Post-Game: Burn The Tape

The Calgary Flames came into San Jose hoping for a consistent 60 minute effort, and ideally two points.

After one of the most bizarre games they’ve played in all season, they’re probably just happy to escape Silicon Valley. Despite blowing 2-0 and 4-1 leads, and losing both David Jones and Karri Ramo to injuries, the Flames eked out a 6-5 shootout victory in San Jose.

It was a fun game to watch if you only cared about goals and excitement. If you wanted to see strong structural hockey, or a team not blowing giant leads, you came to the wrong place.

THE RUNDOWN

The opening period was a tidal wave of goals, mostly from the Flames. They began with a pair of goals 1:06 apart, with Sam Bennett’s wrister to make it 1-0 being followed by a power-play goal from Mark Giordano to make it 2-0. Tommy Wingels answered back a few minutes later to drag the Sharks back within one, but the Flames responded with two more – a great passing play finished of by Sean Monahan to make it 3-1 and a Mikael Backlund effort to make it 4-1. The Sharks had a possession and shot edge – 12-9 in shots and 21-12 in attempts – but life was good in Flames-ville because San Jose’s goalie wasn’t sharp and the entire team looked shaky.

And then the wheels fell off and the Flames blew a 4-1 lead.

Logan Couture scored early in the second period on the Sharks second power-play – a carry-over advantage from late in the first. The Sharks then deluged the Flames with shots, but it wasn’t until they got a two-man advantage and then Bob Hartley took a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct by arguing the calls that Patrick Marleau was able to score on the ensuing lengthy advantage to make it 4-3. Shots in the second were 11-4 for the Sharks and attempts were 29-11. It was not an even period. The Flames were not good at all.

And they completed their collapse in the third. Joonas Donskoi buried a Couture feed a few minutes in – at even-strength, mind you – to make it 4-4. The Sharks pulled ahead on another power-play – their sixth of the game at that point – by way of a Dylan Demelo goal to make it 5-4. But because this game had to get weirder, Kris Russell snuck in from the point and buried a rebound from an initial Bennett chance on the power-play to make it 5-5. Karri Ramo left the game late on a bizarre sequence that saw Bennett take a elbowing penalty, Giordano take a penalty for tripping a Shark forward, and said Shark forward crash into Ramo and seemingly crush his knee between his out-of-control body and the post. Jonas Hiller came in and somehow the Flames survived the 5-on-3 power-play – courtesy of a great effort from Mikael Backlund – and they managed to survive their way to overtime. Shots were 17-6 Sharks and attempts were 24-13 Sharks.

Overtime was back and forth but nobody scored. San Jose had leads in shots (3-2) and attempts (9-4) but both teams looked dangerous. Joe Colborne and Jiri Hudler scored in the shootout to seal the deal and end the craziness.

THE NUMBERS

(All Situations) CorsiFor% OZStart%
Jones 0% 100%
Hamilton 54.29% 87.5%
Gaudreau 44.74% 73.33%
Hudler 59.26% 68.75%
Monahan 50% 68.42%
Bennett 43.48% 66.67%
Ferland 55% 60%
Giordano 39.62% 47.83%
Russell 30% 43.75%
Colborne 39.13% 40%
Frolik 28.57% 40%
Backlund 32.5% 33.33%
Smid 19.05% 33.33%
Bouma 9.09% 33.33%
Brodie 22.81% 28.57%
Engelland 24.14% 25%
Granlund 37.5% 20%
Stajan 0% 20%

WHY THE FLAMES WON

Honestly? This was a game they deserved to lose, and were only in because Alex Stalock was lousy in the first period. (He gave up 4 goals on 9 shots.) From the second period until basically overtime began, the Flames got their heads absolutely kicked in, and that’s just at even-strength.

You can rant and rave about bad officiating all you want – and don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t great – but the Flames were out-shot 26-16 at even-strength and then gave their opponents nine power-plays. That’s insane, and unacceptable for a team with playoff aspirations.

RED WARRIOR

Sam Bennett had three points, so let’s go with him.

But T.J. Brodie played THIRTY MINUTES, so that’s also pretty great so tip your hat to him, too. And give Jonas Hiller a ton of credit; he jumped into a crazy game and managed to get the Flames two important points.

UP NEXT

The Flames jump on a plane and head to the greater Phoenix area, as they face the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow evening in another crucial Pacific Division tilt.

But hey, they’re back up to .500, with a 25-25-3 record.

  • cberg

    In the numbers section, i’ve always wondered why _all situations_ corsi percentages are listed instead of even strength corsi percentages? If you want to compare player performance, might as well add even strength percentages which are not biased by special teams usage. Also, a separate row which lists team corsi percentages for each period could be a nice addition, as it would give a general idea of the possession game flow at a glance. Just random thoughts.

  • Rallytongue

    Giving up 9 power plays is brutal. Especially on a night when One of our best penalty killers is scratched.

    If Jones is hurt I wonder who we call up. Maybe give Agostino a shot. Too bad Grant got hurt. He definently earned another chance.

  • cberg

    I think the Wideman suspension might actually be a good thing, maybe some GM’s will forget how badly he was playing and Wideman may wave his N/T for a fresh start. I’m pretty certain he will move given what has just happened with Byfugilen and Phaneuf…I think there are a few fewer potential rentals out there now…

  • MontanaMan

    Lots of bad trade outcomes for Calgary in that game–teams like SJ and the Habs who might want a goalie of ours just got one less to choose from, and perhaps the more desirable.

    On the other hand, both Russell and Hudler may have elevated their stock a bit.

  • MontanaMan

    The apparent season ending injury to Ramo leaves the Flames in a tough spot. I’m sure they were hoping to move one of their tenders at the trade deadline but with Ramo shelved and the Flames still technically in the playoff hunt, they can’t move Hiller. Wonder how this will impact the goaltending situation next year – can’t help but think that may have been Ramo’s last game with Calgary.

      • cberg

        Yes, it is a bit frustrating, but I am never going to say, roll over and give up. If the Hockey Gods are with us (re: rebuild), the injuries may be a blessing in disguise, but its terrific the guys battled through and won in the game.

        Hey, even if we traded a bunch of guys, the replacements would be going all-out to establish their place for next year….

      • MontanaMan

        Well they are, Jeff. They’re 5 points behind Nashville and while it may be doubtful, it’s still very possible. The playoff picture may be clearer by the TDL but for now, the Flames still have a chance. If they decide to move Russell, Hudler and Hiller and go with an AHL goalie, they’ve clearly decided to play for the draft but it’s not in the DNA of the coaching or management team to do that so I’m guessing we don’t move a goaltender at the deadline. But time will tell.

  • Canrock 78

    I wonder if the wideman appeal is affecting the refs. We had heard they wanted a larger suspension.

    When was last time you seen a 5 on 3 like that? I believe the shark stick broke on the shot not the slash. There was a couple week calls the other way as well so maybe the refs had an off night. I guess we will see over the next few games if I need to take of my tinfoil hat.

  • wot96

    The whole Wideman thing can’t have helped the officials’ disposition. But after Roy and Quenneville lost their minds on the officials this past week, Bob was stupid doing the same to the officials. In fact, if a player had done it we would be calling it a selfish penalty.

    They took 9 penalties against the 4th best power play and should have been spanked after giving up 3 goals. Burn the tape indeed.

  • Franko J

    Both Ramo and Hiller deserve plenty of credit for the win.
    Unfortunately for the Flames a couple of valuable trade chips could be jeopardized due to injuries.

  • beloch

    This was a game in which nobody would have faulted Wideman for cross-checking a ref. Truly terrible officiating. Still, it made the win that much sweeter. I can’t remember the last time the Flames played so much 5on3 and still came out on top.

  • cgyokgn

    I mean, nine penalties? Did the ref have to give the bench minor? I’ve seen plenty of angry coaches not assessed penalties. Anyway… they’re not likely to ever take this many penalties again. They did pretty good on the PP (and bad on the PK) but I remember our last game with SJ having PP goals on both sides so it seems to be a thing when they play SJ.

    I’m just happy they found a way to win for their dads.

    • cberg

      Multiple calls were pretty marginal, and many not called against them. Actually I’d say they did pretty good on both the PP and the PK. Two of their PP goals were back-door tap-ins from 2 ft where they managed to ram across a hard pass from the near corner into a bunch of players in front. One 5-4, one 5-3, where its hard to cover every man (obviously you can’t) and you’d hope they would be able to get a stick on a pass or player at the net. Aside from that SJS had almost 4 solid minutes of 5 on 3.

  • cberg

    Funny how some people on this message board are like Shamu flip-flopping in a bathtub. Torches and pitchforks one minute – Flames are going to the playoffs the next. In the words of the late-great Frank Sinatra; I find it all, soooo amusing…..

    • cberg

      ..been more jumping on and off the bandwagon up North this past week…easy wins against bottom feeder at home,then get their heads bashed in on the 3 game roadtrip and its back on with a home win against the worst team in hockey! So much joy up North, until their next game!

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    The curdled old grump-me who is pro-tank and thinks about draft positions and salary caps and trading Ramo hated this game

    But the kid-me who loves goals and on-ice drama and doesn’t know about advanced stats loved it

    I’m going to let the kid enjoy this one

  • Victoria Flames Fan

    Give the Red Warrior to Hiller. Came in cold to a 5-3 disadvantage when it was tied 5-5 with 3 minutes to go… and single handedly kept us in it. Was the sharpest player in OT and did just enough to squeak out the SO win. He chanelled the Hiller of the Ducks-Sharks playoff series.

    I’ll probably be calling for his head tomorrow night, but give him his dues tonight.

  • Danomitee

    Sam Bennett also had two dumb penalties, ahhhh we’ll overlook that. I’m not gonna hate though, this game was gross like catching your parents in bed gross. I have to say personally though, I was waiting for this game all week, an absolute must win. It was nail biting and downright disgusting at points but these were two points we NEEDED regardless of outcome. Most of you think the flames are done, and hey deep down so do I but that doesn’t mean I’m not cheering for them to pull out a miracle every time I watch them. In my mind, biggest win of the season.

  • Burnward

    You can’t blow a 2-0 lead if you had a 4-1 lead, Ryan.

    But yeah.

    Burn. The. Tape.

    Or better yet, show the tape to this team so they actually learn how horrible their play was.

    • cberg

      Both teams played hard, tough games. I wouldn’t say the Flames sucked and deserved to lose. They dominated the Sharks in the 1st, and it was score effects from 2 minutes onwards for the Sharks. The disproportionate number of penalties (and some marginal and missed calls) was tough to take, but the Flames survived, with Hiller playing outstanding coming in cold for a full 2:00 5 on 3 against, then Overtime.

      Great win by the Flames, too bad SJS got the loser point.

      • redricardo

        Re. score effects: The Flames are 19th in the league in 5v5 CF% when playing with the lead. Not amazing, but not as bad as I thought they would be. Last year they were 29th, and they’re about 3% ahead of where they were last year in raw terms.

        • cberg

          They outskated them, won most of the battles, were getting out-numbered rushes, setting up multiple layer screens and getting the puck on net.

          One goal was a tic-tac-toe on a rush, then two multi-screened shots the goalie never even saw. Yes, I call that domination. You may call it what you will but if you’re going off Corsi or Save%, Sorry, you missed one of their most effective periods in a long time…..

          • RedMan

            They were outskated. They lost most of the battles. They failed to clear the defensive zone multiple times on consecutive shifts. Ramo played over his head to keep the score from a blowout the other way.

            They were outchanced in the slot and other dangerous scoring areas.

            Stalock let in multiple terrible goals. The Bennett goal was terrible and so was the Backlund goal. The Giordano PP goal was deflected but still should have been stopped by an NHL goalie. The tic-tac-toe play involved a Sharks player randomly dropping his stick against Johnny Gaudreau (pure random fluke chance).

            That’s not domination.