Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Playing for the tie

For the third consecutive game since their bye week, the Calgary Flames scored first in a home game. For the third consecutive game since the bye week, they never scored again and lost in extra time. After three straight games with uninspiring third periods, this one resulted in a 2-1 overtime loss to the visiting Los Angeles Kings.

Maybe they should stop playing for the tie.

The Rundown

The opening frame was pretty even, but the Flames had a bit more jump than the visitors – who played the previous night in a different city. Sean Monahan opened the scoring by finishing off a beautiful passing sequence among himself, Micheal Ferland and Johnny Gaudreau (that was preceded by a nice chip-in play by Brett Kulak).

Shots were 8-6 Flames, scoring chances were 5-5.

Nobody scored in the second period, but the Flames probably should have at some point. They were all over the Kings, out-shooting them 16-8 and out-chancing them 15-5. Darcy Kuemper and some bad luck kept the game close.

The Flames sat back a bit in the third and the Kings pressed, which led to the game-tying goal. With Mark Jankowski in the box, Jake Muzzin’s point shot through traffic beat a screened Mike Smith to make it a 1-1 game. Neither side had too many amazing chances, though, as both team seemed content to play for overtime and the Flames did virtually nothing to push the pace. Shots were 7-7, scoring chances were 7-2 Flames.

The Flames didn’t have a ton of urgency in overtime, and it cost ’em. They had a near-miss after Smith’s attempted pass was intercepted by Anze Kopitar. But in the final minute, Smith biffed a clearing pass and a few passes later Tanner Pearson scored on a one-timer to end this one in OT. Shots were 3-0 Kings.

Why The Flames Lost (in Overtime)

They started well, had a great second period, but seemed to completely lose their sense of urgency in the third period and couldn’t turn it back on for overtime.

Oh, and the power play. It had 11 shots. That’s good. It scored zero goals. That’s bad. They need more goals from their power play, by hook or crook.

Red Warrior

Monahan crawled out from under whatever rock he’s been hiding since the bye week, scoring a nice goal and generating a ton of scoring chances. After a few sleepy games, the top line was excellent.

The Turning Point

It’s obviously the overtime goal, but you could also make a case for the last 15 minutes of the third period where the Flames lost all sense of urgency.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
Lazar 70.0 33.3 0.135
Hrivik 70.0 33.3 0.275
Bennett 66.7 50.0 0.215
Monahan 64.5 40.0 2.020
Gaudreau 63.6 33.3 1.550
Hamilton 61.0 64.3 0.600
Ferland 60.7 40.0 1.265
Jankowski 60.0 60.0 0.180
Brodie 59.4 11.1 0.350
Kulak 58.3 57.1 0.325
Giordano 57.9 61.5 0.450
Hamonic 57.7 11.1 0.250
Backlund 57.1 60.0 0.235
Hathaway 55.6 50.0 0.125
Stone 53.3 50.0 0.325
Brouwer 51.5 50.0 0.040
Stajan 50.0 20.0 0.095
Tkachuk 48.4 50.0 0.150
Smith 1.000

This and That

The Flames received two of their five power plays as a result of unsportsmanlike conduct calls (and another one from a puck-over-glass delay of game).

The Flames iced the puck 10 times in this game.

The Drive to 95 (Points)

The Flames now have 57 points with 34 games remaining. They need 38 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 19-15-0 record to hit the 95 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Up Next

The Flames (25-16-7) head up Highway 2 tonight and they finish off their pre-All-Star schedule tomorrow night in Edmonton against the Oilers.

    • Mickey O

      The showing tonight was far from any of those words. Nobody stood out as having a terrible game. There was some bad puck luck, hey it happens. Could/should the Flames have won? Sure, probably. But it was far from a pathetic performance and an effort worthy of a loss.

  • Calgarycandle

    The last time the Flames tried to win 2-1 or 3-2 was under Brent Sutter.

    Hartley was brought in to provide some entertainment. If he had Smith as goaltender and Hamilton as a top pairing D he’d still have his job.

    Despite points in 10 this team is still not playing well. It’s overreliant on Smith and in the last three not burying chances.

      • cberg

        In any discussion of 2014 Hartley you have to start and probably end it acknowledging the difference in players between then and now. If I recall correctly BH had Gaudreau, Monahan and Hudler as his three top forward weapons, with Brodie and Gio on defence. Of course he also had others, let’s see…. Ferland (great hitter, no scoring), Backlund (just getting established), Wideman (meh D, actually one of their top scorers), “snipers” Bouma, Jones, Glencross and Colborne, Byron (can’t pot a breakaway) and Baertschi, Bennett and Poirier (too young). And of course who can forget Bollig, Smid, Stajan (not much different), Granlund, Raymond, Diaz and others….

        Today the team has four strong D led by Gio, Hamilton, Brodie and Hamonic, and Stone and Kulak are no slouches. Gaudreau, Monahan, Ferland, Tkachuk, Backlund, Jankowski and Bennett highlight the forwards. Arguably, pretty much every single one of them is better than their 2014 counterpart. At goalie Smith/Rittich is miles ahead of Hiller/Ramo. The ONLY area downgraded between then and now is the coaching, substituting an NHL 0.529 (DAL) coach who has NEVER won at any level, though he was pretty outstanding at the ECHL level for an NHL 0.562 (COL, ATL &CAL) coach who has ALWAYS won at every level, including the Stanley Cup.

        One can certainly argue that the team is much better under GG than BH, but you could just as easily argue that BH would be taking THIS TEAM of talent right to the Stanley Cup, which looks like a massive long shot today.

  • Sven

    The Flames best player is 34 years old

    Defensively Calgary is a top 8 team re goals allowed / game

    Offensively they are one of the ten lowest scoring teams in the league

    Smith isn’t going to get any younger

    Andersson is ready for the NHL now

    and Valimaki and Fox are one and two years away from ready – respectively

    Its time to move Hamonic – slot in Andersson on the blue line

    and put the $3M saved into a top six forward

    Come playoff time , with Versteeg and Frolik back – with Andersson on the line and with another top 6 forward
    Calgary might actually make some noise

    but Mr Smith isn’t getting any younger

  • Cheeky

    Just like last year’s 10 game winning streak, the 7 gamer was an anomoly. I’m sure we’ll run another 6 or 7 gamer later to squeak into playoffs, but really this team (coaching) won’t take us far. Losing to a tired team with a back up goalie at home – Flames M.O….Once again failure to score on the powerplay cost us – when will management step in to end that mess because we know GG won’t fire Cameron. When you hold teams to only 1 goal (in regulation), with the talent we have on paper, we should easily win…#wastedyears

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    *UNGH*~! Maybe the Flames could bring in Eeyore (from Winnie the Pooh) to infuse some positive energy for the third periods? Couldn’t be any worse than whatever the he77 is going on now.
    Seriously *BT* Step In And Fix The PP Coach Position!!!!! Enough Is Enough! Even with different players out there, it isn’t Working! The All Star Break Would Be a Great Time To Do Something About it~! Fire, Demote, Shuffle… I Don’t Really Care! But Bring In Someone New To Change It Now! Thanks!
    p.s. I’ll avoid watching tomorrow nights game as my faith in how this team plays (and their chances of actually winning in regulation) is now below my acceptable tolerance level and detrimental to my health. All the Best, G~F~G, But I’m done for a while, I can’t watch this level of joyless, non-entertaining and eventual let down style of hockey, esp against the Coilers. Go Get The W boys, I’ll still be cheering for you (but I can’t watch). Enjoy the Break Everyone on FN Cheers!

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Oh and if Smith has even the slightest hint of being injured? Forget the All Star Silliness, Stay Home! Rest~! and Recover… Smith has enough Travel-miles on him, (if quick can bow out,so should Smith) take a break bud! you’re going to need it!

    • KKisTHEproblem

      I expressed similar sentiments on the last thread. I am out for awhile. I can’t watch this BS anymore. How does Cameron still have a job? It’s a f______g joke. I can’t watch and cheer for a team that won’t make the changes that r just so obvious. FN has been making recommendations 20 games ahead of GG for a season and half. Almost everytime he actually trys what the posters here suggest, it works. Now it’s BTs turn. BT, if you are not going to fire GG (he won’t) change the f____g PP coach for God’s sake!

        • KKisTHEproblem

          No, of course not. All I’m saying is that if we can see it, and he’s the one being paid big bucks and it takes him 20 games to catch up to us? How bad is that? And how bad is it that Cameron still has a job? Terrible PP in Ottawa (a team with Karlsson, Stone, Hoffman etc.) when he was there, terrible PP here when he’s here (Gaudreau, Geo, Monny, etc.). What’s the common denominator. Ummmm Duhhhhhh, its not rocket science who should be gone

    • Puckhead

      To the person who trashed this post, please expound on what needs to be said that has not already been said by FN commentators and writers this season? On paper, this team should be in the playoff mix, not fighting for a wildcard spot. Is there anything left to say?


  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I can’t watch this again tomorrow….unless Rittich and Mangi play then I can make an exception. I have stopped watching for entertainment now it is about cheering for the kids.

  • Skylardog

    Doughty took the game over in the third. You could see it all coming. The louder the crowd booed the more Doughty dominated.

    Just knew they were going to try and hold on rather than go out and ice the Kings in the 3rd and put the 2 points on the board.

    Having not been to a game in a while, I found the dome unbelievably quiet. The Mony goal got them all on their feet, but that was it.

    I found myself playing a new game, I suggest you all try it. Everytime Tkachuk does something Matty like (get in scrum, score, beak at Doughty…), yell “BYNG!”. Make it loud and like a bell ringing. Drove the fans around me nuts, but man it was fun. I would suggest a shot each time you get to “BYNG!”, but that would get us all drunk real quick.

    Anyways, the 4th line looked pretty good, better than the Janko line. Time to move Hath and generate some new blood on that 3rd line.

    Ferly has to go back on the 1st PP with Mony and JG. He caused havoc out there on the PP with Janko and Bennett. They were better than the 1st PP. Why they haven’t put him out on the wing with JG and Mony since Steeg went down baffles me.

  • Fat Tony

    The timing of the bye week couldn’t have been worse for thos team. Sure they still have points in all 3 since but this is where they shine, not to mention a couple of these games should never have gone to overtime in the first place. They’re not playing with the same desperation as they were. This is a team in a tight race and if they don’t tighten things up then they will be on the outside looking In.
    Love the beauty passing play between the top line tonight but we need more. Mike Smith can’t stand on his head every night but at the same time how much of a difference is the returning versteeg and frolik going to make? They are good role players sure but somewhat streaky.
    I personally think a trade may benefit thus team. They certainly have the young talent (especially on defence) that a rebuilding or retooling team could use, So why not try and land a Mike Hoffman, or someone of similar caliper.
    This is a win now kind of team

    • everton fc

      Who would you move, to get Hoffman? Where would Hoffman play?? Is the third line struggling because of Hathaway???

      I don’t think a trade’s coming. If this team can hold on until Frolik returns, then continue getting points until/if Versteeg returns…

      And we still have Jagr (yes, Jagr) on the eternal mend…

      That’s three players, all with return dates from February (Frolik, maybe Jagr), to March (Versteeg). We know at least Frolik and Versteeg will be welcomed back, and if Jagr returns… What to do with al those 4th liners (Jagr/Versteeg/Brouwer/Stajan/Lazar)

      We will trade for picks. That’s how I see it. But we have little to move, for picks, unless it’s one of Brodie/Hamonic/Stone.

      And yes, fire Cameron.

  • dontcryWOLF

    I really can’t say if the PP issues are coaching related, or psychosomatic.

    Why do the Flames seem to get more chances on the PK than the PP? That suggests to me that it’s not coaching, but, rather, that this team has subconsciously and collectively decided that they just arnt much good at powerplays. For whatever folk wisdom is worth, my mother often used to say to me when I was a boy that, “whether you think you can, or you can’t, you’re right.”

    I’m a grown man now, but I find that statement to be exceedingly true regarding human physchology. The Calgary Flames seem to think they CAN NOT produce during powerplays. Maybe a coach who was a better motivator could propel them out of that mindset, but they seem fixed in it, for now.

  • Mullen7

    I disagree that the top line played well. Granted they had a beautiful goal and at times generated offense but there were also many times where they misplayed the puck, stickhandling into a crowd, forcing a bad pass and creating a turnover. Particularly Johnny and Monahan.

    Also Hrudey said Brodie had a great game on the broadcast but he was also a major culprit for making poor decisions with the puck and giving it away.

    • Skylardog

      Yup. The 1st lines shift to end the third almost ended in an LA goal. Wasn’t the only time. The 4th line was out with 1:30 left and they gave LA nothing. The problem is they aren’t creating anything either. You can see Hrivik and Lazar playing and getting into solid defensive positions.

      Brodie was a tire fire. There were several times where my daughter and I were jokingly saying “look out, Brodie’s on the ice” only to have him give the puck away or make a mistake that opened up a chance for LA. There were several times when he wasn’t where he should have been, but I am sure the cameras missed it because of the small field of vision on TV.

    • Frank the Nose ?

      Brodie made some really nice defencive plays .i have to agree with Hrudey on this Brodie was decent . I thought Hamilton made a few bad turnovers in his zone.

    • rusty_shakleforde

      What I think is important to note is that Brodie was better than normal, just that his normal has been a tire fire this season.

      I agree re top line. They had some great looks, and Mony wasn’t invisible, but JG had some poor passes, SM isn’t too strong on the puck (surprising for a big guy), and they aren’t too good on the cycle (all goals seem to come on the rush)

  • The Sultan

    No shots in 4 minutes of overtime. I counted 3 times they had possession of the puck, went into the attacking zone, and did nothing with it. I thought OT was supposed to be our forté.

  • Vernon30

    Maybe this is too simplistic, but put the top line with Gio and Hamilton as the first PP unit. Jankowski, Bennet, Chucky with Brodie and someone else for 2nd unit.

    • Skylardog

      Absolutely what has to happen. Since Steeg went down, Ferland has not played on the wing on the 1st PP unit. It is not Steeg that the 1st unit misses, it is Ferland. They put Ferly at the point in place of Steeg, but never just replaced Steeg on the point with a DMan leaving the 1st line intact.

  • Eggs Bennett

    The PP killed any momentum we had. Why can’t they make passing plays like the first goal, which by the way was a THING OF BEAUTY, on the PP? Seems pretty obvious for the last few months that we need to hit the reset button on the PP coaching.

    • rusty_shakleforde

      It seems like the only way we can gain momentum is it we play 5v5 for extended periods of time. Any special teams derails our mojo (sometimes a big PK isn’t too bad, but still derails us generally)

  • Jimmyhaggis

    No killer instinct, most of the Flames chances are from the perimeter. Sure the goalies have played great, come playoff time they’re going to be playing really great! If you can’t beat 2 backup goaltenders during the regular season, good luck beating the starters in the playoffs.
    Again playing for the tie,I just don’t understand that reasoning.

  • Chucky

    To beat the dead horse one more time. After the game last night Gulutzan said “we’re playing good hockey, we’re playing good defensive hockey”.
    From this we can determine that the team is performing as he wants and living up to his expectations. Too bad for the fans who have higher expectations and believed that with three excellent offensive defensemen we would see an exciting team that keeps the pressure on an buries the opposition.
    If Treliving wants to keep this coach he needs to trade Jonny, Mony, Gio, Brodie and Hamilton for some defensive specialist, that way they can win a bunch of games 0-0.

    • Skylardog

      You might be onto something here. If we take 82 games to overtime with a 0-0 score, and win just 12 in a shootout, we would end the season with a 12-0-70 record, good enough for 94 points and a playoff spot. We would alos have no problem with the cap, since no one would have scored a single point all season. It actually plays into our PP strategy of going 0-for about 300. We will need to be better on the PK though.

      • everton fc

        The players lack of “killer instinct” comes from;

        1. The players
        2. A coach who can’t inspire
        3. A coach/staff/organization that refuses to challenge players enough, to the point of moving them via trade, in exchange for players who are motivated to have that “killer instinct”.

        That’s my take, anyway…

        Hartley, for all his flaws, was able to get players to have that killer instinct.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Hartley was a bully whose coaching methods were so prehistoric that no other NHL club offered him a job after he got fired here. There is a reason he signed that long contract to coach in Latvia. He’s persona non grata in North America. Don’t be fooled by the bon vivant face he used to show the media. He was an out and out tyrant and there is no place for that style of coach at any level of hockey.

      • Chucky

        Wow, that takes it to another level with the cap savings they may not even need a crowd for local revenue just the split of TV. Let’s hope that the other teams don’t catch on.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Man, reading these comments, I swear I was at a Heat game: score first, horrible power play, third period shell. Guess what happens in Calgary gets sent to Stockton.

  • JoelOttosJock

    Doughty was a beast. Smith cost the extra point. For those that think Versteeg or Frolik are the answers when they come back..you are in for a surprise. Move Brodie! Pretty sad for all the hype about the Flames D how bad they play as a group.

    • Rudy27

      I thought the same thing…Smith’s aggressive play near the end of OT ending up in a turnover and the winning goal. But maybe he was thinking, if this goes to a shoot out there’s no way the Flames will win, so I might as well try a breakout pass for a chance at a win.