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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Fancy Cats have a fancy feast in Calgary

The Calgary Flames returned home to the Scotiabank Saddledome after six games (and two weeks) on the road. They might want to play the remainder of their games on the road, because they were uneven in a 6-3 loss to the visiting Florida Panthers on Saturday night. The Flames finally got some offense out of their power play, powered by Dougie Hamilton, but they were out-scored 4-1 at even strength in a game they never led.

On Saturday, the Fancy Cats had themselves a fancy feast on the Flames.

The Rundown

The Flames had a strong first period, but ended up giving up the first goal of the game on Florida’s first shot of the game. After a stretch of pressure in the Panthers end, Mike Matheson skated the puck out and beat David Rittich high glove-side with a quick wrister from just inside the blueline to make it 1-0. The home side woke up after that and played quite well. After Mark Giordano drew a penalty in the Flames zone, Dougie Hamilton beat Roberto Luongo with a shot from the high slot (with Matthew Tkachuk screening) to make it 1-1.

Shots were 11-9 Flames, scoring chances were 8-4 Flames.

The wheels fell off for the home side early in the second period. After giving up a goal on the first shot of the first period, Rittich was beaten on the second, third and sixth shots he saw in the second. On a man advantage that carried over from the end of the first, Vincent Trocheck skated into the Flames zone, dangled between two defenders and beat Rittich top-corner on his blocker side to make it 2-1 Florida. The Flames took another penalty when Michael Frolik took a high-sticking minor, and Evgenii Dadonov tipped home a Keith Yandle shot through traffic to make it 3-1 off the ensuing face-off. A few minutes later, the Flames got caught cheating as the team began heading up ice on an offensive rush… but the puck hadn’t left the zone yet, and Dadonov kept it in at the blueline and hucked it towards the slot, where Alexander Barkov tipped it through Rittich’s five-hole to make it 4-1. That spelled the end of Rittich’s night, as Jon Gillies came in for the remainder of the game.

The Flames got a bit closer, though, as Hamilton scored his second of the game wandering in from the point and scoring through traffic to make it 4-2.

Shots were 11-11, but chances were 9-4 Panthers.

Florida went up 5-2 a few minutes into the third off a slap shot from the point from Matheson with a ton of traffic in front of Gillies. Jared McCann beat Gillies with an unscreened slapper from the right point to make it 6-2 a little while later. Hamilton completed his first career hat trick with a weird goal, chucking the puck at the net from the corner and it ended up going in off Yandle to make it 6-3.

Late on a power play, Curtis Lazar tipped a Brett Kulak shot but it was ruled no-goal due to a high stick. The Flames just couldn’t generate enough to get back into this one. Shots were 11-10 Flames and chances 8-5 Flames.

Why The Flames Lost

Let’s be honest here: the Flames were not particularly good tonight. They took dumb penalties. They made decisions with the puck that were quite odd. They were out-chanced and out-scored by the Panthers at even strength. They had to rely on their special teams to try to stay in the game, and their special teams merely broke even on the evening.

Florida got better goaltending than the Flames, for sure, but this was definitely a team loss for the gents in red.

Red Warrior

Hamilton scored twice and was a constant sign of life for the home side. The rest of the team was, on the whole, generally poor and occasionally really bad.

The Turning Point

The Flames gave up three goals on six shots in the first few minutes of the second period. That effort chased Rittich from the game. They never got back into it.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Gaudreau 68.2 42.9 0.475
Ferland 68.2 42.9 0.250
Hamilton 61.9 28.6 2.575
Hathaway 60.9 60.0 0.575
Jankowski 57.7 66.7 0.220
Monahan 57.1 42.9 1.205
Brodie 55.6 71.4 0.125
Bennett 53.9 83.3 0.120
Giordano 51.7 28.6 1.075
Lazar 50.0 25.0 0.000
Stajan 50.0 25.0 0.200
Hamonic 47.1 66.7 -0.025
Kulak 46.2 44.4 0.025
Stone 44.0 50.0 -0.175
Tkachuk 44.0 57.1 0.315
Backlund 41.7 50.0 -0.190
Frolik 39.3 33.3 -0.125
Lomberg 25.0 25.0 -0.150
Rittich -1.900
Gillies -0.200

This and That

There were three fights between these old rivals: Ryan Lomberg fought Michael Haley, Travis Hamonic fought Colton Sceviour, and Garnet Hathaway fought Haley.

The Stockton Heat rode goals from Andrew Mangiapane and Spencer Foo to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Barracuda. Mason McDonald made 21 saves for the win.

The Drive to 96 (Points)

The Flames now have 68 points with 23 games remaining. They need 28 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 14-9-0 record to hit the 96 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Up Next

The Flames (30-21-8) practice tomorrow, then prepare for an afternoon game on Family Day Monday when they host the Boston Bruins. (You might remember them from their game at TD Garden last week where the Flames got out-played for three periods.)

  • Off the wall

    Does anyone know what team we are? Because I don’t.
    We stunk against Boston, then beat the Predators, then come out as listless as a sloth again tonight.

    It’s no wonder my eyes look like Marty Feldman.( Google it)

    How can a team be up and down like a yo-yo?

    I think I’m going to get out some frustration tonight. I’m going to play pin the tail on the (GG’s) donkeys ass.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    Say what you will about Superstition, Voodoo, Good/Bad Luck or Curses etc… But really, after the Jobu factor at the Honda Center …. Maybe its about time to do something here at home to the Dome? Someone needs to go to the Dome and smudge, cleanse or just remove the (what seems like) jinx that seems to cling to the Flames like a bad body odor when playing at home! Time to appease Dome the hockey gods/spirits, etc… and turn this mess around! So if anyone out there knows how to do that? Yeah, That Would Be Great… Thanks!

    • Mickey O

      Now the home ice record is in their heads worming away at the self-doubt part of the melon. Not a great spot to be in considering last time I checked you play half the games in your own barn.

    • Off the wall

      Better yet, if I were GG, after the crap Marchand pulled on Frolik,
      ( the chin yank on his helmet) I’d be offering my players $2,500 to make Marchands chin look like Jay Leno’s by the end of the game on Monday!!!!

      • Flint

        And so what? Go back and read peoples comments after the signing. Lots of “expecting a big game from Backlund.” “Now Backlund should be able to just get down to playing and not thinking about contracts” etc. etc.

        It may not be what people WANT to hear, but it’s the truth. He was rewarded with security, a raise, a vote of confidence etc. Time to bring it.

        Sure, it’s one game, but that’s the worst stat line from him in weeks. This is no time for anyone on the team to be p*ssing about. We need everyone bringing it every night.

        We’re a 9th place team, 5-5-0 in our last ten.

  • Intercourse the Penguins

    …………….enguins. Not ostriches: ouch .Rittich looked nervous as if he caught the Flames home ice curse. he will be OK and Gillies was not great but he deserves a longer look. Liked Lomberg and Hathaway becuz trukyulents matters.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    One thing is clear from this game: Tre needs to get a grizzled vet goalie by the TDL. Rittich getting pulled last night has caused serious doubt as to whether he can carry this club when they are not at their best. Rittich and Gillies are not ready at this time in their careers to be reliable NHLers. Though Smitty is expected back in the next few weeks or sooner, does Tre really want to enter the final six weeks of the season knowing that Smitty could reinjure and Plan B is Rittich and Gillies? Don’t think so. You can count on Tre bringing in a well-worn goalie later this month.

  • Flaymin Frank

    Wasn’t this Vin Diesel’s first start at the Dome? He probably felt a little more pressure than usual and the jitters set in. Wouldn’t write him off yet. Wanna see him bounce back against the Broo Crew.

    GFG

  • McRib

    Ryan Lomberg isn’t an NHLer that has been very clear the last few games, not that I ever thought he would be (I don’t think he has even cracked a 30% Corsi For recently. You can debate analytics, but numbers that bad are undebatable). He is supposed to bring toughness and all he does is lose fights left and right. For an undersized player he is also not a great skater at all, he was regularly caught in transition all game last night with the puck, getting stripped for fast break chances the other way. I didn’t see him get through the neutral zone once last night with the puck on at least a dozen tries. Outside of some “grit” he really doesn’t offer anything else.

    We desperately need scoring depth and players like Stajan, Brouwer, Lazar, Lomberg, Hathaway just aren’t cutting it in our bottom six. Bennett and Jankowksi were on a mission last night, but Hathaway just doesn’t have the puck skills to keep up offensively (we’re talking about a player who never broke 0.64 PPG in the worst NCAA conference).

    The NHL is all about scoring depth these days (see Vegas, Tampa Bay, Boston, Toronto, Pittsburgh, Nashville, etc). If you don’t have four lines that can produce you’re sunk!!! Burke’s truculence movement is a decade behind what other teams are doing now, we’re still moronically game planning to beat the “tough” Anaheim and LAs, but those teams always get beat by the other skilled teams I just mentioned. You’re supposed to compare yourself to the best, not the third or four best, just utter lunacy (kind of like playing for a tie). If we had any scoring depth whatsoever we could win some of these run and gun games. How many times have we said this year Flames got plenty of chances and deserved better?

    • WillyWonka

      I’ve been a big fan of Lomberg for a while, but last night he clearly showed he is not ready for the show. he isn’t strong in the offensive end, and seemed totally clueless n the defensive end as to who/what his assignment is

    • Murman

      I really do agree with most of what you have said but I sure like Hathaway and the energy he brings to the line up. I wished Ferland would hit a bit more. I think that if your hitting, your game is always much better. If your not hitting, your not playing with the speed you should be, therefore your in the penalty box. The equation is simple. Score sheet shows….. not moving your feet = many penalties, not just penalties but stupid penalties 100′ from your end = loss.