Post-Game: Wings Flatten Flames 4-2

After Saturday afternoon’s disappointing loss against St. Louis, the Calgary Flames hoped for a more consistent effort (and two points) tonight in Detroit. Unfortunately, their trip to the Motor City turned into a nightmare in the second period as the Flames gave up three goals in succession after opening the scoring and never really got back into it.

The result? A 4-2 setback to the Red Wings, ending their four-game road trip at two wins and two losses and seemingly halting the momentum they’d built up over the preceding seven games.

THE RUNDOWN

Nobody scored in the first period, though the Red Wings really pushed hard early and the Flames had to battle back. Overall, the Flames led in shots 15-13 and shot attempts were 20-20 apiece. Unfortunately, this does reflect that the game was a bit of a track meet in that period.

Plan the parade, because the Flames actually scored a power-play goal. A couple minutes into the second, Dennis Wideman scored his first of the season – I don’t think he’s matching last season’s output, gang – and that made it 1-0. It’s at this point that the Red Wings probably went “We’re losing to Calgary?” and turned it up. Also at this point: the Flames became a bit of a clown show in their own end. As a result? Dylan Larkin and Brad Richards scored 45 seconds apart. The Flames pushed back a bit afterwards, but they also gave up another goal late in the period to Gustav Nyquist – late-period goals are their thing this season – and they trailed 3-1 after two periods. Shots were 14-5 Detroit and attempts were 19-8 for the Wings. Yes, the period was generally that lopsided.

The Red Wings defended fairly intelligently in the third, and the Flames got scrambly to try to get back into it. Dougie Hamilton scored late but Justin Abdelkader scored into an empty net to ice it. Shots were even at 8-8, while the Flames had a 21-13 attempts edge.

THE NUMBERS

(All situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Gaudreau 71.43% 87.5%
Hudler 65.71% 86.67%
Wideman 43.9% 83.33%
Bennett 31.25% 83.33%
Granlund 25% 80%
Backlund 50% 77.78%
Raymond 39.29% 75%
Monahan 50% 75%
Smid 40% 66.67%
Jooris 15.38% 66.67%
Jones 25% 66.67%
Russell 20% 62.5%
Brodie 57.5% 62.5%
Hamilton 57.14% 60%
Giordano 66.67% 55%
Ferland 68.18% 37.5%
Colborne 50% 0%
Stajan 66.67% 0%

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

The good news? Their power-play managed to score.

The bad news? Their even-strength defensive-zone play suffered, particularly in the third period, and they were unable to respond really to Detroit’s second period goals. They’re a streaky team, really, and they’ve had stretches this year where they’re like a panicky surgeon – the patient bleeds out before they really figure out what’s going on and by that point the patient’s stable, but they’re also dead.

But hey, they won the special teams battle so…silver lining?

RED WARRIOR

Let’s go with Mark Giordano. His possession game was strong and defensively he bounced back from a really sub-par game yesterday in St. Louis. And he played nearly 24 minutes in the team’s second game in 30 hours.

UP NEXT

With their road trip behind them – their final one of 2015 – the Flames return home for their final contest before the holiday break: a Tuesday match-up with the Winnipeg Jets!

      • The Last Big Bear

        Just to clarify:

        The Jack Adams award is given to the coach of the worst team to make the playoffs.

        It is no more an indicator of the best coach in the NHL than the Norris Trophy is an indicator of the best defenceman.

  • RKD

    Bad second period for the Flames, too many turnovers. Outside the Wideman ppg, they need to be better with specials teams and pk. Joe Colborne was brutal and Sam Bennett is underutilized. Five seconds on the pp for Bennett, what a joke. Bennett should have way more ice time, instead he is given 10 minutes like Jooris and Stajan, this is crazy!

  • Canrock 78

    .500 road trip against good teams, not to bad. Still leaves us in no mans land between moving assets for picks or prospects or keeping the group together to make a run for a playoff spot.

    • Canrock 78

      If we are not 10 points up on a playoff spot at the deadline. Sell, sell, sell. Sick of this keep guys hanging around in contract years and not getting anything for them.

      • Canrock 78

        I agree on the free agents, were not deep enough to throw away assets. I personally don’t agree with tanking.

        Detroit’s model of bringing the kids along slowly has proven to be much more affective than trial by fire, you know where. I’m glad I’m not the GM.

      • supra steve

        You’re “sick of keeping guys hanging around in contract years and not getting anything for them.”

        I agree with cashing in on Hudler/Jones at TDL. But, other than getting stuck with Cammi two seasons ago, not sure what the heck you’re referring to. That same TDL they DID move Stempniak and Berra. They moved Glencross for a king’s ransom last season, and still won a playoff round. Moved Iggy/Comeau before they walked in the summer of ’13. Yes, someone gave up an asset to get Comeau!

        Not moving Cammi because no one would pay a FAIR price was unfortunate, but understandable. Other than that, what the heck are you referring to?

  • KiLLKiND

    I know it’ completely off topic but the chat thread on the appropriate pages is dead.

    Johnny Gaudreau’s contract (could be applied to anyone’s contract) the Flames are a cap team in the years to come and with contracts being based off of AAV the Flames could front load a contract to lower the cap hit while the player still gets paid and extra money up front is essentially interest. The team pays cash to lower the cap hit essentially. The team can afford it and could really help with cap issues moving forward. The legue may not approve of this and I’m not sure entirely the rules regarding this but this could give the team a few extra million in cap essentially if allowed.

  • Colin.S

    I remember getting so many ‘Trash it!’ on my comments whenever I would mention trading Colborne in the offseason. The way Colborne is playing the Flames won’t even have to worry about losing him to waivers never mind getting a return in a trade.

    Was it really that big a surprise when Gaudreau gets paired with Monohan and Huddler with two good offensive threats on the blueline (Wideman+Brodie) that the Flames finally get a PP goal?

    Colborne is depth forward that should not leave the third or fourth line and never be on a PP or be a 6th forward again.

    • KiLLKiND

      Same thing happened to me when I said they should waive Colborne or Bollig instead of Byron…. Gonna say I was right on that one. edit in the distant future though Ikeeping Colborne could be worth it. He does have all the signs of potential and if he ever learns how to put it all together consistently instead of one shift every 8th game he could be really good.

      • supra steve

        I recommend you have a look at the Canadiens win/loss record with Byron in/out of the lineup. It does not flatter Byron.

        Canadians have 20W, 14L.

        Byron has played in 10 wins, 12 losses.

        • KiLLKiND

          edit thanks for posting and wow those don’t look good.

          I was basing my reasoning off of that him being one of our best penalty killers, and was great at getting zone entries with his speed. Our PK has been hot garbage all year and the PP has been awful at gaining the. Once we’re in they can move the puck around well enough but have tons of trouble getting in. Both of these areas would be massively improved with Byron. If possible I would like to see him come back. He would be a great 4th liner in the modern NHL.

          • supra steve

            I just went to the Canadians site, bring up roster, click Byron and look at games he’s played. Then checked results from those games. I can’t say that I blame Byron alone for this record…but in the end, it’s all about wins/losses isn’t it? If he was a goaltender, we would all be well aware of his win/loss record.

            He’s been on the ice for 50% of their wins and 85% of their losses. Ouch.

          • supra steve

            Using the same comparison for some part time Flames. Flames overall record is 15 wins, 18 losses:

            Bollig has played in 7 wins, 11 losses. Not great.

            Jooris in 7 W, 16 L. Similar to Byron’s numbers with MTL.

            Raymond in 12 W, 9 L. Not horrible.

        • flames2015

          Byron didn’t get into the line up until Habs 10th game, which kind of coincides with Carey Price injury. Is he supposed to play goal? He’s played at the most three games with Price in net.

          • supra steve

            He played 4 games with Price, 3 of them were wins. It’s fair to point that out, it’s got to affect the numbers as the Habs have lost more with Condon/Tokarski in the net–they are just a bit below .500 without Price.

            Price is a real game changer (10W, 2L). Coincidentally, one of his two losses came with Paul Byron in the lineup. 😉

          • aflame13

            Of course, Byron’s shoddy record would have nothing to do with the fact both of Montreal’s back up goalies have worse save percentages than Karri Ramo.

          • flames2015

            Habs were 9-0 in the first 9 games with Carey Price in the net. They are 11-14 since then! Byron is Plus 1 so he has not cost the Habs. They are also missing Gallager since Nov 15.. Losses more to do with Price and Gallager missing than with Byron in the lineup.

  • supra steve

    Paul Byron making a difference? You are kidding right?Paul Byron with the Flames changes nothing, except who may bea healthy scratch from game to game

  • flames2015

    I know Brodie is supposed to be beyond reproach on this site and there are many things I appreciate about his play. His ability to get the puck out of our size, his passes, his rushes, his spinning away from the forecheck.

    But it strikes me the first two goals in St. Louis yesterday and the second goal tonight were caused by his weak defensive play.

    It strikes me that Calgary is waaay too skewed to offensive D man. Its great that they score as much as they do (both goals tonight were from the D), but I wish they’d prevent more.

    It seems like many 4 offensive D and two strong stay at home would be a far better ratio. Hickey has a reputation for defensive D, but is likely three years or more away.

    I guess we’re still early in the rebuild?

    GFG!!

  • flames2015

    Going by those advanced numbers that Pike listed here, if you didn’t watch this game, you may be inclined to think that Stajan & Colborne had a good game. And if you thought that, you’d be mistaken.

    In this case, stats clearly don’t tell the whole story because they were, um, how should I say…brutal and ‘brutaller’. I think Stajan had his worst game in a long time. His defensive zone turnover was the biggest reason why the Wings got their first goal. That gave the Wings all the life they needed and they never looked back from that point on. As for Colborne, he was a massive play killer all night, and basically wrecked every single offensive play when Hartley put him on the ice in the last few minutes. And Monahan had a large number of alarmingly awful turnovers.

    Not good stuff from #23, #8, #18 and #7 tonight.

    On the bright side, Ferland despite playing alot with Stajan & Colborne was very good. And Backlund looked better and more dangerous offensively than I’ve seen from him in a while.

  • Johnny Goooooooaldreau

    Tom and Claybort, just continuing from the FGD blog:

    You are both some of the complainers on here who are always on about our zone entries and how bad we are at that. You also complain about Colborne and why is he out there on the PP etc…

    Could it be because he is probably the best at carrying the puck into the zone outside of JH?

    He is also a big body for the front of the net.

    I am not a Colborne lover, but we do need to see what he can do this year while we have the kids percolating on the farm.

    We ARE NOT a Cup contender, we are rebuilding and seeing what we have.

    My real issue with Hartley is his usage of Bennett. I really don’t understand what he is doing with him. Bennett is playing the game the right way (in all 3 zones) and still Hartley gives him nothing.

    • Tomas Oppolzer

      He is great at entering the zone, I’ll give you that… He also does the same routine with the puck every zone entry. Takes it around the boards, behind the net with a nice power move, and ends up giving it up to the other team at the half-boards or he passes it to nobody. What good his is zone-entry if he gives it up every time anyway? Colborne is useless on the PP. That being said, I also agree about Bennett. I would love to see him take Colbornes spot on the PP.

  • Toofun

    I don’t love our defensive system and the game was frustrating at times BUT if we get “goals” instead of “posts” or if they get a post instead of a goal, the Flames win that game.

  • Burnward

    8-2 over their last 10.

    .500 on the road against Dallas, Nashville, St. Lou and Detroit.

    Two points out of home ice in the first round of the playoffs.

    Pretty cake schedule for Jan-Feb.

    …It’s not all dark clouds guys!

    • The Last Big Bear

      I definitely feel better about the Flames now than I did at the end of October! An injury to TJ Brodie, a rehabbing on the fly Giordano, newbie Dougie Hamilton trying to fit into a new team, coaches, teammates, city basically put a wrench into any knid of a good start.

      The dark clouds have left the Saddledome for good.

  • The Last Big Bear

    I definitely think Monahan has been rushed.

    Other than his ability to go to the dirty areas and bang away dirty goals, there isn’t much that Monahan does at an elite level.

    If he was playing 3rd string on a good team, he’d have more flexibility to work on other aspects of his game, other responsibilities, other ways to score.

    But for his entire NHL career to date, he’s been thrown on the ice with the top unit of a team that spends most of its time trailing and looking for a big goal to tie the game. And because he’s being relied upon to score big goals, he goes to his go-to move, and charges the net looking for the dirty goal.

    But the result is that as we’ve seen, when his goal scoring dries up (which is inevitable from time to time), his game looks pretty weak for a 1st line centre. If he had been getting the Pavel Datsyuk treatment, and playing 3rd line grinder minutes, I expect he’d have a better 2-way game by now, and have more contribution to make outside of his goal scoring.

    Just my take. I find this is the kind of thing no two people ever seem to agree about. But I think Monahan would be a better player now if he was playing behind a better centreman.

    • flames2015

      I would agree, I think he may have thrived and developed better as a 2 way center had he been slotted on the second line to start.

      Looking back at the roster from 2013 though, there isn’t an ideal candidate to have played that #1 role, it’s the same centers that we have now, Backlund, Stajan,Colbourne. I couldn’t imagine any one of those playing over Monahan. Monahan put up 6 goals in his first 9 NHL games, faceoff numbers I believe were decent as well. It was an obvious choice who to put there.