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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Flames grab a point from the Bruins

On Tuesday night in Boston, the Calgary Flames were not especially good. They hung in there, but Boston beat them 5-2. On Monday afternoon in Calgary, the Flames fared slightly better. While they couldn’t generate a ton offensively, the Flames were held in their game by goaltender David Rittich and salvaged a point from a 2-1 overtime loss.

It’s their 18th loss on home ice this season, one more than they had all of the 2016-17 campaign.

The Rundown

The story of this game was turnovers. The Flames were not particularly great in the first period, getting out-shot 13-4 and out-chanced 13-3. Boston capitalized on a Michael Frolik turnover to open the scoring; Frolik won a battle along the side boards, but blindly passed the puck out towards the net… where David Pastrnak grabbed it and beat Rittich to make it 1-0. The locals managed zero shots on their first period power play.

The Flames got on the board in the second. On their second power play, the coaching staff sent their second power play unit out first to get the Bruins primary penalty killers off the ice for the Johnny Gaudreau unit. It worked, and while Tuukka Rask stopped a Sean Monahan shot, Matthew Tkachuk jammed in the rebound to tie the game at 1-1. The Flames were better in the second half of the period, but couldn’t bury anything. Boston led 10-8 in shots and 10-7 in scoring chances.

Nobody scored in the third, though Rittich made a fantastic breakaway save on Pastrnak. Shots were 12-7 Flames and chances were 9-8 Flames.

But the Flames couldn’t bury their chances in overtime despite having a 5-2 edge in shots, and Brad Marchand took advantage of a T.J. Brodie turnover to score on a breakaway to ice this one at 2-1 for Boston.

Why The Flames Lost (in Overtime)

They were the second-best team throughout the game, but they got great goaltending and managed to get a goal from their special teams. They were fortunate to get a point from this game.

Red Warrior

Rittich. He was easily the difference-maker for the Flames on this afternoon.

The Turning Point

Marchand’s overtime goal was the third breakaway of the game. Unfortunately, Rittich couldn’t stop all three.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Backlund 69.0 37.5 0.570
Frolik 65.5 37.5 0.510
Giordano 64.1 38.5 0.650
Tkachuk 61.3 37.5 1.100
Klimchuk 58.3 71.4 0.100
Hamonic 55.3 28.6 0.600
Stajan 53.9 71.4 -0.090
Lazar 50.0 71.4 0.085
Hamilton 47.7 41.7 -0.075
Brodie 46.0 30.0 -0.025
Bennett 45.8 57.1 0.050
Hathaway 44.4 57.1 0.025
Stone 43.5 70.0 0.000
Gaudreau 41.5 23.1 0.650
Jankowski 40.0 57.1 -0.140
Monahan 39.5 23.1 0.575
Ferland 38.5 23.1 -0.420
Kulak 34.5 70.0 -0.250
Rittich 1.500
Gillies

This and That

Garnet Hathaway fought Adam McQuaid in the second period. It didn’t accomplish much.

Klimchuk played 7:25 in his debut and was credited with a missed shot, a hit and a takeaway. He was largely fine and didn’t make any mistakes during his brief times on the ice. He noted that he was body-checked by Zdeno Chara during his debut, which was probably terrifying.

The Drive to 96 (Points)

The Flames now have 69 points with 22 games remaining. They need 27 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 13-8-1 record to hit the 96 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Up Next

The Flames (30-21-9) practice tomorrow and then fly to Vegas, where they’ll visit T-Mobile Arena for the first time on Wednesday when they face the Golden Knights.

  • Calgarycandle

    Very good to have Rittich with a bounce back mentally tough game.

    Is it my perception? The Flames seem to pass the puck blindly up the boards more than other teams. When these blind passes are picked off 10-bell saves are needed. Hamilton and Brodie are frequent culprits. Not sure if I notice more of these from the Flames as they are my team.

    • Intercourse the Penguins

      ……………………………….enguins: not the ostriches. Oof! Bangin it up the boards is better than tossing it up the middle and support from the forwards is needed. The safe play is not always safe and every team does it. The Flames are not world beaters this year. The future is not bleak as in the frozen north (of us) and we can enjoy a competitive team and decent hockey.

    • McRib

      Monday to my knowledge at Torlley 5 is the rib special night, they’re surprisingly good. That used to be Melrose which was the “home of the red mile” back in 2004 on our cup run, wild times were had. Not sure how long you’re staying, but Clive Burger just a few doors down is good eats as well if you want something quick.

      If you need to kill a half day while you’re in Calgary the Glenbow Museum is always a fun experience.

      • McRib

        Last Best Brewing is another good brew pub as well if that is your thing, once again not certain how long you’re in town. If you like California style overhopped IPAs the Tokyo Drift is the best one in Calgary.

  • Honkydonk

    This was not a battle. The flames were asleep until the 3rd period and frankly the experiment with this team is over.

    Ask yourself without goaltending where this team will be right now? Then realize Smith ain’t getting younger and the league and division is getting harder.

    We have a first line centre that never drives a play or sets up ever. But he’s getting paid over $6 million

    We have a second line centre that can’t do anything but defend sorta well.

    You can go one at a time and identify significant areas and weaknesses.

    But what I hate most ar a bunch over over paid boys who have no heart and does not show effort and a will to want to actually win a damn game.

    Take away goaltending and our over time won games and we are bottom in the league yet these clowns think it’s all good

    • cberg

      Monahan is a great player, but you are correct about his lack of play-driving. I think he’d be best at 1RW, with the Flames needing to go all-out to find a play-driving, effective 1C. Some times I think that could be Bennett, but his seeming lack of hockey IQ/utilizing his line mates counters that. Perhaps Jankowski could develop that over time but right now he’s more of a defensive centre a la Backlund, but bigger. Seriously, you have to wonder if the Flames will ever get to the Cup with this core because I’m not sure this core of 5-6 players is good enough?

      With the TDL coming up BT should go all-out to dump vets for picks or young, potential prospects and then seriously re-evaluate at the draft. In addition, I seriously doubt GG is the guy to take us much farther, though admittedly the team has improved under him and he is also slowly improving. The problem is his moves are glacially slow and our core will be old men before before he figures it out.

    • calgaryfan

      Agree the Flames are weak at center, Monahan and Backlund are over rated by Flames fans. I hope Treliving does not trade anymore draft picks or prospects until he finds a first line center that can drive play and play a 200 foot game.

      • Korcan

        IMO you don’t really need a 1C that drives play when you have Johnny on the wing – he is the driver much like Kane is in Chicago. Monahan is a very good complimentary sniper. Where the 1st is a bit week is below the dots and in tight around the net. For this reason I can’t wait until Tkachuk becomes their right winger – he owns that territory. When that day comes they will be a nightmare to defend against.
        Though Ferland is having a great year, I still see him more as a second line winger who could nicely compliment Janko and Bennett as a 2a/2b line with Backs and Frolik and (?) as the other 2a/2b line.
        Backs does drive play and in time so too will Janks. I am very comfortable with our center depth going forward. But we still are missing that one more gifted offensive winger to round out the top nine.

    • The Beej

      Hmmm. Not sure if I agree about the lack of heart or trying. The last two games this team has looked tired.

      I know they just had a long road trip but I am concerned. They had a lot of time off in Jan so they shouldnt be tired.

      It aint getting any easier from here on out as they are right back on the road for a back to back.

      They to catch their second wind and fast. A trade could help with that but I hope Treliving resists the urge to double down on this season if it means sacrificing any future pieces. This team is still building.

  • Off the wall

    Unfortunately, it’s not a holiday for me in BC.

    Just curious to see how Klimchuk looked?

    From previous comments it looks like Frolic had a bad turnover and Brodie another gaffe to Marchand in OT?

  • The GREAT WW

    MODS: can you please do away with the 6 hour delay for my posts?

    I assure you I don’t need proof reading…..sure I stand up for the disadvantaged and pick on the overrated….is that so bad?

    WW

  • RKD

    Something needs to happen with Brodie, he played well when pair with Gio now every season he’s had a different partner Wideman, Hamilton and now Hamonic. I don’t care about LH or RH at this point put Brodie and Gio back together and move Hamilton the 2 pairing or you package Brodie in a trade with a prospect to get a scoring forward. He hasn’t been the same d-man in a long time.

    • Lazarus

      Something needs to happen with him alright. Like a trade while he still has some value. I submit this – What does it say about a defenceman who can’t play with anyone but the team Captain and teams highest paid player??

  • oddclod

    Oh another lax effort I missed tuning into? Damn. The care level is zero. Indicative of upper management. Fire Ken King buy out the dead weight and get some coaching in here cause I hate being right about the sad state of affairs that is CFSE. Absolute arrogant gang of misfit managers with an impressive business acumen.

  • Joeyhere

    I don’t liken gg as a coach – but ole hen he threw his stick at practice he was accusing the team of being passionless, coasting, not giving it there all. On the last two losses I can’t say the gave 100 percent over 60 mins – more like half of that. It just feels frustrating to see what they are compared to what you think this team could be.

  • PlayitagainSam

    Instead of stealing a point I like to think they lost another point. Even have of those overtime games won and we have a way tighter hold on a playoff spot.

  • Puckhead

    Rittich had a solid game.

    Klimchuk looked fine and had a good shift in the first where he did some nice things. Pretty tough for him having to play against Chara at times (but he didn’t shy away!).

    Bennett had a good game and pinged one off the crossbar. You can see the potential in him. I would be interested to see him play under a different coach (while playing in Calgary, preferably).

    Brodie…what to say about poor Brodie. I’m not sure what is happening with him. I have had him pencilled in my future Flames lineup 3 years down the road. I’m not ready to throw in the towel yet and would also like to see how he responds under a different coach.

    I think it’s safe to say that GG is a goalies coach (in that he wouldn’t have a job without great goaltending). I’m not sure that this bodes well for his future in Calgary.

    I’m not taking a dump on our season yet but we needed that one.

  • Stockton's Finest

    This is Rittich’s M O. Play bad one night and return stellar the next time out. He is solely the reason for gaining a point today.

    Thanks to those who greeted us. Looking forward to our next trip.

    • Prairiechicken

      Oilers fan here.
      I loathe Tkachuck. But would love him on our team. It pains me to say this, but he’s a beauty.
      You’d think the Oilers would get their heads out of their a>\*\s at some point over the McDavid contract and provide some good BOA games and even playoff series. I’d love to see Tkachuck vs Tkachuck in those games.

      Back to your discussion about playoffs while I consider drafting. Damnit I hate the flames.

    • The GREAT WW

      I would love to see BT wheel and deal a way to get Baby Byng on the Flames, but from the limited exposure I have had to him, I don’t think he is going to be anywhere near as productive as Byng….

      WW

  • KeepitReal

    Oppo research must have shown we were prone to giving up breakaways. Did the Bruins pounce on that or what? Frodo – luv ya but those brutal turnovers are too costly at this time of the year. BTW – go to your goalie and shin tap him with a whispered ‘sorry dude’ instead of skulking away with your head down after bone heading that play.

    T.J. – did you think your little shovel pass in o.t. was gonna magically jump over two defender sticks and secure your spot on the weekly hi-lite reel? Marchant didn’t think so either. He says thanks BTW. I wanna luv ya but you’re stretching the limits of many a patience.

    Its a race to the finish folks. Hang on, this drive to 96/95/ whatever pts may be our playoff race.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    If the Flames need to scrap to get their finally heads in the game, why don’t they get a guy who can really throw them? Lomberg is a pint-sized tough guy in the mold of Brandon Prust. Grit and guts to be sure but he doesn’t have the size to be do the job effectively. Hathaway is like Peplinski–good size and a willingness to take on all comers–but being strong and having the heart of a lion isn’t enough to be a bona fide NHL tough guy.

    • Stu Cazz

      The guy that can throw them is the D they picked up from NJ in the Lack trade. Dalton Prout….only problem is that I don’t think he can play at the NHL level….

  • Vinnsanity12

    Frolik and Brodie need to sit a game. How many times have we seen Brodie looking skyward this season after a giveaway that has led to a goal. He says ‘tonight’ is on him, what about the other 8 games?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Frolik sat out for weeks with a busted jaw.

      Just as Chucky and Hamilton have been thriving under Gully’s schemes, Brodie has not. Rather than sit Brodie, perhaps he needs to be moved along. As a trading piece, he should bring back an enormous haul considering he’s a first-pairing defenceman on most NHL teams, has a cap-friendly contract for the next two seasons and is on the right side of 30.

  • Oil consuming Flames

    Detroit dealt Mrazek to Flyers, does that make them a possible destination for Gillies?
    Can he be packaged to try a pry a scoring winger, as Detroit is definitely in a selling mode? The Red Wings don’t like to rebuild, but rather adjust on the fly. They also have two second, third, and fourth round picks in this draft(with the 4th possibly becoming a 2nd or 3rd if conditions are met, I’d bet on it becoming at least a 3rd if Mrazek wins 5 games for Flyers this year)
    What are the Flames willing to do and does Detroit want to rebuild or adjust?
    Not even sure I’m down with this , but maybe a framework, or starting point, but here goes:
    Gillies, Bennett, Brodie to Wings
    Tatar, Oulette, 2nd, 3rd to Flames

    Or
    Mantha and 2nd to Flames
    Bennett and Gillies to Wings

    • Korcan

      I want to see how Bennett does with a ‘complete’ line with some talent on the RW (not Brouwer/Hathaway) before I’m ready to give up on him. Janks is a good fit, and when Johnny or Tkachuk slide in on the right side good things happen. He’s too gifted to give up on yet, but he needs more complimentary linemates for us to see his full potential. Unfortunately, with Tkachuk and Johnny ahead of him on the depth chart that is not an easy ask.

  • Raffydog

    Just 22 more games of GG left. For any Glen lovers out there enjoy them while you can, but waiting for the announcement of his firing will be my Stanley Cup this year.

  • Chucky

    Yesterday’s game was a classic demonstration of what is wrong with the Flames. It has nothing to do with the talent or effort and everything to do with the way they play the game.
    Boston played a north\south game continually pushing the puck up the ice, looking for the stretch pass and driving hard to the net. When the Flames had the puck in their zone Boston applied pressure, attacking the puck at every opportunity, the attack was supported by aggressive support and they looked faster on the fore-check because they made the Flames zone as small as possible by pulling their defence 10-20 feet inside the blueline. At all times the Bruins looked aggressive, creative and opportunistic.
    The Flames played their standard east\west game always trying to find the optimum passing play through a slow and patient attack. Rather than driving the net they looked for the perfect set-up and great shooting opportunity. They typically had a two man low fore-check with the defense playing at or behind the blueline only jumping into the play when it was extremely low risk. The Flames looked passive and scripted.
    The strategy that the Flames try to employ seems to be a combination of Rope-a-dope and Red Army 1975/76. The problem is that to use Rope-a-dope you need to be “the Greatest” or have a significant endurance advantage over the competition, and to use Red Army 1975/76 you need Tretiak.
    While these two strategies were effective at the time there have been over 40 years to analyse and overcome these methods. As a result the Flames are predictable and a predictable team gives up a lot of turnovers in their own zone.
    Maybe time to change the system to something that works in the 21st century.