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Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel / USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Details lacking in loss to Nashville

Tonight was a big game for the Calgary Flames. If they wanted to make their lives easier over the last few weeks of the season, a win tonight would’ve been nice. Unfortunately the team’s attention to detail, usually something they excel at, was sorely lacking. Bad puck management on the power play combined with some really bad zone exit attempts en route to a 3-1 loss to Nashville at Bridgestone Arena.

THE RUNDOWN

It was a playoff-like atmosphere in Nashville, with lots of board work and good scoring chances at a premium. The Flames carried most of play at even strength, but couldn’t bury anything as Pekka Rinne stood tall. Shots were 9-7 Calgary.

The Predators got up early in the second period. First, Freddie Hamilton took a rather silly roughing minor. The Predators couldn’t score on the power play, but Colin Smith found Calle Karnkrok in the slot with a gorgeous feed just after the advantage ended and a nice wrister made it 1-0 Nashville. They went up 2-0 a few minutes later; the Flames couldn’t clear the puck, they got extremely scrambly in their own end, and Colton Sissons beat Johnson from an awful angle (Johnson had already dropped down and Sissons kept skating wide to open a shooting lane). But Dougie Hamilton made it 2-1 before the end of the period off a really nice passing sequence that began with some nice board battling by Micheal Ferland.

Shots were 9-3 Calgary.

The Flames pressed in the third, but couldn’t bury anything. They failed to clear the zone multiple times, so Ryan Ellis corralled the puck and beat Johnson with a wrister through traffic to make it 3-1. Calgary pulled the goalie but couldn’t generate much. Shots were 7-7.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Two big reasons.

The Flames had five power plays. That’s 10 full minutes, or one-sixth of the running time of this game. They managed just four shots. That’s horrible.

Also horrible? A lot of cheating on zone exits, with players escaping the defensive zone way ahead of the initial pass. That resulted in plenty of unforced turnovers and a pair of goals. The Flames are usually much better than this with the puck.

THE TURNING POINT

The Flames were pressing in the third, but that Ellis goal (and the series of miscues that led to it) was inexcusable and a back-breaker.

RED WARRIOR

Y’know, for a guy that had been in isolation for five days Ferland sure did seem like a bundle of energy. He was all over this game and one of the few big consistent bright spots for the Flames.

THE NUMBERS

(Percentage stats are even strength. Game score is overall. Data via Natural Stat Trick.)

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Gaudreau 72.7 100 1.500
Ferland 70.8 100 1.350
Monahan 69.6 100 0.600
Giordano 66.7 55.6 0.900
D.Hamilton 62.1 50.0 1.525
Bouma 50.0 33.3 0.000
Stajan 47.4 55.6 0.015
Bennett 47.4 28.6 -0.100
Brodie 45.5 44.4 -0.200
Stone 45.0 50.0 -0.100
Chiasson 44.4 33.3 0.000
Engelland 41.7 62.5 -0.300
Backlund 41.7 44.4 -0.255
Brouwer 41.2 50.0 0.050
Frolik 40.9 28. 6 -0.140
Bartkowski 39.1 62.5 -0.400
Versteeg 38.1 57.1 -0.035
F.Hamilton 33.3 0.0 -0.335
Johnson -0.850

THIS AND THAT

Consequently, it’s also two games in a row where the Flames never had a lead.

MAGIC NUMBERS

Stick-tap to our pal (and yours) Pat Steinberg for busting out the slide-ruler to do the initial calculations on these!

The Flames magic number to clinch a playoff spot began the night at 5. They lost, so that number doesn’t change.

UP NEXT

The Flames (41-29-4) are off to St. Louis tomorrow. They play the Blues on Saturday at 5 p.m. (on City TV) to finish off this road trip.

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    • Burning Ring of Fire

      Not sure why Brower is ‘trying’ so hard right now. He’ll be playing the next game, and the next game…I think it’s one of those silver spoon things. Hopefully he figures out that once you take it out of your butt it makes skating a lot easier.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    The “Freddie Hamilton roughing minor” Should have been given out to Both of them, it was a bogus call. But where are the Flames Special Teams right Now? Both the PK & PP are abysmal if not just plain Pathetic(Looking More At You PP). This ship better start their engines soon because they’re drifting pretty quick towards some big rocks! This trip down October 2016 Flames Hockey memory lane can’t end soon enough! Better fix this before we play the Blues, PDQ…

    • kid presentable

      when he’s on the ice the most we can hope for is to barely cling on. messes up routine plays, coughs the puck up, poor reads/positioning. brings absolutely nothing to the table

      • Zalapski

        It’s hard to believe not a single NHL team wanted him. It’s almost like he’s playing in slow motion. Fat Ras, Wotherspoon, or even a hurt Kulak would be better options. I thought it would be hard to make Wideman look bad but Bart has surpassed that. Every single shift. Completely and utterly awful.

      • deantheraven

        gotta be a mental thing because sometimes he looks very useful. It’s just that when he effs up it’s never at a good time. Brodie did too, tonight but got bailed out. Giordano’s miscues were less visible (and less frequent) because when he had to he always made the smart play.

  • VoRaCS

    I think it’s pretty clear that we missed Tkachuk these last two games. Had some bad luck early with the posts and that didn’t help either. But the biggest problem tonight was the poor passing. Maybe Chicago has the right idea with their emphasis on putting more zing on the puck. It will be interesting to see how they perform next with all of the key players back in the lineup (and, hopefully, with a new look on D).

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    It seems like we kill off the first minute of the Penalties on a regular basis with Backjund an Frolik but the second PK unit is victimized. We still don’t have the comeback mentality like we had in previous years. We have to learn how to get a loser point every once in awhile. Tkachuk’s value cannot be overstated.

  • cjc

    I need to walk back my previous comments about Stone. His last two games have been pretty underwhelming and his underlying numbers have come back to earth in a hurry. Dangers of small sample size.

    How did Gulutzan manage to start Gaudreau/Monahan/Ferland in the o-zone on every shift – in a road game no less?

    If the PP gets even one goal in the second, this is a completely different game.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Crisis? What crisis?

    Barring a complete collapse, the Flames are postseason bound; however, because of one miserable week in late March, the club’s first round opponent may be the Blackhawks, arguably the one team the Flames don’t want to play in Round 1. Should this destiny befall them and they are felled by the Hawks, they can look back at this week and recall how they were crushed by the Caps, porked by the Preds, and buttonholed by the Blues.