Post-Game: Flames Torch Avalanche

How many times have we seen the Calgary Flames “play down” to their opposition and make life more difficult for themselves? Tonight, the Flames out-played the Colorado Avalanche – a non-playoff team in the Central Division – thoroughly for two periods and then solidly for the final frame en route to a rarity: a 4-0 road shutout victory.

It’s the team’s first shutout of the season and a game that the team won despite Johnny Gaudreau not showing up anywhere on the scoresheet. Jarome Iginla remains at 599 career goals, while the Flames are back at .500.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames were buzzing around a lot in the first period, generating chances but not getting rewarded early – they got chances at the center of the ice, but they kept the Avalanche largely to the outside. They finally broke through on the power-play. With Micheal Ferland out front, the Flames iniital shock careened off some ankles and went wide…right to Dougie Hamilton, who buried the eventual game-winner to make it 1-0. Shots were 12-10 for Colorado, while attempts were 19-18 for Calgary.

Calgary broke the game open in the second by doing what they did in the first: going to the net and redirecting pucks. Josh Jooris tipped in a Mark Giordano point-shot mid-way through the period to make it 2-0. Matt Stajan tipped in a Dennis Wideman shot from the high slot a few minutes later to make it 3-0. Mikael Backlund buried a really nice feed from Ferland a few minutes after that to make it 4-0. The fourth goal chased Semyon Varlamov and brought back-up Calvin Pickard into the game. Shots were 13-12 Colorado (largely from the outside) and attempts were 24-17 for them as well.

The third period was supression hockey by the visitors. You’d expect Colorado to push back due to score effect. You would be wrong, as the Flames out-shot Colorado 12-1 and out-attempted them 22-8. The Avalanche had a couple decent chances but the Flames largely minimized them and coasted to victory.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Wideman 51.11% 83.33%
Smid 53.85% 75%
Hudler 33.33% 75%
Granlund 56.52% 75%
Bennett 51.61% 69.23%
Gaudreau 64.86% 53.85%
Hamilton 60% 53.85%
Colborne 60% 50%
Backlund 60.98% 46.67%
Ferland 80% 46.67%
Russell 29.03% 40%
Giordano 65.85% 35%
Brodie 58.14% 29.41%
Jones 47.62% 25%
Monahan 52.38% 25%
Jooris 42.86% 16.67%
Bouma 34.78% 0%
Stajan 41.67% 0%

WHY THE FLAMES WON

The Flames played probably their best structural defensive game of the season. They never really got hemmed into their own end, and they did their best to minimize high-danger scoring chances. Outside of a single sequence where Wideman and Russell stared in awe at Iginla’s stick-handling, the Flames were never really in big trouble.

Oh, and despite Johnny Gaudreau not scoring at all, they won because they got an explosion of secondary scoring. And a power-play goal. Either of those occurrences would’ve been noteworthy, but both in one game is like seeing a unicorn these days.

RED WARRIOR

Josh Jooris! The winger finally slotted back into the line-up and was a huge factor, scoring a goal and setting up another one in 13:54, and he also won 80% of his face-offs.

Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland were also really good tonight. Hamilton was active in the rush all night long, while Ferland created havoc on the Flames power-play out front of the Colorado net.

UP NEXT

The Flames return home and begin a four-game home-stand on Tuesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • everton fc

    Jooris has to stay in the lineup. That 4th line looks good. Ferland needs to keep getting the minutes he’s getting. His time will come.

    Great win, after the loss to the Kings. And wight he Avs actually in front of us in the standings, possibly a very important win, down the road.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    I love this team, but we are still in dire need of top 6 players.

    We need to take a chance on a Drouin or Evander Cane trade etc. We are simply not bad enough to get top 3 picks to fill this need.

    BT needs to work his magic and not give up too much…

    WW

    • piscera.infada

      I agree with you (minus Johansen). But what are you willing to give up in said package?

      It would start with a first this year, then probably Kylington/Andersson, then…

      **Edit: Don’t get the trashes (and normally I’m not one who cares) but is it that people feel this team doesn’t need to upgrade their top-6 wingers, or that people feel that a trade to acquire said “needed piece” wouldn’t require that kind of investment?

      • The GREAT Walter White

        We can’t give up our first rounder again this year, unless it’s a home run.

        Yes; We will need to give up some good pieces. Hopefully not essential pieces….

        WW

      • piscera.infada

        I didn’t trash you but I hate it when people start throwing out hypothetical price tags without specifying the target. Is it Drouin or Kane or ….

        Different players, ages, salaries, team needs etc all effect the asking price.

        Regardless I’d be SHOCKED If Treliving traded his first again this year. Never say never but I think after trading those early picks last year, he wants to stock up.

        • piscera.infada

          Don’t disagree at all. I said (perhaps it was on a earlier thread) that Treliving wont give up another first–he did it last year, because that deal was sweet for an NHL GM.

          But my basic point stands, Drouin (Kane, Johansen, Hamonic) will not be had for Hudler, Russell, Jones, Wideman, or in other words, the trade-able “assets” the Flames currently have at their disposal. It would come a lot easier if you’re willing to trade a player of legitimate value.

          Imagine if Monahan wanted out, what would it take?

          • piscera.infada

            Agreed… Although I think those tradable assets could be part of the package if one of those pieces solved an issue for a team. IE depth on D or a veteran winger etc.

            Oddly enough I wouldn’t be heart broken if we traded Monahan.

          • piscera.infada

            ** Sorry, the original comment posted here was not me, but someone who has access to my computer, I apologize. Regardless, my point stands.

            Even if you are an “anti-Monahan-er”, what would you expect in trade? It would have to be an absolute heist, no? At the very least, a high-ceiling, young, centre. Which again, is nearly impossible to acquire–let alone one who scores goals.

            Look, I get Monahan isn’t an “elite first line centre” at this particular juncture, and he’s probably not even a de jure (in a matter of speaking) first line centre, but quite simply, I don’t understand the “trade Monahan” folk. They’re quite simply, just as unreasonable as the “Monahan is Toews” folk.

            Monahan is not a player you give up on, he just isn’t. Perhaps his “two-way game” never matures to a point where he’s the player everyone thought he could be at the draft, but at the very least, he’s a 20-25 goal, 50-60 point, second-line centre; which is a near requisite on a contending team.

          • Kevin R

            Don’t know what the ask price is but I would love to see BT gun after Drouin. Wonder if he could be the missing piece for Bennett.
            The price would be horrible & I doubt Backlund/Russell & a lottery protected 1st would entice Tampa. Backlund & Russell would be interesting pieces to shake up the Lightning of which they need something or they could miss the playoffs. A lot of teams would want Drouin.

          • Willi P

            Drouin’s agent just came out publicly and announced that they had asked for a trade in November. Sounds a little like the Sven situation to me. I don’t think he plays for Tampa again. The price tag just went down, likely considerably.

          • Kevin R

            A lot of teams would line up for this kid. Would Russell, Porrier or Klimchuk & our choice of 2016 or 2017 1st get the deal done? I really could sees kid with the pedigree of Drouin matching up well with Bennett. A move that to me would be as significant as the Hamilton deal. I could see BT looking at this.

          • Willi P

            Without knowing the kid, one has to wonder if there is an attitude/work ethic problem. I think it is a boom or bust type deal. If you are parting with a first rounder, why not broaden the scope of the trade. Try and get Bishop plus another piece as Tampa has cap problems. Maybe Backlund, Russell, goalie, prospect(s) and a first going the other way? Likely other teams would offer more and the Flames may be better off letting them.

          • KiLLKiND

            Personally I think don’t want to give up on our prospects yet and I don’t think we can make any trade that will give us a better chance at winning long term when it comes to looking for a top line RW which is what we are really missing.

            Gaudreau, Monahan, and Bennett look to be our top end forwards in the future. One slight problem is none of them play RW. Bennett looks to be better than Monahan as well…. could he be odd man out for a legit top tier RW? I don’t think it will happen.

            I have mentioned this before what happens if we convert Kylington to RW? He is amazing at creating offence! I think he simply got pigeon-holed into playing D when he is really a winger.Seeing him fly down the side then look completely lost in the defensive zone. I don’t see him being able to develop his defensive game enough kinda like Schultz. I think everybody agrees we don’t want a Schultz. We have Kulak, Culkin, Wotherspoon and Nakldal looking like they could be playing in a higher league if say Russell doesn’t sign. The we have Andersson, and Hickey the following year.

            Potentially something like this in 2 years.

            Gaudreau – Bennett – Kylington
            Ferland – Monahan – Frolik
            Backlund – Granlund – Poirier
            Bouma – Jooris – Colborne

            Brodie – Hamilton
            Giordano – Nakldal
            Kulak – Andersson

            Fuck yeah Kyligton legally changes his name to Killington cause he is lighting the league up. Think about it, those 3 together on a line would be amazing. Kylington blows by the D dishes to Bennett and Gaudreau finishes.

            I don’t see Burke giving up on Colborne. He was actually supposed to be a significant piece of the Kessell trade, then Burke traded for him again. If he improves great but on a 4th line could do above average.

            I think they should target a 2nd pairing right deference as once Wideman’s, Smid’s, and Engelland’s contract are off the books we are looking pretty weak on D outside of those 3 and technically Kyligton but I just don’t think he is good at defence.

            I was also trying to not project any FA signings or trades as the cap as finally begun on it’s real influence and I’m not sure who they would target.

            Sorry for how long that was but would like to hear some thoughts on Kylgton on RW.

  • Colorado Flames

    I was at the game. Was hoping to see Iggy score his 600 but when his teammates are in the box half the night it makes it a little difficult. I took my 5 year old daughter to her first Flames game. She had a sign to hold up maybe she was on Hockey Night in Canada? I couldn’t record the game as it was blacked out in my area. Hudler was a gentleman as always tossing pucks to the kids. Sorry to hear he left the game with an injury. I was also happy to see the bottom six contribute big offensively.

    I’ve commented in the past on how Avs fans are so clueless when it comes to the game but this one might take the cake. The guy in front of me asked me “So who on your team needs one more for 600?” I told him he was #12 on the Avalanche. He said “No he plays for Calgary!” I also heard someone call him Miginla. Unbelievable this city has one of the greatest players to ever play the game and one of the ambassadors playing for them and they have no idea! I see and hear stuff like this all the time. Good luck on getting 600 Jarome!

    • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

      Yes, Ramo has been outstanding lately; since goalie coach suggested he play back in the net.

      Complement by HNIC panel guy Kelly Hrudy post-game saying he is looking more like Kipper in gthe nets with his acrobatic style. Certainly more fun watching than a 6’5″ guy stand there in front of pucks.

      Sign this guy to an extension soon!

      Hiller has become the guy who is the permanent fixture on the bench like Roman Turek after the arrival of Kipper!

  • hulkingloooooob

    In 2016/17 you keep and play Smid alongside Hamilton.
    Buy out Engelland …. Replace him with Wotherspoon or Kullak
    Trade Wideman for whatever and replace him with someone from Stockton or a F/A this summer. Ramo needs to be re-signed and send a body to Toronto for Bernier. He is a good goalie in a tough media market and they are just squeezing the life out of him there.
    Jones and Hudler to NJ for 2nd rounders this year.
    Use the rest of your tradable players to pick up quality NHL forwards.
    You can also bring up one or two from Stockton that are ready. Lots of options, just start making the moves.

  • Flames Fan in Edmonchuck

    On the subject of a top six winger, I say sign Okposo in the off season… we need to clear some junk salary, that is what BT should be focusing on… we need to get rid of at least Raymond/Wiedeman/Smid or both Engelland and Bollig…. very very tough stuff

  • RedMan

    a win is a win, but in this case, I am not sure whether the Flames won this game, or if the Avs lost the game. seems to me it’s hard to tell how well the Flames played because the Avs played so poorly.

    • MontanaMan

      Sometimes better teams make the opposition look bad like the Flames did to the Avs tonight. And like the Ducks and Kings did to the Flames earlier in the week.

  • Derzie

    I like the stats info in these wrap ups. I focus on the difference between CorsiFor – OZOne Starts. Top 5 by that measure were Stajan, Bouma, Ferland, Gio, Brodie. Bottom 5 are Hudler, Wideman, Smid, Granlund, Bennett. Sam needs some linemates and time. He’s getting lots of love because he skates well, tries hard and people love their hits but he’s underwater a lot.