Post-Game: White-Knuckling It

The Calgary Flames received zero help on the out-of-town scoreboard this evening. However, much as Pedro Cerrano (of Major League) proclaimed, they did it themselves.

The Flames weathered the storm against a very talented Colorado Avalanche team, scored early and help on for a 3-2 victory at home. The victory moves their record to 40-27-6 through 73 games and moves their magic number to clinch a playoff spot to 9.5 (versus the Los Angeles Kings, who won tonight).

Here’s how it happened at the ‘Dome tonight.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames opened the scoring in a back-and-forth first period. Gabriel Landeskog grabbed his own rebound and attempted a wrap-around from behind the net. Karri Ramo DOVE across the crease and made a stick save. Lance Bouma grabbed the loose puck, went up the ice and fed David Jones for a one-timer to make it 1-0. The Avalanche tied up the game late in the period after a prolonged sequence of pressure, with Landeskog shooting the puck wide, the Flames completely scrambling around their own zone like some Timbiits looking for the puck, and Alex Tanguay tapping it into the open net to tie it. However, the Flames scored a late one, with Sean Monahan winning an offensive zone draw, feeding it back to Dennis Wideman for the one-timer. Wideman’s point shot hit Jiri Hudler out front to make it 2-1 with 16 seconds left in the period. Shots were 9-8 for the Avalanche in the first.

Nobody scored in the second period, but the Flames spent an awful lot of time in their own end. They had some chances here and there, including two or three really nice shifts for the Raymond/Stajan/Bollig line that resulted in scoring opportunities. But no dice. The Avalanche had several nice scoring opportunities in their lengthy, lengthy time in the Flames zone, but a combination of posts, puck luck and the unflappable Karri Ramo kept the game at 2-1 through 40 minutes. Shots were 10-8 in the second for Calgary, but that figure really, really flatters the hosts.

The teams exchanged goals in the third period. After another lengthy sequence in the Avalanche zone, David Jones collected the puck, entered the offensive zone and fired one wide. T.J. Brodie, one of several trailers on the play, entered the zone and kept the puck on-side with a point shot…that was tipped past Varlamov by Lance Bouma to make it 3-1. Gabriel Landeskog finally solved Karri Ramo late, scoring on a really nice cycling sequence by the Avalanche on the shift right after the goal. The Avalanche pressed and even pulled the goalie, but the Flames didn’t let the visitors tie it and the game finished as a 3-2 victory for the home side.

WHY THE FLAMES WON

Karri Ramo was excellent.

The Flames gave up more than a few long looks to the Avalanche, including a handful of gorgeous sure-fire goal chances. But Ramo was sharp, and occasionally miraculous, allowing Calgary to win. The team basically white-knuckled it through a tumultuous second period, but they managed to hold on, primarily because Ramo was so sharp in the middle frame.

And they finally got some goal-scoring from beyond the top line, as the combination of Lance Bouma and David Jones continued to buzz, even with a new centerman between them.

RED WARRIOR

Karri Ramo. 25 saves, and several of them were huge, particularly the diving stick save that was followed by the game’s first goal.

Also a stick-tap to the entire fourth line (Matt Stajan, Mason Raymond and Brandon Bollig), who Bob Hartley credited post-game for giving them momentum at the beginning of the third period. That line spent a lot of time in the offensive end and helped lighten the load a bit.

SCORING CHANCES

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Team Period Time Note Home Away State
Home 1 18:04 Granlund tip 3 17 19 31 33 60 1 8 22 24 45 55 5v5
Away 1 16:39 Landeskog 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 17 40 90 92 5v5
Home 1 14:30 Stajan 3 18 21 25 31 33 1 4 5 27 38 48 5v5
Home 1 14:25 Stajan 4 6 18 21 25 31 1 4 5 27 38 48 5v5
Home 1 13:43 Jones goal 4 6 17 19 31 60 1 2 17 40 90 92 5v5
Away 1 8:40 22 7 8 11 29 31 86 1 4 7 9 12 22 5v5
Away 1 6:54 2 4 13 23 29 31 1 2 7 8 9 4v4
Away 1 4:25 9 7 17 18 25 29 31 1 4 9 12 17 92 5v5
Away 1 2:18 92 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 5 40 90 92 5v5
Away 1 2:15 Tanguay goal 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 5 40 90 92 5v5
Home 1 0:17 Hudler goal 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 2 17 40 90 92 5v5
Away 2 18:53 2 7 17 19 29 31 60 1 2 17 40 90 92 5v5
Home 2 15:31 Brodie 6 7 8 11 31 60 1 2 7 9 22 48 5v5
Home 2 14:07 Deflection 3 18 21 25 31 33 1 4 5 27 38 48 5v5
Home 2 13:24 Monahan 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 2 7 9 12 17 5v5
Away 2 12:30 7 7 17 19 29 31 60 1 4 5 7 9 12 5v5
Away 2 11:50 4 3 18 21 25 31 33 1 4 8 24 45 55 5v5
Away 2 9:05 38 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 8 22 38 48 92 5v5
Away 2 5:05 55 7 8 11 31 33 86 1 8 22 38 48 55 5v5
Away 2 5:01 55 7 8 11 31 33 86 1 8 22 24 48 55 5v5
Away 2 4:14 2 7 8 23 24 31 33 1 2 7 9 12 22 5v5
Away 2 4:13 9 7 8 23 24 31 33 1 2 7 9 12 22 5v5
Away 2 3:46 9 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 2 7 9 12 17 5v5
Away 2 3:34 7 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 7 9 12 17 5v5
Away 2 3:31 12 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 7 9 12 17 5v5
Away 2 2:19 90 4 6 18 31 60 1 4 12 40 90 92 4v5
Home 2 0:10 19 4 6 11 17 19 31 1 8 17 24 45 55 5v5
Away 3 16:34 6 4 6 13 23 25 31 1 8 22 48 90 92 5v5
Home 3 14:07 Bollig 4 6 18 21 25 31 1 4 8 40 90 92 5v5
Away 3 13:17 7 6 7 13 23 24 31 1 2 7 9 12 17 5v5
Home 3 11:21 Bouma goal 7 11 17 19 29 31 1 2 17 40 90 92 5v5
Home 3 10:38 Hudler 4 6 13 23 24 31 1 4 5 7 9 12 5v5
Home 3 8:11 Jooris tip 7 8 11 29 31 86 1 4 7 9 12 22 5v5
Away 3 7:45 40 7 17 19 29 31 60 1 8 22 40 90 92 5v5
Home 3 5:02 Jooris 4 6 8 23 31 86 1 2 7 9 17 48 5v5
Home 3 4:55 Colborne 4 6 8 23 31 86 1 2 7 9 17 48 5v5
# Player EV PP SH
3 SCHLEMKO, DAVID 09:41 3 1 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
4 RUSSELL, KRIS 19:59 9 9 01:09 0 0 02:32 0 1
6 WIDEMAN, DENNIS 21:28 10 9 01:18 0 0 04:14 0 1
7 BRODIE, TJ 24:15 3 10 00:09 0 0 02:46 0 0
8 COLBORNE, JOE 12:33 4 5 00:00 0 0 00:11 0 0
11 BACKLUND, MIKAEL 15:08 4 3 00:14 0 0 02:24 0 0
13 GAUDREAU, JOHNNY 16:55 3 10 01:04 0 0 00:04 0 0
17 BOUMA, LANCE 14:15 4 4 00:00 0 0 02:33 0 0
18 STAJAN, MATT 09:18 4 2 00:00 0 0 02:04 0 1
19 JONES, DAVID 13:17 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
21 RAYMOND, MASON 09:33 4 1 00:14 0 0 00:00 0 0
23 MONAHAN, SEAN 17:51 5 12 01:04 0 0 01:07 0 0
24 HUDLER, JIRI 17:27 3 10 00:55 0 0 00:04 0 0
25 BOLLIG, BRANDON 09:35 4 3 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
29 ENGELLAND, DERYK 20:36 2 6 00:00 0 0 01:04 0 0
31 RAMO, KARRI   15 20   0 0   0 1
33 DIAZ, RAPHAEL 10:49 3 5 00:00 0 0 00:00 0 0
60 GRANLUND, MARKUS 10:55 3 3 00:00 0 0 01:09 0 1
86 JOORIS, JOSH 12:43 3 3 00:23 0 0 01:00 0 0
Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 5 6 5 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 4 12 4 11 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
3 6 3 6 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

ZONE ENTRIES

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SUM IT UP

The Flames, with 86 points, are off tomorrow for a recovery day. They’re back in action on Wednesday night at the Saddledome for a late game. They play at 8pm MT on Sportsnet West and host the Dallas Stars.

There are nine games remaining in the regular season. Per Sports Club Stats, the Flames end this evening with a 75.8% chance of qualifying for post-season play.

  • T&A4Flames

    I’d say major stick to Monahan who was a monster on the dot tonight. Anyone else notice the chart during the 2nd(I think) intermission? He won every draw except for 2 (5 for 7) against Duchene and 1 other. Awesome!

    • Burnward

      I took a look at the stats of all the forwards who were chosen ahead of Monahan in the 2013 draft. I know it’s early in all their careers, but he appears to be destroying them all this year.

  • cgyokgn

    It couldn’t have been much closer… games with the Avs are always like this. Even though we won 2 out of 3, any one of the games could have gone either way.

    I thought Hiller should have started but Ramo proved me wrong and was exceptional (and was saved a couple times by his posts). The Flames spent a bit too much time in their own zone but a win is a win. It was great to see all the lines contribute. Bouma and Jones both had a goal and an assist and 3 SOGs. For once, the team was great on face-offs: Monny won 78%, Backlund won 67% and overall the team won 58%.

    Bottom line: the Flames won when they had to with all the competition (except the Sharks) winning.

  • BIGFlamesFan

    As I see it there are now 9 teams fighting for eight spots. Dallas would need to go 8-1 and I don’t think they will. S.J. is just about out as is Colorado with tonight’s loss.

    The Flames are competing with L.A., Vancouver, Winnipeg. All three have tough schedules where they will not be playing gimme games against Edmonton or Arizona.

    Here’s hoping the scoreboard will be kind to the Flames. If they go 5-4 from here they’ll get 96 points which should be enough for a wild card and ideally 3rd (or do I even dare dream it) 2nd in the Pacific.

    GFG!!!!!!

  • Burnward

    Ryan…if you thought Kari Ramo was excellent then you watched a different game than I did! Kari “inconsistent” Ramo again let in another bad goal. Could it be that he makes the odd spectacular goal because he is constantly out of position??

    Both of our goalies are inconsistent and that is exactly what you don’t want in a playoff run. The reason Hartley has not found a number 1 goalie in Calgary is because they don’t exist. Thank goodness we have Ortio for next year.

    If the Flames make the playoffs it will be because of team effort. If they do not make it it will be because these “backup” goalies let them down….

    • BIGFlamesFan

      I’m with you man. Kari did make the odd spectacular save, but only after floating out in never-never-land looking like a fish out of water. And he did it repeatedly, especially on both ‘lanche goals.

      Both he and Hiller have played much better games, and I don’t recall seeing either one play a stellar game in over 2 weeks.

      And despite the replacement level goaltending, still we win. Kari, channel your inner Kipper…relax, and quit trying so hard!

    • KiLLKiND

      I saw an article a while ago saying that inconsistent goalies will win more games over consistent goalies if they have the same save percentage. It said it was because inconsistent goalies are more likely to do well as when they are bad they are extremely bad and consistent goalies on their bad games they won’t do as bad but will happen more often. Also with the way our goaltending has been this year I’m pretty confident in either of them to be able to do well enough to give Calgary a decent shot at winning in playoffs.

  • Burnward

    After playing Colorado this season, I’m starting to take “2015 Avs” as a compliment! That’s going to be a damn good team for a long time.

    When did Tyson Barrie turn into Drew Doughty lite?

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Glad for the win, but I was never comfortable during that game.

    The Avs were absolutely flying out there and had me nervous every time they entered our zone. Man they are a dangerous team.

    Kari made some good saves, but I felt all night like he seemed nervous and was flopping around out there, sliding way too far out of his net and over-committing. He got lucky with a few posts, but I don’t agree that it was a solid game by him.

    Monahan & Brodie would be better options for red warrior imo – excellent games by each of them.

    True an ugly win is a win, but I’m finally just now this morning starting to relax after that one.

    • RedMan

      I wonder if for the first time we are seeing a team that has something to lose – and gripping their sticks. till now, they have played loose and enjoyed it, but now they have something to lose. all part of their development.

  • RKD

    Stick tap to:

    -Ramo for being absolutely stellar in this game

    -Monahan for the assist and going 25 and 7 in the faceoff dot

    -The 4th Line, for playing another great game

    -Hartley for splitting up the 2nd and 3rd line. In the Columbus game, those two lines were either all north-south players or all perimeter players. Splitting them up balanced the line combos and it paid off in Granlund’s line starting and finishing the offense.