Coyotes 2, Flames 1 (OT) post-game embers: Please play Josh Jooris

please give this young man more ice time he deserves it

Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian/USA TODAY Sports

The Flames dominated play. While it didn’t reflect on the scoreboard, they were easily the better team on the ice. Their superiority at even strength didn’t lead to goals, but it did lead to power plays, on which teams are, theoretically, supposed to score goals.

The Flames did not do that, and they lost.

Putrid power play

Six power plays. One goal.

That’s inexcusable.

The power play looked pretty awful to start. The Flames were unable to get control of the puck, so the Coyotes would send it right down the ice. That’s 30 seconds gone. The Flames try to move the puck back into the offensive zone, the Coyotes obstruct them, and that’s another 30 seconds gone.

This issue seemed to correct itself the more power plays the Flames got, but that doesn’t change that they only got the one goal – while trying the exact same personnel over, and over, and over.

Jiri Hudler played 8:08 on the power play; Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, 7:34; Sean Monahan, 7:25. There were three power play points between them, with Gaudreau and Hudler assisting on Giordano’s goal. When the same players are spending more than seven minutes with an extra man and can’t capitalize, that’s a problem. 

The Flames had a 16.7% success on the power play last night, which is a little better than their overall 13.8% success rate on the season. Only the Carolina Hurricanes are worse at 13.3%. It’s not working. When you add the Flames’ special teams percentages together, you get a disgraceful 85.9%.

And a quick note on the penalty kill: Mikael Backlund played the most down a man with 2:49; Michael Frolik second most with 2:28. They gave up an additional 11 corsi events against while on the kill. Over two minutes and change. What the hell happened there? Overhaul everything special teams.

Sean Monahan still should not be getting this much ice time

Monahan led all forwards with a total 25:16 in ice time. As noted above, a sizeable chunk of that came from the power play, which proved largely ineffective. For someone who got nearly as much ice time as T.J. Brodie, you’d expect a better performance; one did not materialize.

Monahan’s ES CF was the worst on the Flames at 30.43%. The next worst was Brodie’s 48.00%.

That is a giant, giant, giant gap. That’s a frightening gap. Kris Russell was 50.00%, and every other Flame at even strength was a positive possession player. For contrast, Monahan played 16:52 at even strength; Gaudreau played 16:47 and had an ES CF of 52.00%.

It’s scary to think that someone who had the play go against him so much – way more than any other player on the team – was out there for such a significant amount of time.

To Monahan’s credit, he was a positive possession player in all situations, at 54.29%. That’s a nearly 25% jump for him caused by those seven and a half minutes on the power play on which he failed to score.

And to discredit Monahan once again, despite receiving so much ice time, particularly with the man advantage, he had zero shots on net. None. Nada. Gaudreau had three in similar circumstances.

Josh Jooris had four despite receiving no special teams time and playing almost 20 minutes fewer.

There is something very, very wrong with that picture.

Functional fourth line? Why even bother?

As mentioned above, Jooris was actually a pretty impactful player. He played a mere 7:28; he had four shots on net with it, and even led the Flames in individual scoring chances with those four. He had a pretty impressive 73.33% ES CF, albeit his limited ice time probably skewed that number.

He probably should have played more: he was flying, and clearly capable. For that matter, perhaps his linemates – who both received under seven minutes in ice time – should have played more as well. They were a sheltered line, but they were an effective one, at minimum an upgrade from a line that has Brandon Bollig on it because they didn’t take any stupid penalties (Micheal Ferland’s should not have been called).

Besides, what’s the point of calling up one of your farm team’s best players if you’re just going to sit him most of the time? Welcome back to the show, Markus. You’re leading our AHL team in scoring, so we’re ready to give you another shot. Here’s six minutes. Have fun!

I have two takeaways from this I really want to emphasize:

  • The Flames have decent enough forward personnel that there’s no reason to bench any of them.
  • Monahan had as much power play time as Jooris had time, period. Monahan had zero shots. Jooris had four.

Dougie Hamilton was really rather good

He was the first player I noticed while watching the game, and he kind of just kept popping up steadily throughout. He led all skaters with six shots on net, and tied Jooris for four scoring chances. He was jumping up into the play seamlessly and smartly, and wasn’t a defensive liability. 

At even strength, his CF was third out of Flames defencemen at 57.14% (only Deryk Engelland and Dennis Wideman had higher percentages, and they played less. Tangentially – did anyone else feel like Engelland bailed out Wideman a couple of times there?); in all situations, he led the way with 69.23%. Chalk that number up to some power play disparity, but that’s still more than Giordano, who had more time on the power play (and not enough time on the penalty kill to offset it).

Point being, Hamilton had a really good game. He’s a big part of the Flames’ future, and it’s nice to see him have good games. Hopefully by the end of this season we’ll be reflecting back on that time Hamilton was awful and laughing at how long ago those days were.

What the hell, refs

I make a general rule to not complain about officiating, simply because every single team in the history of sports has gotten screwed by calls one way or another. 

I am, however, still a sports fan, so I’m going to complain about officiating every now and then. I try to reserve my calls for egregious, game-changing oversights (i.e. times when pucks cross the line but are inexplicably ruled not a goal), and when officials either let a game get out of control, or fail to make the proper calls on dangerous plays.

The latter happened last night. Ferland’s charging call was bogus, but whatever, the officials were erring on the side of caution. I don’t like it, but I can understand it. Last night was Officials Appreciation Night at the Saddledome, I am trying to be respectful here.

But why, in that case, were they totally cool with ignoring Oliver Ekman-Larsson’s dangerous hit on Giordano – at least until Brodie took a very obvious penalty in retaliation? They had to call Brodie’s cross check. But it didn’t happen in a vacuum, so of course only then can they call Ekman-Larsson’s hit. It just took a Flame fighting for his teammate’s honour to make them do it, rather than making the call themselves, as they were more than fine doing at the start of the game.

Hits like that can be scary. And it’s not like a two minute power play would have fixed anything had things been worse for Giordano. But seriously – be better. At minimum, regarding situations that are much more dangerous, just be better.

  • MontanaMan

    Yes. The solution to the Flames problems is totally to play Jooris more… A DEPTH player that if I’m remembering correctly, made two huge mistakes in the game against Anaheim that both lead to goals against. the writing on this site sometimes, smfh.

    • That’s your opinion.
      if you read the actual thing you’d see she makes a very good case for why Jooris should have been played more.
      And why the adage of “never given always earned is nothing more than a bunch of Hartley bunk” That doesn’t really apply except for to Hartley’s favourites.

      As a good coach you adjust on any given night depending on how your players play. Yeah Jooris made a mistake or two in Anaheim. This isn’t Anaheim this is Arizona, new game, new night.. when you see his line is flying and the others are standing still you up their minutes and reduce the others that’s coaching.

      • supra steve

        I did read the actual article, and yes, in my opinion its just stupidity. Honestly, the author said that Monahan spent way too much time on the power play, and as a result, had too much ice time. So the answer to this is to play Josh Jooris more? Seriously?

        I can get behind not playing Monahan as much on the PP because he hasn’t been good and the PP hasn’t been good, but the answer is NOT to give Jooris those minutes. Jooris has 3 points on the season. THREE. He is also tied for fourth worst among Flames forwards in +/- (a garbage stat, but still rather telling). Should we look at the advanced stats as well ? Jooris Corsi Rel QoC is only better then Engelland, Raymond, and Bollig out of Flames skaters that have played 10 games or more.

        If the author had proposed perhaps playing Backlund, Frolik or even Ferland more on the powerplay, thats something I can get behind. Saying that the answer is to play Jooris more is just garbage. In my opinion, of course.

      • piscera.infada

        Just to add to my previous post, I would also have been in favour of giving Granlund some looks on the PP!

        It is honestly one of the most frustrating things to see Granlund and other offensive prospects be called up, barely played and played with fourth line PLUGS, and then just sent back down. Seriously. So. Frustrating. I can’t imagine how Granlund must feel.

        Like come on Hartley! He has been the leading scorer on the farm team for the last number of years, he clearly has offensive skill, the PP is worst in the league, give the man a shot on the PP!

        OR, here is just a stunning idea, if your not going to try him on the PP, then maybe try him on the PK!?! He is great on the PK in stockton AS EVIDENCED by the interview with BT on the Fan yesterday! And yet Granlund will continue to play south of 10 minutes a night cause I guess the Jack Adams winner knows best….

        smfh.

    • calgaryfan

      It is time for a new coach. Hartley has his favorites and then the rest of the team. Some never get a chance to prove themselves and others just keep getting ice time no matter how they are playing. So much for always earned. They are terrible in their own zone and yet they keep playing the same system, does the coach not know how to make adjustments? They will continue losing until the defensive zone is cleaned up and that means all five players on the ice doing their part.

    • by your logic russell/wideman would never play a game again in the NHL…
      They always screw up, lose their man, blow leads but ok sure lets be mad at the suggestion that when a player is playing well they get played more.

      Ari is and excellent writer and actually may be one of the best on this website so again I have no idea what you are thinking but it’s wrong.

      • Well I mean if I had it my way russell/wideman would never be seeing more then third line minutes and some occasional special teams work… neither are great 2nd pairing options, but thats just my opinion.

        As shown in my previous post, Jooris has not been playing well this season. He was great last season, but he just hasn’t been the same this season. And im sorry, but pointing out that he had a good corsi in 7 minutes of ice time against the Coyotes isn’t enough to convince me that he should be receiving more of Monahans minutes.

  • When you try your best to win and are unable to thats when losing can be acceptable. But at this point it feels like we’re not even close to using the lineup in a way that gives us the best chance to win every night. In fact, we’re not even using the team in a manner that is comprehensible.

    It has gone past frustrating to the point of baffling and with more of these post game recaps it really makes you wonder how Hartley could ever be considered an NHL coach, let alone the best coach in the NHL.

  • calgaryfan

    Re: monahan

    I think the solution is to give him ample playing time to the 21 year old center.He might be out shot when on the ice but to ignore what he’s done in the last two seasons is ridiculous. He has scored 30 goals who would we give more time to ….I’ll choose FN favorite Michael Backlund?

    I’m a fan of Michael Backlund but he has scored 53 career goals monahan has already surpassed him

    To simply ignore counting stats just because they’re counting stats is not telling the whole story.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    Ari, your grasp of Math seems to be in the upper echelon, however your grasp on hockey is negligible, sorry. I know your story and all, but other than Kent, Christian and Mike, every article on here relies on numbers to make any points, and while we always hear people spouting off about sample sizes and how the numbers are all about “the season”, we still have experts like Tom O spout off Corsi numbers at the end the first period last night. And then you write drivel like this article which sounds like something most whiney teenage girls would say about the team they love, interspersed with some fancy stats and Math to back up their irrational rant.

    To quote you… “That’s inexcusable”

    We are not a good team yet, but we ARE heading in that direction. You as a fan should be happy about that, and I hope you understand that we have no business making the playoffs and that our young players will have growing pains and that the veterans mostly suck but mostly won’t be here when we are finally good.
    You don’t need “numbers” to see that!

    ———FN MODERATOR: Persoanal attacks are not tolerated. If you continue this behavior your comments will be deleted.

    • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

      It’s not a personal attack, but the very definition of free speech to voice my opinion the same as the author. If you don’t want criticism of what you write, then don’t invite comments.

      • MontanaMan

        The writers on FN are providing their personal opinions and like everyone posting, we don’t agree with many of the articles. I quite often wonder if any of these writers have ever played or coached hockey at a high level because their understanding of the game (outside of statistics) is minimal at best. It would be nice to have one writer on here to give a hockey perspective, not a statistics or a blogger, but someone who has actually played the game and understands the nuances of hockey.

        • piscera.infada

          I quite often wonder if any of these writers have ever played or coached hockey at a high level because their understanding of the game (outside of statistics) is minimal at best.

          Seriously. Have you played or coached at a relatively high level? I’m honestly not trying to be condescending here, but I have played at a relatively high level, and I do coach. I wouldn’t say that the people who often make these claims are particularly enlightened nor are their claims particularly nuanced.

          The argument that you have to have played the game at a high level in order to understand it (or criticize players, coaches, systems, etc.) is lazy at best.

          • MontanaMan

            Yes I have played Junior and coached at a high level. The statement wasn’t directed at those commenting as much as it was to the writers of these articles. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the site and the writers but sometimes I really wonder if they’ve ever played the game. And yes, that does count for something.

        • The Last Big Bear

          I’ve played hockey at a pretty high level (semi-pro in Europe), and done a reasonable amount of coaching. Seriously, we’re talking about Canadian hockey fans here. I’d bet 1/4 of the posters here played at least juniors. And a lot of us think the writers here are spot-on a lot of the time

          I just wish to Christ they’d stop using the word the word “luck”.

          For a game that has so much luck involved, it’s kind of amazing how often they manage to miss the mark with that one.

  • supra steve

    Ari, Kent, whoever…story idea?

    For years we have heard calls for a development system that more closely resembled Detroit’s. Are we actually approaching that type of system now? Is that why Bollig and Ramo play NHL minutes while Granlund and Ortio seem perpetually stuck as tweeners? Ripening kids in the AHL to the point where they are almost over-ripe sounded good a few years ago, do we as fans actually have the patience to wait for it to happen? Is it still a good development model to emulate? Is that what BT is trying to do?

    Just a thought.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I go back to Brian Burke’s original comments about the strategic direction of the team that includes a “bigger/heavier” team. At this point of the rebuild I would like to see more progress in this area…the smaller skilled players like Gaudreau, Granlund etc will have more room if we become bigger in our bottom six. That includes playing Ferland on the top line.
    To date teams are taking full advantage of our skilled smaller players and the Flames need to counter this with size. If Jooris wants to remain on this team he must be worthy of a top 6 position or he moves on.

    Soon as Flames team management declares the playoffs are no longer achievable then it’s time to start clearing bad contracts including buyouts this summer for Smid and Raymond. The focus from Christmas on should be player development, clearing cap space, securing draft choices and prepare for 2016/17 season.

    • supra steve

      Some functional big guys may be developing. Hunter got a goal and an assist last night in Stockton. He is a ways away yet though. Would be nice to have Bouma healthy too.

  • Hartley’s biggest flaw as a coach is his aversion to risk taking. This is kind of backwards when you consider his line blender and the style of play he endorses. But those are both things that he feels safe doing.

    I would love to see Hartley take a risk and play Jones and Frolik on the powerplay or move Wideman to forward or give Jooris 20 minutes when he’s playing well.

    The biggest thing I’d like to see is Bob get engaged. The only thing that will turn this season around is a shift in mentality and team dynamic. Bob will never accomplish that shift without taking a risk.

    BTW i suggested Wideman to forward as a bit of a laugh but is it really that crazy? RHS, RW with offensive instincts?

    • calgaryfan

      Excellent Post! My suggestion earlier was to fire the coach but he has a three year contract so that isn’t going to happen yet. Hartley has to change something or he will be gone eventually. Treliving watches every game and sees the team making the same mistakes over and over including the coach. The GM brings up players, the coach sits them in the press box or on the bench, never putting them in a position to succeed. It must be frustrating for the players. It is not fun to watch as a fan. They are in rebuild mode not winning the cup mode, the coach should be teaching and trying new things.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    I thought Smith was really good and kinda stole that game for the cyotes.

    Didn’t think Monahan played that bad. You show some of his stats and it doesn’t sound like he played well, but I actually thought he was ok last night.

    Doug Hamilton was looking dangerous all night. Elleite Friedman was saying that Hamilton tends to read what media is saying about him. So media start writing some good stuff to give him some confidence will ya and tone down on the negative for a little while.

    Jooris is not the solution. Bennett should be rewarded more minutes.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I didn’t think this game was that bad.

    This is the level of play the Flames have. They are better than the Glendale Coyotes, but not by enough to overcome some bad bounces (in this case, bounces where they didn’t finish their scoring chances). That’s not a great team, but neither is it a team who should be behind everyone in the league except the Oilers.

    The PP has been really bad. The PK has been really bad. Now that the Flames’ goaltending is back to “only-slightly-below-average”, special teams is the biggest issue with the team right now.

    I think playing Monahan through his slump is probably the right thing to do. Unless he’s injured, the best option is to throw him right back on the ice every chance you get. A few goals can turn someone’s attitude right around.

    I still hear people say “What if Dougie Hamilton turns into another Jay Bouwmeester?”. Man, I’ll be sooo disappointed if Hamilton becomes a two-time Canadian Olympian, Olympic gold medalist, top-pairing NHLer, league iron man, and multiple time All-Star, on the way to a 1000+ game and 400-500 point career. God, wouldn’t that be TERRIBLE?

    It’s very uncommon for me to complain about officiating in a game (especially now that “playing against the Red Wings” is no longer an automatic 2 minute minor). But man, there were a lot of bad calls last night.

    My favorite play of the night was Giordano’s goal, and his play leading up to it, which shows why he’s the captain. He had possession on the half boards, and was waiting for somebody to get in the low slot. Anybody. Waiting. Waiting. Need somebody in front of the net. Nobody is doing it. Still waiting. Finally, he just gives the puck to the low forward, and goes to the low slot his own damn self. That’s why there’s a defenceman standing at the opposition goalmouth cleaning up the garbage. Because the captain identified a job that needed to be done, recognized that nobody else was going to do it, and so he did it himself.

    Of course, if that play had gone wrong, people would talk about Giordano’s struggling play and poor decision making, rather than an absolute garbage PP that forces the captain to do other people’s jobs for them.

    But that’s why Giordano is the captain. Not because he’s the best player on the team (he didn’t even become the best player until after he was named captain). But because of exactly that willingness to do whatever needs to be done to help the team win.

  • TurkeyLips

    Bunch of butthurt teenagers up in here. Get in line boys and stop with the rabid, mouth-foaming, soap box level, bill-of-rights referencing speeches. Fucking muppets.

    The title was a bit clickbaity I will admit.

    • piscera.infada

      I think what Ari was getting at with the officiating was not that it cost the Flames the game in anyway. She’s saying that if you’re going to put an impetus on protecting players, the fact that the OEL hit went uncalled until there was subsequent retaliation is a little bit concerning. That’s all.

      • TurkeyLips

        Bringing the officiating into every Flames loss commonplace here but…

        My comment is directed more at The Last Big Bear writing this:

        It’s very uncommon for me to complain about officiating in a game (especially now that “playing against the Red Wings” is no longer an automatic 2 minute minor). But man, there were a lot of bad calls last night.

        A dig at the Red Wings is difficult to understand.

        • The Last Big Bear

          I used to complain about NHL officiating a lot, because I feel the Red Wings used to routinely receive preferential treatment from the officials, particularly Nik Lidstrom (and I say this as someone who openly cheered for the Wings at the time).

          This is no longer the case, and so I no longer complain about officiating very often.

          But last night was an exception, because there was a notable number of very bad calls.

          It didn’t determine the outcome of the game, but that’s not the point. There were a lot of bad call regardless. Not necessarily biased, just bad.