POST GAME: 48 Painful Hours

Not a great 48 hrs for the Flames. Though, it is a testament to the dreck that the Flames subjected viewers to last night that tonight’s fairly timid 3-0 loss felt almost kind. The Flames dropped games on back to back nights by a combined score of 11-3. Someday, the Flames will have to figure out how to compete with these pacific division teams on a regular basis but alas, that was not tonight, nor will it be this season.

Come read all about it after the jump!

WHAT WENT DOWN

The first period was uneventful, which, given last night’s Benny Hill-inspired first period, is actually pretty eventful. So, good job Flames, the game was not over in the opening six minutes. Joni Ortio had a solid start to the period which was an interesting change of pace given the rather, um, interesting interpretation of goaltending the Flames received in last night’s game. 

As soon as the puck dropped in the second, Josh Jooris, bless his heart, really doesn’t always know where his arms and legs are going at any one point in time. Case in point: 38 seconds into the second, Jooris tripped Jonathan Quick by skating right into his legs. Not a great move.

On the opening faceoff of the Kings’ powerplay, they scored. Jeff Carter deflected a puck into the ice and then into the net past Ortio who had no chance. Something the Flames will have to do better next season? Kill. Penalties. The current strategy seems to be to get Lance Bouma, or a suitable substitute, to skate headlong at the point. This hockey Seppuku has been exceptionally ineffective this season. 1-0 Kings. 

Shortly there after, human/Grawp ancestor, Milan Lucic flung a puck off of Jeff Carter to put the Kings up 2-0 and this one was done. Jeff Carter scores the most boring goals but Brodie and Hamilton seemed to be in some sort of trance on this play. Have a look for yourself, it wasn’t pretty: 

With exactly four minutes left in the second period, Mikael Backlund scored a goal that was immediately waved off for goalie interference. Except, uh, there wasn’t any. Certainly not enough to warrant a goal being taken away. Jonathan Quick, who usually goes full thermonuclear war if he is offended by the odour of an opposing player, didn’t even flinch. The call stunk and Mickis was robbed. That is my…unbiased, reasoned analysis. 

The period ended with the Kings winning 2-0 and the Flames looked as though they were running out of reasons to care about hockey. Joni Ortio was the only thing keeping this close. 

The third period was pretty tame with the Flames able to mount some sort of offense, including Sam Bennett hitting a post. In fact, right after that very instance, the Kings came back the other way and scored. Just to make it hurt a little more. 

A strange deflection off of Joe Colborne’s skate made it 3-0 Kings on another goal that Orito didn’t have a prayer on. Have a look at it for yourself here:

That was pretty much it for relevant details. Game ends 3-0 for the Kings.

THE RED WARRIOR

This is a cool shot of Ortio, just a young pup, playing air-guitar in the middle of a WJC game. What a guy.

There weren’t too many Flames who looked great tonight (Sam Bennett was pretty good and went 9-5 in the faceoff circle though). It was a mostly disinterested performance from the majority of Calgary skaters so let’s give it to poor Joni. 

Playing goalie for the Flames right now must be such a wretched experience right now but Ortio didn’t embarrass himself tonight (26 saves on 29 shots). That’s where we’re at with goaltending right now. 

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN, BASIL?

The Flames got some good news on the tank front with the Canucks beating the Sharks 4-2. I was quite sure they were never going to win again. It feels gross deriving any pleasure from Canuck victories. Please get better soon Flames. 

In other news, Calgary has been rumoured to be wooing Yale University goaltender Alex Lyon who just finished his second straight season of >.930SV%. This is intriguing, especially given the recent goaltending displays from the Flames. Check out what Mr. Clean’s nephew had to say about the rumours here:

There’s just one game left on this Pacific Division death march, a date with the Oilers in Dirt City on Saturday night. That will be fun as the Flames say goodbye to the Skyreach Centre (hopefully) in style. Let it be known right now, I do not care about tanking for that one. Please, soundly beat the Oilers.

  • Wheels

    As a Flames fan, I’m trying to think which of the skaters play I really liked consistently. Even Gaudreau and Monahan were not major factors and Shinkaruk came back to earth.

    The one Flames I did real like was Ortio. None of the three goals were on him and the score could have been 6-0 not 3-0 without some strong stops.

    Burke and Treliving had both said they wanted Calgary to get bigger. We have, swapping Jokkipakka for Russell and replacing Hudler.

    Still we have a hard times handling the size of the California teams–Getzlaf and Perry last night, Kopitar, King, Clifford, Lucic tonight.

    Maybe it’s not just us–there’s a reason Anaheim and LA could legitimately challenge to come out of the West. Still I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel in this regard–who on the farm could tip the balance?

  • Wheels

    @calgarycandle

    Ortio was far from the problem, but a starting goalie would be nice. I looked into Hiller’s game log today, and this is what I got:

    Games with SV% at/over .900: 8-0-1
    Games under SV% .900: 1-11-0

    Consistency is clearly key… oh and an elite right shot winger… I can hardly see any right shots out there.

    • JKG

      “oh and an elite right shot winger… I can hardly see any right shots out there.”

      Totally! Most of our RW prospects aren’t natural right shots either if I’m not mistaken. I wonder if we don’t start seeing some Cs moving to the wings next year.

  • Cfan in Vic

    2 for 2 on the post-games, Taylor. The Damian Cox comment is gold, and the humor definitely takes the edge off.

    I’d like to see more of this, as opposed to the cookie-cutter Pike approach. Nothing against Pike, I like his articles.