Post-Game: Flames Edge Coyotes

After four days off, the Calgary Flames began a crucial four-game road trip through the heart of the Pacific Division tonight with a 4-1 win in Glendale against the Arizona Coyotes (of Arizona).

The game was rather even for the first forty minutes or so, but the Flames played a patient game and took advantage of Arizona’s mistakes and ultimately came away with a decisive victory. The Flames captured their 23rd victory of the season, off a three two-point effort from their #23, Sean Monahan. (Joni Ortio made 27 saves for his second win in as many starts this season.)

Here’s how it went down in the desert tonight.

THE RUNDOWN

The opening period was fairly uneventful, except for some sick saves by Joni Ortio, who really kept Calgary in it early on. Nobody scored – mostly thanks to Ortio – and shots were 11-9 for Arizona.

The Flames opened the scoring in the second, with Mikael Backlund continuing his torrid play with his fourth goal in as many games (and fifth of the season) off a nice feed from Johnny Gaudreau. The lead wouldn’t last too long, though, as Mikkel Boedker took advantage of some sloppy Flames defensive zone play and buried a chance past Ortio to make it 1-1. Shots were 10-3 in the second and, particularly after the goal, the Coyotes really carried play.

The Coyotes couldn’t carry their energy over to the final frame, though. A scramble in front of Mike Smith saw David Jones whack the puck in for his 7th of the year to give Calgary the lead. The play went back and forth – mostly in the neutral zone or Coyotes end, as Calgary did a good job limiting chances. With five minutes left, Mark Giordano scored the insurance goal to make it 3-1, and Monahan flipped the puck into the empty net from center ice to ice the win. Shots were 13-7 in the third period for Calgary and 28-25 for Arizona overall.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

Calgary’s hallmark this year, in games they’ve mentally show up for, has been a solid third period. Tonight, they played a structured, poised third period and largely avoided the mistakes that characterized their first forty minutes of hockey.

Ortio was good when he had to be (and occasionally great), and the team generated enough chances to beat Arizona.

RED WARRIOR

Monahan DID have three two points, but let’s go with Lance Bouma. Bouma was +3 with two assists, but he also had a ton of energy all night and led the team with six hits.

SCORING CHANCES

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Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 19:24 Gagner 9 11 23 26 41 89 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 1 17:12 Hudler 9 11 23 26 41 89 4 23 24 25 29 37 5v5
Home 1 14:50 Moss tip 8 18 23 24 26 41 4 6 8 17 22 37 5v5
Away 1 11:34 Bouma 4 9 24 25 41 89 8 17 22 29 33 37 5v5
Away 1 10:52 Russell 8 18 23 26 41 50 4 6 20 23 24 37 5v5
Home 1 8:20 Lessio tip 10 23 26 38 41 50 4 5 20 23 24 37 5v5
Home 1 8:01 Moss 4 8 18 24 25 41 4 5 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 1 5:13 Glencross 8 18 23 24 26 41 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Away 1 5:10 Monahan tip 8 18 23 24 26 41 5 7 20 23 24 37 5v5
Home 1 1:47 23 9 11 23 26 41 89 5 7 13 23 24 37 5v5
Away 2 17:30 Hudler tip 4 9 11 25 41 89 5 7 11 13 24 37 5v5
Away 2 15:53 Monahan 4 14 18 25 41 4 7 8 19 23 37 4v5
Away 2 15:02 Wideman 5 23 28 41 50 5 6 11 13 24 37 4v5
Home 2 12:47 Vermette 3 10 26 38 41 50 5 6 19 23 32 37 5v5
Home 2 12:13 Samuelsson 4 18 25 38 41 50 6 19 23 32 33 37 5v5
Home 2 10:28 Bouma 3 4 14 22 28 41 5 7 8 11 17 37 5v5
Away 2 7:31 Yandle 3 5 8 24 41 89 8 11 13 29 33 37 5v5
Home 2 7:26 Boedker goal 3 5 8 24 41 89 8 11 13 29 33 37 5v5
Home 2 7:01 Someone 14 22 23 26 28 41 5 7 19 23 32 37 5v5
Home 2 6:44 14 14 22 23 26 28 41 5 7 19 23 32 37 5v5
Home 2 6:43 Vitale 14 22 23 26 28 41 5 7 19 23 32 37 5v5
Home 2 5:42 Yandle 3 5 10 38 41 50 4 6 17 18 25 37 5v5
Home 2 4:43 Moss 3 5 8 18 24 41 5 7 11 13 24 37 5v5
Home 2 2:50 Moss 5 10 18 23 41 4 6 11 13 24 37 4v5
Away 3 18:40 Colborne 4 10 25 38 41 50 5 7 8 17 22 37 5v5
Away 3 18:17 Bollig 9 11 23 26 41 89 5 7 18 25 32 37 5v5
Away 3 15:10 Jones goal 10 23 26 38 41 50 5 7 17 19 23 37 5v5
Away 3 14:30 Byron 3 5 9 11 41 89 5 7 8 22 32 37 5v5
Home 3 10:04 Gagner 9 11 23 26 41 89 5 7 13 18 25 37 5v5
Away 3 8:37 Colborne 4 8 10 25 41 50 4 6 8 17 22 37 5v5
Away 3 8:03 Hudler 10 23 26 38 41 50 4 6 11 13 24 37 5v5
Away 3 5:36 Gaudreau tip 9 11 23 26 41 89 5 7 13 18 24 37 5v5
Away 3 4:10 Bouma 9 23 26 41 50 89 5 7 17 19 23 37 5v5
Away 3 4:03 Giordano goal 9 23 26 41 50 89 5 7 17 19 23 37 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 20:52 4 4 02:00 1 1 00:00 0 0
5 GIORDANO, MARK 24:38 10 11 01:51 1 0 00:00 0 0
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 21:43 3 4 02:07 1 1 00:00 0 0
7 BRODIE, TJ 24:12 10 8 02:02 1 0 00:00 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 14:42 5 3 02:19 1 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 16:52 3 3 01:34 1 1 00:00 0 0
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 16:05 4 4 01:36 1 1 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 20:12 6 3 00:05 0 0 00:00 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 12:48 2 2 00:31 0 0 00:00 0 0
19 JONES, DAVID 13:41 3 5 01:55 1 0 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 05:14 3 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
22 SHORE, DREW 12:26 4 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 13:54 7 9 01:40 1 0 00:00 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 17:11 7 5 02:15 1 1 00:00 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 10:07 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 09:27 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
32 BYRON, PAUL 15:04 2 5 00:05 0 0 00:00 0 0
33 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 11:08 2 2 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
37 ORTIO, JONI   16 15   2 1   0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 4 10 2 9 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 9 1 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

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SCOREBOARD WATCHING

  • Vancouver beat Philadelphia 4-0
  • Colorado beat Florida 4-2
  • Winnipeg beat Dallas 2-1

At least all the games ended in regulation, right?

The Kings drop to the second wild-card spot, Vancouver vaults up (pending the San Jose/Toronto result) into second or third place in the Pacific. The Flames trail Los Angeles by a single point for the final playoff spot.

SUM IT UP

The Flames are now 23-18-3 and sit just a single point behind the Kings. They’re off to Silicon Valley next to face the San Jose Sharks on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night. Puck drops at 8pm MT on CBC.

And, once again, playoff positioning is up for grabs. Monday’s game against the Kings is shaping up to be a doozy.

    • MWflames

      Got better as the game went on. Seemed like he was thinking too much about systems and where to be rather than just playing. Only half watched the game tho, so take that with a grain of salt.

      Love backlunds reaction to his goal, he knows he couldn’t pay a goalie to stop his shots right now…. But seriously he looks really good. I think we forgot how bad this team needs him.

      • piscera.infada

        I’m pretty sure once the injury to Glencross happened and they had to start screwin’ around with the lines as a result, he kind of lost his spot in the rotation. That said, I don’t think that was on him, probably just a function of his first game with the team. He didn’t make any mistakes to my eye.

        I watched Shore pretty closely when he was on the ice, and I liked his game in the very limited minutes. Yes, it’s early in his flames career, but his skating is very smooth, he’s quick, and for a young centre he has very good positioning. Obviously it’s going to take some time to get a true read on what he is, but (very) early indications are positive by my eye.

        @ChinookArchYYC, per my above statements, I didn’t notice any issues with his foot speed. On the other hand, I still see that issue with Monahan (although, it has improved from last season), and I honestly think it’s one of the reasons he has a hard time running down the middle with Hudler-Gaudreau. I really liked Gaudreau-Backlund last night. I think if Hartley gives them some time, we could see something very encouraging from both of them. Moreover, I wouldn’t be surprised if you see Gaudreau-Shore somewhere down the line (once Shore’s more acclimated)–they looked very good together at the World’s last year.

        • Parallex

          No, he didn’t make any mistakes. When I said he didn’t standout I meant both ways… had he made any Butler-esq facepalm worthy whoppers he’d standout (in a bad way) he didn’t, at the same time he didn’t make me sit up and notice him for any outstanding positive plays either.

          … and that’s fine. Outside of the elite (and truly atrocious) players of the game no one stands out every game. He looked acceptable.

          • piscera.infada

            Agreed. I didn’t mean to insinuate you said anything more or less than “he didn’t stand out”. Just saying I watched him very close, and he did some good things out there, and that there were definitely part of his game that are upgrades on the other available third-line centres at this time.

            Just piggy-backing on your remark, not refuting it.

  • MonsterPod

    As much as I love Gaudreau and Hudler, I really saw the effect of size tonight with the Bouma Monahan Jones line. All those boys are 6’2″ and were causing all kinds of trouble. They won the board battles, got to the front of the net, and scored.

    Johnny and Jiri also had some nice plays, just a different style. They need transition space to carry it in, generate off the rush. Both players were better after they were reunited midway through the game.

    Great win.

    • everton fc

      Good point. Great win. Exciting times for us Flames fans.

      It’s why Poirier, Ferland and Arnold have value. All are physical. Arnold’s only 6’0″ but he’s 200-210lbs. Gritty. Not sure who gets the call-up if Glencross can’t go for a while – what happened to him? Poirier may get a look. Baertschi w/Backlund and Jones? Might be a decent line…

      If Ferland could find his touch, I’d like to see him w/Johnny and Jiri. (I wonder if Ferland’s not feeling the effects of that concussion, as he hasn’t scored a goal since he went back to Glens Falls) Johnny and Jiri should stay together. Backlund could centre them, though Monahan could do the same. But I also like the Bouma/Monahan/Jones line. Hartley has to get credit for some interesting line combos that haven’t hurt us.

      On great teams, elite teams, guys like Jones fit. I always thought of Moss this way, in his prime. You have to have a few bodies who go where other won’t go, who take up space, who work hard in the corners. Wolf might end up like this. Colborne won’t. He concerns me. He seems to be a big guy who plays a soft game. He looks huge out there. I wonder how Ferland does on that line, right side??

      Byron seems to be moving down the pecking order. I wonder how he and Shore would do on the same line? Our 4th line – how did it look tonight? “On paper”, it ain’t bad…

      Ortio is certainly making us capable of moving a goalie for some depth on defence. Of course, that leaves you w/Thiessen on the farm (I like him) and if one of Ortio, Hiller/Ramo go down, you’re toast…

  • prendrefeu

    saw the highlight reel stops from ortio, but curious if how for real people who watched the game think he might be. i remember when we first traded for kipper, watching some of his first starts, seeing his calm positional play and thinking “damn, he’s really really ridiculously good playing.” is ortio giving off a similar vibe? how excited should i be on a scale of 1 to 11?

    • Legend of Weevil

      Ortio played really well, what impresses me most is his poise. He’s ready to start right at the beginning of the game and he’s calm, cool and, relaxed thought the game. Right after the goal he gave up he was composed and continued playing great. For a rookie that is really impressive.

      On a scale of 1/10 I would say 8. He’s played very good but goalies can be finicky (remember Berra’s start last year) although Ortio is different has he has great positioning and great mentality on top of some fantastic skill.

    • Derzie

      A cautious 8. He looks really good but goalies are fragile. It is all about confidence. We’ll see how he deals with adversity & losses first before handing over the keys.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Interesting tweet last night .

    @DarrenWHaynes: The remarkably-disciplined #Flames have gone over 125 minutes since they were last on the PK.

    I’ve watched the Flames since the first day arrived in Calgary, and I’ve never seen anything close to that before.

  • Colorado Flames

    As many of you know my 6 year old son and I traveled from Colorado to be at the game. We stayed at the Renaissance Hotel that is literally across the street from Gila River Arena. We had heard most of the visiting teams stay there due to its close proximity so we took a chance and it paid off. We got autographs and or pictures for my son from 18 players and coach Hartley. As I said yesterday every player we encountered was extremely gracious especially Gio, Hartley, Hudler and Backlund. Only players we didn’t see were Ortio, Hiller, Smid. We were too slow when Granlund walked passed us and Bouma, Engelland were busy on their phones and we did not want to intrude. Was hoping to get a chance to talk to Shore as he grew up in the same town Littleton,CO as I did. We saw him from a distance but never got a chance. If you are ever in town this place is a gold mine for player encounters. I will admit I was star struck. I used to get autographs of a lot if the visiting teams in the 90s and when the Flames came to Colorado when I was a kid when Fleury and Gary Roberts were on the team. I got Iginlas autograph his rookie year and he signed it very legibally #24. I’m proud to pass the torch on to my son to see the excitement he got meeting the players like I did when I was young. We even saw Brad Treliving having dinner with Brian Burke before the game. Burke was dressed in business attire accept for he was wearing knee high shorts. It was hilarious.

    Now to the arena. Gila River Arena is a bit strange. A small concourse for an NHL building. The whole feeling of the arena and team is that of a glorified minor league team. I’m from a non hockey traditional market in Denver but this just felt weird too me. I’ve heard much talk of how the team is struggling and it’s true. We got tickets at near center ice 8 rows off the glass for $70 each, below face value. This is a perfect destination for a cheap NHL vacation. I could not believe how many Flames fans there were! They were in the hundreds and that was just the ones wearing jerseys. Do these fans travel or are they local?Jiri Hudler seems to have a small following there. He was joking around during warm ups with some of the fans taking hard shots off the glass in front of him. He also tossed my son a puck over the glass!

    As for the game Ortio was strong when he needed to be. Made a few huge sprawling saves especially that one in the beginning of the game. I’m really excited for the future with this guy. I hope he lives up to the potential. He is really good at “hugging the posts” Our goaltending situation is going to be real interesting this year going into next year given his and Ramo’s contract situations. I wonder if Nashville tries to trade for Ramo given Rinnes injury?
    This is the second time I’ve seen Johnny Gaudreau play. I continue to be amazed at the the skill and speed this guy has. This guy is a special player and it’s a treat to watch him play. I remember when he stole the puck from one of the Coyotes and passed it to Hudler but Hudler couldn’t finish. Even these broken plays are fun to watch. Bollig played a pretty physical game. Just wish he contributed more like a Chris Simon.
    The Flames strong play in the 3rd obviously won the game. It’s been the story all year. I will say what worries me is the power play and the the lack of scoring chances in the 1st and 2nd periods. As of late the power play seems to be good at cycling the puck but they just can’t get the chances and open lanes. Also the lack of shots/chances in the 1st and 2nd periods lately is disheartening. I will say the poise of this team to win so many games in the 3rd is remarkable and the discipline to take so few penalties is reassuring. Hopefully on this road trip they can get some early chances / bounces and put these west coast teams on their heels. It won’t be easy. This road trip could make or break the playoff chances for this team.
    In conclusion this is the most excited I’ve been watching the Flames in a long time. I like the direction the team is headed for the most part minus a few things. This might not be our year but it’s been a fun ride nonetheless. The future looks bright and this team and they will be a powerhouse team in the future. If you made it this far in my readings thanks for reading! Go Flames Go!

  • Parallex

    I was at the MRU Cougars vs. U of C Dinos Crowchild Classic last night so I didn’t get a chance to watch the game. What’s with Pike’s striking out of “three” twice when he was talking about Monahan? Did he have a goal that was disallowed or something?

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Interesting fact:

    As of this morning, excluding the top 3 central teams, Calgary has a better goal differential than all of the teams above them in the standings (read: LA, Winnipeg, San Jose, Anaheim and Vancouver, or the teams they are fighting against for playoff spot).

    What was it might Babcock said about goal differential again?

    The Flames are in a lot of games. They can compete with any team on any given night. This bodes extremely well for the future of this team.

  • I thought the Colbourn looked really bad the last few games. He can get the pucks out of the corners and bring the puck into the offensive zone well, but he always seemed to get his shot blocked, miss the net or mess up a pass. (looks great for corsi!)

    There were a few times where Shore was in great position to get the puck and big Joe didn’t give it to him, and preceded with taking low probability shots.

  • MonsterPod

    I think you have to cut the Shore kid a few games to get acclimatized, new team, new systems & probably lots of nerves.

    You have to wonder about the Nashville situation & if a deal is there for flipping Ramo out to them for their 1st rounder, we may have to give a B prospect with him. It may be a late 1st but I would take it gladly. A 2nd late round 1st may allow us to package it up with ours to move up in the draft if need be.
    How nice would Yandle look as our #3 D. Wonder if Arizona would look at Sven & Ramo as pieces of their obvious rebuild about to happen. Problem would be that I think Ramo may win them more games than Smith has been playing of late & would go against their tank intentions.

  • RedMan

    What this game write up fails to note is Deryk Engelland literally just got to the slot to try and cover Boedker on that Arizona goal.

    I’ve seen tables with more foot speed than that guy.