Post-Game: Wild Spoil Byron’s Return

The Flames began their final big road trip of the season with a dull thud, losing 4-2 on the road to the Minnesota Wild. They kept the game relatively close through the first two periods by hook or crook – and via some epic goaltending from Karri Ramo. And Paul Byron returned from injury after missing 17 games, giving the Flames some new depth on the forward ranks.

But it just wasn’t enough, and the Wild pulled away in the final period.

THE RUNDOWN

Play was carried by the Wild in the majority of all three periods.

The Flames improbably opened the scoring, with Josh Jooris sniping one past Devan Dubnyk roughly six minutes into the game. Matt Dumba tied it mid-way through the period on the power-play – with Joe Colborne in the box – as Karri Ramo made the initial save but it just squeaked under his arm, down his pad, and was bonked in by Dumba on his way past Ramo. Shots were 13-6 for the Wild in the first.

Nobody scored in the second period, by the grace of Karri Ramo. The Wild generated 15 shots on Ramo, many of them quite scary chances, while the Flames put just 8 on Dubnyk, most of them late in the period when the Wild seemed to get a bit tuckered out from spending so much time in the Flames end of the rink.

The floodgates opened in the third period, though. Ramo gave up three goals on seven shots and was yanked. Thomas Vanek, Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise scored in relatively rapid succession – three goals within about eight minutes. Jonas Hiller came in and made a single save in just over six minutes of ice-time. Markus Granlund scored late to make it 4-2. Shots were 10-8 Calgary in the third.

Not a great start to the biggest road trip of this season.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Well, Minnesota’s a scary-good team. They’ve beaten the Flames every time they’ve faced them this year. Why? Because they’re deeper and spend a lot more time with the puck. When you put so many shots on a goaltender, eventually you get a couple in.

Even-strength shots were 33-24, and a lot of Calgary’s 24 shots were when the game got wacky late in the second and late in the third and Minnesota seemed to stop caring all that much (score effects!).

The Wild generated more chances and managed to bury a few. The Flames barely generated much and couldn’t bury enough of them to make the game all that competitive.

RED WARRIOR

Bless him, Karri Ramo tried. He tried. Four goals on 35 shots isn’t amazing, but he did his level best to keep his team in it.

SCORING CHANCES

Coming soon!

ZONE ENTRIES

Coming soon!

SUM IT UP

The Flames lost. They play again on Sunday afternoon against Nashville at 3pm MT. Their record drops to 40-28-7 after 75 games. They have 7 games left.

They need wins by any means necessary.

  • SydScout

    Now that L.A. appears to have finally started their typical end-of-season push, the Flames are probably going to need to take 5 of the last 7 to have a good shot at the playoffs… Unless WPG falls apart.

  • MattyFranchise

    Disappointing loss though the Flames played strong while the Wild were very strong throughout. Minnesota is very fast and were skating hard all night beating us to the puck, intercepting passes and generally making things difficult. Flames not able t overcome and the result probably justified.

    We’re not going to win them all, and to say that was bad, real bad or that this just shows the Flames are a crappy team…. not really. Let’s see if we can re-group and get ready for the next game. GFG

  • Didn’t really see Minny allow Calgary to get set 95% of the game, even on the pp. The chaos played into the Wild’s hands well as they seem to counter quickly and are even better at the outlet passes than Calgary. I haven’t watch any Wild games this year so maybe that is their style? Any team want to learn how to beat Calgary, this was a good game to watch. I saw domination for the most part. Ramo kept us in a lot longer than we should have been.

  • WW and Jeff from Lethbridge were pretty silent tonight. No character in that dung smelling flames room. They will finish 17th. No playoffs and no decent prospect in the draft. couldn’t ask for anything better.

    • If (God forbid) we don’t make the playoffs, we are going to draft underdog story Oliver Kylington, who at one time was thought to be the best D man of the 2015 draft, and have him develop into the best D man of the 2015 draft.

  • Tenbrucelees

    Tough result tonight but I’m still so proud of what the boys have done this year. I can’t stand this whinging about ending up with a mediocre draft pick because of the effort put in this year. Screw that, it’s been amazing and if Gio hadn’t got broken at just the wrong time, who knows. In fact it might still be a long shot but there us still a chance….

  • Toofun

    Byron looked great out there tonight. He had a lot of jump. He crashed and banged and chased down lose pucks. Happy to have him back. Fun game to watch despite the outcome. Minnesota could go deep this year folks.

    • MattyFranchise

      Of those 14 points I see it playing out like this:

      NSH – 1 point

      DAL – 1 point

      STL – 0 points

      EDM – 2 points

      ARI – 2 points

      LAK – 2 points

      WPG – 1 point

      Nine out of 14 points puts them at 96 which hopefully is enough to get them in.

      Largely my prediction ends up shaking out to NSH and STL being better than the Flames, DAL being the second game of a back to back and also for some reason giving the Flames fits since forever. LAK has already lost the season series somehow to Calgary so I can see them inexplicably giving up 2 points again. WPG may or may not be out by then so this is a coin flip to me. And ARI and EDM are, well, ARI and EDM, so those should be some easy points.

      Long story short, I’m optimistic but not confident. Either way, one hell of a run for this team. Even if they do make it via wild card a first round exit is near certain. Their best chance of making it out of the first round is against VAN but unless they somehow get ahead of LAK for a divisional spot they will be crushed by either NSH or ANA.

  • RedMan

    I’ve not been a Colborne detractor, but last night he left me really wanting more. his one strength seems to be how strong he is on the boards, yet when the other team beats hm to the puck eveyy time, there is no battle on the board. he was in my opinion exposed last night and outplayed

  • beloch

    Too bad about all the Colborne bashing the mob at FN seems to like piling on. I guess if you are looking for a #1 centre then OK. The kid can play a heavy game, he can actually get hot with offensive upside. Year 2 of a rebuild & we need to sort where players fit. When Colborne is on his game he can play 3rd line, otherwise I see him as a decent 4th line player that can play a Winnipeg or LA heavy game & be dangerous. He may not be packing this team into the playoffs but he isn’t the reason we are losing some of these critical games. He has way more offensive upside compared to Bollig & that is a clear upgrade on the 4th line. Sorry, you can spew all the numbers you want about Byron, but he is not capable of playing the type of heavy playoff game at this time of year. In fact last night Colborne had 3 shots to Byrons none in less TOI. But what would a day be without trashing on some player.

      • beloch

        In fact, the difference in these players is Byron is faster & misses breakaways, consistently. Colborne gets into dirty areas & is tough to move out. These are two entirely different players & making your conclusion is ridiculous. Byron doesn’t hurt anybody when he hits, he’s just faster, can make contact but he is easily removed from the dirty areas in front of the net by the big defenders. Do I want Colborne to be better? Absolutely. We have Gaudreau & Hudler in our top 6. They are also fast but they bury/score on their chances. You say Colborne leaves you wanting more, well how does Byron not leave you wanting more when he misses glorious opportunities at key times of the game knowing if Gaudreau, Hudler or Monahan had those opportunities they would bury them.

        • RedMan

          OK, let me get this straight: Byron has great tools, but doesn’t score like our elite players, so he is worse then colborne?

          Colborne plays soft for his size, Byron plays big for his size.

          You are upset when Byron doesn’t score on his breakaways, but sonsider that his breakaways are coming on the PK – and essentially he has stolen pucks from the point and taken it to the other end during a PK – this is already a success, and while burying these chances would be better, don’t lose sight of the fact that he is an excellent PK guy.

          We need big guys for the front of the net and puck battles. Colborne is, as i noted (in my opinion) quite good at puck battles, and not bad in front of the net (though if you want to compare to top lines (like you do with Byron), Colborne isn’t as good as the top line as this or anything else) Byron is – he is as fast, as good at PK, and as good forchecking.

          I am not a Colborne detractor, and for some reason we are seeing chinks in the armor of many players now either because of importance of the games and pressure or fatigue or whatever.

          as for the “ridiculous” comment – well, i guess your opinions seem smart to you and any that don’t agree are “ridiculous”. Another option is being respectful – and goes a long way to accomplishing many things such as looking mature and able to carry on conversations like an adult. 😉

          • Derzie

            You seem to be the on-line sensative type Jeff. Saying to compare Byron to Colborne is ridiculous as disrespectful? Ok. Didn’t mean to ruffle any internet feathers. Also, I did say I did not consider Colborne as a top 6 player, in fact, he is an upgrade of Bollig on the 4th line. To me that is useful & if he wants more minutes, like anyone else, has to earn it. Byron does not play that same type of game, banging & trying to change momentum. Hence the reason I don’t ever see Byron a 4th line player. Byron, like Sven is a top 2 line type of player with the type of tool set he brings. I am not convinced he is 3rd line material, his numbers seem to support it consistently but my eye test doesn’t. Maybe I have different ideas of what a contending team’s 3rd line should look like.

            But yesterday & comments on here today keep trashing Colborne & people wanting to jettison him out. He had a better game than Byron last night. Just saying. Your right, the intensity of these games are bringing out the chinks in the armour. Unlike Shannon on the panel, playoffs would be nice but if we miss, it’s been a great year. Shannon is a goof.

  • Derzie

    @ Kevin R.

    Why, what did John Shannon say now?
    I used to be able to tolerate the guy somewhat but he’s been really getting to me lately. Also, Colby Armstrong is so brutal it’s hard to watch.