Post-Game: Good goaltending is nice

Back at it again only a couple of hours removed from last night’s game in Edmonton, the Flames (and their B team) took down the Winnipeg Jets 3-0 in a closer-than-the-score-says type of game. 

The Rundown

There wasn’t much going on in the first period, and understandably so. This Flames team had played the previous night in Edmonton, and this was the first time for a weakened Jets team. After the first 20 had passed, the teams only had five shots apiece. This was odd, especially since both teams had a powerplay opportunity each.

The pace kind of picked up in the second period. While still mostly a dull frame, Calgary provided much in the way of excitement. Freddie Hamilton brought the first goal of the game by scoring immediately after the faceoff thanks to Garnet Hathaway creating the chance. Later on a 4-on-4 situation, Brett Kulak found himself in the right spot at the right time to turn a poor Jets behind-the-net clearance attempt into a goal for the good guys. Also, Chad Johnson did this:

On the flip side, the Jets started to take over play. They had 16 shots to the Flames’ nine in the second period, and led in shot attempts 27 to 11.

The Flames took control back in the third period, saying “nah” to score effects and putting the pressure on the Jets. It paid off for them midway through the third when Micheal Ferland created a turnover and slipped it to Emile Poirier, who found Kulak in prime scoring opportunity.

And that final goal was pretty much the only thing to happen from there on out. The Flames won 3-0, but tied the Jets in shots 27-27, and lost the corsi battle 53-41.

Why the Flames won

With possession mostly being equal (especially at 5v5), this game mostly came down to goaltending, and that’s what the Flames were quite clearly better at. I would certainly say Johnson and Rittich do need a bit of work, but they were incredibly solid through-and-through. Good goaltending is always a major relief.

The Red Warrior

Tonight, we’re giving it to Chad Johnson for his amazing performance, especially more amazing save, and his beautiful new mask:

Screen Shot 2016-09-27 at 8.42.11 PM

You could argue that the Flames have one of the top goaltending duos in the league (which hasn’t allowed a goal in preseason, FYI), but there is certainly no doubt that they have the best-looking tandem.

(Brett Kulak and Freddie Hamilton were runners up, and I’d love to talk about them more, but we have some stuff planned for them soon, so check it out then.)

Up Next

The Flames will take the next two days off, presumably make some cuts, and then face the Vancouver Canucks at 7:00 p.m. MT on Friday. That game will be available on Sportsnet One, and presumably by stream from the Flames’ website.

  • KACaribou

    Written like you didn’t actually watch the game. Certainly if you had, you would have picked up more than this write-up. Goodness.

    AND… if you hadn’t watched the game, or even bothered to interview players or coaching staff, I really don’t know how or why you bothered to do this skimpy write-up which added nothing.

    • It was a dud of a game between two teams filled with AHLers. The most experienced players for the sides were Shawn Matthias and Korpikoski. Lance Bouma was the best possession player. There was nothing to add, because there was nothing to learn.

      It’s preseason, chill out.

        • cberg

          Although I thought KAC was being a bit harsh, the Author’s response wasn’t any better, actually worse. Although CT may think nothing of significance happened, I’ll bet you neither the players, the prospects nor the coaches would agree.

          These games are played for a reason, and its not just to give our starters a chance to get into skating shape before the season starts. For many of the up-and-coming prospects, as well as the PTOs its pretty much one of their only opportunities to shine and make an impression that may go a long ways to something that can change their lives. It should be respected by the writers and not blown off as inconsequential. Not saying the write-up itself was all that bad. It wasn’t great, just OK. After all its pre-season for them too. But CT’s later comment seems a bit much.

          As for the game itself, I couldn’t watch since it was blacked out, but listening on Radio it seemed like several players did well for themselves, as did the team overall especially in the third. These are all things to celebrate as fans…

  • RKD

    What a goal line glove grab by Johnson, an absolutely stunning save. He had no business making that save but he did. He’s going to do wonders for us in net.

  • prendrefeu

    Did anyone who managed to watch the game take notes on the prospects hoping to get a look outside of the AHL?
    For example, did Poirier do any better since his last outing?

    • #69Train

      I was at the game and paid particular attention to Poirier. I had high hopes for this kid but I’m afraid he won’t make it. He was playing against AHL competition and looked bad. In the first he had several pucks in scoring position and was not able to get a good shot off, he took a penalty that could have been a penalty shot, but was called a penalty. overall not a strong game at all.

      I’m afraid the kid is a bust.

    • The only times I wrote something down about Poirier was the horrendous play in the first where he turned the puck over and then took a penalty to prevent a scoring chance. Other was the assist on Kulak’s second goal. Pretty unnoticeable throughout the game.

  • KACaribou

    There’s plenty to learn from any game if you are actually watching it, and understand what you are seeing. I am assuming from your answer that you did not actually watch the game yet had the audacity to write about something you know nothing about except some post game statistics. Strive to be better.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Caribou… settle down.

    I tried watching the game… TSN3 had it blacked out in Southern Alberta if you can believe that! My satellite said it was available in MB & SK… but when the Flames are playing? … be better TSN.

    I pay top dollar for the best sports package and this kind of thing pisses me off. Has me leaning more than ever to illegal streams.You want to push a paying customer over the edge… this is how you do it.

    • The Fall

      I tend to agree. What’s the point of paying big money up front only to have regional restrictions.

      Using a VPN like Hotspot Shield or Tunnel Bear will allow you to VPN through a local region and stream the games from Flames dot com.

    • KACaribou

      I am with you. I thought I could watch the stream too. After which I found out that I couldn’t I kept track online statistically. Then I saw some highlights. When I noticed this article on FN, I thought great someone here is doing a rundown of the game and how our young players did in their opinion after having watched it. But nobody did watch it, yet there’s an article anyway saying the game was “boring.” How can a game you didn’t watch be boring?

      I am sure you did the same. I guess anyone can do a write-up here regardless if they watched the game or not it’s okay by FN; and the clones here are okay with that as long as the goalie has a “cool mask man!”

  • #69Train

    Jankowski failed to impress me as well. Playing against AHL competition I was expecting him to be a stand out.
    He had some decent moves but was inconsistent and seemed disinterested for long periods. Probably tops out as a third liner if at all.

        • Arminius

          Right on, yeah it’d be nice to see him really grab a role. Hopefully he has a nice bounce back season and can establish himself going forward.
          Picking him ahead of Shinkaruk was always questionable and I agree he’s done nothing to dispel that opinion to this point

      • cberg

        Maybe it was into the beers for much more of the game?

        I didn’t watch, but listened. From the announcers they seemed to point out the following guys as having strong games:

        Culkin-excellent D especially in the first

        Kulak-very strong D throughout, and obviously the scoring, leadership

        Ferland, Jankowski, Poirier-strong play, set-ups

        FHamilton-strong play, scoring

        Chad Johnson-excellent goalkeeping w/exceptional saves

        Rittich-solid play

        Overall Team-really shut it down in the 3rd

        PTOs-not so great, nothing notable

        • KACaribou

          If you read it properly, you would note that Train was making a FINAL judgement on those two players based on the game he saw. I am saying, make an opinion on what you saw. But it is unfair to make a FINAL JUDGEMENT based on one game.

          My you don’t like being called out huh? Instead of being insulted, improve yourself. Move forward. You’re the one who put himself out there with this half-baked article.

          • Man, I’m not sure what to tell you besides what I said in my first response (113 props, by the way). It was a game between AHLers. Nothing much happened besides one great save. Occasionally, there is nothing to learn from a hockey game (much less a preseason one). There is no greater analysis or any revelation that could be made from last night’s game, and that is absolutely fine. No need to be mad online about it.

  • #69Train

    Ferland was good. He had quite a few family/ friends at the game wearing his jersey. That was cool. I was hoping he would tune in that annoying kid on the Jets (#19 I think?)

  • Sanintarious

    I was at the game. Its difficult to get a great sense on how some players looked while playing in a friendly but here are some of my thoughts.

    Johnson looked great. Had a solid 2 period outing with 21 saves. Came exactly as advertised. Calm in the net. Good positioning. Will be a great consistent backup.

    Hunter Smith- BIG. But my god he is slow and looks awkward out there. Can’t make a pass or pick up passes well.

    Jankowski- Had some good moments. Played fairly well in his own zone. Set up some decent chances with Ferland. Didn’t blow me away, but didn’t look bad out there for his first “NHL” game.

    Ferland/Bouma- Both looked decent and stronger then most of the players out there. As they should. Ferland was hitting things, Boom was blocking shots.

    Poirier- Looked okay at times, but struggled at times as well. Had some good chances that he couldn’t bury, but he was a big part on Kulak’s second goal, as was Ferland. Kept the puck in the zone, cycled the puck well.

    Kulak- Obviously looked great. Played strong, didn’t look out of place. Very good chance he could make this team if a spot truly is available.

    F.Hamilton- One of the strongest forwards. Played fast, was in the play often. Played good in both zones. I think he has a good chance of playing in the bottom 6 and will be cheap to boot!

    Grossmann- He had some good moments, but was often chasing the play. Played big and landed some nice hits, but he was out of position at times, and making desperate attempts to save the play.

    Just some initial thoughts on a very meh game. Once the next round of cuts are done( which I suspect will be today) and getting down to 2 teams, we will see some better outings.

  • Dan the flames fan

    I would be mindful that Jankowski played the night before in Edmonton, and was one of the more noticeable players on the ice. He was strong in the circle and always making things happen. I could expect him to have a slower game at Winnipeg; however having said that, he still ended up positive in the face off with over 70%, and a plus one for the night. This at least tells me he wasn’t a detriment. The PTO’s still have not shown me enough to validate a contract or place in Calgary over any of the projects.

  • KACaribou

    BTW: props on FN is nothing to brag about. Read the brain-power of some of the comments. Not something I count up. Plus it is super easy to antagonize people here and then sit back. Reminds me of the Light Beer commercial: “Tastes Great/Less Filling” fights. Youtube it.