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Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Smith steals a point, Brodie gives one away

The Columbus Blue Jackets are a really good hockey club. They play an intelligent, structured brand of hockey. The Calgary Flames played Columbus tonight and fared better than expected – largely because of star netminder Mike Smith. With the team in front of him largely unable to muster the type of offense they had created in previous games, Smith was all-world and held the Flames in the game all the way until overtime.

A T.J. Brodie gaffe later, and the Flames still managed to capture a point in a 1-0 overtime loss at Nationwide Arena.

The Rundown

Here’s what you need to know about the game: Columbus out-shot the Flames in all three periods. Scoring chances were even for the first two periods, then Columbus took over the game a bit in the third. Overtime was back and forth, but T.J. Brodie whiffed on some puck-handling behind his own net. Nick Foligno corralled the puck and fed Josh Anderson for a shot that beat Smith and ended this one at a 1-0 score.

But man, Smith was awesome. He faced tips. He faced screens. He faced layers of traffic. He played behind a team that tended to give up a lot of odd-man rushes and turned the puck over at their own blueline quite a bit. It didn’t matter all that much. He was at his battling, scrambley best tonight.

Oh, and Sam Bennett got dropped down to the fourth line midway through the game. It didn’t amount to much, but it’s not a good sign.

Why The Flames Lost (in OT)

Smith got them to overtime, but the team simply wasn’t good enough to generate offense during the game. Brodie’s bobble was unfortunate, but probably inevitable given the way the team played with the puck.

They’ll probably learn a lot from tonight’s game tape; the Flames often struggle playing against teams that clog up the neutral zone and break things up at the offensive blueline. If they can get something from this game, it’s learning to adapt and adjust to that type of neutral zone play.

Red Warrior

Smith. Nobody else was close.

The Turning Point

The overtime goal off Brodie’s whiff is the only possible choice here.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.hockey)

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Tkachuk 71.4 57.1 0.825
Backlund 65.6 57.1 0.750
Hamonic 61.3 50.0 0.475
Frolik 58.8 57.1 0.445
F.Hamilton 56.3 33.3 0.090
Brouwer 55.0 33.3 0.250
Brodie 54.3 50.0 0.275
Giordano 47.7 50.0 -0.100
D.Hamilton 43.8 50.0 -0.100
Versteeg 43.3 40.0 -0.040
Monahan 40.6 50.0 -0.170
Ferland 39.3 45.4 -0.290
Bennett 36.8 33.3 -0.260
Kulak 34.4 40.0 -0.075
Stone 34.4 40.0 -0.400
Gaudreau 31.4 50.0 -0.500
Jagr 31.0 50.0 -0.500
Jankowski 26.7 40.0 -0.635
Smith 3.250
Lack

Up Next

The Flames (12-8-1) are hopping a plane to Dallas. They’re off tomorrow, then play the Stars on Friday night.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    That’s the best headline I’ve seen on this site.

    T.J.? It’s okay, man. We have Kulak-who was awesome tonight, btw-to step up. We just reduce your minutes and responsibilities until you work your sh!t out, man. Seriously, it’s okay.

    But seriously, let’s not all jump on T.J. he might suck right now, but he couldn’t have picked a better time to suck, at least.

    These days we’re going toe to toe with the best in the league and leavin’ ’em on the mat more often than not.

  • WildfireOne

    I’ve seen more mental errors from Brodie in just this season than the rest of his seasons, combined.

    This is a young man who now has to face a very different life than what he and his wife ever envisioned, so it’s understandable. I hope he finds a way to deal with it, even if it means a leave or reduced responsibility.

    • everton fc

      Thanks for this. I am now loyal to Brodie again. We forget, no matter how much these guys make, they have families. I got a lot of Trashes for posting the same, in a prior post about Glass and his family. Regardless of the money, we need to remember the real-time human side of sports. I’ll never forget Primeau’s comment when he came here, that he wouldn’t see his family for months… And how raw and real that was… The human side is the same reason I pull for Stajan.

      • Larionov18

        Ya I know I lost my older sister to MS. Just brutal. You go from completely healthy to wheel chair bound overnight with an MS attack. Attacked her lungs and that was it. Young daughter without a mother. Best of luck to his family. Treatments are greatly improving every year and MS is different for everybody. Some people can live a long life with just temporary attacks…my sister’s were all permanent.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    The Oilers last season reached dizzying heights largely because of the bandit Cameron Talbot. He has been unmasked this year and the team is cratering.

    How much different are this season’s Flames and last year’s Oilers? Have the Flames won a game this year without Smitty being a star?

    I am not knocking the team as such, but it has a long way to go to be able to go blow for blow with the elite in this league. That’s why I called out the success of the Oilers last season. They were way too dependent on Talbot to win games.

    Another sparkling performance from young Sam Bennett this evening. He was highly noticeable in all three zones. As much as many want to call Brouwer and Stajan roster clutter, save some hate for Sam. How long do we keep giving him a free pass and blame it on his youth? At what point does Bennett succeed King Rico Fata as the club’s biggest draft bust?

    • everton fc

      I like Bennett, and still “reminisce” is centering Gaudreau, with fire, pre-season. But there may be no room for him, here. Mangiapane may be a better wing on the Jankowski/Jagr line, than Bennett. What’s Bennett’s trade value?? That’s the question. He’s probably worth little. It’s an odd conundrum for the team to be in. Then again, he’s still a kid, NHL-wise…

    • Absolutely correct Nigel!
      All the thumbs down your post got are just from Flames “hopefuls’ and the cheering section. It’s frustrating to watch the bottom 2 lines under-perform (or sit on the press box) … and get paid handsomely for it! It’s fair to say that without Smith, we would have lost maybe 3 of the 12 games we won. Hmmm. 9-11-1. 19 points. 1 point ahead of Edmonton.
      BTW. Did you hear Smith’s interview post game? The man knows what’s going on and was holding back his true and serious thoughts about what’s going on in front of him.

  • HAL MacInnis

    People need to stop walking on eggshells about Brodie. Gulutzan needs to do something about him, pronto.

    Someone on this site suggested Gio/Hamonic, Hamilton/Brodie… but maybe Brodie needs to be 3rd line and we should try putting Hamonic/Stone together as the 2nd pairing, that is if Gulutzan is too afraid to break up Giordano/Hamilton.

    Smith was a stud tonight, but Stone made the save of the game.

    • everton fc

      Is Smith better than Kipper? If we make the playoffs, Smith is the absolutely perfect goalie for a deep run. That said, Lack isn’t. But this fan has a feeling Rittich should be the #2 here, not Lack.

      Awaiting the trashes….

      • Skylardog

        No trashes from me. I was thinking the same thing – that Smith may be the best goalie to put on a Flames sweater, at least short term. We will only see him for 2 seasons, but what he is doing this year so far is very comparable if not as good or better than what Kipper did, in the short term. Kipper did it for many years. That’s the difference right now.

  • Off the wall

    My wife decided I was swearing too much watching the Flames games. Her response, a swear jar

    She decided to put a swear jar out and every time I swear, curse, use profanity, I have to deposit a loonie.

    After tonight’s game I’m at $224
    7 of them resulted from the Brodie “faux pas” in OT.
    I laughed at her because Brodie is #7. She doesn’t know that..she just thinks I’ve lost my mind and she’s not entirely wrong.

    Little does she know, but when I have enough in the massive jar, I’m going to buy a big ass 65 inch TV to swear at more!

    Now who’s crazy hun?

    I need to go to the bank to get more loonies…

  • The Fall

    OT

    Anyone see the Boston Celtics jerseys? A Nike and a GE logo on the front. …new NHL jerseys have smaller logos lower on the front. So, who’s taking bets on Rogers logo being the first corporate sponsor on the front?

    • Cfan in Van

      That was exactly what it was like. Brodie found a coding error on the last play, because man, the Flames are absolutely programmed to win in OT. They were owning it 3 on 3, as usual.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Smith had some choice, coach-esque words for the team in his post-game, then Gully said something similar in his.

    But we have this record and these amount of points 20 games in and we haven’t even started executing consistently yet.

    We’ll get there, though, and it’ll be a beautiful thing when we do.

  • deantheraven

    For once, I can read the stats line and accept its truths.Top Line vTop Line didn’t work in the Flames favour this time. Top pairing struggled throughout the game and didn’t generate chances like they have done recently. 3rd line never seemed to get any traction. They fought the puck at both ends. The 4th line did more with less ice time and worse starts.Hamonic’s numbers finally reflect what the eye test showed. I don’t want to say he carried the pair, but he was just plain better than Brodie all night at both ends. Smith was a full- on Beast. He deserves a massage from the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and a night off. Maybe it’s time for Brodie to watch one from above… If only we can get a call up. Although, Bartkowski wouldn’t be on the ice in OT if he were in.

  • KeepitReal

    If the Flames had won this match, the Ohio State Police CSI Unit would still be at the arena taking photographs and dusting for fingerprints. A single point is still larcenous. But we’ll take it. Move along.

  • Orrwasbest

    Thoughts on the game Flames out coached, J.G. and S.M. worst game of the season. Smith outstanding, Sam and Troy lose the puck every time they touch it. JJ looks so slow. Travis great game. Kulak belongs!

  • snotss

    Brodie has lost his game….this year so far is his worst year but his game has dipped every year…trade him now before his play really hits the crapper……. while he is still worth something