Post-Game: Handled By Hipsters

The Calgary Flames lost tonight by a 4-0 score to the New York Islanders in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

The Flames were decent early and pretty good in the first half of the second period. However, the team never found the energy level they found in their win at home against Detroit. You have to hold a team accountable to their wins, and Calgary lacked compete, execution and really seemed to fall apart once they got down by a couple of goals.

The result? They fly to Ottawa for their 10th game of the season with a woeful 2-7-0 record through their first nine games.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames played a decent first period, all-told. Granted, they wasted an late-period power-play by basically failing to gain the zone for two minutes, but at even-strength they were competitive and they challenged Jaroslav Halak a couple times. Nobody scored. Shots were 14-8 for the Islanders (who also had a 29-18 edge in shot attempts and a 11-7 edge in face-offs), but the Flames never seemed overwhelmed.

The second period was basically two periods. In the first nine minutes or so, the Flames were dangerous. They got the puck deep. They kept it in. They wore down the Islanders. They failed to bury chances, and squandered an early power-play – to be fair, the Isles’ penalty kill kept them to the outside rather effectively. Then, the dam burst. Brandon Bollig took a dumb offensive zone penalty, but the Flames killed it off. Right after that kill, Dougie Hamilton took another dumb penalty – this one a careless puck-over-glass call. The Isles hemmed Calgary in for the entire two minutes and scored late, as Mikhail Grabovski got a tap-in through a gap in defensive coverage to make it 1-0.  Shots were 10-10 in the second, with the Isles holding a slim lead in shot attempts (22-18) and the Flames a slim lead in face-offs (12-9).

The wheels fell off in the third. The Flames couldn’t get the puck deep and really struggled to get the puck out of their zone with any speed. And their goaltending, which had been strong, hurt them five minutes in; Frans Nielsen put a high wrister at Joni Ortio, who miffed it and it went in. Cal Clutterbuck and Nielsen (again) added goals, but the Flames really lacked much push-back after that aside from a single lengthy foray into the Islanders zone. Shots were 11-11 in the third, but a lot of that was score effect, and a lot of the shots were from a distance. The Flames had 24 shot attempts in the final frame and only 11 made it through. 11 of the Isles’ 15 attempts hit the net in the third, which made the difference.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

You know, the usual.

Defensive zone coverage wasn’t great, especially in the third. They continue to be too cute in the offensive zone and make too many passes. They weren’t great at face-offs. Not enough of their shots made it to the net. Not enough of their passes found their intended recipient. And they failed to take advantage of their power-play opportunities. And in a game where they didn’t score any goals, they created a situation where a lapse by their netminder basically shattered the team’s confidence early in the third. It’s hard to win games without run support.

RED WARRIOR

Let’s go with Mark Giordano. The Flames captain was hustling tonight, despite the loss, authoring eight shot attempts (tops on the team) and eating up 25:26 of ice-time.

Honourable mention to Joni Ortio: the second goal is one he definitely wants back, as he whiffed on a high wrister, but the team’s defensive coverage didn’t do him any favours and he held them in it until the dam burst. He made 31 saves in his first start of the season.

UP NEXT

The Flames head to Ottawa for the final game of their road trip when they face the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

  • Cofred24

    I think Montreal and Ottawa are the most crucial games of the year. Especially Montreal, hell if we can stop their streak that might give us a push and maybe we’ll get a streak going. Please beat Montreal please.

  • RexLibris

    To be up front and honest, I’ve missed the Rangers and Islanders games, so this is without watching his play but, regarding Hamilton…

    I’ve watched Oiler fans run, consecutively, Tom Poti, Eric Brewer Tom Gilbert and Jeff Petry out of town for all manner of perceived sins.

    In every one of those situations (with Brewer having an asterisk because he was moved in the Pronger deal) those players all went on to have productive careers elsewhere where they were appreciated for the skills they actually possessed rather than those they never did.

    I’ve seen something similar happen here at FN with regards to Jay Bouwmeester. He was an excellent defender who, while expensive, brought to the game precisely what he was capable of. The discrepancy between what he did and fan expectations was the fault of the observers who, either by their own choosing or as a result of being misinformed, held him to a standard he was never to meet.

    This is a painful 9 games, I’ll grant you, but I’d give Hamilton at least until Christmas to see what he can do. Following that, I have made my point previously that more blame lies with the coach at this stage necessarily with all of the players, with a few exceptions reserved – notably some of the roster decisions made by Treliving under the tutelage of Brian Burke.

    Senators, Canadiens and Oilers are the three next opponents.

    Let’s see what steps are taken against those before panic sets in.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      “The discrepancy between what he did and fan expectations was the fault of the observers who, either by their own choosing or as a result of being misinformed, held him to a standard he was never to meet.”

      Exactly right. I would wager that the same people who were not happy with Boumeester’s play are mostly the same upset with Hamilton. In fairness, he’s had his struggles, but he’s been better in the last 2 games and I believe his improvement will continue. 28 other teams would line up to take this player, especially for the current contract.

  • 24% body fat

    So flames troll oilers for years, and now they’re losing and start banning troll comments. Can’t handle it?

    Welcome to 1956 Soviet Union. Come on hypocrites. How many extra comments, hits, props and trashes (revenue generation) do the sites get because of this.

    I get that it may get out of hand. But when flames or oilers lose bad, how are trolling comments not relevant. It is rivalry which is what hockey is built on.

    I get on an article about reasonable expectations on Ferlund, or Eric Greyba where it is just pointless and antagonizing and articles as such.

    So everyone on both sites grow a pair, you are adults and this is the internet, things get said.

    So lets all go over to Canucks Army and make fun of the sisters.

    ————-FN Moderator:

    the goal is to put a limit on trolling, not to eliminate it. Frankly, sometimes a good ribbing, and inter-site banter is funny. The trouble was (and always is) that a few people take it to far. The site daily comment strings were being dominated by trolls successfully hijacking threads. Some threads quickly decayed into obscene, sexist, and offensive garbage and personal attacks.

    Ultimately, our job as Moderators is to limit the garbage, so that real, repectful disussions can occur. My belief and hope is that our role will slowly diminish with all FN commentors policing themselves and all visitors, as was the case not too long ago.

    • Canrock 78

      I think the moderators are doing a good job. The other night a troll used Jeff in Lethbridge’s name to fire up the oiler nation. It worked very well, I believe that troll and all his user names should be identified as the guilty party across all the nations boards, Then banned for a month or so. Repeat affenders get longer suspensions.

  • SurfacetoAirMissile

    It looks like both the Oilers and the Flames will be desperate hockey clubs on Saturday. Both need to right the ship and get back into the win column. Perhaps there will finally be some fireworks on Saturday…… one can hope.
    I would have preferred it being a battle at the top for both teams but as an Oiler fan I will take what I can get. Just maybe these two lame duck teams can get together and give the fans a game to remember.

  • KACaribou

    Flames are 2-7

    Oilers are 3-6

    Flames made it to the second round of the playoffs last year

    Oilers have been the joke of the league for 9 years

    I’m an oiler fan, but I don’t understand why oiler fans are trolling flames nation.

  • 24% body fat

    ————-FN Moderator:

    the goal is to put a limit on trolling, not to eliminate it. Frankly, sometimes a good ribbing, and inter-site banter is funny. The trouble was (and always is) that a few people take it to far. The site daily comment strings were being dominated by trolls successfully hijacking threads. Some threads quickly decayed into obscene, sexist, and offensive garbage and personal attacks.

    Ultimately, our job as Moderators is to limit the garbage, so that real, repectful disussions can occur. My belief and hope is that our role will slowly diminish with all FN commentors policing themselves and all visitors, as was the case not too long ago.

    ************************************************************************************************************

    This should be policed on all sites than, not just FN.

  • Cfan in Vic

    I’ve been a flames fan all my life, and I have always cheered for alberta (I also like the oilers), I think that if you gave any flames fan truth serum and they were made to tell the truth, I think the vast majority would trade our roster for the oilers…….it hurts to say it but they have a player right now who anyone could argue has the most trade value in the league (partly due to potential and entry level salary) not to mention a pretty good supporting cast around him

    If you took mcdavid out of the picture, then I think i like our roster a little better but with him…………It pains me to say but I don’t think its close

    cherp all anyone wants about the past but both teams are on the rise……….and hey, isn’t that all both fan bases really want is to be elite again?