Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Ducks 3, Flames 1 post-game embers: The first period was really good

[Hey guys. Ari here in the square brackets. I don’t really have much to say about that excuse for a game last night, but Mike took a great look at breaking down the third – and backbreaking – goal against, so be sure to enjoy that.

Otherwise? What I do have to say: the Flames were outstanding in the first period. It was one of the best periods they’ve played in recent memory. And then they blew it. They gave up an early goal on a set play and allowed a squeaker later in the second. As soon as the Ducks took the lead, you knew it was over. They were dominant in controlling the Flames’ attempts at breaking out when they played in Calgary a couple of days ago; why would this time have been any different? If this ends up being the first round playoff matchup then the Flames are doomed unless they do some immediate and incredibly effective adjustments, and absolutely nothing about them as of late makes me think they’re even remotely capable of that.

Everything that followed the hit on Cam Fowler took me out of the game. I personally don’t care for that stuff, so I checked out.

Please enjoy Mike’s stuff, it’s great as always.]

Why do you do this to us?

The other night in Calgary Johnny Gaudreau’s effort on the backcheck created quite the stir, but last night the lapse by the fourth line and the Brodie-Stone pairing led to another low-light moment. At this point, with what this team has been through, and the general overhaul that they’ve had systemically it’s a comedy of errors on this sequence that could have been avoided. Unfortunately this is the current universe and we’re left with a ridiculous result in which everyone loses here.

  1. There’s zero pressure from Lance Bouma here. Moreover, Bouma’s positioning leaves him victim for Shaw and Nate Thompson to break out.
  2. Bouma has an opportunity to continue pressuring the forecheck when they break into the zone and there is a limited effort on his part.
  3. Michael Stone elects to try to suppress the entry which doesn’t go as planned. He has the opportunity to take the body and try to make the entry difficult: which doesn’t happen. There’s too much room for Shaw to get in and get the shot off.
  4. Bouma needs to land the hit in the corner and there needs to be more support there from Brodie. It’s entirely possible the play is dead there if handled effectively.
  5. With Brodie still in the corner – in no man’s land – there are two possible scenarios: chasing after the puck or heading back to the front of the net. Not doing either collapses the entire defensive scheme and doesn’t allow for proper rotations to handle Bouma’s initial mistake.
  6. Not reading Brodie’s error, Stajan misses his man [Wagner], who he should have followed to the front of the net. Wagner scored.

Special thanks to Rachel Doerrie on making sure everything egregious was caught.

The team is going to the postseason and it goes without saying that these situations cannot keep happening, especially at this point in the season. A lot of things didn’t go well last night, but something like that – if played correctly – may very well have put the Flames in a position to possible make it 2-2. Of course – for the sake of repeating myself – this is the current universe and that didn’t happen. It’s all too likely these two teams meet in the first round and there needs to be more out of everyone involved here.

  • Hunterthecat

    I love this site and have a great respect for all the hard working writers here but I feel like I am in the minority when I say in a game against a potential playoff opponent I am more then ok with how the end of that game shook out once you could tell the Flames were not getting back into it. Call me a knuckledragger but I every once in a while I love a game when palyers show true hatred for each other and especially when that hated is towards a team like ducks full of players like Corey perry and Kesler. Anyway needless to say I didn’t tune out the game

  • FuNky ANGER

    I have to say I have a huge growing concern for the Flames ability to win the tough physical and emotional games; which the playoffs are sure to be. Against the Kings and now the Ducks, when the Flames start engaging in the physical battles and get emotional it favours the other team and our play drops off. Example, in yesterday’s 5 on 3 poweplay. How is it that we cannot score when almost a whole line of the Ducks were in the box. We couldn’t make simple passes and our zone entry and times were commically bad. I really hope they figure this out because I feel would could go on a deep playoff run if we do.

  • Justthateasy

    We scored the first goal on a rebound. That video should be drummed into their numbskulls until they finally get it. Shoot the puck! If Brody for one doesn’t shoot on the power play get him off the power play. All that skating around and passing into the circle is not working boys. Keep him after practice and make him shoot a thousand pucks at the net from the blue line.
    Mr. million dollar clutch had to make the score 2-0 on his clear-cut breakaway. What good are you if you can’t​ earn your keep.
    It is unfortunate Johnson went down because Elliott was not ready to play.
    All too bad but yippee we made the playoffs so get ready for more disappointment in the first 4 games.

  • redwhiteblack

    The Ducks and Kings are good at tough physical tight games. We have struggled with that since 2004 which is why we have lost in Anaheim so much. Monahan needs to learn how to drop them at times and engage. He is a leader and can take a cue from Iggy. The passion is not there from enough players.

    Need to be rid of Bouma, Brouwer, Bartkowski and Engelland. Stone looking below average now also. Fill the gaps with Free Agency and prospects smartly. The fundamental flaws this team has are being spotlighted. The playoffs will further highlight these players and a few others as liabilities. It is not just a lack of physical force, it is fundamentally a lack of NHL level depth and talent.

      • VoRaCS

        Are you implying that a clear cut break away should result in a goal 100% of the time? That’s the kind of logic that caused us to lose Paul Byron. When Gibson is on his game, he’s tough to beat. Hopefully the team learns from yet another setback at the Honda Centre and finds a way to elevate their play against truculent teams in the playoffs.

        • Justthateasy

          Playing this team with a 1-0 lead, a breakaway is a must score. This is the time to make some moves when you got one guy to beat not when you’re trying to enter the zone you have to beat five guys.
          Paul Byron is a buzz saw and it’s not afraid of anybody. He is also a penalty kill specialist. He learned to score on breakaways and that makes him a complete player. Johnny has a long way to go. Maybe he will.

  • WildfireOne

    While I’ll admit Moose is an NHL goalie, he’s had too many games like last night to be a 6-million goalie. A couple years at 3 million? Sure.

    Personally, I want to see Gillies or Rittich these next two games.

  • Derzie

    We’ve come back down to earth lately. The cracks in the coaching staff and lineup are showing. And now that the season is done for all intents and purposes, Brouwer is just awful. I supported the move at the time but it has turned out to be a disaster. Maybe the hockey gods are paying us back for actually getting assets for Glencross & Hudler. What goes around comes around.

  • Juan Valdez

    The Ducks won that game after scoring their first goal. It’s the type of goal that should never happen in a million years. I would think the Flames player taking the faceoff should be tying up Getzlaf’s stick at the very least instead of letting him shoot the puck towards the net unabated.


    I dislike Brouwer (as a hockey player) a lot! Things got mucky in the LA game and he was invisible, things got mucky again last night and again he disappeared. He needs to sit and they need to bring in Lazar. His contract is absurd for what he’s bringing to the table. At least Wideman had a couple of good years with the Flames before his contract:play became a problem, but Brouwer has been absolutely bruutal from the start. Oh ya… and definitely strip him of the “A”!

  • Lets Get Something Clear

    The heavy style of Anaheim and LA played the last two games left the Flames exposed. Burke feeling pretty vindicated about his truculence stance. Yuck.

    • The Doctor

      It’s not a lack of truculence that’s killed us, it’s an abundance of stupidity. We’ve let these teams sucker us into playing their greasy, dirty game. I also think it’s partly a product of our overall youth, compared to Anaheim. Young, dumb and full of you know what.

  • Raffydog

    Well the four playoff games we’ll get to watch are sure to be painful, but it should be an interesting off season if nothing else. Lots of holes to fill on this team, long way off from being competitive

    • The Doctor

      I don’t agree with you entirely. I don’t think this Flames team is as bad as we’ve been seeing the last couple of games. A lot of what’s gone wrong is mental errors and things that are fixable. The other thing about a 7 game series is that you should — after a regular season of playing the Ducks a few times, plus at least 4 playoff games in a row — be able to figure out how to play them properly. I’m not saying it’s not a huge challenge, but I don’t think we’re “doomed”, like some of the pessimists on this board seem to think.

  • Jessemadnote

    It’s all well and good to break down specific goals and figure out who was at fault, I’m much more concerned about the 20 times the Flames failed to enter the Ducks zone or lost the puck at the blueline. Players make bad decisions, and you should be able to account for a couple per game. But if the Ducks are able to suppress the Flames attack that well, that’s a systems thing. They need to go backto the drawing board, in that sensethese 2 losses were a good thing, we’re not down 2-0

  • cgyokgn

    Yes, the first period was very good but I knew that the Ducks would make adjustments. The Flames probably needed to score two or more in that period to have a chance. They would also have had a chance if they could have scored on the 5 on 3 (or 5 on 4). I noticed that the dreaded 5 (Brouwer, Bouma, Stajan, Bart and Engs) were on the ice for both of the even strength Ducks’ goals. I feel badly for Stajan to have to be saddled with those two; they are dragging him down. It’s almost an automatic that when our 4th line and 3rd defensive pairing are on the ice (why are they on the ice at the same time?) we are going to have heart palpitations – either they struggle to get the puck out of our zone or get scored on.