Post Game: How Lucky [They] Are

Tonight was a bit of a strange game. It was a game the Flames had a fairly decent shot at winning, surrendered five goals, badly outshot the Sharks for the vast majority of the game (35-18 in total), didn’t play particularly badly, and still lost. 

Sometimes, things just don’t go your way. 

Come see what happened after the jump!

WHAT WENT DOWN

It was an exceptionally choppy first five minutes or so with neither team able to get many chances before a whistle of some sort. However, Joel Ward managed to slip in on an uncontested breakaway that Karri Ramo, who hasn’t had much success this year on breakaways, managed to turn away. Unfortunately, things didn’t improve much for the Flames from there. 

Joe Colborne, who is unequivocally terrible, barfed the puck up to Joe Thornton who essentially was given an uncontested 2-on-0 and went five-hole on Ramo. 1-0 Sharks. Even being buried on the fourth-line couldn’t save the Flames from Colborne. Here’s a look:

Despite the fact that the Flames played reasonably well after the Sharks took the lead, at the 10 minute mark of the first the Jonas Donskoi was able to re-direct a point shot on a delayed Flames penalty. That penalty was for too many men, so basically it was 6-on-6. 2-0 Sharks. Yikes. Here’s a look at that goal courtesy of @MyRegularFace who I know you all follow already. If you don’t, I will have to confiscate your twitter license: 

Just when it seemed as though the Flames might get laughed off their home ice, Johnny Gaudreau rang a shot off the crossbar and the puck found Sean Monahan in front, who scored for the first time in nine games. 2-1.

That goal had to feel nice for Monahan who had been really gripping over the past few games. Hartley’s stubborn insistence on keeping him welded to Gaudreau means that the team will depend on one or both of them to produce if the Flames will have a hope of winning in the second half of the season. 

Really a strange period for the Flames, they played pretty well: out-shooting the Sharks 12-8 and had quite a few quality scoring chances. However, the Flames found themselves losing 2-1. Particularly, Backlund was a monster in the first and caught the eye of the sentient Flamesnation bot:

To start the second, fans were treated to a scolding of Mayor Nenshi courtesy of the always sane Eric Francis. His critique amounted to yelling at Nenshi for being “close-minded.” Weigh his thoughts as you may. The misery continued for Flames fans when first period hero Backlund coughed a puck up to Logan Couture that ended up getting deflected into the net off of Joel Ward or Kris Russell or maybe neither. 3-1 Sharks. 

A little past the halfway point of the second, the Flames had an amazing opportunity to get right back into the game: a full two-minute 5on3. It was the kind of opportunity that you absolutely have to score on. The Flames did just that. Dennis Wideman buried a wrister with a little bit of traffic in front of Jones. 3-2 Sharks. Wideman’s second of the season (both on the PP). 

One heartbeat later, the Flames tied the game. Sam Bennett was the recipient of a pretty pass from Backlund off a nice stretch pass from Brodie and the Killer B’s tied the game at 3. Two goals in fifteen friggen seconds and the complexion of the game was changed. 

At the end of the second, the game was tied which was quite a spot for the Flames to be in after two separate two-goal deficits. 

However, to start the third period, the Sharks got their first power play of the game and made no mistake. Some slick passing from Thornton and Marleau found Brent Burns untouched at the backdoor. 4-3 Sharks and all the momentum that the Flames gained from the second was erased. Flames needed a kill and couldn’t get it. 

The final nail in the coffin came at the eleven minute mark when noted Flame-killer Joel Ward attempted a pass that hit Mark Giordano and beat Karri Ramo. 5-3 Sharks and the Flames were cooked. A collection of crappy bounces seemed to conspire against the Flames tonight as the Sharks had at least three of their goals find fortuitous routes into the Calgary net. 

However, the Flames got a late power-play and, remarkably, scored their third goal in four opportunities. A double-deflection off of a Dougie Hamilton shot hit Backlund’s then Ferland’s stick and the Flames were suddenly back within one. 

Unfortunately, the Flames couldn’t complete the comeback and dropped their second straight.

THE RED WARRIOR

Backlund had a good start to the game, finished the game with six shots, and made a great pass to Bennett for his goal. However, we give him a lot of praise around here so i figured we would give him a break. Micheal Ferland looked very strong tonight and was rewarded with a late-game goal.I thought Brodie looked good tonight which is consistent with him being amazing. I thought Markus Granlund had a few good scoring chances but I had to go with 18- year-old-19-year- old-Sam Bennett who scored a beauty and tied the game in the second period

God knows he’s had chances but hopefully Bennett can use this goal to springboard him onto a hot streak of some sort. The Flames are in desperate need of consistent secondary scoring. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?

The Flames lost their second-straight against a divisional opponent on home ice in a tight divisional race and fall to below .500 again. Obviously, that isn’t great. However, due to the nature of the crap-tastic Pacific division, the Flames still have essentially half a season to sink or swim. That being said, results like this one and the previous game against Arizona can be the kind of games that sting if the Flames were to be still in contention come late March. 

Things don’t get a lot easier for the Flames. Next up: The Best Team in the History of Frozen Ice: the 2015-16 Florida Panthers on Wendesday.  

  • ChinookArchYYC

    Staying positive tonight. That was a good effort and If not for Martin Jones, it’s a different result. More importantly, I sure liked Ferland as a 1st line RW. Fun to watch!

      • FlamesFan1489

        You’re joking, right? Colborne gave SJ a clear 2-0 breakaway to make it 1-0. A tipped shot made it 2-0. A backdoor feed on a powerplay, from an absolutely terrible call, made it 4-3. I’m sorry, but Ramo did not blow it.

        Also, Colborne needs to sit in the press box for at least…. well…. just put him up there PLEASE! “The puck dies on Colborne’s stick”. I’m not even joking.

  • DestroDertell

    First Period Hero?? No, first period hero would be someone that doesn’t p!ss all those chances away as if they were 24 beers into a urinal at the bar. Also, nice work on not mentioning how that penalty happened that led to the Sharks going up 4-3. Of course that would probably detract from the “1st period hero” and the fact that you were a whisker from giving him the Red Warrior.

    Unreal. Good going tonight Backs, don’t stay late after practice working on your shot or anything

  • DestroDertell

    As long as Eric Francis picks up my share of the welfare checks that we should write out to wealthy corporation owners, I’m all for CalgaryNext.

    • Mezzo

      I find it amazing and insulting that while tons of people are losing their jobs Bettman and the NHL expect the city to put up $690 million for a new arena because “the Saddledome is older than 9 NHL franchises”.

      Or that Eric Francis first bad mouths Nenshi then takes the time to call people “losers” and “idiots” on twitter for disagreeing with his opinion.

      examples: “Get the facts loser before you weigh in”, or “Take an economics course and get back to me”.

      I’m mad we lost but man did Twitter get me fired up.

      • FlamesFan1489

        Don’t expect Eric Francis to write anything with an ounce of intelligence. He might be the dumbest sports analyst I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen HNIC with Glenn Healy. Never go full Healy.

  • DestroDertell

    I would just like to know where the Flames would be if they had, say at the very least, league-average special teams. No, I’m not looking for them to score with every man advantage or kill every penalty that comes their way. Just, you know, somewhere in the middle of the pack, not asking too much, not being unrealistic. If Bob Hartley could’ve figured it out, you know, maybe during the preseason, and not wait until game 42 to regularly play Bennett, Brodie, Hamilton and Ferland on the powerplay, and hey, once he comes back I heard that Frolik guy is pretty good.

    I bet they’d be entrenched in a playoff spot at this point. One can dream… yes a man can dream…

    • FlamesFan1489

      Don’t worry, it’s game 42 and he still thinks Wideman is the best play in the last two minutes of a game versus, oh I don’t know, maybe Brodie or even Dougie?

      He can’t freaking skate, which means a minor mistake of a puck leaving the zone wastes an extra 2-3 seconds. Ramo had to skate to the blueline to bail him out because he’s so slow.

  • Brent G.

    Michael Backlund had a heck of a first period
    6 shot attempts
    3 scoring chances
    2 high danger scoring chances
    0 goals

    Nothing even close

    Very dissapointing

  • Brent G.

    Michael Backlund had a heck of a first period
    6 shot attempts
    3 scoring chances
    2 high danger scoring chances
    0 goals

    Nothing even close

    Very dissapointing

  • DestroDertell

    Michael Backlund had a heck of a first period
    6 shot attempts
    3 scoring chances
    2 high danger scoring chances
    0 goals

    Nothing even close

    Very dissapointing

  • Mezzo

    Bouma for Drouin straight up
    Move out Russell for 2 … 2s
    Buy out Engelland
    Trade Wideman plus top prospect for 2 …2s
    Backlund and Jones plus a 2 for Hayes
    Keep Johnny,Ferland,Monahan, Bennett Frolik and Bouma if he doesn’t go for Droin and rebuild lines 3 and 4 via the trade market. None of the remaining guys are untouchables. Coleborne for Reichel

  • ChinookArchYYC

    The Calgary Flames continue to progress and improve. They are a better team than they were 1 year ago and much better than 2 years ago. The Flames continue to be a bubble team, largely thanks to a craptastic Pacific division. Playoffs are not likely in sight in another division. The rebuild continues and the Flames need to add more assets in this build.

    Fans will have to wait for better days ahead, like it or not.

    • piscera.infada

      The Calgary Flames continue to progress and improve. They are a better team than they were 1 year ago and much better than 2 years ago.

      So much this. When I’ve watched these guys the last few months (save a couple games here and there), it’s noticeable. I know there’s no such thing as “moral victories”, and I know there’s a need for upgrading talent in some areas, but I really think the Flames are building the correct way, and I have full confidence Treliving will address the needs on the wing in much the same way he helped address the defense this past season.

      I’d like to add that no, everything isn’t rainbows and unicorns, but I do think that some of the things I wanted to see incremental improvement on over the course of this season has started to come around. I get that the standings aren’t reflecting that, and I agree that’s cause for concern, but we all know that the development of a young team is “never linear” (as Kent always says). I’m still excited for the second half of the season. It will probably be tough at times, because this group has so much more to learn, I’m excited to watch it happen.

  • Cfan in Vic

    I always watch the games on a 1hr delay, so I can skip the commercials and intermissions (and especially Eric Francis). For some reason, I decided to let it play through his comments about Nenshi. Francis is a complete mockery to every broadcast, and this is the worst example.

    As for the game, man, did the Flames deserve better. Colborne glued to Bennett’s line drove me crazy. Ferland did great with the top line, but then Big Joe Anchor sinks the 2nd line. I’ve had enough of him. He just seems completely unaware of what’s going on around him.

    Way to go Bennett. So happy for that kid, and I’m so excited to watch him keep progressing.