Post-Game: Taming the Coyotes

Last season, the Calgary Flames got off to a nice start. Then Mark Giordano got hurt, the team became rudderless and plummeted, and even their impressive run at the end of the season couldn’t get them back into contention for anything.

This season? So far, so good.

The Flames bounced back from a disappointing game in Carolina and skated to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes. It gives the Flames their 10th win of the season and a 10-6-2 record after 18 games. It took them 27 games to win 10 last year, so they’re off to an excellent start.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames had a lot of oomph in their game in the first chunk of the opening frame. They had jump. They had pep. They put many pucks on Mike Smith. They generated quite a few chances on an early power-play opportunity, and opened the scoring with the Sven Baertschi-Josh Jooris-Paul Byron line buzzing around the Coyotes end. Baertschi fed Paul Byron, who beat Smith with a back-hander to make it 1-0. However, the lead would not last, as momentum shifted after the Coyotes killed off a second penalty and soon after scored off a Shane Doan shot off the rush to tie it up late in the period. The Flames held a lead in shots (10-7) and shot attempts (23-13), but the Coyotes held a face-off edge of 13-9. The Coyotes were really pressing late in the period.

There was action at all ends of the ice in the second. A linesman took a shot in the leg early in the period. Paul Byron gave Calgary the lead off a rush and a nifty feed from Sven Baertschi, making it 2-1. The lead widened to 3-1 when the Coyotes couldn’t cover or clear the initial shot from Curtis Glencross, allowing Sean Monahan to muscle his way into the goal-mouth and knock the loose puck past Smith. That lead did not last, though. Josh Jooris took a cross-checking minor after Kyle Chipchura knocked Sven Baertschi down in the defensive zone, leading to an Antoine Vermette one-timer goal off a great feed from Shane Doan that had Jonas Hiller all twisted up. Joe Vitale tied it up later in the period off a weird one; he chucked the puck on net and it beat Hiller between his arm and the post to make it 3-3. However, the Flames pushed back. With Curtis Glencross and Keith Yandle in the box for roughing and both teams skating four-per-side, Mark Giordano one-timed a shot from T.J. Brodie to make it 4-3. As with the first period, the Flames lead in shots (11-8) and shot attempts (20-18), but the Coyotes won more face-offs (14-8). Calgary out-scored them, though, and had a lead going to the final period.

As you’d expect given the score, it was a tight-checking third period, with the Flames pressing for an insurance marker and the Coyotes pressing for the equalizer. Mike Smith made two gorgeous saves mid-way through the period: the first stopping David Jones in the slot on an up-close rebound with a pad-stack, the second on a Paul Byron breakaway as #32 attempted to get a third goal. However, the Flames did finally land themselves an insurance marker, as David Jones intercepted a Mike Smith clearing attempt and hucked it at the net, where it bounced in off of defender Connor Murphy to make it 5-3. Arizona out-shot Calgary 8-4 and out-attempted them 21-18, but the Flames held a strong 13-5 face-off edge in the final period and held on the for the victory.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

They found a way to control the third period and stifle the Coyotes. Arizona had more shots and at times more pressure, but the Flames ability to win draws and slow the game down really eliminated any built-up momentum for the visitors and allowed them to hold on for a close win.

RED WARRIOR

The flu bug!

Sven Baertschi had the bug on the road trip and returned to the line-up with two assists and his best outing this season as a Flame. David Jones had the bug overnight and had a goal, an assist and a strong game overall.

If this keeps up, more players will be trying to catch the bug.

SCORING CHANCES

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 3.46.14 PM

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 17:21 Monahan 1 5 6 19 20 23 5 14 26 41 50 5v4
Home 1 15:47 McGrattan tip 1 15 16 17 29 60 3 5 14 24 41 44 5v5
Home 1 15:42 Bouma 1 15 16 17 29 60 3 5 14 24 41 44 5v5
Home 1 11:59 Granlund 1 13 15 24 29 60 6 14 24 26 41 44 5v5
Away 1 11:10 Doan 1 7 15 17 24 59 4 9 19 23 36 41 5v5
Away 1 10:22 Gagner 1 4 6 16 17 59 3 5 8 9 19 41 5v5
Away 1 9:40 Korpikoski 1 4 6 19 20 23 6 26 28 41 50 89 5v5
Home 1 8:54 Byron goal 1 4 6 16 17 59 4 14 19 23 24 41 5v5
Home 1 7:22 Hudler tip 1 5 7 13 24 60 3 4 28 41 50 89 5v5
Home 1 6:15 Glencross tip 1 5 7 20 23 32 3 8 9 19 26 41 5v5
Home 1 3:59 Baertschi tip 1 5 7 24 27 60 5 6 8 14 41 5v4
Away 1 2:18 Deflection 1 4 6 27 32 86 6 8 9 19 26 41 5v5
Away 1 2:10 Doan 1 4 6 27 32 86 6 8 9 19 26 41 5v5
Home 1 1:47 Byron 1 5 7 13 32 60 6 8 9 19 26 41 5v5
Away 1 1:14 Vermette 1 5 7 13 24 60 4 23 28 41 50 89 5v5
Home 1 0:20 Jones 1 15 19 20 23 29 3 5 10 11 36 41 5v5
Home 2 19:43 Glencross 1 15 19 20 23 29 4 10 11 23 36 41 5v5
Home 2 17:59 Byron goal 1 4 6 27 32 86 3 5 8 9 19 41 5v5
Home 2 14:46 Bouma 1 15 16 17 29 59 4 14 23 24 41 44 5v5
Home 2 14:25 Bouma tip 1 15 16 17 29 59 4 14 23 24 41 44 5v5
Home 2 13:25 Monahan goal 1 5 7 13 24 60 4 23 28 41 50 89 5v5
Home 2 12:16 Byron 1 4 6 27 32 86 6 8 9 19 26 41 5v5
Away 2 11:42 Doan 1 4 6 27 32 86 3 5 9 19 24 41 5v5
Home 2 5:14 Monahan 1 4 6 19 20 23 3 5 8 10 11 41 5v5
Away 2 3:09 Gagner 1 4 6 32 86 5 6 9 41 89 4v4
Home 2 2:10 Jones 1 4 6 19 20 86 5 6 9 24 28 41 5v5
Away 3 16:20 Vitale tip 1 4 6 19 20 23 4 14 23 36 41 44 5v5
Home 3 12:13 Jones 1 4 6 19 20 23 3 5 9 28 41 89 5v5
Home 3 11:15 Byron breakaway 1 5 7 27 32 86 6 19 26 41 50 89 5v5
Away 3 11:04 Boedker 1 5 7 27 32 86 6 19 26 41 50 89 5v5
Away 3 10:53 Yandle 1 15 19 20 23 29 3 5 14 36 41 44 5v5
Home 3 8:23 Glencross 1 5 7 19 20 23 3 5 10 41 50 89 5v5
Home 3 5:14 Monahan 1 4 6 13 19 23 4 23 28 41 50 5v4
Home 3 3:42 Byron 1 5 7 20 24 32 4 8 23 41 89 5v4
Away 3 1:59 Korpikoski 1 4 6 19 20 60 6 9 19 26 36 41 5v5
Home 3 0:43 Byron post 1 5 7 17 32 86 3 11 19 23 28 50 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
1 HILLER, JONAS   20 12   4 0   0 0
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:26 6 8 02:58 1 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 19:02 7 2 03:02 3 0 01:02 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 19:36 6 8 03:42 2 0 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 20:18 7 3 02:18 2 0 01:02 0 0
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 12:38 4 1 03:01 1 0 00:00 0 0
15 SMID, LADISLAV 13:34 7 2 00:00 0 0 00:36 0 0
16 MCGRATTAN, BRIAN 06:12 5 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 11:12 6 2 00:00 0 0 01:10 0 0
19 JONES, DAVID 16:20 6 4 03:08 2 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 16:34 7 4 03:09 2 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 16:06 6 3 03:09 2 0 01:10 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 15:52 3 2 02:29 2 0 00:00 0 0
27 BAERTSCHI, SVEN 09:37 3 4 00:35 1 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 11:48 7 1 00:00 0 0 00:36 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 13:17 6 5 01:09 1 0 00:28 0 0
59 REINHART, MAX 07:15 3 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 14:29 6 2 00:35 1 0 00:28 0 0
86 JOORIS, JOSH 15:34 5 5 00:45 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 10 6 8 6 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 8 2 8 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 4 4 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

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SUM IT UP

The Flames have 10 wins, a 10-6-2 record and 22 points. Comparing to their record last season, they have 7 more points than they did after 18 games a year ago. They’re three points out of first overall and 14 points up on last-place Buffalo.

They’ll try to add to their totals on Saturday night when the Ottawa Senators make their way to the Scotiabank Saddledome. The puck drops at 8pm MT and you can catch all of the action on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

  • RKD

    Byron and Baertschi were on fire tonight, that whole line was excellent. Bryon nearly had a hat trick if not for the post on his empty net tip-in.
    Best game by Sven Baertschi, a big two assists and I’m hoping he can play well on this homestand to regain his confidence. David Jones 3 goals in 3 straight games, nice to pot some goals early for confidence. Monahan scores his seventh, Gio gets his 20th point, he’s now #7 in NHL scoring. There are not enough words to describe Gio’s play and value to this team. Franchise win #1500 looks pretty darn good!

  • MWflames

    Coyotes were lucky to get 3, and the flames could of had a few more. That Arizona forward corps is not very intimadating, but they’re still a well coached team with solid defense and good goaltending. Calgary was the much better team. Very fun game to watch, and I’m officially letting myself get stoked on what could be a very good team in the near future.

    The next few weeks with sanjose and I think Anaheim will be a good litmus test for the flames. Looking forward to it.

  • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

    Almost twenty games in and we’ve only lost six in regulation. SIX!!! I Am absolutely floored by how good this team has looked all season. I don’t give a sh!t about comparisons to the leafs or the Avalanche either because the model of this team isn’t built on a bunch of superstar primadonna flash-in-the-pan wankers (phanuef!!!). We play as a team, and when you play as a team not only do individual shortcomings become less evident, but major strengths become apparent. HUGE PROPS to Bob Hartley and the Calgary Flames for never giving up, laying down, or listening to everyone who said you weren’t good enough.
    Thank you

  • Mort

    I really hope all the people who were crying “Sven’s a lost cause!” and “we should trade Sven as soon as we get the chance!” end up eating crow. Sven’s got talent, and chances are that he WILL end up making it in the NHL. Reactionary moves like trading highly talented prospects that aren’t hot — or even if they’ve had one poor season — almost never work out.

    Of course, one good game does not a star make. Maybe Sven will never turn out to be a fully-fledged NHL’er, but I’d rather risk keeping him and having him not pan out than trading him for peanuts with him later turning into a really good player.

    Anyway……… That was a fun game to watch. I’m glad we could resign Byron over the offseason, and I hope we don’t waste any time giving him a good contract, because he’s a real NHL’er now without a question.

    Off topic: Does anybody else think Byron looks a bit like Jimmy Page? Or maybe I’m just crazy…

  • Nick24

    I’m glad Paul Byron was finally able to bury a few! I just think he’s awesome! And how ’bout Sven? Two nice looking feeds to everyone’s favorite pint-sized energy forward!

    Seems like the kids are alright to me!

  • Mort

    Does anyone else think it’s almost weird just how in-sync Brodie and Gio are? Last season, they were very similar in terms of possession, but Gio was more of an offensive force. This season, they’re like the Sedin twins of defensemen. It’s awesome to see them wearing Flames jerseys every night.

  • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

    Alright it’s gettin’ too lovey-dovey in here. Who sucked in this game? I’m thinkin Seto, even though he didn’t play i’m sure he still crapped the bed somehow. Like spilled a coke on the floor or got some some low fat mayo on his face and no one said anything. God he sucks…

    • Mort

      I wish people would settle down with their Seto hate-boners. As long as Bollig and McGrattan keep making their guest appearances on the team, I think these people making Seto their whipping-boy have got their priorities wrong.

      • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

        But now that Jones is producing, who else is there? 😉 trust me man, I love this team and want everyone on it to succeed, just havin a little fun

      • Mezzo

        While I do not agree with posts harping on Seto when he didn’t play, having watched literally every game this season I can promise you it is not uninspired disdain.

        McGrattan and Bollig are your conventional “tough-guys”, they play 6 minutes a night and fight. Bollig was brought in to effectively replace McGrattan as a “not as bad as” substitute for McGrattan, although I think we can all agree no one expected much.

        The difference is, Seto is, or was, a top 6 guy. He does not grind it out in the corner, he does not backcheck hard, and he certainly isn’t scoring. Seto does not contribute anything to the hockey portion of the team, and unlike McGrattan (according to the Fan960 and other sources) he has no intrinsic value to the club either (ie. he isn’t a great locker room guy or a mentor, etc). Not saying he is a bad guy, or that he isn’t trying his best, but the reality is he is not valuable to this team moving forward.

        That said, was his signing a bad move? Not at all, for 700k that’s a great risk/reward scenario, and at the very worst he’s a guy you can park in the press box without taking much issue (as opposed to sitting a rookie).

        As to the game, loved that Sven got some points (as does everyone). First assist was a tad lucky, second assist was very nice. And to the guy that was upset that Sven didn’t play at the end of the game, I’m totally fine with it. Seems like such a better way to develop prospects don’t you think? I mean, I would rather that then a “throw em to the wolves” approach. Sven had a good game, and Hartley made sure it stayed that way. Also, good to see that Calgary doesn’t always need elite goaltending to win (then again it was Arizona..)

        I’m loving Monahan, loving Brodie and Gio, and I’m LOVING that Calgary is gathering a following (like people said via reading ON) for their tenacity and exciting hockey. Makes my night that’s for sure.

        Lastly, watching Byron tonight, man did he come out of nowhere. I had him written off when we received him in the Regehr trade. Feasters trades aren’t looking so bad any more…kinda wish we kept him and Wiesboro (spelling sorry I have no idea) around. They seemed to make some strong picks and moves. Alas, Feaster lacked the poise and humility to be a good media GM, along with the whole offer sheet debacle.

        Anyways, for those too lazy to read this, I basically said what many people have said before, just gushing. Fun time to be a Flames fan, hopefully this keeps up!

    • Burnward

      Hartley often goes with the vets down the stretch. Johnny got the same treatment early as well. Not a big thing to worry about probably. Was nice to see SVEN return though.

    • Koolmoedee

      Not going to gripe about Hartley, or anyone after last night. Well OK Hiller wasn’t sharp, but still came together when it mattered.

      Sven was terrific last night. Strong on the puck, making moves, making plays, definitely his best game so far and one of the best players on the ice. End of third? No problem, getting the best lines out there to lock down the win.

    • MGD

      I was at the game last night and close to the action so have a different perspective. Don’t judge a players game on points alone. Yes Sven got two points (one assist was a beauty the other trash), but his game wasn’t great. He had several bad turnovers and got knocked off the puck easily on several occasions. I actually wasn’t impressed by his game and it’s likely for that reason that he got stapled to the bench for the last 10 minutes. As far as Hartley going with his veterans, that simply isn’t true. JG was out in the last 90 seconds last night and the recent overtime games saw Jooris, Monahan and other youngsters on the ice. Once again, Sven simply doesn’t have the confidence of the coach which is supported by his play. Other thoughts from last night: Brodie and Gio – in a class by themselves; JG – not noticeable most of the night; Hiller – in lala land; Byron – besides two goals, he played an excellent game and did a good job forcing the play and finishing checks; Jooris – nothing great but with his recent play, he gets a pass. Nice thing for the Flames is even when Hiller, JG and others have an off game, others are stepping up.

    • wattree

      Hopefully it was a case of putting him in a position to succeed. Even with a good game till that point, imagine the kick to the groin if he was on the ice and the Coyotes tied it up.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Hartley seems like a first-rate coach for at least two reasons. First, he has the ability to instill confidence and develop large numbers of players: Monahan, Colborne, Bouma, Backlund, Byron for starters. (Maybe he can even work his magic with Baertschi).

    Second, his “uptempo” system liberates the defense to become offensive threats. Brodano are first in the league in scoring as a pair. Russell and Wideman have also been offensive contributors.

    Right now Calgary is tied with Pittsburgh for second overall in league scoring at 55!!!! (Tampa has 61).

    Monahan is looking increasingly like a first line center and if he keeps up his current pace would finish with close to 30 goals this season.

    When Colborne and Raymond return that’s two more scoring by committee threats and Backlund should help in the face-off circle as well as the scoresheet. I’m also looking forward to Ferland’s return.

    Increasingly, it’s seeming less fluky that the Flames are winning. No longer is it Hiller stealing games for them (almost the opposite tonight). The young guns are winning as a team with contributions from the vets like Jones, Hudler and GlenX.

    I agree the litmus test will be Anaheim, LA and SJ, but if Nashville and Vancouver cool off (as I suspect they will) we should be in there slugging it out for 8th at the end of the season.

    GO FLAMES GO!!!!!

  • Truculence

    That Hudler-Granlund-Gaudreau line got their heads beat in despite a lot of O-zone starts.

    Monahan, on the other hand, was a beast as far as advanced stats were concerned, since, despite only getting 21% o-zone starts, he had a 62% corsi at even strength. That`s remarkable for a 20 year old considering his line was playing against the top two lines of Phoenix the whole game.

    • Koolmoedee

      Yeah, that’s why I would like to see Gaudreau and maybe Hudler with Monahan, and move one or both of the bigger wingers in Jones and Glencross to play with Granlund.

      The Granlund line as it is now could use some more muscle and the Gaudreau-Monahan combination has looked good when they’ve been together.

      A little more balance could get the most out of both lines.

      • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

        Agree. Ditto Sven, Jooris, Rinehart, Ferland. Despite all the excitement the best place for these guys is the AHL where they can get bigger either mentally and physically and they can prove themselves as permanent call-ups rather than just injury call-ups.

        That’s why NHL teams spend million$$ developing there players in the minors.

        • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

          I’ve said it before on here… it’s definitely not the worst place for there development.

          The coaches have them playing the same system and training regimen as Hartley’s. They are constantly working on “Explosiveness” drills to get them faster, stronger.. and they know exactly what Hartley wants from them, no surprises.

  • KiLLKiND

    Great game tonight it was nice to see Sven put up two apples but one game doesn’t make him instantly cured he still doesn’t seem to possess the drive like Byron. I hope he does turn out but I still doubt him. On a side note Jones is doing quite well and I never understood why people ragged on him for being injured.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Props for Sven Bartschi for silencing his critics. Once the game started last night and through to this comment, not one single critical comment. No character assassinations, no declarations of him being a bust, no one questioning work ethic, no one mocking him for not doing well in the AHL. For me this is very reminiscent of the treatment Stajan got under B. Sutter.

    The big change for Baertschi (a rookie) is that he was consistently put in a situation where he could succeed. Credit Paul Byron if you like, but Baertschi’s skills are suited to play with other fast and skilled guys.
    Some players are not suited to play in all situations the way that guys like Glencross and Jooris are. Gaudreau shouldn’t ever play on the 4th line and McGrattan can never see a first line assignment.

    I frankly got tired of preaching patience and balance where Baertschi (a 21 year old rookie) was concerned. I expect he’ll continue to thrive when positioned to succeed, and make mistakes along the way (just like many skilled players do).

    Congrats Sven!

    • mk

      Agreed. Patience is a good thing when coming to prospects – as is putting them in a position to succeed. Baertschi may not have killed it all this season yet (anywhere, NHL or AHL), but his career ppg rate (.46) is still better than others on the team: Colbourne (.39), Byron (.36), Backlund (.41) & similar to Stajan (.48), D. Jones (.45).

      [Yes, small sample size and all that.]

      The kid has actually done pretty well for such a young player. He’s not in the bust category, even if he’s had a rough stretch.

  • Was at the game, sven looked really good. Glad to see it. I was one of his detractors but if he can string some games like that together he’s an nhler. Jones was skating hard, beat the d to a few pucks. Monahan looks like a #1 center now. Best game I’ve seen live since 04 (only go to a couple games a year). From th eye test this team looked really good. If they end of making a push a trade for doan should be in the works. That guys still dominant.

  • I think the best part about this early start is that there’s been a massive infusion of young guns in the lineup so far and all of them have been contributing. Jooris, Baertschi, Granlund, Brodie, Gaudreau, and of course, Monahan. To think, we still have Klimchuk, Poirier, Ferland, Wotherspoon, Sieloff and Bennett on the outside looking in….

    As good as McDavid’s going to be, it’s hard to be upset about seeing growth in our team rather than plummeting for McDavid. If this is supposed to be the deepest draft since ’03, it really doesn’t hurt the Flames to play to win. Look how many top players were drafted outside the top 5 that year. We had a top 10 pick that year and look at what was drafted after Pha-goof that year…