Post-Game: Wipeout

It seems that whenever the Calgary Flames play a game that’s not a standard start time (like 5pm, 7pm or 8pm MT), they come out flat, get down early and have to claw their way back. In front of allegedly 9,934 fans at PNC Arena in Raleigh, the Flames went down 3-0 early and lost 5-2 to the Carolina Hurricanes.

It was a really flat outing, which probably should be worrisome considering that the Flames played with sloppily and with little desperation early-on, and really didn’t start playing well until Karri Ramo had been chased from the game and they had little chance of winning.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames kept the game close…for about two and a half minutes. Former Hitmen forward Victor Rask broke into the Flames zone and went five-hole on Ramo to make it 1-0. The lead swelled to 2-0 late in the period, as Elias Lindholm blew past Kris Russell and got tripped up, and beat Ramo on the resultant penalty shot. Shots were 14-8 for Carolina and attempts were 22-15 for Carolina as well.

After another flat opening to a period, Kris Versteeg scored on a quick rush sequence to make it 3-0. And yes, it was from some iffy defensive play. That spelled the end of the line for Ramo, who allowed 3 goals on 19 shots. Jonas Hiller came in at this point. And the Flames actually scored a goal, as Mark Giordano pinched and chucked the puck at the net from the corner, which careened off Jiri Hudler and past Eddie Lack. That’s all the Flames could generate, though. Shots were 12-12, and attempts were 29-24 Calgary.

Joe Colborne scored five minutes into the third off a nice rush play, bringing the Flames to within a goal. Ultimately, at this point the Flames began taking penalties, and two goals in 32 seconds by Versteeg and Joakim Nordstrom sealed the deal on a flat-footed and shell-shocked opposition. Shots were 15-10 for the Flames and shot attempts were 24-22 for them as well, but hey, score effects.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Hudler 50% 75%
Monahan 44.83% 70%
Bennett 75.76% 68.75%
Backund 60% 66.67%
Gaudreau 50% 66.67%
Hamilton 53.66% 66.67%
Frolik 56.82% 63.16%
Russell 38.98% 61.11%
Giordano 54.76% 60%
Brodie 55.17% 54.55%
Colborne 61.9% 54.55%
Jones 50% 54.55%
Granlund 54.55% 54.55%
Wideman 46.15% 37.5%
Jooris 43.75% 33.33%
Smid 58.06% 20%
Bouma 37.14% 16.67%
Stajan 42.42% 16.67%

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Because they were really, really sloppy and bad in the first period. We’re talking about passes miles away from their intended recipient, bad defensive coverage that really hung Ramo out to dry, and uneven and unfocused offensive pressure.

By the time they got their act together in the middle of the season period, it was way too late.

RED WARRIOR

He had two points, so the default option is Joe Colborne. He was a occasional bright spot in a rather drab game.

But hey, Sam Bennett was good once again, as he seemingly always is nowadays.

UP NEXT

The Flames hop a plane and head to the Lone Star State to face the Dallas Stars tomorrow night. If they play anywhere as poorly as they did tonight, they will get stomped.

But hey, Auston Matthews and all that jazz.

  • flames2015

    I’m deleting this comment because we have banned this user and apparently he cannot take the most basic hint that he is not wanted. Have a nice night!

    – Ari

  • FlamesRule

    Did you watch all of the game Ryan? Not trying to be disrespectful or anything I just found your wording on the Lindholm penalty shot goal to be interesting. I would’ve mentioned the colossal misplay by wideman leading to the Russell bobble/turn over and penalty shot

    • ChinookArchYYC

      There’s no question Wideman was the main culprit and set Russell up to fail, but Russell wasn’t good on that play either.

      I blame Hartlley – seriously. He put those players together again. How any times does he go back to the same stupid failed experiments (Russell/Wideman, top 6 Colburne, limited minutes for Hamilton, and Colburne on the pp to name s few.)

      • As much as I’ve been a critic of Hartley, it’s important to remember that coaches tend to settle on things that are familiar and comfortable.

        Russell and Wideman together is that thing despite what we collectively know. That said, bad pass tipped/bobbled past Russell is heinous alone.

        But for what it’s worth, Russell’s emphasis on trying to prevent Lindholm on that breakaway was probably one of his best efforts we’ve seen this season.

      • RedMan

        How about Brodano’s screwuppus collossus? Gio gave the puck away and couldn’t get back to help Brodie who looked like a salmon trying to stop the pass on the 2-on-1.
        Defense was bad all over the ice. All the defense.

  • flames2015

    Time to hang the for sale sign up on a few (many) of these guys. Even if it’s a- “25% OFF SALE!!”. Whatever it takes to rid yourself of some of these guys/contracts. And if the rumors are true about BT trying to resign Russell, please no!

  • Plumsrus

    This game was just simply boring, and full of errors. I agree Bennett played well, but man this was pain full.

    Worst game I have seen from JG, and SM. Did they even play today? The were physically, but not mentally! Your best players have to be your best at home and on the road. These two are about to get a big payday. They both still have a lot to grow.

  • Franko J

    Playing without the lead, terrible in the face off, and another uninspired and lacklustre effort from the Flames on the road. If I ‘m not mistaken wasn’t one the Flames more underwhelming games was also in Carolina last year?

    At least we are still in the running for a lottery pick.

  • flames2015

    It’s easy to place blame on Russell for the Penalty shot but there wasn’t too much he could have done. It was simular to the play where Brodie got the hook in on some one for that Nashville game. The team has given up 3 penalty shots this year I believe? And between the goalies they have saved none. I’m not placing blame on the goalies, but it’s no different than having a player shoot on you in a shootout. You gotta have some of them and bail out your team.

  • flames2015

    What else can we say about Russell and Wideman at this point. I’m not a fan of Wideman at all, he made the bad pass that Russell bobbled and then later in the 3rd couldn’t hold the line again, which lead to another breakaway. Honestly, how many times during the PP do we see this, or the famous line from the commentators “Wideman shoots wide”. At this point, I would rather throw in Smid or Engelland to atleast hold the line on a PP, paired with a guy that can shoot. Just once, to see how it goes. Russell did make a good play to break up a 2 on 1 and then block a shot on the same play, but he also gave Versteeg, 3 to 4 whacks at Hiller causing the 3rd goal. Our d need to do a better job at getting guys out of the blue paint. We don’t make it hard for guys to stand there. I’m just baffled at how horrible these guys have become this year. End of rant.

  • RKD

    A stinker right from the get go, this team is never ready to play on the road. It took them half the game until they finally scored and started to show some signs of life. The coaching staff need to do a better job of a) getting them more prepared on the road and b) making way more adjustments in game when they can’t get the same match ups at home. Too many passengers on this team. When Jooris and Stajan are playing well on the fourth line and better than the other lines, you’ve got problems. What the hell is Hamilton doing buried on the 3rd pairing?

  • Trevy

    What does this say about a team that is miraculously still within striking distance of a playoff spot in a weak Pacific division, has games in hand and made it to the second round of the playoffs last season with a less talented line up. It’s as if we see flashes of the potential they have but cannot sustain any consistency or take that next step. I have to keep reminding myself that they are still a young team in the third year of a rebuild. I guess last year just drove up the expectation and excitement for this season and with a weak division, you’d think they’d be a few positions higher up in the standings.

    At this point, they need to go on a major win streak to sneak in the playoffs and I don’t see it happening, which is ok. It makes the trade deadline a little easier to strategize and if we can get a top 5 pick in the end, the future will look even brighter. Unfortunately, I also don’t see Hartley finishing with the Flames next season if the Flames don’t take a major step forward.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    The crystal ball says the Flames will continue to bumble, fumble and stumble until the middle of March when they’ll turn it on just in time to finish closer to the 10th pick rather than the 1st pick in the June draft. Not all will be lost, however, as Flames’ fans and local media will interpret this late-season success as a clear sign that the team will be a force to reckon with next season.

    In February, as the team slips deeper and deeper into the hole it dug, talk will ramp up about who Treliving should move by the deadline. Frankly, the whole roster should be made available, but that is talk for another time. Don’t expect the Flames to get any live bodies for the trades they do make unless its some non-entity playing on the 3rd line in Utica. It’s possible the Flames could swap a bad contract for a bad contract, but any non-Flame player with a bad contract probably also a clause to nix any trade that would make him a (deleted), so don’t get your hopes up that Josh Georges will be Calgary-bound anytime soon.

    Just as the first half of the season has been hard and unhappy, expect the rest of the ride to be more of the same. This is a team that is in the exact spot it deserves to be in.

    FN MODERATOR: homophobic language removed.

      • RedMan

        it’s funny, the trolls can’t comment on their team being any better, but are satisfied to insult the Flames by suggesting that Calgary is as bad as their team.

    • RedMan

      don’t get your hopes up that Josh Georges will be Calgary-bound anytime soon.

      NO! Oh, goodness gracious! My most sincere hopes that the Flames would be able to trade for the overrated, plodding, plug-like Josh Gorges have been most violently dashed!

      Please tell me they’ll at least be able to trade for Clayton Stoner!

  • Trevy

    Let’s see:

    2nd game of a back-to-back…
    On the road…
    Last game of a road trip…
    Against one of the league’s best teams…
    Both our goalies played the night before…
    Dallas has been struggling, so they’re hungry…

    All signs point to a good ol’ fashioned whuppin’. It sounds cliche, but it will be interesting to see how this team responds tonight.

  • Trevy

    This is a rebuilding team and the expectations are simply too high. There is lots of good young players and the future looks pretty good but patience is needed. I know you don’t need to hear it from an Oiler fan but in a perfect world both Calgary and Edmonton will get better and we will see better hockey in the near future. The anger is growing within the Flames fan base as reflected by the moderators deletions but good Flames fans won’t denigrate their own players. Did anyone really think last season was for real? good luck moving forward and like Oiler fans just hope for some decent hockey to watch and keep the faith until they can turn the corner.

    • RedMan

      “Did anyone really think last season was for real?”

      “in a perfect world both Calgary and Edmonton will get better and we will see better hockey in the near future.”

      well, i for one do not need to adopt Edmonton’s strategy of always pretending… keep that silliness in Edmonton.

      Yes, last year was for real, nobody was pretending, and the season wasn’t faked anymore than the moon landing was.

      this season is for real too… and looks like the team will hopefully get a top 3 pick, even though Edmonton has been very difficult to knock out of the top 3 for ten years running.

      In a perfect world, Edmonton wouldn’t suck so bad for so long that the league needed to make changes to the draft system in order to try and allow other teams to rebuild in spite of how eternally bad Edmonton has been. I have already suggested the league needs to amend the draft again to not allow teams (like edmonton) to draft more than 1 first overall all in any 5 year rolling period.

      but thanks for insinuating that Calgary is like Edmonton, hope that makes you feel better. However, they are NOTHING alike.