Post-Game: Putting The Fear of Ferland Into Vancouver

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(Anne-Marie Sorvin / USA Today Sports)

On Friday night, the Calgary Flames hosted the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets and lost a tight one by a 2-1 score. They weren’t great at managing the puck and really wasted their puck possession edge. They headed to Vancouver tonight, with everyone hoping for a better effort (and maybe some points).

Mission accomplished.

The Flames were engaged in every area of the ice, battled for three periods, and took advantage of some miscues by the Canucks en route to a 4-1 victory on the road.

THE RUNDOWN

The game was at a high pace in the first, going end to end and lasting nearly six minutes without a whistle. Neither team got any hugely good chances, but both teams were sharp and brought their legs. The Flames had an edge in shots (7-5) and attempts (15-13). In other news, Luca Sbisa fought Micheal Ferland.

The high pace continued in the second, but with the Flames falling off a bit and the Canucks beginning to take the game over. Despite the Canucks having an edge in zone time and puck possession, the Flames kept them to the outside and got better chances. On one such instance, the Flames opened the scoring on a really nice sequence where all five guys on the ice touched the puck. Mark Giordano won a boards battle and punted the puck around the boards to Sam Bennett, who chipped it over to Mikael Backlund. Backlund carried the puck in (with T.J. Brodie and Michael Frolik with him on the rush) and made a nice cross-ice pass to Brodie, who then put a gorgeous back-handed cross-ice pass back to Frolik at the side of the net for the chip-in goal. The Canucks buzzed around late but couldn’t respond. The home side had the edge in shots (18-9) and attempts (31-15).

The third was more of the same, but with the Canucks opening up a little bit and the Flames playing some counter-punch hockey. With about five minutes left in regulation, they broke through on one of their chances. Jiri Hudler battled in the corner for a loose puck, won the battle, and found Sean Monahan in the slot for a wrister to make it 2-0. The Canucks pressed and pulled Ryan Miller for the extra attacker, but that allowed Backlund to add an empty netter to ice it. (Emerson Etem scored late to ruin Jonas Hiller’s shutout attempt, but Bennett added another empty netter to put it way out of reach.) Shots were 14-12 Calgary, while attempts were 29-23 Vancouver.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Gaudreau 46.15% 71.43%
Monahan 47.37% 62.5%
Hudler 41.67% 62.5%
Bennett 46.88% 62.5%
Bouma 43.75% 60%
Stajan 38.71% 60%
Hamilton 44.74% 60%
Bollig 56.52% 60%
Backlund 44.12% 55.56%
Russell 38% 50%
Frolik 38.71% 50%
Smid 50% 44.44%
Engelland 40.62% 40%
Giordano 41.67% 36.36%
Brodie 41.38% 33.33%
Ferland 40% 23.08%
Jones 28.57% 10%
Jooris 33.33% 9.09%

WHY THE FLAMES WON

The Flames kept skating hard and pressing their chances all game long. They were managing the puck a lot better than they did against Columbus, and did a much better job at adjusting to their opposition on the fly and taking advantage of the chances the game provided them.

Oh, and Vancouver was TERRIFIED of Micheal Ferland and Bennett all night long.

It was one of those games that makes you think, “Man, if Treliving could get two or three good youngsters onto this team, they could grow into something special…

RED WARRIOR

Y’know, there was a lot to like tonight, but I’m going to go with Sam Bennett. He was dangerous around the net, was throwing his body around, and he was on the ice for all four of Calgary’s goals.

And let’s tip our hats to Micheal Ferland, Jiri Hudler, Mikael Backlund, Michael Frolik and Jonas Hiller, who all enjoyed strong evenings in their own rights.

UP NEXT

The Flames fly home tonight and enjoy a day off tomorrow (and presumably will watch the SuperBowl). They practice on Monday and then host the vaunted Tank Battle on Tuesday night against the terrible Toronto Maple Leafs.

  • JC333

    Great win!

    Just a quick question though….

    If Vancouver had scored a second goal, and the empty net goal was the game winner, would Miller still have the loss? If not, what would happen?

    Thanks.
    JC

      • The Real Slim Brodie

        Sorry that was a little harsh must be reading too many Walter white comments..rolls through and smacks everyone with a tumbleweed and a trash

        WW

    • Ari Yanover

      MattyFranchise answered you already, but yeah, it would be Miller, because he would have been the goalie of record at the time of the empty netter.

      Here’s a situation where the empty netter actually was the game winner: http://flames.nhl.com/gamecenter/en/boxscore?id=2011020398

      Carolina pulls Ward when Calgary goes up 6-3. Mike Murphy goes in to wrap things up, except along the way, Eric Staal scores to make it 6-4. Carolina pulls Murphy because they’re only down by two, and Iggy gets the empty netter, making it a 7-4 game for Calgary.

      Carolina then somehow scores two goals in the final minute, making it a 7-6 game – so Iggy’s empty netter was the game winner.

      Look at Murphy’s statline, though. He faced two shots. He saved both shots. But he’s got the L – because he was Carolina’s goalie at the time the empty netter was scored. Alas.

  • Friendly Neighbourhood Canucks fan

    Damn Ferland is one hell of a Canucks killer.
    I am just wondering why his goal, point and PIM totals are so very low this year considering his breakout in the playoffs and this game. Thanks!

    • McRib

      He has battled minor injuries all season, which hasn’t helped with regaining confidence to the level of last years playoffs. Furthermore outside of a few games Bob Hartley has done a great job of burying him in the bottom six, playing him with players completely incapable of supporting him offensively (such as Bollig, etc). If he had the opportunities someone like Joe Colborne has had this year his results would be much better. He has surprisingly soft hands for a big guy, but hasn’t been properly utilized in that area.

      • Kevin R

        So do the coach & GM discuss player utilization? There really seems to be quite the disconnect as to what Treliving values by the additions he had made & how Hartley has utilized the assets given him to assemble the team. I understand the coach is the guy piloting the plane & you can’t question the flying skills as a GM when the plane is up in the air. But wholly smokes. This team is spending up to the cap this year versus being near the bottom last year. Some huge decisions have to be made & some salary has to be trimmed, especially on that blue line. Hartley’s player utilization sure isn’t doing BT any favours. But I don’t really know the dynamics behind the closed doors.

        • piscera.infada

          I think the GM has some modicum of say, but all in all lineup decisions are on your coach. I was discussing this with a friend at the game on Friday night. While it seems entirely reasonable to say Treliving should march into Bob’s office and demand he play Nakladal, or rectify any other myriad issues with deployment, it’s not really a solid working relationship if he does it.

          Let’s say the organzation fires Hartley. Let’s say, for some reason Quenville, Babcock, or any other “elite” coach you can think of is on the market. Are they really going to choose the Flames if it’s known that management constantly interferes with the coaching decisions? I know it seems overly simplistic, but that’s the reality of these situations. In fact, you’ll notice it happens in the NFL a lot. There are a few organizations that are quite widely known to have management teams that overrule coaches. That puts them at an extreme disadvantage when it comes to finding new talent. Nobody, especially the elite candidates, want to be questioned.

          In this sense, it’s best for Treliving, Burke, et al. to simply maintain a positive working environment, assess at seasons end, and hopefully attract a better candidate when they decide it’s time.

          • Kevin R

            Yeah, it’s kind of a strange situation here. Especially when the guy has won Coach of the Year the previous season. But this is definitely telling me something about Hartley, in that, he doesn’t seem too concerned because he keeps playing the players as he sees fit despite the financial/asset optics are the opposite of what his immediate boss had put in place.

            If we place in the bottom 8-10 at the end of the year, I think we’ll be hearing about some interesting rumours during the offseason.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        I wonder if Ferland’s health is going to be an issue as he tries to become a full-time NHLer. As really the only big, physical player on a team of shrimpkins and doves, he is being asked to lift a pretty big shovel night after night: intimidate the opposition and generate scoring.

        Quite apart from the owies he is going to get naturally from playing a contact sport, there is the even more serious issue of concussions.

        I think too much is being asked and expected of Ferland. One of BT’s goals in the next few months is to get a tag team partner for Ferland, a galoot who can let Ferland play top-two line minutes and a more finesse game or a Milan Lucic type who can let Ferland play bottom two-line minutes and a more punishing game.

        As he is now, Ferland is neither fish nor fowl.

  • smatic10

    The corsi numbers weren’t that good tonight but we won interesting how this team looses when they have good numbers but win when there numbers are bad guess scoring goals is more important than circling the net with the puck

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Both are important. Being a good corsi team, more than anything, means you don`t let the other team hem you in, because when you`re hemmed in you get tired and when you get tired the opponent crashes the net hard. Tonight there were sequences where we got hemmed in and Hiller bailed us out because the Canucks didn`t roof it on him. Against a good team in the playoffs, goalie wont bail you out, eventually you`ll get burned.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      This is NOT football Corsi does NOT mean time of possession! It measures shot attempts which is not circling in the zone holding the puck, but nice try.

  • MontanaMan

    Good win for the boys and good to see them skating again. The Flames controlled the game from the outset, after that disturbing attempt at a national anthem. Defensively they were strong and had some excellent scoring chances. We are only seeing glimpses of Ferland, with strong board work and soft hands – when he can consistently put it together, he’s going to be the prototypical power forward. And last, Hiller played well but I scratch my head seeing him on his knees while the play is still deep in the Flame end – he has a “unique” style.