Post-Game: Bowing to the Ruling Class

The Calgary Flames lost to the Los Angeles Kings tonight by a 2-1 score at Staples Center.

To be blunt, they were out-played by a deeper, better, more-structured team. They were held in the game by Joni Ortio, who made 35 saves and was far and away the team’s best player.

Everybody else? They were so-so.

THE RUNDOWN

The story of the opening frame was Joni Ortio. Starting for the first time since October 30 – the game where Calgary got embarrassed at home by the Montreal Canadiens 5-2 – Ortio was extremely sharp early-on. And he had to be, as the Flames seemed content to practice their penalty kill, even when they had five skaters on the ice. The Kings didn’t score, somehow, even though they out-shot Calgary 13-3 and out-attempted them 19-7.

Ortio was the story again in the second. The Kings finally broke through, though, as a Luke Schenn shot from an odd angle (through a screen) eluded Ortio – who didn’t really see it. But the Flames rallied back, scoring 8 seconds into a power-play off a really nice passing sequence between Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Jiri Hudler that ended with a Monahan tap-in. However, the Kings responded back before the period was over; Anze Kopitar collected a puck off a broken play and beat Ortio on the power-play. Shots were 17-9 and attempts were 28-17, both for the Kings.

There was no scoring in the third. The Flames pressed at times, but couldn’t break through and generate many really good chances. And when they did, Jonathan Quick was sharp. Shots were 11-7 for the Flames, and they also had a slight 19-15 edge in shot attempts. Too little, too late.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Gaudreau 50% 50%
Hudler 60% 50%
Monahan 43.75% 45%
Giordano 42.11% 39.13%
Nakladal 50% 37.5%
Brodie 43.75% 30.77%
Jones 37.04% 30.77%
Hamilton 40.48% 30.43%
Bollig 50% 28.57%
Ferland 38.46% 27.27%
Bennett 41.18% 26.67%
Jooris 41.18% 25%
Bouma 40% 25%
Wotherspoon 36.84% 25%
Backlund 46.43% 21.43%
Engelland 35% 21.05%
Colborne 42.42% 20%
Frolik 44% 18.18%

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Well, they were wildly, wildly out-shot in the first 40 minutes. Joni Ortio was superb, but he couldn’t score goals for them. Or clear the puck out of the offensive zone for them. Or really do anything but try his damnest to keep the puck out of the net.

They finally seemed to get it together late in the game, but it wasn’t nearly enough.

RED WARRIOR

Joni Ortio. He was the player that did the most to give them a chance to win.

The Hudler/Monahan/Gaudreau trio did pick it up late in the game, though.

THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 11.42.06 PM

11 points out of a playoff spot! 5 points out of last place!

23 games left!

UP NEXT

The Flames return home and are back in action on Thursday night as they welcome the New York Islanders to the Saddledome.

  • Muffin

    It’s official, I made an account.

    A few points:

    More Nak and spoon please. Really digging them as the 5/6 pairing, Nak is a pretty sly puck mover, and Spoon looks solid. They really don’t seem out of place given the circumstances.

    Colbourne managed to single handily sink every power play he was on.

    Bennet was flying, I love the grit and fearlessness he plays with. He really will be something special.

    Ortio looked great. Not sure where that came from, but I hope there is more coming.

    Overall, pretty happy with how that game went. I mean, I’m sure we were all expecting a blowout..

  • Brodano12

    Time to try Tspoon or Nakladal on that 2nd pairing with Hamilton.

    Engelland just can’t keep up with those minutes. Nak, however, played Brodie level minutes in the AHL and handled it well, so we know he’s capable. Ditto for Tspoon, but he only played 20-22 in Stockton. Also, Nak played really well with Kylington, who plays an offensive style similar to Hamilton. I think Nak would really stabilize that pairing defensively, allowing Hamilton to be more offensive.

    • ApolloRising

      That’s where Kulak should be playing. He’s better than Wotherspoon and Nakladal. If he replaces Engelland our defense would look great. Only reason we aren’t seeing him yet is Nak and Spoon’s contracts are expiring soon. The Flames need to see if they are worth keeping. The answer is yes. Now just get rid of Wideman, Russell, Engelland and Smid. It won’t be easy, but it is necessary. Plus Treliving is a Jedi. He can do it.

  • trox

    Hamilton with 0:00 in power play time, despite something like 30 points in his last 40 games. BH seems to think that even Colborne on the point on the power play is a better option. This is getting tiresome…

  • ChinookArchYYC

    I’m now at at point that I’m more upset about the Oilers losing, than the Flames.

    Edmonton winning another lottery is the biggest punch line in pro sports.

    • The GREAT Walter White

      What is the Oilers record WITH McDavid in the line up?

      Since the all-star break the Oilers have played almost all their games against non-playoff teams. With McDavid. How have they done since then?

      It didn’t take long, but it looks like the Oilers stench has found its way onto McDavid already…

      WW

  • Petzl

    Brodie should be playing with Hamilton and Gio should be with Nak, Nak has looked great in offensive roles and really minimal mistakes thus far. Preseason the pairing of Nak and Gio looked great, not sure why you wouldn’t give it a try? #justhartleythings