Post-Game: Winning Ugly

Roughly a day and a half after reenacting the plot from Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Joni Ortio made his first appearance of the season for the Flames in the back-half of a back-to-back for his team. Sixty minutes of calm goaltending later, he left Vancouver with a win and his first National Hockey League shutout.

The Flames eked out a 1-0 win on the road against a team they haven’t had much success against, backstopped by a goaltender who went through a 40-hour travel nightmare to get back to the big leagues. Life’s funny like that.

As for the game? It was ugly, but Ortio and the Flames found a way to beat the Vancouver Canucks. Here’s how it went down at Rogers Arena tonight.

THE RUNDOWN

To be honest, there’s not much to cover here.

The Flames scored a goal in the first period, off a nice shift from the newly-formed line of David Jones, Mikael Backlund and Johnny Gaudreau. Some nice passing led to a nice Backlund goal. After that, the Canucks pressed. And pressed. And pressed.

And they couldn’t score a damn goal.

The Flames were out-shot and out-chanced through the majority of the game.

  • The first period: Vancouver out-shot Calgary 15-6 and out-attempted them 26-13.
  • The second period: Vancouver out-shot Calgary 13-8 and out-attempted them 24-18.
  • The third period: Calgary out-shot Vancouver 9-8, but Vancouver out-attempted Calgary 26-17.

There were two differences in this game: Joni Ortio was better than Eddie Lack, and Vancouver seemed to lose their nerve in the third. Calgary was more structured and poised in the third period – winning more face-offs by a 10-8 margin after losing two-thirds of them over the first two periods – but Vancouver seemed to lose their desire to go to the center of the ice and put the puck on net. Calgary boxed them out effectively and Vancouver seemed to be completely befuddled about what to do about it.

There was one goal. But it was a more effectively 60-minute effort by the Flames than we’ve seen in about a week, and it ended the losing streak.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

The Flames seemed to get better defensively as the game went on, and Joni Ortio was good when he had to be. The team did their best after they got a lead to keep the lead, and breakdowns weren’t nearly as deadly as they have been in the recent past.

RED WARRIOR

Keeping the spirit of Turku alive, Joni Ortio made 36 saves to earn his first career shutout. He also drew a penalty, so he’s got that going for him, too.

Oh, and I was informed that his luggage DID arrive in Calgary yesterday prior to the game, so he did get his contact lenses back.

All in all, everything this weekend turned out pretty good for Ortio.

SCORING CHANCES

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.41.59 PM

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 17:08 Burrows 8 14 22 23 31 33 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Home 1 16:45 53 3 18 31 36 51 53 4 7 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 1 14:41 Burrows 3 14 22 23 31 33 5 7 18 20 24 37 5v5
Away 1 14:24 Backlund goal 3 18 31 36 51 53 4 6 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 1 13:22 Kassian 8 9 15 23 31 36 8 17 18 29 33 37 5v5
Home 1 13:13 15 8 14 15 23 31 36 8 17 18 29 33 37 5v5
Away 1 12:10 Stajan 3 23 31 36 51 53 4 6 18 25 32 37 5v5
Home 1 11:07 Richardson 8 9 15 23 27 31 5 7 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 1 10:07 Stanton 3 14 18 20 31 33 4 5 8 18 25 37 5v5
Away 1 9:44 Glencross 3 14 18 22 31 33 5 7 18 20 32 37 5v5
Away 1 7:34 Russell 5 9 15 26 27 31 4 6 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 1 6:46 Bonino 3 13 17 20 23 31 4 6 18 25 32 37 5v5
Home 1 5:31 Matthias 3 15 18 27 31 36 8 11 13 29 33 37 5v5
Away 1 3:37 Monahan 8 14 22 23 31 33 5 7 20 23 32 37 5v5
Home 1 3:03 Vrbata 3 13 17 18 20 31 4 6 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 1 2:46 Bonino 8 13 17 20 23 31 4 6 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 2 19:43 Jones tip 8 20 23 31 36 5 6 11 13 19 37 4v5
Away 2 19:30 Jones 8 20 23 31 36 5 6 11 13 19 37 4v5
Home 2 16:01 Burrows 8 14 22 23 31 33 5 7 11 20 24 37 5v5
Home 2 15:18 Hansen 5 26 31 36 51 53 4 6 18 25 32 37 5v5
Home 2 14:57 Matthias 3 9 15 18 27 31 5 7 8 17 23 37 5v5
Home 2 13:38 Deflection 8 13 14 20 23 31 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 2 10:59 Bollig 3 9 15 18 27 31 18 25 29 32 33 37 5v5
Home 2 10:36 Matthias 8 15 23 27 31 36 13 18 29 32 33 37 5v5
Home 2 10:18 23 8 15 23 27 31 36 13 18 29 32 33 37 5v5
Home 2 9:31 Hansen 5 26 31 36 51 53 4 6 11 19 20 37 5v5
Away 2 8:55 Jones tip 8 13 14 20 23 31 4 6 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 2 8:14 H Sedin 5 17 22 26 31 33 4 6 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 2 8:01 Monahan tip 5 17 22 26 31 33 5 6 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 2 6:31 Bollig tip 3 9 15 18 27 31 18 25 29 32 33 37 5v5
Home 2 5:27 Hansen 8 23 31 36 51 53 4 17 24 29 37 60 5v5
Home 2 4:37 D Sedin 8 17 22 23 31 33 4 17 24 29 37 60 5v5
Home 2 4:31 H Sedin 8 17 22 23 31 33 4 17 24 29 37 60 5v5
Away 2 1:14 Brodie 5 22 26 31 33 5 7 13 24 37 4v4
Home 2 1:06 D Sedin 8 22 23 31 33 4 7 13 24 37 4v4
Home 2 0:26 Hansen 3 15 17 18 31 36 4 6 11 17 19 37 5v5
Away 3 18:21 Gaudreau 5 13 14 20 26 31 4 6 11 13 19 37 5v5
Home 3 14:06 Matthias 3 18 20 27 31 5 6 20 23 24 37 4v5
Away 3 11:43 Monahan 8 17 22 23 31 33 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 3 10:07 Stajan 3 5 27 31 36 53 5 7 18 25 32 37 5v5
Home 3 8:33 Burrows 3 8 13 14 20 31 4 6 19 20 23 37 5v5
Home 3 8:20 Burrows 3 8 13 14 20 31 4 6 19 20 23 37 5v5
Away 3 7:02 Backlund 9 15 23 26 27 31 11 13 19 29 33 37 5v5
Home 3 6:52 Dorsett 3 8 31 36 51 53 4 6 17 23 24 37 5v5
Away 3 4:51 Giordano 3 5 9 15 27 31 5 7 11 13 19 37 5v5
Away 3 2:19 Backlund 17 22 23 26 31 33 5 7 11 17 19 37 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:46 5 16 00:31 0 0 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 25:42 8 7 02:47 2 1 00:00 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 18:16 6 10 02:49 2 1 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 26:57 7 8 01:13 0 0 00:00 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 14:05 0 5 00:08 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 12:53 7 7 02:30 2 0 00:00 0 0
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 14:52 7 7 02:22 2 0 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 14:34 1 8 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:50 5 8 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
19 JONES, DAVID 12:50 7 7 02:22 2 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 16:11 4 9 01:30 0 1 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 18:10 3 8 01:38 0 1 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 17:47 3 11 01:30 0 1 00:00 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 09:36 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 10:48 3 8 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 11:12 6 4 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
33 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 09:35 3 5 00:40 0 0 00:00 0 0
37 ORTIO, JONI   16 27   2 1   0 0
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 11:03 0 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 11 5 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 7 13 5 13 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 6 4 6 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.58.52 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 10.59.03 PM

SUM IT UP

The Flames have improved their record to 22-18-3 on the season, which is pretty decent and keeps them in the hunt for a playoff spot…for now.

The boys are off tomorrow entirely, are back at practice on Monday as they prepare for their next game – on Thursday in Glendale as they continue this weird road trip against the Arizona Coyotes!

  • redhot1

    Could Ortio be for real? Probably the best goaltending performance since the Chicago Hiller game. I think he’s earned a start for the next game. You know how Hartley likes to roll with hot goaltenders….

  • RKD

    Would agree that Vancouver looked better than the Flames tonight, but defensively the Flames did a great job at keeping shots from the outside. And the few times Vancouver got to the danger area, Ortio was solid. Still upset about the crap shoot of a game last night though. GFG!!

  • redhot1

    Hey Pike: are you saying that the advanced stats conflict with the outcome of the game????!!!!!!!!

    That has been the case in EVERY game the Flames have played this year……

    Advanced stats suck!!!!!

    You are just figuring that out now?????

    The only stat that matters is who has the hot goalie.

    WW

    • beloch

      Demographics say that there are 1.056 men for every woman in Canada. You, the poster who calls him or herself Walter White, are therefore more likely to be male. If, by chance, you were a Wilma White, would that prove demographics wrong?

      This is a silly question, I know. Let’s not be silly.

      • beloch

        I totally agree – remember that guy who said, in reference to planes, that anything heavier than air cannot fly? That was silly.

        Just because the statistics didnt work tonight doesn’t mean that numbers don’t exist (they really do) or that Ryan isn’t trying his very best to explain the outcomes. Sometimes the prediction percentages are just unsustainably low, and we should expect (with a large enough sample size – of say – 2 or 3 games) that the statistics will regress to the mean and “work”. Just ask Kent – he’ll tell you all about it!

        I myself am only starting to master the statistics – it’ll come!

      • FeyWest

        Agreed, do we need a Vegas Casino metaphor? ’cause you can go on crazy winning streaks even though the odds say otherwise, just be smart and recognize when it’s best to quit while you’re ahead, in NHL that would be the equivalent to improving your possession and shooting stats by addressing a trade or otherwise.

        Just because the Flames are able to effectively block shots and hold opponents to the perimeter this won’t work 100% of the time. I’m glad it’s working out for us and it’s awesome but doesn’t mean I can’t be aware it’s playing with fire. Not concerned though we’ll land where we land in the standings and build our assets again and I think year 3 will be even more exciting exciting!

  • Derzie

    Ortio played a really good game tonight but other than that we got lucky.

    I think not having a decent 5th and 6th is hurting the top 4 as well. We had a huge amount of trouble tonight getting the puck out.

    England and Diaz work better than Smid and England as Diaz is way more mobile.

    I had suggested trading a center like Knight a few times on this site. I was hoping we’d get back a D prospect or in a package a 5th-6th roster D.

    The Shore trade seems to favor Calgary, but the huge logjam at C continues. Not sure M. Reinhart is high enough up on the depth chart to make it as a Flame. I still think we should prioritize the prospects and try to package some like Reinhart for D.

    We’re getting pushed around a lot. Not sure why Granlund is still here, but Ferland is not.

    • redhot1

      And is there a bigger dirtbag in the league than Burrows? Multiple cheap shots on Gio when he was down on the ice being held by the ref.

      Burrows is such a tool

  • beloch

    Given that the ‘nucks were fresh and the Flames on the second half of a back-to-back, I was a little bit scared of what was to come after that first period. Oddly enough, the Flames strategy of out-hitting their opponent paid off and, by the third, it was the Canucks who were worn down and avoiding the “dangerous” areas. The Flames looked like a tired team, but they also did a solid job of keeping the Canucks on the periphery when it mattered.

    Joni “I #$%@’ing love caffeine” Ortio is the man! He literally went coast-to-coast and had to play a late night game after a couple days in travel hell. He should have been a mess. Instead, he put on a clinic and stole two points in riot central. Beautiful!

    On the one hand, I’d like to see Ortio sent down in time for him to play in the AHL all-star game. He’s more than earned that honor. On the other hand, after a performance like tonight’s, how can Hartley do anything besides give him another start? It’s one more tough, but good to have, decision for the Flames’ brass.

  • beloch

    Walter White:

    Give Ryan a break. The advanced statistic predictions are currently unlucky – sooner or later they will regress to the mean and will correctly predict the outcome of the games.

    The Flames got puck luck tonight; it’s time that Ryan gets some stats luck.

  • Koolmoedee

    One tip for Ortio for the future: Keep spare contact lenses in your carry-on baggage. That way, when the airline inevitably loses your checked bags, you won’t be blind.

    Great job anyhow. Gaudreau-Backlund-Jones looked pretty good. Then again, any line with Backlund has looked good since he’s been back. It’s nice to see him with some skill on his wings though.

    • FeyWest

      In order to get another quality goalie in the system. Goalies take a long time to develop. Ortio is obviously knocking on the door which only leaves Gillies. Flames recognized the lack of depth the position and decided to use a higher pick to try and get another quality goalie in the system.

      I’d prefer using only 4th rounders or later and taking at least one goalie per draft in the hopes you get a late bloomer because the position is so hard to predict future success with, but the team was not in that position and so they decided they needed to act.

      • RexLibris

        I have little doubt that was the reasoning but I think it’s wrong.

        The underlying premises are that goalies take time to develop and are hard to predict. Fine. What follows from that?

        Calgary had another goalie they got in the trade with Edmonton. Why get rid of him/let him go? Because they could see he wasn’t going to pan out? Already? See the premises.

        That pick should not have been a goalie and with Gillies in the system they didn’t need one.

        Maybe they can use their new found goalie depth to leverage something they actually need, like a right shooting defenceman or right winger. If only one had been available last draft…

    • everton fc

      Hate to say it, but another Sutter pick that seems to be panning out.

      Gio/Brodie/Ortio… Perhaps Ferland… Arnold… Perhaps..

      I think our 5/6 pairing should be Wideman and Russell. We need sold 3/4 parring and we have the cap space to do it without adversely affecting contract re-ups and re-signings…

  • Hacker

    Go easy Wally. We need someone to initiate the article so all us Flames crazy fans can get in here and blog away. I definitely appreciate every article that goes up on this board, that’s what it is for, to debate and talk hockey. We don’t always have to agree.

    On to the game. Man! Hartley must be a nervous wreck when he has to put Engeland/Diaz on the ice. Several times they got trapped out there with the Sedins and it wasn’t pretty. Downside for me is Weidman has to play too much late in the games and he is not ideally suited for tight defensive games. Russel, Brody and Gio need to be on the ice all the time to settle things down. Not sustainable, we need another solid defender. Wotherspoon maybe??

    Love what Backlund brings to the table. Great win!

  • RedMan

    This game demonstrated the fine line between deserving a when and earning a win .. They did not deserve to win, but definitely worked hard enough to earn it. The goalie standing on his head, the guys hustling and working hard is on there forecheck,

    Was that a glimpse at kipper 2.0?

  • RedMan

    What would Ortio rather do, stay up and play in the NHL earnning 10x his wage and securing his future on the flames roster or go back play in the All Star Game?

  • RedMan

    Kenny Holland has commented that he has been looking for a right handed defenceman since the summer. Wonder what it would take for him to take a flyer on Wideman, who would slot into the 5/6 spot on Detroit and provide them with a right handed shot from the point. From the Flames perspective, it frees up money from a bad contract, hopefully the return is a young player and/or a draft pick and provides an opportunity for a young d-man in Addy to get a chance.

    • RedMan

      Only problem with that is we would be in big doodoo on our D & we are in the playoff hunt. I agree with that move if we fall back enough in the near future. Right now, not a message I see the Flames management sending the team right now. However, I wouldn’t doubt if that is a conversation & option for Detroit come TDL, Flames have fallen back & Wings lose out on Yandle or Buff or other D targets they had been looking at.

      We got awful lucky that game, how many solid posts did Vanc hit. I would like to see Ortio get the Arizona start before Ramo gets back. Maybe San Jose if Ramo return is delayed. He plays like this & Flames definitely can move a goalie. How sweet would Hiller, Granlund & a 3rd to Minny for their 1st & Dumba.

      • Valid points but from my perspective, “this year” is irrelevant. BT needs a good understanding when his team is relevant and even if the sneak into the playoffs this year (which I don’t think they will) they will not go far. Getting a quality asset for a d-man with a big contract who realistically should be a #5 guy might be a good idea this year to stock the cupboards with young bodies and picks. The same could be said for Glencross, Stajan and others.

  • RKD

    Joni looked real good, I would like to see him start some more games. Nice to be on the winning end of a one goal game. The Flames sit in 3rd place for one-goal games with 24 just 2 behind the 26 held by Anaheim and Nashville. If Ortio keeps playing well, it may make it easier for the Flames brass to trade Ramo. Minnesota is looking for a goalie. Don’t let Ramo leave for nothing in the off season.

  • RKD

    Seriously, Johnny Gaudreau is absolutely dominant when it comes to zone entries. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest to see him leading this category this season. If there is any doubt who the offensive of the Calgary Flames runs through then people simply aren’t paying attention.

    Having Johnny with Backlund makes so much sense purely because of Johnny’s ability to gain the zone and backlund’ ability to maintain possession. Just fantastic to watch last night. I’d love to see Hudler on that line going forward. I’d put that line with Brodano behind them against any line in the league.