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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski / USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames Get Roasted, Swept By Ducks

The Calgary Flames were fighting for their very playoff lives against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 4 at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Unfortunately, their start in no way reflected that. The Flames spotted the Ducks two early goals amidst some extremely shaky play from everyone from their goaltenders on out. They got their act together after that, but it just wasn’t enough to draw even.

The Flames were officially eliminated from the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs in four games by the Ducks, with the final nail in their coffin coming by way of a 3-1 home loss.

THE RUNDOWN

The locals began the first period looking rather tight and jumpy, like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs. They got their tails caught under one of those rocking chairs just 5:38 in. Patrick Eaves beat Brian Elliott low blocker side from the outside of the face-off circle, closer to the boards and red line than to a scoring chance area, to make it 1-0. Elliott was promptly pulled, having made two saves on three shots.

The Ducks made it 2-0 on the first offensive rush that Chad Johnson saw. Johnson blocked Rickard Rakell’s shot from the wing, but the rebound went to the slot and Nate Thompson beat the Flames defenders to the loose puck. The visitors hung back for much of the rest of the period, though the Flames had a couple decent chances on a late power play. Shots were 12-9 for the Flames.

Brodie had a nice scoring chance, couldn’t redirect puck towards open net. Couple PPs; first generates nothing but frustration, second generates a Monahan goal off a whiffed one-timer that went off his hands and in anyway. 2-1.

The Ducks got a late power play of their own, which resulted in both a three-on-two rush for Mikael Backlund, T.J. Brodie and Michael Frolik and Troy Brouwer suffering a broken stick and the whole unit having to run around like lunatics in their own end. Johnson made a massive save on Corey Perry to keep the Flames within one – though it does sort of look like Deryk Engelland batted the puck away with his stick.

Shots were 13-9 Flames.

The Flames pressed a ton in the third, down a goal at home in a game they had to have. They even pulled Johnson for an extra attacker with 2:39 remaining. Ryan Getzlaf added an empty netter to ice this one. Shots were 12-7 Flames in the final period.

WHY THE FLAMES LOST

The Flames played flat and uninspired hockey early in the first period. They seemed to wake up in the second period and found their spark, but ultimately it was too little, too late and they just could not muster enough to make Anaheim’s lives difficult enough to draw even.

THE TURNING POINT

The Flames allowed two goals on three shots (on two goalies) in the span of 68 seconds. Everything the Flames had done wrong in the series to that point was crammed into two back-to-back sequences. Once the Flames were down, the Ducks were perfectly content to box them out and hold onto the lead they had been handed.

RED WARRIOR

Let’s go with with entire 3M line. Backlund, Frolik and Tkachuk were trying their best to get something going for the Flames, especially in the second half of the game.

THE NUMBERS

Coming soon!

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Frolik 71.4 77.8 0.675
Tkachuk 64.0 77.8 0.275
D.Hamilton 63.2 83.3 0.875
Giordano 59.1 88.9 0.225
Backlund 58.8 86.7 0.435
Lazar 57.1 50.0 0.150
Brodie 54.8 61.5 0.350
Monahan 54.6 86.7 0.815
Stone 53.6 66.7 0.350
Versteeg 50.0 76.9 0.810
Gaudreau 48.3 86.7 -0.050
Brouwer 45.5 88.9 0.650
F.Hamilton 44.4 33.3 0.025
Chiasson 42.3 50.0 -0.425
Bennett 42.3 50.0 -0.070
Ferland 41.2 75.0 -0.175
Engelland 30.0 25.0 -0.450
Bartkowski 26.3 33.3 -0.450
Elliott -0.550
Johnson 1.250

THIS AND THAT

QUOTABLE

“It’s tough. I thought we played well enough to get wins certainly in this series. Two, maybe three, you could argue. We didn’t get the goals when we needed late, we were always down one. I think if you rewind this you could see some tipping points, that we made some mistakes. From a season standpoint, very good, and this is a little tough to swallow.” – Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan on the series sweep by the Ducks.

UP NEXT

It’s all over, folks. Presumably there will be a day off for the Flames tomorrow to clear their heads and then the pageantry of Garbage Bag Day on Friday.

  • oddclod

    Troy Brouwer the playoff beast. All that powerplay time and no Jam. Skated by the graveyard the whole series. Strip that A off and give it to anyone. Then expose him to waivers and expansion draft of whatever comes first. In a series of inches, Troy gave yards. GOOF. The difference in the series was Gibson hands down. He got wider and taller as the series went on. ENVY

    • The Sultan

      No. The difference in this series was Elliott. Gibson was good but he wasn’t great, and he definitely didn’t steal them any games. The Flames got progressively worse and really, how many high-danger scoring chances did they have in the final 5 minutes of this game? I don’t know, maybe 1? That’s not on Gibson being a good goalie, which I’m not saying he isn’t, that’s on the Flames for not being a good team.

      • oddclod

        No? Lol Obviously Elliot tanked and when you’re behind in ‘3 one goal’ games plus an OT and the opposing goalie shuts the door at the end of each game he’s role playing as a ‘Money goalie’ Sure he’ll let in a few goals but won’t give up the game winner. Elliott hurt the Flames and Gibson stopped them. I’d say his game 4 was stellar. Nearly a shut out if not for Mono’s bat.

        • NickRash

          I agree he was good but I also think the Flames were content to throw garbage perimeter shots from the wing all night, hoping for a bounce or a rebound that never came.

          • ThisBigMouthIsRight

            Rebound to who?? Every Flame is on the boards waiting for a pass or getting ready to pass to someone else on the boards! Why would you want to crash the net or get in front of the other guys goalie? or try to score off the rush? you would lose possession of the puck then! ~(Sarcasm)…

  • Skylardog

    Here’s a stat. Not one Flame had a positive +/-. Not one regular was even. Combined team, -41 for the series.
    But GG is a great 5 on 5 coach – BULLCRAP!

      • Skylardog

        3 Even strength goals in 4 games. Forget the goalies. That’s not good enough. That’s not going to win. Elliott takes the blame but where was the team? Monahan and Gaudreau – not a single even strength point during a 4 game series.

    • Glenn Gulutzan is the head coach of a team that made it to the playoffs when most neutral observers and even many fans did not think they would. I assume he’s back next year unless the ownership is looking at firing GM Brad Treliving.

      • Thumper

        They need to hire a sports psychologist. The Flames looked scared of their own shadow last night. They ride their waves of emotion harder than Calgary rides $/bbl. When they’re feeling good they play great, but if anything goes wrong they look like hungover beer leaguers.

  • Connor'sGotHart

    If it’s any consolation I wasn’t sure Calgary’s was going to make the playoffs before the season started.
    I really didn’t think they would make it after the first 10-15 games.
    Good job by them pulling it together and being one of the best teams the last half of the season. They are a lot closer than most posters from FN and ON ever thought they were.
    Shore up the bottom 3 on D and add another top six forward with size and you might just take the next step next season.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    I Have To Ask…. Any thoughts on the 2018 Flames goalie situation? (yes, I’m moving on quickly) Scott Darling??? ~ Status quo? ~ David Rittich? ~ Ben Bishop? Just getting the conversation started, Ideas & insight pls….

  • C Watson

    Thanks, Flames for a very entertaining season. Lots of “ups”, lots of “downs”. I look forward to next year and a few changes. I believe you already have the horses, just need to trust and give them a chance. Kulak, Andersson, Jankowski, Lomberg, Mangiapanni, Shinkaruk, etc. Keep Elliott and Johnson for 1 more year and change the goalie coach. Nothing drastic, nothing dramatic, nothing expensive.

    • Alberta Ice

      It would be great to see a bit more use of these players from the farm system. John Gillies and Tyler Parsons have great potential. But it takes time; and that’s something organizations and fans have a hard time dealing with.

  • Harry2

    The Flames will be mediocre untill they flush that massive arrogant blowhard turd Brian Burke.

    Dont believe me? Just look at Toronto. The guy is out of touch and too arrogant to realize it. Hes got to go.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Just a heads-up, fans. Anybody who bought one of those Flames car flags for the long playoff run can drop off there unwanted or not needed flags this Saturday in the east parking lot of Westbrook Mall (near BMO) between 10:00 and 4:00. Donated flags will be used for charitable purposes. The cloth will be sent to Somalia to be used to make sails for refugee boats and the plastic to North Korea to build a better missile.

  • One Eyed Jack

    There was an optional practice on Tuesday, and 5 players showed up? Shouldn’t there be a sense of urgency from this team. Apparently not, and it was clearly evident from the opening faceoff of last night’s game. Where is the leadership on this team, from the coaching staff and on down. Also, it is almost like Matty T got reeled in. He has not been the same player since the LA incident. We needed him to play his usual style, especially against this team. Brouwer? Why was he even dressed for game 4, not to mention all the minutes he gets allocated.

    • There was a sense of urgency right around when Monahan scored in Game 4 on the power play but obviously not nearly enough before or after that moment. Flames scored only 2 even-strength goals in the entire series and no goals in any third period. I think the 4 unanswered goals in Game 3 broke the Flames’ back. Whatever confidence they had that they might get back into this series evaporated after the Ducks’ third goal in Game 3 was upheld after reviews should there might’ve been high sticking. And that would explain why only 5 players showed up on Tuesday for the optional practice.

  • theartfuldodger

    Questionable coaching and playerdecsions
    Questionable goaltending
    3M vanished, especially Tcachuk
    Brouwer….
    I was expecting Gio to come out and be a beast but he wasn’t.
    JG ..shoot the freakin puck!
    Lazar over Bouma

  • Rockmorton65

    This series would’ve been a lot closer had Johnny and Chuck shown up. JG wasn’t the same player after his surgery. It’s like he was hearing footsteps. I hope it’s mental & not physical.

    MT didn’t have the same edge he did before his suspension, either. I hope he gets it back in the offseason. He’s a quite average winger without it.

  • snotss

    funny we got into the playoffs on good goaltending…………..on the other hand we were illuminated from the playoffs with bad goaltending….management please fix the goaltender problem….it’s been 3 years now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Moneyball

      Do they have a goaltending problem? They got into the playoffs and have a reasonable gaa. Unfortunately not ever team gets a lundquist or Price as a goaltender. Teams like Winnipeg have goaltending problems, there is a team that is still looking for a starter.

  • Captain Ron

    Well Stanley boy 11 years of futility didn’t stop you and your troll friends from spouting off about how great you were going to be 2 games into every season. I get it that this winning thing is new to you though….

  • Spartachris

    Beat em 4-3. How about you flamers stick to worrying about your own team, the Oilers are doing just fine. Out in first round, won’t win this one, we have a very great and proud team and it kills you down south. Before you mention anything about the last 10 years, which is all you brainless skin folds really have to say, let me remind you about our 5 cups and the best fans in the league.
    We certainly do not need any hockey advice from Calgary, 30 years of mediocrity….and where players go to die.

  • Spartachris

    Winning is new to us??? How many times has Calgary been to a Stanley cup final?? The Oilers have a great history and future, one that Calgary will NEVER have. Do you ever wonder why nobody likes the flames? It’s because of their “fans”