Post-Game: Flames Throttle Sharks, Get A Point

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(Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports)

For the second straight contest, the Calgary Flames looked pretty damn good.

After Saturday afternoon’s 4-2 triumph in Pittsburgh, they returned home for a date with the San Jose Sharks. The Flames out-shot and largely out-worked the Sharks, but dropped a heart-breaking 2-1 overtime decision as they just couldn’t find a way to beat Martin Jones more than once.

The Flames are now 27-34-5 on the season.

THE RUNDOWN

The Flames were rather discombobulated early, and the visitors seemed to spend an awful lot of time in the Flames end. Mikael Backlund nearly scored early, but he couldn’t pounce on a loose puck in the crease. The Sharks opened the scoring early, on their second shot of the game. After a weird sequence where the puck soared into the air through a crowd, Brent Burns fired it from the very edge of the Flames end and beat Joni Ortio through traffic. The locals had a few power-plays to generate chances, but failed to score – despite having a short 5-on-3 – and we went into the intermission with the Sharks up 1-0. Shots were 12-7 for the Flames and attempts were 24-15. The Flames started to get their legs under them as the period wore on, but the Sharks had the more dangerous opportunities.

The second period wasn’t high-event in terms of scoring chances – the Flames had a ton of shots and attempts, but really couldn’t generate great chances – but it was eventful. Garnet Hathaway drew an early penalty when his helmet got high-sticked off his head. Then he drew another bunch of penalties in a scrum with Brent Burns; Burns busted Hathaway open with a high stick and then went after him after a whistle, and then they fought after the initial scrum broke up. Hathaway got five for fighting, two for instigator and a 10-minute misconduct, and Burns got a double-minor for high-sticking and five for fighting. The Flames led in shots 18-4 and attempts 31-9, but couldn’t get anything past Martin Jones.

The final period of regulation was much, much closer than the second, but the Flames still dominate in possession and zone-time.  Finally, with Brenden Dillon in the box and the Flames on their seventh power-play of the game – and with Ortio pulled for the extra attacker – Joe Colborne tipped a Giordano point shot past Jones to tie the game with just over a minute to go. Shots were 18-11 and shot attempts were 27-15, both for the home side.

Overtime came and went in rapid-fire, as the Sharks scored on the first shot of the period, 19 seconds in. Joe Pavelski, who my cousin named his cat after, scored to end this game.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Giordano 74.14% 94.44%
Monahan 62.96% 88.89%
Colborne 77.5% 85.71%
Gaudreau 62.26% 84.21%
Hathaway 92.86% 83.33%
Hamilton 70% 82.61%
Frolik 61.54% 78.57%
Ferland 70.97% 75.57%
Backlund 79.41% 78.57%
Brodie 51.79% 66.67%
Engelland 58.33% 66.67%
Bennett 68.57% 64.71%
Jokipakka 80.95% 57.14%
Bouma 72.73% 50%
Wotherspoon 80% 40%
Bollig 56.25% 0%
Jooris 57.89% 0%
Stajan 62.5% 0%

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Two reasons: Martin Jones’ insane play (47 saves!), and their inability to score on the power-play. They had seven man advantages. They generated a ton, but their most dangerous players didn’t seem incredibly dangerous until the clock was winding down and they began to play desperate. 17 power-play shots and it’s their last one that finally beats Jones because they were cluttering up the crease (and had an extra man on for the 6-on-4).

If the Flames play desperate hockey with the puck early-on, it’s doubtful that the game’s this close.

RED WARRIOR

Garnet Hathaway was very good tonight. He drew five minor penalties (and generate four power-plays on his lonesome), racked up 17 penalty minutes, had three stitches, two shots and two hits, all in 8:05 of actual ice-time.

Oh, and let’s not forget Joni Ortio, who was really good when called upon tonight.

THE RACE TO THE BOTTOM

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Note: as of this writing, Vancouver is losing to Los Angeles in the late game.

It’s gonna be tough for the other teams to make up for all the extra games Edmonton has played.

UP NEXT

The Flames are back in action on Wednesday evening when they host the Nashville Predators.

    • Nighteyes

      I was just going to say I think Ortio gets honourable mention for Red Warrior this eve. I think the BT should look for a decent goalie next year (maybe Ramo if he recovers ahead of schedule) but also keep Ortio to share the duties. We still haven’t seen what he’ll be like given a large share of games, perhaps 30-50.

  • OKG

    Play like this the rest of the season and I’ll be optimistic no matter who we draft, even if we miss out on Auston and The Finns. Any of Dubois, Nylander, Chychrun, Sergachev, Juolevi and Tkachuk will do.

    As for Ortio, he’s Kipper 2.0 He doesn’t play well when he doesn’t play often. But once we hand him the keys he will be a monster for us. When that day comes we will be very happy with goaltending.

    • MattyFranchise

      I was thinking the same thing about Ortio. Ramo improved and stabalized earlier in the season when he finally got a bunch of starts in a row.

      I would imagine it’s easier to play loose and confident if you know before a game that a mistake isn’t going to get you benched for the next 15 games.

    • ChinookArchYYC

      When was the last time the Flames had a first class agitator? Hathaway got to Chara and Marchant in Boston, now Burns. I thought Ferland might become that guy, now I’m convinced Harhaway will be that guy. Outstanding work.

  • Baalzamon

    Just musing… some lines I’d like to see for the rest of the season (or at least for a few consecutive games)

    1. Gaudreau – Bennett – Ferland
    2. Colborne – Monahan – Frolik
    3. Bouma – Backlund – Hathaway
    4. Bollig – Stajan – Jooris
  • beloch

    The way the Flames played tonight, they’d win nine times out of ten. They were utterly dominant against a very strong opponent. Jones stole this game for the Sharks.

    Ortio has now delivered three quality starts in a row. His last streak was two quality starts followed by a 0.800 performance. Even if his next start is a horror show, that’s an upward trend.

  • Sobueno

    If my memory serves, Hathaway was a beautiful pest when I watched him in the Penticton tourney. The exact kind of guy you love to have on your team, but absolutely hate to play against. Sounds like he was definitely playing that style quite successfully tonight!

  • BlueMoonNigel

    How ’bout that Jones boy! Four years a Hitman, greatest goalie in Hitmen history all under the watchful eyes of the Flames and their always on the lookout bird dogs.

    Marty Jones or Dougie Hamilton? Who would look better in a Flames uniform? Who would be the biggest difference maker for the Flames? Who delivers better bang for the buck?

  • freethe flames

    I was totally entertained by last nights effort and I don’t have any player that I want to throw under the bus, but at the same time I want to be realistic. Ortio should be resigned and in all likelyhood will be and will be the teams backup. We still need to draft one of those highly skilled top three forwards. We still need a sniper or two to play in our top 6. We still need to see move of our young guys down the stretch. So yes last night was fun lets not start planning a parade route yet. BT and staff still have a great deal of work to do.

    • Cfan in Vic

      Nobody’s planning parade routes, and the “need to improve in the off season” rhetoric is common knowledge.

      This was just a really fun game to watch, and that’s OK. Usually I get pretty worked up when the team comes up short after such a lopsided battle, but I was completely fine with this one. It’s like the perfect loss.

  • brodiegio4life

    this team so desperately needs a #4 dman, whichever of the big 3 is left alone is always “anchored” by engallend. Just look at dougie last night, got away from engallend to play with brodie and had like 8 or 9 shots. Could andersson be ready next season?

  • Greg

    7 teams separated by 4 points. Weird how the playoff races were all (mostly) locked up with 1/4 of the season to go, but this race to the bottom is going to be interesting. Well, except for dead last.

  • CutterMcAwesome

    The Flames can lose out the rest of the season if they keep putting efforts like that up. Hathaway is exactly what this team needs. An absolute buzzsaw.