

Calgary put up another 10 shots on the #perds in the period, and Nashville answered with 9, although they put a lot more shots at the net than those 9. It was a real shot blocky kinda night out there.

The third period was outstanding. Johnny Hockey was all over the place, and TJ Brodie proved why he is one of the best defensemen in the league and how that contract extension is going to end up being a steal.

The #hudlerite tied the game for the Flaming C early in the third, thanks to a ridonculous effort by Johnny Hockey and some slick hands by recent call up Markus Granlund. Granlund was called up to replace an injured Mikael Backlund, and the skilled Swede center ratio remained unchanged: (don’t let the fact that he’s Finnish ruin a perfectly good analogy)

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(gif courtesy of Steph from gif goldmine…yeah there’s a pattern here)

Granlund, my man. Damn. That might be one of the easiest goals Hudler will ever score.

World Greatest defenseman TJ Brodie put the Flames ahead after a goal that surprised everyone, because we initially thought David Jones scored, who mostly did a good job of making everyone wonder if he was even in the game to that point. Turns out Brodie banked it off of Future Philadelphia Flyer Shea Weber because he’s just that good.

The Flames never looked back. Gaudreau would score two minutes later on a pretty shot (that Pekka Rinne absolutely should have stopped), and it was the cherry on top for what was a pretty perfect game for the diminutive forward, who was everywhere on the night and deservedly walked away with the first star of the game.

The Preds threw everything they had at Hiller and blah blah, James Neal scored again, but it was all for naught. Flames win 4-3 in front of a very dressed up for Halloween crowd at the Dome.

Why The Flames Won

A little bit of puck luck, a lot of skill from the Flames skilled players, timely saves from a goaltender who’s made a habit of it so far this season, and a little bit of Flames magic that has endeared everyone to this team over the last 6 months or so.

35 blocked shots was a nice touch too, but that’s a double edged sword if we’ve ever seen one.

The Flames were 100% on their power play, which sounds WAY better than they went 2 for 2 on the power play, but even still…they went 2 for 2 on the power play, and that always helps.

Also my guess is there was at least one person dressed as a Guardian Angel in the crowd tonight.

Red Warrior

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Well, Deryk Engelland was pretty good, and David Jones was spectacular, so maybe one of them. Johnny. It’s undoubtedly Johnny Gaudreau. Homey did it all tonight. Scored the winning goal. Assisted on the winner. 5 shots on goal, all in a tidy 17:22 of ice time. After Ferland went down with his “upper body injury” (it’s a concussion. It’s so obviously a concussion), Gaudreau slotted in on his wing with Hudler and Granlund, and that line was the catalyst for the win tonight. He was unreal, as he has been over the past few games.

He’s ours, Citizens. Breathe it in.

Scoring Chances

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Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 18:05 Gaustad 1 4 6 24 60 79 6 24 28 35 57 59 5v5
Away 1 15:52 Nystrom 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 24 28 35 57 59 5v5
Home 1 15:40 Monahan 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 24 28 35 57 59 5v5
Home 1 13:47 Ferland 1 4 6 24 60 79 3 7 15 20 21 35 5v5
Home 1 7:43 Monahan 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 9 18 35 59 63 5v5
Home 1 6:56 Gaudreau 1 13 15 22 29 32 3 13 20 33 35 41 5v5
Home 1 4:59 Glencross 1 5 7 20 23 24 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Away 1 4:12 Neal breakaway 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 9 18 35 59 63 5v5
Away 1 4:01 Jokinen 1 15 16 17 25 29 4 13 14 33 35 41 5v5
Home 1 2:38 Gaudreau 1 4 6 13 22 32 3 20 24 28 35 57 5v5
Home 1 0:46 Gaudreau 1 5 7 13 22 32 4 7 14 15 21 35 5v5
Away 2 19:31 Wilson 1 13 15 22 29 32 6 13 33 35 41 59 5v5
Home 2 18:56 Glencross 1 5 7 19 20 23 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Away 2 18:01 Smith 1 4 6 24 60 79 3 7 15 20 21 35 5v5
Away 2 16:44 Wilson 1 15 16 17 25 29 6 13 33 35 41 59 5v5
Away 2 16:36 Jokinen 1 15 16 17 25 29 6 13 33 35 41 59 5v5
Home 2 15:48 Monahan post 1 4 6 20 23 24 6 24 28 35 59 5v4
Home 2 15:39 Wideman 1 4 6 20 23 24 6 24 28 35 59 5v4
Home 2 15:37 Monahan goal 1 5 7 24 60 79 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Home 2 15:19 Ferland 1 5 7 24 60 79 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Away 2 14:31 Smith goal 1 4 6 19 20 23 4 7 14 15 21 35 5v5
Away 2 13:54 Weber 1 13 15 22 29 32 6 13 33 35 41 59 5v5
Away 2 13:53 Beck 1 13 15 22 29 32 6 13 33 35 41 59 5v5
Home 2 13:13 McGrattan 1 4 6 16 17 25 6 24 28 35 57 59 5v5
Away 2 11:28 Forsberg 1 4 6 16 60 79 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Away 2 11:19 Josi 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 7 15 21 35 59 5v5
Away 2 7:05 Ekholm 1 5 7 16 17 25 4 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Away 2 4:17 Neal 1 5 7 19 20 23 6 9 18 35 59 63 5v5
Away 2 3:26 Jokinen 1 15 24 29 60 79 4 13 14 33 35 41 5v5
Home 2 2:29 Bollig 1 4 6 16 17 25 7 14 15 20 21 35 5v5
Away 2 1:37 Forsberg tip 1 4 6 19 20 23 6 9 18 35 59 63 5v5
Home 2 1:24 Jones 1 4 6 19 20 23 6 9 18 35 59 63 5v5
Home 3 17:26 Gaudreau tip 1 5 7 13 24 60 3 6 13 33 35 41 5v5
Home 3 17:25 Hudler goal 1 5 7 13 24 60 3 6 13 33 35 41 5v5
Home 3 15:49 Gaudreau 1 4 6 13 24 60 3 9 14 18 35 63 5v5
Home 3 15:39 Brodie goal 1 5 7 19 22 23 6 13 35 57 59 5v4
Away 3 9:15 Neal goal 1 15 20 29 60 7 9 18 35 59 63 4v5
Home 3 5:55 Byron 1 4 6 17 22 32 6 7 33 35 41 59 5v5
Away 3 5:10 Smith 1 4 6 13 24 60 3 4 7 15 21 35 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
1 HILLER, JONAS   17 18   3 0   0 1
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 21:19 7 6 00:43 2 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 21:27 9 5 00:07 1 0 00:41 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 21:48 7 6 00:43 2 0 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 21:29 9 5 00:07 1 0 00:41 0 0
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 17:22 6 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
15 SMID, LADISLAV 15:04 1 7 00:00 0 0 00:46 0 1
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 08:20 2 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 12:11 3 4 00:00 0 0 00:41 0 0
19 JONES, DAVID 17:15 4 6 00:07 1 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 17:40 5 6 00:43 2 0 00:46 0 1
22 SETOGUCHI, DEVIN 15:25 4 3 00:07 1 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 17:57 5 6 00:50 3 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 16:18 7 4 00:43 2 0 00:00 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 08:56 2 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 14:19 1 7 00:00 0 0 00:46 0 1
32 BYRON, PAUL 14:51 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:41 0 0
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 17:11 6 5 00:00 0 0 00:46 0 1
79 FERLAND, MICHAEL 09:43 3 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 7 4 7 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 8 13 6 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 5 2 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0

Zone Entries

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In Summary

As mentioned, this was a fun win, but let’s throw in a word of caution: The Flames were probably lucky to come away with the W in this one. Sure, full credit for blocking 35 shots in a game, but if the opposition is throwing over 60 pucks towards Jonas Hiller in one game, it’s a pretty sure sign that your team is not all that good, and there might be some gloomy days ahead. As long as Hiller and Ramo keep playing as lights out as they are, it’s not the end of the world, but dams break, my friends.

In the meantime, before that happens and we all get very depressed, let’s enjoy these moments. We’re on the precipice of the Gaudreaus and the Monahans of the world blossoming into stars, and that alone is enough to get us salivating for the future. We’ll get there. Oh we’ll get there. But there are going to be some growing pains before that day, which means it’s cool to cherish these wins along the way.

Let loose. You’ve earned it Flames fans. 

Calgary is off until Sunday, when they travel to Montreal to relive that crushing loss to Montreal all over again, but the poutine in Montreal is really good, so maybe it won’t be as bad for them in the end.

Flames win. Happy Halloween. Say hello to your mother, she misses you.

  • Skuehler

    Hey guys looks like Volchenkov is getting a hearing. He was suspended in 2011 for an elbow and in 2013 he got a 4 game suspension as a repeat offender.

    You have gotta think this being the 3rd time he has done it he gets more games (hopefully lots more)

    8-10 games sound realistic? (I would like more but it ain’t gonna happen….. i think)

    • RedMan

      I hope your right 8-10 games… he purposely leads with the elbow and destryoys him… The NHL cannt seriouslynexpect ppl to taie their noise about reducing brain/head injuries seriously if they dont come down hard on the intentional head shots.

  • Skuehler

    Here’s my 2 cents on enforcers/truculence/nuclear deterrents/fighting.

    I hate the fights in hockey. One day someone will get seriously damaged and have their career ended, or worse. But, I hate dirty cheap shots even more because the victim is often defenseless.

    In my opinion, it’s the refs job and responsibility to control the game and punish infractions. The spend too much effort calling stupid borderline tripping, slashing and holding calls and don’t come down hard enough on hits to the head, hitting from behind, charging, elbowing, boarding.

    If they don’t handle these calls correctly and right away, team mates have to stick up for one another and protect each other. And the answer has to come right away. Not later in he game or later in the season because that’s not hockey, that’s retaliation and grudges and so one. Having tough players on the ice on every shift is a deterrent to the other team but also a deterrent to the officials losing control of the game. If officials can’t control games, they should lose their jobs. Tough doesn’t have to mean huge, slow, unskilled. Think Hextal or Malarchuk or other ‘take no crap’ players.

    I’m 99% sure that if Ferland was on the ice when a team mate received an elbow to the head, he would’ve dealt with that guy right away. Staged fights, momentum changing fights and pointless post whistle scrums serve no purpose at all. Ferland is an alpha dog out there with a no nonsense, all business presence. He’s not constantly looking for someone to fight. But he’s always looking to command respect from the opposition and answer anything he takes exception to.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Listening/reading comments from the guys in the post game, it’s so impressive.

    Talking about the defensive zone, sticking together, appreciative etc.

    High calibre people working hard. Young people achieving. I love to see it!

    I don’t understand how this is a bad thing. Why fixate on other things?

    I’m so interested to find out how high they can reach.

  • icedawg_42

    Volchenkov having a hearing this afternoon. My bet is that he gets a couple games. Look at the way he drives his elbow! Steph does a great job – thats a good twitter follow.

    • Kevin R

      That is so bad! Should be an in-person hearing for 8 games minimun not a phine call for 4 games..this guy is a repeat offfender and Ferland likely has a concussion.

  • Kevin R

    Thought Gaudreau looked even better on his natural LW. Still waiting for Francis to man-up and admit he was wrong, I’m sure ill be waiting forever. Once Gaudreau starts burying those breakaways he’s going to be lights out. He is so much fun to watch. Not since Fleury have the Flames had a player who is just so exciting to watch shift in and shift out.

    Agree with those on here who have no use for the supposed nuclear deterrents. Some of the rough stuff on Gaudreau was fair. The stuff behind the net, for example, was not. Zero response the entire game. Has McG had a fight this year? Has Engelland? Has Bollig? Gaudreau is getting no protection at all and that’s the bottom line. So why have these guys? I can live with Bollig, but I’d rather see Jooris over McG and Wotherspoon over Engelland.

    In addition, the main reason the Flames were so overwhelmed in the second was because Gio and Brodie can’t do it all. The bottom four could not get the puck out of their own end to save their lives.

    Granlund looked excellent. I hope he stays up.

    Ferland also looked very solid. I’m hoping the Flames were just following protocols and he doesn’t actually have a concussion. Or it’s a minor neck strain. Any word on how long he’ll be out yet?

    • piscera.infada

      Agree with those on here who have no use for the supposed nuclear deterrents. Some of the rough stuff on Gaudreau was fair. The stuff behind the net, for example, was not. Zero response the entire game. Has McG had a fight this year? Has Engelland? Has Bollig? Gaudreau is getting no protection at all and that’s the bottom line. So why have these guys? I can live with Bollig, but I’d rather see Jooris over McG and Wotherspoon over Engelland.

      To be fair, Bollig has, and it was coming to the “aid” of Jooris in the Washington game. I was at that game, and he did his job well. I generally agree with what you’re saying about deterrence, simply because pragmatism dictates it’s not possible. Unless you’re playing McGrattan with Gaudreau (which we can all agree would be a horrible idea) he’s not going to be able to “deter” much on the ice. Additionally, this was McGrattan’s what, fourth game? Moreover, his first in the last five? I mean, he was in the lineup out of necessity, not because Hartley believes he helps the team win.

      Back to my point though, I agree re: McGrattan, but I have actually been pleasantly impressed with Bollig. When he’s on the fourth line with two actual hockey players, he’s been very good this season, at least to my eyes. He’s a definite upgrade on both McGrattan and Westgarth, and I think he does bring something to the team.

  • RKD

    Volchenkov should and I expect will be suspended for that elbow on Ferland because 1) the head was the principal point of contact 2) Volchenkov made no attempt to avoid the hit or reposition himself 3)Volechnkov lauches himself into Ferland driving his upper body into Ferland’s head. Poor Ferland, hope he doesn’t have a concussion and if he does I hope he is not out too long. Great game by Johnny Hockey, he’s really showing his stuff out there. When he split the Nashville defenders that was Patrick Kane like. Impressive win against the Preds especially missing Raymond, Backlund, Colborne and Stajan.

  • Jeff Lebowski

    Whatever the plans for the new arena, I hope they make it the number 1 priority to have the best ice in the NHL (make that the world). There is no reason why this can’t be.

    Ballparks are often aligned with a team’s strength (good pitching -> deep outfields etc)

    Look at this team moving forward. I’m sure they already thought about this.

  • Skuehler

    Wondering…if next time Ferland is in that situation he plays the man first, then the puck. Definitely not saying it’s his fault he got an elbow to the head, but was he a bit too tentative going in that situation?

    Hopefully the hit makes him a little more surly and not tentative.

    Wish him the best – a bad welcome to the NHL. Hope the league comes down hard

    • piscera.infada

      Agreed, that one-handed “swat” is very common amoung young players. It leaves you in a vulnerable situation, and generally, they learn very quickly that it doesn’t work with the speed of the NHL game. Very unfortunate.

  • SavardianSpinorama

    The Flames are slowly moving up the ladder in shots against per game, sitting 18th. They will have to be better in this regard as the season wears on, because lord knows they don’t generate nearly enough shots on most nights.