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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Post-Game: A vintage performance

The Calgary Flames have been rolling along quite well over the past several months. Tonight’s game with the Los Angeles Kings was one they really should have had, given the Kings were playing their second game in as many nights and that the Flames had a chance to clinch a playoff berth.

Unfortunately, the Flames ran into a brick wall in the form of 39-year-old Jarome Iginla. In a game that had all the markings of a 2004 playoff game – including tons of clutching, grabbing and physicality – the Flames looked lost at times en route to a 4-1 setback. It was a vintage performance from both Iginla and the youthful Flames, who looked taken aback by the temperment of the game.

THE RUNDOWN

This game really didn’t have very much flow to it. The first period was primarily a series of whistles and icings, with 40 minutes of penalties called (including two fights). The Flames opened the scoring, with Dougie Hamilton pinching and getting his own rebound to make it 1-0.

The Kings tied things up before the end of the period on a really neat goal; Trevor Lewis redirected a Derek Forbort point shot (through traffic) while falling down past Brian Elliott to make it 1-1. Shots were 10-6 Kings.

The second period was a slog. There were many, many penalties. There wasn’t much flow to it. Both teams seemed to be fighting the puck. Just when it looked like the Flames would escape 40 minutes of so-so play with a tie, Jarome Iginla got credit for a weird goal in the final minute as after a goal-mouth scramble Mark Giordano hooked the puck towards Elliott… and inadvertently bonked it off his goaltender and into the open net. Whoops. Shots were 9-6 Kings.

The Flames were a bit flatter in the third, coming out seemingly wondering where the next goal would come from. Unfortunately, they didn’t really generate too many great chances from here on out. Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter (off a gorgeous feed from Iginla) added goals to make it a 4-1 final. Shots were 14-14 in the final period, but remember score effects and whatnot; the Flames didn’t generate many dangerous chances.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

Honestly, the Flames didn’t seem to manage their emotions well. This was arguably the biggest game of the season. Fans probably expected a fast-paced game. Instead, the Kings dragged things down to their level and a lot of the blame for that has to be directed at the Flames. They engaged with the Kings when they really should’ve avoided a lot of the silliness. The Kings are a veteran team and they suckered the Flames in.

That said: the Flames had just eight shots combined on six power plays. They weren’t particularly sharp tonight with the extra man and as a result, they blew a golden opportunity to clinch against a tired opponent.

THE TURNING POINT

The Iginla goal was a weird one, but it transformed a 1-1 game after 40 minutes into a game where the Flames were chasing after two periods. That’s a big swing off a single bad goal.

RED WARRIOR

Let’s go with Kris Versteeg, who was buzzing tonight and somehow led the team in shots.

THE NUMBERS

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Backlund 73.3 60.0 -0.095
Frolik 70.6 60.0 0.410
Engelland 70.0 71.4 0.300
Bennett 68.4 83.3 0.350
Brouwer 62.5 54.6 0.275
Hamilton 62.1 53.3 1.350
Versteeg 61.1 58.3 0.655
Giordano 59.3 60.0 0.275
Tkachuk 57.1 60.0 -0.200
Bouma 55.6 85.7 0.225
Bartkowski 55.6 62.5 0.075
Stajan 52.4 58.3 0.285
Brodie 50.0 40.0 0.250
Chiasson 47.6 85.7 -0.575
Ferland 47.1 36.4 0.025
Gaudreau 45.0 38.5 0.525
Monahan 36.8 38.5 0.545
Stone 34.8 36.4 -0.375
Elliott 0.000

THIS AND THAT

This was the 11th Gordie Howe Hat Trick of Iginla’s career.

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 1 and remains at 1 with the regulation loss by the Flames (and regulation win by the Kings).

UP NEXT

The Flames (43-30-4) practice tomorrow and then prepare to host the San Jose Sharks on Friday night in a game with huge divisional implications.

  • Lucky 13

    Looks like Lady Byng was up to his poop pestering self. I like that Tkachuk backs up himself on the ice and not afraid to fight.
    Doughty is a coward and a mouthpiece, even for a great hockey player.
    GG needs to put a bridle on Tkachuk, he’s awesome at getting under players skin but he needs to stick to his game. That was LA hockey… slow, no- flow and very physical. It was a bad showing by our boys getting sucked into stupid mayhem of Kings drama.

    Iginla can fight and sometimes you have to respect what he did for his team tonight. Good on him. Classic Iggy stuff!

    Its time we get back to Flames style of hockey and actually play hockey

      • RedMan

        Are you seriously trying to sound stupid for comic affect, or don’t you hear yourself? At least comment on what really happened, not what happens in your oily fantasy.
        Come on, try a little harder. Surely you can troll better than this?
        By the way have you noticed that you’re the only one left trolling on either site? What does that say about you…

      • Captain Ron

        Sure he had a choice. He could have skated around all night pretending nothing happened like Doughty did. The kid manned up and didn’t hide from anyone. Faced the music front and center like a man. On the other hand several Kings players resorted to using cheap shots on him all night. It’s not always about winning the fight but showing up that counts the most. He did that in spades. I was there to watch it. If this kid was doing that in an Oiler jersey you’d be here gushing all about how great he was last night.

        Your completely biased comments sure make you look stupid.

  • Thumper

    Not the most spectacular game I’ve ever been to, but nice to get a bit of Iggy nostalgia in potentially his last game at the dome. Big cheer from the fans who stayed for the first star.

      • Not a First Tier Fan

        Haven’t clinched it yet, Army old pal… And with the schedule you’ve for coming up I might spare a thought or two to worry… two against the Sharks and the Ducks and one more against the team that thumped you last night…

        Hell – even you might be hoping that the Oil beat LA next week…. come on – we won’t judge you for admitting it. Lol.

          • Not a First Tier Fan

            I would if you give me odds… For sure things would have to go really squirrely for the Flames to miss the boat… But stranger things have happened. It’s not over till the Fat Lady sings, and the Kings sure looked fired up last night.

  • Despo

    Far to much show about the Tkachuk/Doughty theater.
    I liked that Tkachuk stepped up for himself, but the penalty he took at the beginning was pretty poor. If you wanna fight “make a date and dance”… The Kings did well keeping this game hectic and slow so they robbed the Flames their strength.
    Even with the loss we will be Play-Off bound and so this game has to be seen as a test for the postseason.

  • paul wodehouse

    …gawd it feels so gratifying that Iggy walks in and makes his last appearance in the crushed can…gets all bloody with the Mr. Hockey hatty and probably a chorus of boos from the knuckledragging flames fans … so gratifying!!! gratifying I tell you !!!

  • C Watson

    After last night’s performance it is looking more and more like the
    Flames first round matchup will be Chicago.
    Tkachuk’s personal and selfish vendetta hurt the focus of the team.

  • RanaeParker

    What a performance! Of course, this is not the best game I have ever seen, but nevertheless I like it! Thank you so much for sharing! Keep up sharing with us!

  • deantheraven

    The Kings beef and dragging tempo foiled the locals tonight. La played the hockey that took them to the cup. Calgary played with confidence, but couldn’t really generate any dangerous opportunities. Gawd-awfully slow. It was like a trip to the dentist. Disturbing noises, some pain, and it will be some time before we feel better afterwards. Hopefully next time in the chair will be more like a routine check up, with goals and no cavities.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Tell me again why Jarome could do nothing to help the Flames in their drive to the playoffs and the playoffs themselves as a third or fourth liner? Kings paid a pittance for the greatest Flame of all time. Where was Tre on this one? Dumb no move by Tre.

    • Bilman

      You’re assuming that he wanted to come here. Perhaps Tre made an offer, but Iggy saw LA as having a better chance to win than Calgary (I know they were behind us at the time, but just got quick back and added Bishop). We can’t always assume the reason we didn’t get a player is because the GM didn’t try.

  • Justthateasy

    What is up with iginla? I’d say that’s his third strike and he is OUT. First the hamstrings the Flames with his trade specifications. Then with the Avalanche he tries to fight Giordano for no apparent reason. Then last night he picks a fight again in retaliation for a normal defenders check on the boards. Engelland should have left him standing. But he’s too much of a team man for that.
    If that edmontonian wanted zero legacy left in this city he’s got it.
    It’s always about HIM. He left no doubt about that last night. I guess he’s trying to prove he still has it. Right, all he can do is punch. I don’t mind saying Ig is a disgrace. Good on him; now we see his true colors.
    In a way I am happy for him though. No Stanley Cup…hahahaha

    • Not a First Tier Fan

      Flames fans should weep. To go from a stand-up guy like Iginla to cheering for a hack like Tkachuk… We’ll nothing more needs to be said. If Justthateasy’s post doesn’t make you want to vomit than you’re seriously flawed….