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Red Wings 8, Flames 2 post-game embers: Whatever

The game was long over well before that brawl broke out. Jon Gillies sure didn’t deserve those extra powerplay goals against him, though. Pour one out for his save percentage.

Sure, somebody’s got to make a stop, but…

I’m not sure how anyone can really blame the goaltending for this one.

I mean, it wasn’t great. Nobody was particularly good. But Eddie Lack gave up five goals, and that’s never a good indictment on any goalie.

The question here, though, is which ones was he supposed to have? He wasn’t expecting T.J. Brodie to swing his stick around and score on his own net because, well, who would? He got caught suddenly facing Gustav Nyquist one-on-one thanks to the Red Wings’ quick zone entry and perfect plays in the slot, and Nyquist buried it. Anthony Mantha gathered his own rebound before Lack could even react. His team gave up a shorthanded two-on-one and Brodie was the victim once again. And then another Mantha tip, before he could even really get set to attempt to kill a penalty.

Maybe he should’ve had the Nyquist goal, and quicker reflexes wouldn’t have let Mantha score on him. But other than those…? Yeah, Lack had a bad game, for sure. But he didn’t exactly get anything resembling help from his teammates, either. Fluke accidents and poor defensive play did everyone in. For Lack to be that bad next game, the entire skating group in front of him would probably have to be just as bad all over again, as well.

Not a night to remember

Brodie and Travis Hamonic were horrible. There’s really no getting around it. They had their worst games of the season. In a game of mostly high to relatively decent corsi percentages in part thanks to score effects, they were still clinging to the very bottom of the barrel: 22.22% and 18.75% CFs.

Hamonic’s ice time was vastly shortened, down to just 15:54. Brodie, however, still kept up his big minutes: 21:27, in part thanks to special teams time. Brett Kulak got a bump in minutes, though, so that was nice to see; that’s the third game this season in which he’s played over 14 minutes.

Players will go through bad stretches, and Hamonic is coming off of an injury. We saw Brodie rebound nicely from his poor first game of the season to a four-point night; we know it’s in him to be better than this. But Hamonic? Well, when you consider how he didn’t have a great season last year… It’s a little concerning right now, to say the least.

The pairing, plus Michael Stone and Matt Bartkowski, are the Flames defencemen under 50% so far this season, but someone’s gotta be under 50%, and they’re hovering around 47-49% (except Bartkowski, who’s at a cool 44%), so things hopefully aren’t too dire – although Hamonic is still putting up the worst numbers of all the regular defenders.

Hopefully this game was an outlier for Hamonic and Brodie as much as it probably was for everyone else. They got victimized, and the puck went in against them. It’ll happen. It’s more important it doesn’t become a regular occurrence.

A special kind of bad

The Flames gave up four powerplay goals – although you can perhaps argue two should have never had the chance to be – and a shorthanded goal, all while scoring just one powerplay goal themselves.

The penalty kill has been in a free fall for some time now, and they’ve finally hit it: 31st in the NHL, with a 70.8% success rate.

The powerplay is faring a little better, tied for 19th at 70.5%, but fact of the matter is, special teams aren’t great at the moment. The powerplay didn’t seem to be as much of a momentum killer as it has been in the past last night – except for that shorthanded goal against, born of a total fluke. The Flames have allowed three now, though; that’s tied for the fifth most in the NHL.

At least there’s Johnny Gaudreau

Light of our lives, the only one that matters, Johnny Gaudreau scored two points to extend his point streak to eight games – the fourth time he has done so in his NHL career – and to further cement his position at third in overall NHL scoring. He has 26 points in 18 games, five back of Steven Stamkos for the lead.

He has 230 points across 250 games for his career. He’s sixth in scoring out of everyone selected in the 2011 draft, 12 points back of Brandon Saad; everyone ahead of him has played like, 50-200 more games than he has.

Like, if the night is going to suck, at least he can keep up his scoring pace. It means nothing for the team but it’s nice to have that.

What a stupid game

Seriously just bad. I don’t know what else to talk about with this one and I don’t really care to try. There was a new Mr. Robot last night and it was phenomenal. Thor: Ragnarok is still the best MCU movie to date and I should really go see it again. Lots of other things to focus on than a bad hockey game, one of 82 on a season, hopefully just a nightmarish blip on the radar.

It’s a new day! And so will be tomorrow! And they’ll probably play better on Saturday! Hooray.

  • McRib

    When we made the trade with Carolina, I thought the reverse would happen and we would be buying out Eddie Lack and taking Ryan Murphy as an asset (this was before we signed Michael Stone and I figured Andersson, Murphy would compete for the 3rd RD spot). Not to pile it on, but Travis Hamonic also isn’t looking like he is worth even a 1st Rounder. He was supposed to stabilize Brodie after all. We better make the freaking playoffs, because I don’t believe that 1st Rounder is lottery protected either (this better not end up being a Jay Feaster, Ryan O’Reilly type oversight).

    Both these trades are looking like losses for Treliving. Even great GMs underwhelm at times, so he gets a pass for now, but I am certainly not seeing thisFlames defense core living up to the “best defence in the league” billing. Rasmus Andersson-Brett Kulak greatly outperformed Hamonic-Brodie the other night. Mike Smith has sure made this defense look better than it is, credit where it is due that was a great signing.

    Obviously to this point we have played rather well lately, so I take this as just a one off performance, but if we continue to slide without Mike Smith, Rasmus Andersson shouldn’t be sitting in the minors much longer (neither should David Rittich).

    • Derian Hatcher

      “best D in the league” is an interesting comment, made by many fans and analysts. Wonder if it would be more accurate to term the group as “potentially, one of the strongest D-cores in the league” As an Oiler fan, I felt really nervous when the analysts, fans, and even odds-makers started predicting things that, in my opinion, were more than ambitious and unrealistic for the team this year. And look how they have started…not very good. Many have therorized that the players started believing all the hype. Could be true, and personally I hope this is the reason for their poor start. As far as the flames D goes, they will be fine, but neither the players nor the organization needs the added pressure of “the best D in the league” tag IMO

    • cjc

      BT gave up way too much in the Hamonic trade. My feeling at the time is that he was banking on a lot of things to rebound – Hamonic to rebound, Smith to be better than the .915 goalie he was in Arizona (and not regress due to age or injury), Stone to be better than his underlyings. Smith aside, none of that has come to fruition, and now Smith is injured – quelle suprise. And while I’m not on the fire GG bandwagon yet, he seems to have wrecked Brodie by playing him on his other side.

  • GodsGotSandals

    I feel a bit for Eddie. I didn’t watch the game but sounds like he got hung out to dry in his first real opportunity with the club. Hopefully the team and he are better next game.

  • Fan the Flames

    The team definitely let Eddie down but this was his time to shine . He got hung out to dry on a couple of 2 on 1s but he looked shaky handling the puck and really didn’t make any great saves. His confidence is missing and the teams confidence in him looks questionable. Gillies looked steadier and should have had the one on the short side . The penalty kill looked terrible if Detroit was able to get possession inside the Flames end . Bottom line coaches fix the PK and resolve the backup goaltending situation.

    • Justthateasy

      Eddie Lack is washed up. Besides he’s as rusty as an old nail. At a time like this when Gillies came in where was his focus? He should be getting ready.

  • Justthateasy

    So fire the special teams coach.
    Just maybe Carolina had a point. Lack plays too deep in his net. What is Gilliess doing on his knees when the play is in the corner? He is also too slow to get back on his feet. Basic mechanics boys basic mechanics.

  • everton fc

    Bottom line – our backup goalie situation is frightening. Give Rittich a chance. \

    Lack, to me, looks like he prefers being deep in the crease. Which will cost him. Anyone else have this same opinion?

    • Justthateasy

      2 game days off should be maximum for a backup goalie. Sure it’s a very tight league and every single point counts but you can’t let one guy sit and sit and sit. A rest and a refocus is good for the starter. And the back-up however it goes, win or lose, can keep his head in the game. A goalie has to play at his million-dollar+++ best. If he’s a quitter or he gets himself down; we don’t need that.

    • Alberta Ice

      Both he and Lack really seemed to be mentally fragile in this game. And Hamonic was just back from an injury, and he didn’t seem to be particularly sharp either. I’m really wondering about our defensive core. Some of their passes were awful; and why did they do so much passing rather than bringing the puck out of their zone? Detroit was all over them all through the game and really did make them look bad. And I’d like to see the defense be much more aggressive getting pucks out of their zones on penalty kills rather than waiting for something to happen while the opponent shoots multiple times at their goalie. Show some greater effort on penalty killing guys. Ugly. Ugly. Ugly.

  • Puckhead

    I was at the game and can accept the loss because it was just one of those nights where things didn’t go the teams way. Every team has those nights, the team will regroup and move on, and better days are ahead.

    Lack was a victim of bad bounces and got thrown under the bus on some of the goals. He needs another chance.

    Also, don’t believe stories that you read telling you that seats are empty in little Caesars Arena because people are being sidetracked by all the wonderful things for fans to do in the concourse. I talked to a number of season ticket holders and they all said that people just aren’t coming, be it because of seat prices, the team being in a rebuilding phase etc.

  • The Doctor

    I thought the guys looked jetlagged and dull. It’s like our guys were playing casual shinny and the Wings came to play an NHL hockey game. We were lazy and casual with the puck, they were focused and hard on the puck. We mailed in a stinker. That said, we were also a bit luckless, like that bounce off of the boards for that 6-2 goal.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    Eddie is a victim of the Flames (relative) success with Battler Mike in the net for so many games. But were Flames that bad or Dwings that good on the night. It was like a giant funnel to our net. Lack was not good but a back-up needs to play regularly too.

  • RKD

    The bad news is that Brodie was atrocious and Lack couldn’t make a save. The good news is Brodie will recover he’s not that bad, he’s struggling with Hamonic as his partner. The other good news is that the Flames aren’t married to Lack so Gilles can start in Philly.

    • Raffydog

      Brodie sucks. Whatever was working for him 3 years ago ain’t working anymore. Can’t make a clean pass out of his zone, and constantly coughs up the puck. Time to say adios to Brodie, maybe recoup some of the picks we gave away for Hamonic, who might actually be worse then Brodie.

  • Skylardog

    NYI gets Hamonic out of town so they can get their best D prospect, Ryan Pulock, into the lineup.

    Flames give away a 1st and 2 seconds so they can keep their top prospect, Andersson, out of the line up.

    Pretty sure NYI knew what they had in Hamonic, and Pulock. Not sure BT has any idea what he got when he sent all the picks away for Hamonic. Definitely sure he had no clue Andersson was ready to play in the NHL when camp opened in September.

    Should I talk about trading for Lack so Rittich/Gillies would be in the AHL, and Parsons would be toiling away in the ECHL?

    I didn’t think so.

    Teams are looking for ways to get their top prospects in the lineup.
    Flames are signing oldtimers and veterans to keep theirs out of the line up.

    I think we know which method is working in todays NHL.

    • JoelOttosJock

      Pretty sure that GG and BT and all you kool-aid dtinking FN members need to take off your rose colored flasses on both Giordano and Brodie. Niether are good defenceman in their own zone. I eould even be willing to say both are liabilities in their own zone. They had a hot season and a half offensively and people now think they are good. People complain about the Brouwer signing..the Giordano re-signing was the worat move made by BT. Over paid cheer leader. Even before this poor start to the season, i would not have the Flames defence ranked higher than 20th in the league.

      • deantheraven

        The difference between Brodie and Giordano in Detroit wasn’t just plus/minus. Brodie looked like he’d quit but GG kept throwing him out there anyway. I agree that Hamonic didn’t have his best game but none were above replacement level and Brodie was by far the worst. I almost wanted to cry every time he touched the puck in the 3rd.

  • Flaymin Frank

    Not sure why GG waited til the 5 min mark of the 2nd period to pull Eddie. I think the appropriate time to do it would have been at period break when it was 4 – 1. Why pile on the embarrassment of a 5 – 1 score before pulling the trigger? Did GG see a possibility of a comeback in the tea leaves?

  • Stajanforadirtyboot

    This team needs Tim Hunter behind the bench. No slack arse performances on his watch. GG has never been a winner and never will. He looks like a ventriloquist dummy and coaches like one too.

    • Intercourse the Penguins

      Don’t care what gulu looks like but I”d kill for his hair. I thought Flames would gel (pun intended) right away this season, not get off to a slow start (praise to our savior Battler Mike) like last season. There is some disconnect between gulu and the players: what? I do not know. It is not working. Time for a change.