Post-Game: Wild Boys

Well, that sure was something, eh?

The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins took to the ice at the Scotiabank Saddledome this evening and played a rollicking, entertaining, end-to-end 63 minutes of ice hockey. At the end, the Flames skated away with a 5-4 overtime win.

What did we learn tonight? Well, the Flames may be incapable of winning a game in regulation…and that Johnny Gaudreau is a pretty excellent hockey player.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames got off to an uncharacteristically good start, scoring 33 seconds into the game. Basically, Zdeno Chara tried the patented “Todd Bertuzzi no-look pass at your own blueline,” giving David Jones the puck. Jones dished it to Johnny Gaudreau for a tap-in and a 1-0 lead. Shortly after an unsuccessful Flames power-play – is there another kind? – the Flames responded. After failing to gain the offensive zone up 5-on-4, Gaudreau calmly skated into the offensive end, passed it to T.J. Brodie, who passed it to Mark GIordano for a wrister past Jonas Gustavsson and a 2-0 lead. However, the Bruins responded before the period expired, with Matt Beleskey tipping in a Zdeno Chara point shot (with lots of traffic out front) to make it 2-1. Shots were 15-9 Boston and shot attempts were 21-16 Boston.

The middle frame was WILD. And by wild I mean there were three goals in 46 seconds.

  • Brad Marchand scored off a nice feed from Brett Connolly, on a rush created when Joe Colborne over-skated the puck just inside the Bruins blueline to create an odd-man rush the other way.
  • 20 seconds later, Johnny Gaudreau scored by calmly tucking the puck behind a sprawling Gustavsson. That chance was created when the Bruins went for the rim-around the end boards rather than chipping the puck out of their zone. The Flames kicked the puck around beneath the red line before Gaudreau got it out front. This was the last shot Gustavsson faced, as he was replaced by Tuukka Rask.
  • 26 seconds after that goal, Zdeno Chara lasered a shot through a lot of traffic past Karri Ramo.

Beyond that, the period was very end-to-end, and was high on entertainment value. The Flames even survived a Bruins power-play. Shots were 12-7 Calgary, and they also held a slight 24-23 shot attempt edge.

The game remained end to end in the third, but there were fewer golden chances as both sides played like they realized they were tied after two – the Bruins, in particular, were good at keeping the Flames to the outside for the most part. The Flames were gifted a chance to win late as Zdeno Chara was sent to the box for delay of game (puck over glass), but the Bruins scored – because Calgary’s power-play is that bad – as Dougie Hamilton got blown past by Brad Marchand to generate a Bruins penalty shot. Marchand beat Ramo five-hole to ice the game. Well, actually he didn’t, because the Flames pulled Ramo and kept pressing, and Jiri Hudler scored with 1.2 seconds left on a wild goal-mouth scramble to make it 4-4 and send it to overtime. Shots were 13-11 Calgary, and shot attempts were 27-16 Calgary/

In overtime, it continued to go back and forth before Dougie Hamilton sprung Johnny Gaudreau with a great pass for the winger’s third goal of the game and the game-winner to ice it at 5-4. Shots in OT were 5-2 for Boston and attempts were 5-4 for Boston, but it was all for naught.

THE NUMBERS

(All situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Gaudreau 60.34% 58.82%
Hudler 64.44% 58.33%
Giordano 46.15% 56.25%
Brodie 44.44% 56.25%
Bennett 61.29% 55.56%
Ferland 31.03% 50%
Stajan 43.48% 50%
Monahan 53.70% 45.45%
Colborne 52.78% 42.86%
Hamilton 59.26% 42.86%
Wideman 55.38% 40%
Granlund 71.43% 33.33%
Backlund 36% 25%
Smid 59.09% 0%
Jones 66.67% 0%
Raymond 50% 0%
Engelland 56.52% 0%
Frolik 56.25% 0%

WHY THE FLAMES WON

Let’s be honest here: all the excuses were lined up for the Flames tonight. They were playing a good team, were without Kris Russell and lost David Jones early. But they didn’t really seem to deflate in this game the way we’ve seen them deflate in the past.

They were pretty good at even-strength, being narrowly out-shot 34-32 on the whole, and they didn’t let their special teams struggles derail them.

Oh, and Johnny Gaudreau was a huge catalyst for his team, even with Boston throwing their top defenders and shut-down line at him.

RED WARRIOR

Johnny Gaudreau! Four-point night (including a hat trick), on the ice for all five of Calgary’s goals, and generally a huge difference-maker all night long.

Also good tonight: Markus Granlund, Sam Bennett, Micheal Ferland, T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano.

Dougie Hamilton? He wasn’t great, but he wasn’t awful either. He was fine, but I’m sure he’s very happy to have gotten this game over with.

UP NEXT

The Flames (10-14-2) have a couple days to rest up before they’re back in action on Tuesday night with a chance for revenge against the San Jose Sharks.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    Just imagine what this teams offence would be like if we had not drafted Gaudreau in the 4th round…!!!!!!!

    But then again; imagine if we had actually drafted any top 6 forwards with our mid first round picks over the last 5 years instead of DUDS (Backlund, Baerchi, Jankowski, Poirier, Klimchuck)

    I guess it evens out in the end……..kind of.

    WW

  • MontanaMan

    Even strength Corsi breakdown tonight:

    Player__	CF	CA	CF%	OZS%
    
    Granlund	20	8	71.4	33.3
    Smid____	13	6	68.4	0
    Jones___	2	1	66.7	0
    Frolik__	18	11	62.1	0
    Bennett_	16	10	61.5	20.0
    Hudler__	22	14	61.1	60.0
    Hamilton	29	20	59.2	46.2
    Gaudreau	28	20	58.3	41.7
    Engelland	13	10	56.5	0
    Wideman_	31	24	56.4	42.9
    Monahan_	22	20	52.4	33.3
    Colborne	14	16	46.7	50.0
    Raymond_	7	9	43.8	0
    Ferland_	10	13	43.5	50.0
    Brodie__	19	26	42.2	44.4
    Giordano	17	24	41.5	44.4
    Backlund	9	14	39.1	33.3
    Stajan__	9	17	34.6	60.0
    
    
        • MontanaMan

          I’d trade him. He has some value, although a lot less than Flame fans think, and can be easily replaced. He gets knocked off the puck easily, has no scoring touch and doesn’t have the confidence from the coaching staff (or me). Move him on, give him a new lease on life and give one of the kids his spot.

          • Burnward

            Agreed.

            But while he’s here I would prefer him off the dot and out of a scoring role.

            He thinks the game very well and skates well too. Just kills offense a lot of the time.

            Granlund grew up playing with an elite playmaker every day. Finds the quiet spots and can snipe. Really love this kid’s game.

          • MontanaMan

            Agree but at some point the team will need to put Granlund in a position to succeed, and to do that, it will reduce Backlund’s role which in turn, reduces his trade value. So the answer may be to assess your talent and if Granlund can grow into Backlund’s role, move Backlund while he still has value and hand the keys to Granlund. But, Burke’s trade freeze will take place any day.

  • RKD

    The players know how crucial this home stand is, if they were to do poorly here that would be their season in a lot of ways. They’ve shown a lot of fire and energy, they are playing with a level of urgency and desperation we hoped to see back in October. Still a lot of parts of their game need to be cleaned up but if they play with a lot of passion, heart and desire yes the things that cannot be measure they have a good shot against the Sharks. They aren’t going away quietly which is good, the last thing people want to see is the Flames give up. They are not quitters. Johnny hockey really is excellent, the muscle he flexed tonight was just fantastic. He’s so dynamic and crafty out there, he’s scary good.

  • cgyokgn

    What a crazy, exciting game… wish I could have seen it! These last two games, it feels like the come-back kids from last year. Kudos to the team for not giving up and getting the game to OT and what a game for Johnny!

  • Mullen7

    I only was able to watch the third but Hudler really seemed to lack confidence with the puck. He held it too long, passed when he should have shot and generally made poor decisions – particularly in the last five minutes. Hopefully that clutch tap in goal will begin to restore some confidence for him.

  • cgyokgn

    Notable: Granlund was 4 for 8 (50%) on faceoffs tonight. That’s good for third on the Flames behind Colborne with 3 for 5 (60%) and Monahan with 16 for 28 (57%).

  • cgyokgn

    In AHL news tonight…Stockton outshot San Jose 46-18 and LOST 5-3!!!

    Ortio absolutely stunk up the joint by all accounts while Aaron Dell, San Jose’s goalie stole two points and stood on his head

  • cgyokgn

    I went onto Boston Globe to see what they were saying and was reminded that the last time Boston played in Calgary, the Flames won in OT with 2.4 seconds remaining. I think it was a T.J. Brodie shot that somehow went in the net. So we seem to have a habit of scoring against the Bruins with seconds remaining.

  • OKG

    Holy crap was the Smid-Engelland pairing effective for once. They passed my eye-test too, doing a great job skating the puck out of the defensive zone and holding down the blue line.

  • OKG

    Take the injury period out, Smid TBH, isn’t a bad 6/7 defender. Engellend as well.

    It’s Kris Russel who is a train-wreck. He not only sinks his pair, he disrupts the whole 6. I wouldn’t re sign him for 1.5mil.

    Our 4/5 defensive spots are what nightmares are made of.

    • Rock

      Would of been a different story if Hudler hadn’t bailed us out. A 5-4 game is a defensive master piece I guess.
      What kid took Russell’s spot that Hartley can trust more?

      • cberg

        Absolutely, the 2 points make a huge difference.

        During the game I thought overall the team played pretty well, but was sure wishing for a couple of stops more than once. I get it with the traffic in front, but a couple of the Boston goals were brutal. Having said that, once the game settled down at 3-3, and Rask came in for Boston, the goaltending on both sides was pretty stellar with some great saves on both sides.

        Man, the game reminded me of the old Grant Fuhr days when things would change part-way through the game and getting that last goal was next to impossible.

      • MontanaMan

        You totally read more into that than I intended. I just meant that it goes to show it wouldn’t be a total train wreck if we traded him at the deadline, or if we started spreading the minutes around a bit more, or brought up Kulak, Morrison, Hickey or Anderson. Just become less reliant on the vets in general.

  • SydScout

    Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for living up to…nay exceeding, all expectations!

    18 hour stopover, ironically en route to Boston, and it couldn’t have been better. You folks are ace.

    And the Flames…keep at it!!