Post-Game: Too Little, Too Late

Maybe it was the weather. Maybe it was the aftermath of an emotional rollercoaster of a game on New Year’s Eve. Maybe it was just a matter of time before we got one.

Either way, tonight’s game at the Saddledome between the Calgary Flames and their expansion cousins, the New York Islanders, was a low-key affair that featured a fairly uninspired Calgary Flames club.

It was a game, a low event game, that the Flames lost decisively by a 2-1 score.

THE RUNDOWN

The Islanders drove play for much of the first period. They got the first six or seven shots on goal. The Flames barely got into the Islanders zone, outside of icing the puck repeatedly. Lance Bouma made a diving play, knocking the puck away from Johnny Boychuk on an almost-breakaway. Unfortunately, he was also called for tripping – though he did hit the puck first. Matt Stajan got a penalty on the ensuing face-off for a face-off violation, and the Islanders scored on the ensuing five-on-three via a nice passing play finished off down-low by John Tavares. He’s pretty good. After that, the locals came back a bit, but they never got a can’t-miss scoring chance and the Isles structured their D-zone play rather well. Shots were 9-7 for the visitors.

The second period was a carbon copy of the latter half of the first, in the sense that there weren’t many chances. Josh Jooris drew a penalty and the Flames generated some nice movement on the power-play, but they couldn’t bury anything and the Isles were able to guard the front of the net rather effectively. There was no scoring in the middle frame. Shots were 9-6 for the Flames.

A third period here. Tavares went five-hole late to extend the lead. Flames ran out of gas after having a few decent chances. Johnny Gaudreau broke the shutout bid by Jaroslav Halak and the Flames had a bit of jump late, but ultimately they didn’t have enough gas (or time) left in the tank to pull out another comeback.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

They weren’t all that good. They weren’t a tire fire of incompetence or anything like that, but they didn’t show much jump, much emotion or much execution. They were a half-step out of sync, and against an Islanders team that was a bit better talent and execution wise, that made all the difference.

RED WARRIOR

Sean Monahan took 28 of Calgary’s 66 face-offs. He won almost as many (12) as the next-most frequent face-off taker took (Jooris, with 14). Let’s go with #23 here, but it’s hardly a white-hot race here.

SCORING CHANCES

Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.17.50 PM

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 17:51 Clutterbuck 1 5 18 19 25 29 3 11 15 17 41 53 5v5
Away 1 16:21 Leddy 1 4 7 13 24 86 2 18 27 41 51 55 5v5
Away 1 15:58 Boychuk 1 4 7 13 24 86 2 18 27 41 51 55 5v5
Away 1 14:13 Okposo 1 5 8 18 20 29 11 12 14 21 41 91 5v5
Home 1 13:44 Giordano 1 5 7 8 20 23 2 21 27 41 51 55 5v5
Away 1 13:07 Boychuk 1 5 7 8 18 21 29 41 55 91 3v5
Away 1 12:00 Tavares goal 1 4 6 23 2 11 27 41 51 84 3v5
Home 1 8:36 Hudler 1 4 6 13 24 86 3 18 27 41 44 51 5v5
Home 1 7:35 Bollig 1 18 19 25 29 33 2 15 17 41 53 55 5v5
Away 1 4:22 Vishnovsky 1 4 6 17 32 60 11 14 15 17 41 53 5v5
Away 1 3:28 Grabovski 1 5 6 13 24 86 3 21 41 44 84 91 5v5
Home 1 0:56 Hudler 1 5 7 13 24 86 2 12 21 41 55 91 5v5
Away 1 0:15 Kulemin 1 4 6 8 20 23 2 29 41 55 84 86 5v5
Away 2 17:40 Kulemin 1 18 19 25 29 33 11 14 29 41 84 86 5v5
Away 2 11:33 Clutterbuck 1 18 19 25 29 33 3 15 17 41 44 53 5v5
Home 2 11:17 Bollig 1 5 18 19 25 29 3 15 17 41 44 53 5v5
Home 2 9:06 Gaudreau 1 4 6 13 24 86 3 29 41 44 86 5v4
Home 2 7:15 Hudler tip 1 4 6 13 24 86 3 29 41 44 86 5v4
Home 2 6:26 Jones 1 5 7 18 19 25 3 29 41 44 51 86 5v5
Away 2 4:19 Nelson 1 4 6 13 24 86 3 29 41 44 84 86 5v5
Away 2 0:26 Kulemin 1 5 7 8 13 86 2 29 41 55 84 86 5v5
Away 3 16:44 Tavares 1 5 7 13 24 86 11 12 14 21 41 91 5v5
Home 3 14:29 Colborne 1 5 7 8 20 23 3 29 41 44 51 5v4
Home 3 12:30 Monahan 1 4 6 8 20 23 14 15 41 53 55 5v4
Away 3 9:41 Grabovski 1 4 8 20 23 29 11 14 29 41 84 86 5v5
Home 3 9:02 Gaudreau 1 13 24 29 33 86 11 14 18 27 41 51 5v5
Away 3 7:45 Tavares goal 1 13 18 19 29 33 3 12 21 41 44 91 5v5
Away 3 6:06 Lee 1 13 24 29 33 86 3 18 27 41 44 51 5v5
Away 3 5:40 Lee 1 13 24 29 33 86 3 18 27 41 44 51 5v5
Away 3 5:20 Tavares 1 4 6 17 18 20 2 12 21 41 55 91 5v5
Home 3 4:38 Giordano 1 5 7 8 23 32 11 14 17 21 41 53 5v5
Home 3 3:26 Gaudreau goal 4 6 13 24 25 86 2 29 41 55 84 86 5v5
Away 3 2:28 Bailey 1 5 7 13 24 86 3 12 21 41 44 91 5v5
Home 3 1:21 Glencross 4 6 8 20 23 24 3 29 41 44 51 86 5v5
Home 3 1:06 Monahan 4 6 8 20 23 24 3 29 41 44 51 86 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
1 HILLER, JONAS   8 18   4 0   0 2
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 19:34 4 7 03:39 3 0 00:39 0 1
5 GIORDANO, MARK 21:58 5 6 02:53 1 0 01:21 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 19:01 4 5 03:07 3 0 00:39 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 18:43 4 5 02:21 1 0 01:21 0 1
8 COLBORNE, JOE 18:15 4 4 03:02 2 0 00:25 0 1
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 14:42 4 10 02:55 2 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 12:22 0 2 00:00 0 0 00:39 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:01 3 6 00:03 0 0 00:00 0 0
19 JONES, DAVID 09:14 3 4 00:03 0 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 16:59 3 4 03:02 2 0 00:01 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 16:16 4 2 03:02 2 0 00:40 0 1
24 HUDLER, JIRI 13:58 6 8 02:55 2 0 00:00 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 08:19 4 3 00:03 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 14:16 3 8 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 12:24 1 1 00:00 0 0 00:08 0 0
33 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 10:28 2 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 10:18 0 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
86 JOORIS, JOSH 13:02 4 9 02:55 2 0 00:55 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 9 4 7 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1
2 4 4 2 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 7 7 5 7 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

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Screen Shot 2015-01-06 at 12.27.10 PM

SUM IT UP

The Calgary Flames are off for a few days! They don’t even practice tomorrow. They’re back on the practice ice on Sunday and they’re back in game action on Wednesday night when they entertain the Detroit Red Wings at the ‘Dome.

  • Derzie

    Despite the goal this was actually the least impressive game by gaudreau I’ve seen since he was a healthy scratch. He seemed way out of sync with his linemates and second guessed himself on nearly every play. However, I felt Monny and Hudler had similarly uninspired games.
    On the bright side, Jooris was a force and Stajan and Hiller seem to be stepping it up lately. This break came with perfect timing. I get the feeling the youngsters partied pretty hard after their win on NYE.

  • beloch

    Did the Stajan penalty actually take place on the face-off following the Bouma penalty? If so, that play didn’t burn even a fraction of a second off the clock. It looked to me like the Stajan penalty was from the faceoff previous to the Bouma penalty.

    If the gloved puck penalty was to be called then the play should have been whistled dead before the play that led to Bouma’s penalty because the Flames clearly had possession after Stajan gloved the puck. It looked like the ref decided to let one slide and then suddenly not to, probably because Stajan was complaining about the Bouma penalty. That would explain why the announcers initially thought Stajan was going for unsportsmanlike conduct. Stajan yapped at the ref, and the ref pulled a BS call out of his butt in retaliation. 2:00 of 5 on 3.

    If you play with fire you can get burned, but it still sucks to see such an important goal result form the whim of PO’d ref.

    • Big Ell

      I missed it during the game and I don’t recall ever seeing a replay. If the face-off before it seems wrong, and I’m wondering if there is some way for the team to file a complaint with the league against that ref? That sort of stuff shouldn’t be allowed and could easily impact future games…

      • RedMan

        I think we are all wondering this – seems like a really bad call. It must have been the face-off before Bouma’s penalty, because of the time assigned to the call.

        Someone needs to get to the bottom of this because this call really changed the game.

        if it was the face-off following Bouma’s penalty, then there would be at least a few seconds ticked off of the clock. this one really stunk.

    • Byron Bader

      It was the faceoff after Bouma got the penalty. Bouma got the penalty, went to the box and they dropped the puck and Stajan fell on it, closed his had over it and they called it. A second had come off the other penalty but I think they rewinded it and started them both at 2 minutes. It was an odd one.

  • Byron Bader

    Hope the wheels are in motion for some trades here sooner rather than later. Not sure exactly what needs to be done, but I know we’re going to have a goalie conundrum by the end of the season, for one. If the plan is to trade Ramo he needs to see more game action, which is hard to do as Hiller seems to be playing better.

    I believe we should stay the course with the rebuild and not do anything too drastic, but it does seem like we need some youth and energy injected into the lineup, and depending on which way management wants to go maybe some new faces as opposed to call-ups (Yandle, please).

    I love Gaudreau with all my heart, but as someone once said on here before, we shouldn’t be relying on him time and time again to bail us out of these situations. Mind you the Islanders are a great team and I hope they go far in the playoffs, but I’m starting to believe the Flames are actually a good team as well, not just lucky, and with a bit of tinkering here and there we just might be able to challenge for a playoff spot.

    Four days off, put ice on those bruises and get lots of rest. Also drive safe and stay off the roads altogether if you’re from anywhere in Alberta or Montana, or you’ll hit the ditch like I did.

  • Big Ell

    There is no shame losing to the Islanders. I was surprised by their size and defensive depth. I am looking forward to Backlund coming back and hopefully seeing Monahan move to the second line with Gaudreau and Hudler.

  • Big Ell

    Posted this at the ‘game’ message as well but I meant it for this thread.

    _________

    Went to the game last night and I was overall impressed with the Islanders … they played a real good road game. The game was slower than I expected.

    Having said that, the beginning of the game was bizarro to me in that i thought Bouma made a great save on that partial breakaway and the Staj penalty = what?? We did well to limit that damage to one goal to start.

    I know the young Islander vets have paid a price in losses these past few years but I was really impressed with #44 De Haan … that whole “D” looks set for some time. Imagine having Griffin Reihart on the farm learning and waiting! Wow.

    I think why not in terms of prying one of the Isles’ 5th or 6th D-man? I think Hickey would do well here.

    One final note is that I thought the Islanders blocked a lot of good looking shot opps from the Flames … we just couldn’t get the puck to the doorstep …. Oh … and Gio’s hitting the post with roughly 10 min left .. that would have given us that much more time for the tying goal.

  • Did anyone else notice how good our 4th line looked? I agree with Pike that the overall game looked fairly uninspired. In fact, you could say the same thing about the Isles. It was a flat game no matter how you slice it. On the other hand, from where I was sitting, it looked like the Flames got at least as many good chances as the others. Could have just as easily been 2-1 Flames save for a pretty goofy 5 on 3.

  • Kybb79

    NYI are a well structured team they remind me of the Kings the way they play! Kudos to our 4th line they had good puck control for most of the game lots of energy! I wish the other lines played like that in the first two periods! Im looking forward to Backlund returning to the team we need him on the first line!

  • Byron Bader

    Just wanted to clarify that the Bouma penalty was in fact the correct call, the NHL changed the rule for tripping for this year.

    “Rule 57 – Tripping

    The rule relating to “Tripping” will be revised to specifically provide that a two minute minor penalty will be assessed when a defending player “dives” and trips an attacking player with his body/arm/shoulder, regardless of whether the defending player is able to make initial contact with the puck.”

    http://www.nhl.com/ice/news.htm?id=730165

    Although, this is the first time I’ve seen it actually called.

    Was at the game last night, and it was a boring game, good road game by the Islanders, the flames didn’t generate much at all, and when they did Halak was equal to the task, and very few second chances available.

  • Byron Bader

    The performance was expected. A monotonous comeback sometimes gets boring and becomes consequential to alerting the opposition. That said, there was certainly some optimism in the sense that the Flames came close to within one; nevertheless improvising the game strategy is a must. The rebuilding team seems to be staggering on the power play and penalty kills although the two man disadvantage give away can not be faulted.

    Overall, the Islanders are a great team and their upbeat performance demonstrated that aspect; but I wouldn’t label them as a disciplined hockey team as the commentators repeatedly suggested. From a personal perspective, the Flames were more disciplined.