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Photo Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Sloppy Day in Canada

The streak is dead. Long live the streak. The Calgary Flames attempted to shake off the bye week dust on Saturday afternoon at the Scotiabank Saddledome in a rare afternoon tilt with the Winnipeg Jets. Fans were treated to a game of fits and starts and, occasionally, some speed and skill from the Jets. But the Flames were the beneficiaries of some nice netminding and managed to get a point for their efforts in the a form of a 2-1 shootout loss.

The Rundown

It was a sloppy game all-around in the opening period, as two teams who hadn’t played in a week missed shots, passes and checks. But despite the sloppy start, the Flames managed to score first. With the game at four-on-four, Troy Brouwer won a battle on the boards and T.J. Brodie collected the puck and beat Connor Hellebuyck with a wrister to make it 1-0.

The Flames almost doubled their lead later in the period when Brouwer poked a rebound past Hellebuyck, but it was challenged by the Jets and disallowed due to goaltending interference.

Winnipeg came back and had several nice chances before the end of the period. Shots were 15-9 Jets, scoring chances were 12-3 Jets.

Mike Smith made a nice save on Nikolaj Ehlers early in the second, as Ehlers almost had a tap-in redirection from the slot. But the Jets eventually evened things up. The Flames couldn’t score on a power play and sent the fourth line (and the Brodie/Hamonic duo) out for the next shift. The Jets threw out their second line, hemmed the Flames into their own zone, and then Bryan Little’s shot – with Mathieu Perreault and Hamonic battling in front of Smith – beat the netminder through the five-hole to make it 1-1. Shots were 11-9 Flames and chances were 6-5 Flames.

Neither team scored in the third period, though both of them had some nice chances – Smith made a showy glove save on Ehlers early in the period. But regulation solved nothing. Shots were 9-8 Jets, scoring chances were X-Y.

Overtime solved nothing, though (again) both teams had some decent chances. Shots were 2-1 Jets. So it was off to the shootout: Little and Blake Wheeler scored for the Jets, and that was it.

Why The Flames Lost (in a Shootout)

The Flames got a point because Smith was very sharp. They only got the single point because their “best” players didn’t execute very well. The power play is a good snapshot of this: decent amounts of zone time, but a mixture of bad luck, bad passes and wonky execution. They just weren’t good enough to be difference-makers today.

Red Warrior

Once again, it’s gotta be Smith. He made several gorgeous saves and gave the Flames a chance.

The Turning Point

The Flames seemed to slump a bit after the disallowed goal. The Jets got the next four shots and out-shot the home side 7-1 before the end of the period.

The other turning point was obviously the shift from the fourth line after the second period power play, which ultimately resulted in the game-tying goal for Winnipeg.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Backlund 85.0 57.1 0.730
Tkachuk 84.2 50.0 0.925
Brouwer 66.7 50.0 1.370
Hamilton 60.0 60.0 0.950
Giordano 58.8 60.0 0.375
Hathaway 57.1 71.4 0.200
Jankowski 56.0 71.4 0.315
Kulak 52.6 62.5 0.325
Bennett 51.9 71.4 0.295
Stone 50.0 62.5 0.250
Stajan 42.1 60.0 -0.235
Lazar 41.2 75.0 -0.185
Brodie 35.7 42.9 0.525
Hamonic 34.2 42.9 -0.850
Mangiapane 31.3 75.0 -0.450
Gaudreau 30.3 38.5 -0.275
Ferland 30.3 38.5 -0.600
Monahan 19.4 38.5 -1.100
Smith 2.650
Rittich

This and That

The Flames are now 5-5-4 when entering the third period tied.

The Drive to 95 (Points)

The Flames now have 55 points with 36 games remaining. They need 40 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 20-16-0 record to hit the 95 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Quoteable

“Our power play looked disorganized. Not disorganized, but they couldn’t execute. And we didn’t. We missed nets, bobbled pucks, threw passes. So we’ll work on that tomorrow.” – Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan on his team’s power play, which went 0-for-4 but generated six shots.

Up Next

The Flames (25-16-5) practice tomorrow, then prepare to host the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night.

      • McRib

        They didn’t need to watch anything, it’s just preconceived irrational Backlund hate. Sean Monahan was terrible if they said that I would believe it (he usually is one of our best players, but not today). Tkachuk and Backlund were our only good forwards.

          • McRib

            I did watch the game, but what I watch and what you watch is clearly different. You clearly judge a players games off of a couple of essentially meaningless plays, I get it Backlund had a couple of highly visible puck fumbles in the offensive zone that likely got all of your attention. What I judge is the fact he spent the entire game with Tkachuk in the offensive zone (and Brouwer, but that’s those two carrying Brouwer), which means we aren’t being scored on when he is on the ice, a big key to winning Hockey games.

            It’s the same thing with people on here disliking Dougie Hamilton, he’ll have a highly visible play once and awhile where he has a bad turnover or doesn’t finish a meaningless check that wouldn’t have allowed him to regain puck control, but he is one of the best play drivers and shot generators in the league from a defender, so most of the time he’s contributing to success (when GG isn’t underutilizing him and not putting him on PP1). Then someone like Michael Stone who never really steps out of the box (only thee points all year) so he never has a highly visible turnover, but he constantly misses little plays and passing cutoffs in our own zone that regularly get us hemmed in leading to our demise defensively, but everyone walks away a big fan because it’s “never his fault”, though it usually is from the grander scheme of things. It’s the same with TJ Brodie and Travis Hamonic, Hamonic has trouble keeping up to the pace of today’s game and regularly has players sneaking in behind, so TJ Brodie trys to overcompensate and he in turn makes a big mistake and gets all of the heat and people on here foolishly say we should trade him, though before Hamonic showed up he has been one of our best defenders for years. When TJ Brodie accidentally scores on our goal earlier this year no one mentions why was it a 2-on-1 that he was having to face alone, they just see him putting the puck in the goal.

  • Off the wall

    GG proving his genius again by playing the 1st line with too many D zone starts. Isn’t that the whole idea of the Backlund line? Whatever

    At least we can count on Smith every game, I wish all of our team had his consistent, fiery, compete level each game.

    If that’s not a penalty shot for Jankowski, I don’t know what is.
    How on earth can it just be a penalty infraction? There was no one between Janko and Helebucyck when the infraction occurred. Reffing sucks, no consistency.

    Ehlers is a player to behold. What a gifted skater with great hands.

    I think we should just pretend we’re on the road for the remainder of the season. The home ice advantage isn’t working. Maybe we need a new home coach..

  • freethe flames

    Not going to win many games when the PP is 0/?. This team is not going to win many games when the first line is held off the scoreboard. Blame all the missed calls you want but in the end the Flames top players did not deliver. Still we got a point and are not holding down second place in the Pacific; go Penguins.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I have mot been that impressed with Hamonic, he brings much needed grit bit seems to only know how to play simple by chipping up the boards. He does not have the speed to get away from the forecheck.

  • Heeeeeere's Johnny!

    It wasn’t a great game but then did we expect it would be? The first line looked like they hadn’t yet figured out vacation was over. What surprised me is who didn’t suck. Most surprisingly Brouwer didn’t suck and he really hasn’t replacing Frolik. Don’t get me wrong. I’d get rid of him if it was possible and I’d sit him because I didn’t make the mistake of signing him. But if he has to be in the line up I wonder if this might be his spot. When Frolik comes back perhaps try him with Bennett and Jankowski. Slide Hathaway to 4RW with 2 of Hrivik/Lazar/Stajan (in that order). I actually am a fan of the human Matt Stajan. The hockey thing might be getting away from him though, so perhaps he starts to slide into the role of player development coach.

  • BAN36FROMPP

    A little off topic but those idiots up North are bringing in another ex Oiler (Coffey) to help them with lottery picks for the next 10 years. Too funny.

  • Stockton's Finest

    2-1 Ontario after 2. Gillies gives up a goal glove side high (have I mentioned he has an issue high side????).

    Heat playing better but still need to find the net.

    Go Heat Go!

  • Chucky

    The good news is that the Flames have 21 away games and only 16 home games remaining in the season. The even better news is that the Flames will not have home ice “advantage” for the playoffs.
    So Gulutzan will not have the last change for a majority of the rest of his tenure as Flames coach.

    • freethe flames

      Where there lots of Teddy Bears? Based on the stats it sounds like the Heat played really well in the first but could not beat the other teams goalie.

      • Stockton's Finest

        The final count will come out in the next day or two, but there were a lot. Too bad the barn wasn’t filled like last year. Only 6500 last night.
        They outplayed Ontario in the first. Then, just like last year, the “once-a-year” fans start up the Wave and things go downhill.

        Ontario goes 2 for 6 on their power play: we go 0-5 in spite of two full 5-3 power plays. One was cut short when they called Foo for interference. Must have interfered with the open ice he was skating in.

        Update in progress. Should be up tonight or tomorrow morning.

  • cgyokgn

    OT seems to be all about possession these days but I thought they passed up opportunities to put shots on net… just looked very passive. It feels like GG is using the shootout to reward players who played well in the game but I think he needs to go to guys who are more proven in the shootout. Having said that, Monny seems to have lost his shootout mojo. Not sure what needs to happen but it’s almost a given, if we don’t win in OT, we’re losing the game.

  • TheWheeze

    Power play needs a complete reworking. Their tactics have become predictable to opposing teams. It looks to me like they are going for Gretzky era slickness and dipsy doodle passing instead of aggressively going to the net. Like the Jets did. All afternoon

  • Bigphatn-ts

    Toronto and the refs won that game for the jets I knew right away they were taking that goal away only because it’s Matt tckchuk he’s just pushing the guys head down, hellebuck got a save from Toronto and the refs he got to that side to late nothing was in his way he was just to late total bs everyone’s going hard to the net and the jets lost the battle in front of the net. the jets d man was trying to keep MT away but couldn’t, gets out muscled and then gets saved by Toronto and the refs… bs

  • Jakethesnail🐌

    After Bennett was on a little streak he looks like he is back to normal. When I say normal he is on pace for 30 points. If we want to bolster this team trade Bennett in a package for someone that can get this team over in the playoffs.