Post-Game: Crowned

We’ve written a lot on this website this year about the concept of regression. Basically, the idea is this: teams that get more pucks on net tend to score more and tend to win more. So, if your team gets consistently out-shot by the other team and you keep winning, eventually it’ll swing the other way if you play enough games.

And if you’re the Calgary Flames, one of the NHL’s worst possession teams, playing against the Los Angeles Kings, one of the NHL’s best possession teams, you’ll have games like tonight.

God bless (apparently) flu-ridden, shot-riddled Jonas Hiller, because tonight’s game could’ve been a lot worse than it was. The Flames dropped a 5-3 decision on the road to their divisional rival tonight, in a contest that was as important for L.A.’s relevance as a playoff club as it was for Calgary giving themselves breathing room.

As a result of tonight, the Pacific Division and wild-card races are getting pretty damn interesting.

THE RUNDOWN

Through the first 40 minutes, tonight’s game seemed like a typical Calgary Flames game this season. They were out-shot in each of the first two periods (11-6 and 19-4) and were lucky to be tied 2-2 through that time. Tyler Toffoli had both Kings goals in the first two periods – one early in the first and one late in the second – while David Jones and Mason Raymond scored just 32 seconds apart in the second period to briefly give Calgary a lead before Toffoli’s late goal tied it 2-2.

The third period featured the Kings going, “Okay, we’re done foolin’ around with you punks…” Dwight King scored just a hair under a minute into the third to give the Kings a 3-2 lead. A few minutes later, the Kings added their own rapid-fire pair of goals – from Jordan Nolan and Tyler Toffoli, completing his hat trick – to make it 5-2. Jonas Hiller departed the game at this point and Karri Ramo was roused from his slumber to man the net for the final half of the third period. Raymond added his second of the game to get things close – and the Flames pulled Ramo to try their patented empty-net magic – but alas, the Flames reaped what they sewed on this evening.

When you get out-shot 45-18 by a divisional rival, on the road, you probably don’t deserve to win too often.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

The Flames lost the shots battle, the Corsi battle, the face-off battle and were out-scored at even-strength by a 5-2 margin. To be blunt: they were out-matched and out-played by the defending Stanley Cup champs.

RED WARRIOR

Jonas Hiller made 35 saves, despite his team doing him no favours on his birthday and him apparently having an illness but pushing through anyway. Happy birthday, Jonas. Sorry the rest of the team couldn’t show up for ya.

SCORING CHANCES

Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.55.09 PM

Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Away 1 17:46 Backlund 8 11 12 22 32 44 1 4 6 11 17 19 5v5
Home 1 16:46 Toffoli goal 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 13 23 24 5v5
Home 1 15:07 Brown 8 11 23 32 44 1 5 11 19 21 33 4v5
Away 1 14:41 Jones tip 8 11 23 32 44 1 5 11 19 21 33 4v5
Away 1 14:17 Raymond 8 11 23 32 44 1 5 11 19 21 33 4v5
Home 1 10:16 King 3 8 32 73 74 77 1 13 21 23 29 33 5v5
Home 1 9:54 Carter 6 8 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 1 9:00 Colborne 3 5 11 12 32 71 1 5 7 8 11 32 5v5
Home 1 7:37 Williams 3 5 14 23 28 32 1 18 20 21 29 33 5v5
Home 1 7:35 Williams 3 5 14 23 28 32 1 18 20 21 29 33 5v5
Home 1 7:29 Brown 2 6 14 23 28 32 1 4 6 11 17 19 5v5
Home 1 6:23 Carter 3 8 32 73 74 77 1 5 7 13 23 24 5v5
Home 1 6:03 McNabb 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 5 7 13 23 24 5v5
Home 1 0:16 Lewis tip 3 8 11 12 22 32 1 4 6 23 24 32 5v5
Home 2 17:14 Carter 8 32 44 73 77 1 5 13 23 24 33 4v5
Away 2 16:52 Jones goal 8 22 28 32 44 1 6 7 11 19 21 4v5
Home 2 16:42 Carter 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 2 16:29 Stajan 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 2 16:23 Wideman 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 2 16:22 Stajan 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 2 16:20 Raymond goal 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Away 2 12:34 Monahan 8 14 23 28 32 44 1 13 23 24 29 33 5v5
Away 2 12:12 Colborne 3 5 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 8 25 32 5v5
Away 2 5:36 Jones 8 32 44 73 74 77 1 5 7 11 17 19 5v5
Home 2 4:59 Doughty 6 8 11 12 22 32 1 5 7 11 20 21 5v5
Home 2 4:50 Gaborik 6 8 11 12 32 77 1 5 7 17 18 5v4
Home 2 3:13 McBain 3 5 32 37 73 74 1 4 6 11 32 5v4
Home 2 2:58 Brown 3 5 14 23 32 37 1 4 6 18 21 5v4
Home 2 2:54 Brown tip 3 5 14 23 32 37 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Home 2 2:43 Doughty 8 14 23 28 32 44 1 4 6 18 20 21 5v5
Home 2 0:16 Toffoli goal 8 14 23 28 32 44 1 5 7 11 17 19 5v5
Home 3 19:13 Carter 2 6 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 13 23 24 5v5
Home 3 19:07 King goal 2 6 32 73 74 77 1 4 6 13 23 24 5v5
Away 3 18:32 Giordano 2 6 14 23 28 32 1 5 7 18 20 21 5v5
Home 3 17:20 Gaborik 2 6 11 12 22 32 1 4 6 11 17 19 5v5
Home 3 16:46 13 8 13 32 37 44 71 1 4 6 13 19 23 5v5
Home 3 12:57 Carter 2 6 32 73 74 77 1 7 13 23 24 33 5v5
Home 3 11:44 Toffoli goal 3 8 32 73 74 77 1 5 7 18 20 21 5v5
Home 3 9:53 Williams 2 6 14 23 28 32 4 6 13 23 24 31 5v5
Away 3 7:03 Raymond goal 8 13 32 37 44 71 13 21 23 29 31 33 5v5
Home 3 6:06 Carter 6 8 11 12 32 77 5 7 11 31 32 5v4
Home 3 5:02 Shore 3 5 32 37 73 74 5 7 11 31 32 5v4
Home 3 4:16 Brown 8 23 28 32 44 73 4 6 23 24 29 31 5v5
Away 3 0:04 Hudler 8 11 22 32 44 73 5 7 11 19 21 24 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
1 HILLER, JONAS   10 20   3 2   0 3
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 19:07 6 13 00:00 0 0 01:54 0 2
5 GIORDANO, MARK 20:47 4 5 02:47 2 2 02:06 0 3
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 18:08 6 13 02:09 1 0 01:09 0 2
7 BRODIE, TJ 21:11 4 6 01:58 1 0 02:06 0 3
8 COLBORNE, JOE 06:48 2 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 17:58 4 4 03:19 3 1 02:25 0 3
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 12:43 2 9 01:26 0 1 00:00 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 13:12 2 3 00:00 0 0 01:30 0 1
18 STAJAN, MATT 14:00 5 7 00:00 0 0 01:29 0 2
19 JONES, DAVID 14:39 3 4 03:19 3 1 00:00 0 0
20 GLENCROSS, CURTIS 15:42 5 8 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
21 RAYMOND, MASON 16:03 7 9 03:19 3 1 00:06 0 1
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 13:21 2 11 01:26 0 1 00:06 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 14:53 2 9 01:26 0 1 00:06 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 06:29 1 0 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 12:21 2 4 00:00 0 0 00:45 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   1 2   0 0   0 2
32 BYRON, PAUL 10:39 2 1 00:00 0 0 02:18 0 3
33 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 11:02 2 4 02:36 2 2 00:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 4 10 2 9 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 8 9 7 5 1 1 0 0 0 3 0 0
3 3 10 3 8 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

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Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 12.58.34 PM

SUM IT UP

The Flames (30-22-3) have a day to stew and then need to shake off the loss, as they have another big game on Saturday night, when they host the Vancouver Canucks.

    • ssamze

      Let’s not forget the Flames were just coming off a few days of golfing in the sun with their Fathers in California..

      They were probably a little flat-footed last night.

      • FeyWest

        Just a few too many soda pops, that wasn’t the flu they were talkin bout I’m sure it was just a cover.

        On topic, I do like the flames physicality that game but Kings just executed a lot better especially on puck support and really limiting time and space for the Flames. If they can play physically with speed and get shots against the nucks then I think we’ve got a shot.

        Byron needs to shut down Daniel again, should limit the nucks effectiveness.

  • ssamze

    The Kings dominated for sure, but the Flames did not show up for the game as well. Monie and Jonny were not their usual selves.

    But it was incredible that they once led the game.

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I’m not trying to provoke anyone into a fight here, but I’m interested in where fans thoughts are. There have been an increasing amount of commentors here at FN arguing the Flames should be buyers. After watching last nights game, are fans still interested in the Flames picking up a rental?

    • Rockmorton65

      I think any moves the flames make should be pure hockey deals. No selling of assets just to acquire draft picks and no acquiring upcoming UFA players, just for a playoff run, who don’t fit into the long-term plans. I think any significant moves the flames make will be done in the off-season. Deal with the Glencross and Ramo situations but otherwise just wait.

      • Craig

        Exactly this.

        The reason for a long suffering bubble team to be buyers at the deadline is almost always that the fans are eager to (finally) see a winner. Flames fans know this team has over-performed this year but have a really great young core. Fans are not pressuring management for this, management has to make the decision that is right for the long term development and prospects of the team.

        Deal with Glennie and Ramo – yes absolutely. Make a hockey trade that is right for the future. Yes, I’d do that too. Buying at the deadline and giving up anything remotely approaching a core asset is madness.

        The time to make the moves will be in the summer when we know what the cap is moving to and there are a broader array of players available because of free agency and cap issues.

    • piscera.infada

      NO!!!
      Stay the course! The Flames don’t need late round draft choices for the one or two players we would like to move or give up prospects for a 2 month rental.

    • piscera.infada

      I think the majority of commentors were saying the same thing. Similar to @Rockmorton65 above, make trades if you can get better over the medium to long-term. Again, this is what Flames management seems to be thinking as well. Success in the playoff push will not be contingent on whom they bring in anyway, so I’m not sure there’s much pressure to do anything. That said, if you can acquire useful pieces, you do the deal, just as you would at any other point.

    • RedMan

      It would be great to make the playoffs this year, but I think rentals are better suited for a push to go deep in the playoffs rather then just to sneak into 8th place.

      I still say they should stay the course and sell off their vets to make room for the young guys next year.

    • DoubleDIon

      It depends. I think we have some excess prospects we can move out for modest pick ups. For example, Reinhart, Jankowski, Hanowski, Sieloff and Ramage.

      Obviously those guys don’t get you much, but they might improve the bottom pairing or give you a RW with some size and some question marks. I’d be looking at Stewart or Leopold. Both are UFA placeholder types and could be had for that level of prospect.

    • McRib

      I spit out my coffee when this was brought up this morning on the radio. SAM BENNETT FOR EVANDER KANE ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!?!? Hahah.

      Both were 4th Overall Picks, Sam Bennett has his entire career ahead of him, he is a character kid that shows up every game and had a better NHLE his draft year. I wouldn’t even do Bennett straight up for Kane let alone someone mentioning that they may have asked for Monahan as well. My opinion of Friedman just took a major hit on this one, why would you even mention a ludicrous offer like this?!?!?

      I know someone that played with Evander Kane on the Vancouver Giants and he was HATED then as well by teammates!!! This is not a Seguin or Patrick Kane situation where there is a little immaturity there… No one has liked Evander Kane wherever he has gone. He is not a likeable person, I’m told.

      I am so sick of the media hyping this guy up and saying “he is the best player in this trade” and he will now go on to score 30+ Goals… Hahah. Anyone else notice Kane stopped scoring 30 Goals a year when he stopped playing with Andrew Ladd… How many Calder Trophies has Kane won? How many Calder Trophies has Tyler Myers won? I have met Tyler Myers a few times and he is a class act! Now that he is playing on a stable team he should start to reach potential, which is miles ahead of where Evander Kane’s ego will let him get to.

    • beloch

      Bennett + Monahan for Kane? Good lord. Cheveldayoff can something-something-right-off. The dude’s delusional. I don’t want to hear anyone complaining about Treliving doing nothing when this is the kind of “something” that’s out there.

  • Craig

    I’m very afraid of a collapse by the Flames here, for two reasons.

    1. Because we will miss the playoffs, and I would really like to see a plucky bunch of upstarts in the playoffs.

    2. Because the I told you so crowd will gloat like crazy.

    I’m a big proponent of advanced stats, I find them very interesting and think that they do have a good predictive ability over the course of a season. But I still want to see the Flames make the playoffs, I don’t care if it’s on a crazy PDO fuelled run. And if they miss its going to get rubbed in hard by the group that have been calling for it all year.

    Saturday will be big game.

    • piscera.infada

      Yup. They need a win Saturday. Its about time they beat the Canucks.

      Lucky for the Flames, they get Vancouver on the backend of a back to back. Canucks get Boston tonight, and then CGY on HNIC Saturday. Last week, Calgary got schooled by Pittsburgh and then Vancouver took advantage of a tired Pens team the night after. The Flames need to do the same. You know Boston is going to punish them physically and wear them down. Even if Boston loses, they’ll make it tough on VAN.

      The best case scenario, of course, would be a hard fought, nasty game that Boston wins in regulation that will leave the Canucks drained. Then Calgary can come in to pick up the pieces.

    • Burnward

      Bah. So be it if it happens, people should be big enough to take it. However, there isn’t much disputing what we saw last night.

      The Flames found out what championship hockey looks like.

      May I suggest though that people not get too fired up over this one, either way. That was the Kings’ season, probably. If they lost there, they were done. Not too many teams could have hung with what LA brought last night.

      Great measuring stick though. One to learn and grow from.

  • Yeah, we got owned last night. It happens. But let’s not all grab torches and pitchforks yet. Here’s the way I see it:

    1. Our team has had a stellar season. The players have overachieved, and the desperate push for the playoffs they are going through, fighting tooth and nail, is still great experience for our young players like Johnny and Seany. They will learn a lot from this; it is a test to durability and willpower the young players on other example teams *cough* Edmonton *cough* have not yet enjoyed. One example off the top which could be compared to our team (if, God forbid, we do miss the playoffs) is the Blackhawks 2007-08 season (they missed the playoffs by 3 points that year, and it was Toews/Kane’s 1st season).

    2. We still won the “Season series” against the Kings. Come on, did we really think we were going to sweep them? Especially when last night’s game was at home and the Kings were sporting those jerseys? I don’t think so. That being said, if you look at some of the reactions from Kings fans (I took a peek on LA Kings Insider), they are RELIEVED. Relieved that their champion team was “able” to beat the Flames. That’s gotta count for something.

    3. There’s plenty of time left. Many more meaningful games to come, notably with the Nucks coming to town tomorrow night, and another chance against the Kings in April. The Flames are still in control of their own fate in a big way.

  • Parallex

    Next year the Flames should bring in the players moms… I mean who could stand to lose like that in front of his mother? Or get Cammy’s dad back… he gives the sense that if ya lose he’ll make ya sleep with tha fishes.

    In all seriousness… ya we got our butts royally (pun intended) kicked. I don’t know if it was a product of the Kings system, the Kings just playing well, or the Flames playing poorly but we couldn’t gain the zone cleanly to save our lives. The only bright spot of last night was that if Treliving was ever considering becoming a buyer at the deadline the loss last night hopefully slammed the breaks on, at least for now.

    Toffoli may have gotten the hat trick but for my money the best guy on the ice last night was Carter.

  • beloch

    Well, taking a humbling look at the standings I have concluded these last 27 games is going to be a mad race between 4 teams. To me a shot at a wild card is a little remote as I see Minny & even Dallas creeping back into this & I think Winnipeg really improved their team. The fight is going to be for 2nd & 3rd in the Pacific & LA, SanJose, Vanc & Calgary will be duking it out to the very end. The two that don’t make the top 3 will probably be out of the playoffs as well.
    Oh well, it makes score board watching simpler. I don’t think a 3rd & Reinhart for Stewart would be such a bad thing. A sneak preview to see if he can play big in our top 6 before even considering on signing him as a UFA come July. Would rather put a great package together for Larsson on NJ. Wanted to do it sooner when Deboer was running him out of the league & a swap of Sven for Larsson was close. Not any more, kid is playing solid 20+ minutes of D with a new coach & the price has obviously gone up. Jersey needs to rebuild & needs higher ceiling forwards in their system. Id would be prepared to give a pretty attractive package including Sven & Klimchuk for this kid. He would be a perfect fit for us & what is needed for our rebuild.

  • prendrefeu

    Longtime KINGS fan here. Rooted hard for you vs. Ducks a few years back. “other Craig” is spot on. Don’t get too worked up. I watched my team be mediocre, bad, terrible, mediocre then bad for decades. Bubble years were agonizing. Heck, so is this one! I know how you feel, I felt the same way.
    Hiller was good last night. Your team is good. Better than MANY of the iterations I’ve seen of my KINGS.
    After our long,long playoff drought, history was made and I wouldn’t trade a minute of what it took to get here. It’s also temporary in today’s NHL.
    I don’t pretend to know the inner workings of your personnel or cap issues but do yourselves a favor, stay the course. Minor tweaks aside, the future looks bright.
    GKG!

    • beloch

      Just in case you check back in for replies…

      The Flames have the second lowest payroll in the league, so no cap issues. The rebuild plan was to tank this season and perhaps next, but the ridiculously awesome development of rookies like Gaudreau and Monahan have put this team into the playoff bubble far ahead of schedule. Some of the team’s most exciting prospects, such as Bennett who was ranked 1st overall before the draft last summer in spite of playing last season injured, have yet to make their NHL debut. The Flames farm system was ranked #2 overall by Hockeysfuture this year. Their AHL club laid a 10-0 whupping on TB’s farm team the other night, which is kind of scary. L.A. fans are going to be cursing the Flames’ name for a decade.

    • Classy stuff Craig. You guys have one of the best GMs in the league IMO. A pretty good coach too. I think you will be fine for quite a while. D Lombardi will find a way to solve the Richards and Brown situations.