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Photo Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: The house always wins

The Calgary Flames have not been playing amazingly well lately. Perhaps some may have hoped that a trip to Las Vegas to play the National Hockey League’s best home team would bring out the best in a group that has been superb on the road. Well, that didn’t happen. On a night when the hockey world was focused on the Winter Olympics and the women’s hockey gold medal game, the Flames were soundly defeated by the Vegas Golden Knights by a 7-3 score. They had chances, but they couldn’t ever get the proverbial “next goal.”

In a stretch of several contests that can be described as “measuring stick games,” the Flames keep coming up short.

The Rundown

The Flames were rather flat in the first period. Vegas wasn’t overly great, but they were better than the visitors. They scored first, as Mark Jankowski successfully blocked a cross-zone pass from Tomas Hyka, but poked it right to Ryan Carpenter, whose backhander beat David Rittich to make it 1-0. The Golden Knights carried play for much of the period, but the Flames tied it late. T.J. Brodie pinched and managed to redirect a Travis Hamonic slapshot through Marc-Andre Fleury’s legs to make it 1-1. But Michael Frolik took a penalty late and William Karlsson redirected a Reilly Smith shot in the slot to make it 2-1 Golden Knights. Vegas held an edge in shots (9-5) and scoring chances (5-3).

Dougie Hamilton scored on a sharp angle shot early in the second period to draw the Flames even at 2-2. But that tie lasted less than a minute, as Colin Miller’s high slap shot was partially blocked by Rittich, but bounced over him and landed in the crease and Smith swept in the rebound to make it 3-2 Vegas. The Flames drew even later on a power play, as a Hamilton shot careened off Cody Eakin and Matthew Tkachuk and past Fleury to make it 3-3. But that wouldn’t last long, as David Perron drew a lot of attention from the Flames defenders… allowing Alex Tuch to receive a pass and deposit a shot over Rittich’s shoulder to make it 4-3. Shots were 12-6 Flames and chances were 7-6 Flames, but they just couldn’t translate possession into really dangerous chances.

The game swung early in the third period. Mark Giordano’s wide point shot rebounded off the boards and Sean Monahan buried the rebound. But Vegas successfully challenged the goal due to the Flames being off-sides. 90 seconds later, Luca Sbisa beat Rittich with a point shot to make it 5-3. Tomas Nosek redirected another Sbisa shot later in the period to make it 6-3. Cody Eakin beat Rittich through traffic off a faceoff win to make it 7-3. Shots were 11-4 Flames and chances were 10-5 Flames, but, y’know, score effects.

Why The Flames Lost

The Flames had some energy here and there. But the devil, as they say, is in the details. They were sloppy in the defensive zone. They weren’t particularly crisp in the offensive zone. Their goaltending wasn’t very good. They were chasing for the entire game. Vegas wasn’t amazing in this one, but they were arguably better than the Flames in virtually every area of the game.

Red Warrior

The whole 3M Line was pretty solid, aside from Frolik’s penalty leading to a goal against.

The Turning Point

It looked like Monahan had tied the game, but after that goal got waved off the Flames gave up three unanswered goals. Imagine what could’ve happened if that goal had counted…

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Backlund 71.0 64.7 1.685
Frolik 70.6 64.7 0.615
Hamonic 69.7 60.0 1.300
Hathaway 68.0 50.0 0.525
Stajan 66.7 75.0 0.910
Brodie 64.9 58.3 1.525
Giordano 64.5 68.4 1.175
Brouwer 63.6 75.0 0.140
Tkachuk 61.1 61.1 1.375
Monahan 60.7 58.3 0.010
Hamilton 57.6 52.9 1.900
Gaudreau 56.7 58.3 0.450
Stone 56.0 77.8 0.250
Bennett 55.6 33.3 -0.050
Lazar 53.9 60.0 -0.045
Kulak 52.2 40.0 -0.075
Jankowski 50.0 33.3 -0.365
Ferland 47.1 66.7 -0.330
Rittich -3.350
Gillies

This and That

This was the seventh consecutive game where the Flames’ opponent has scored first. It was also the third consecutive game where the Flames never had a lead at any point. It took them 8:51 to get their first shot on goal.

Travis Hamonic and Alex Tuch got into a fight in the third period. It was fine.

The Drive to 96 (Points)

The Flames now have 69 points with 21 games remaining. They need 27 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 13-7-1 record to hit the 96 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Up Next

The Flames (30-22-9) jet to Phoenix tonight. They’ll face the Arizona Coyotes tomorrow night.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    The Fat Lady is Warming up her voice folks… 30-22-9 or otherwise 30-31 Back to .500(-1) Hockey….. Can someone please remind me again what GG’s professional NHL Coaching History/record is again?

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      And Canada’s Ladies Lose in the shoot out… Silver for the girls. Hey the Americans deserved the gold medal, totally out played Canada in OT… For some reason the Canadians played a safe defensive OT??? Out Played and Out Coached gets you the Silver! Big poopy night for Hockey all way round!

      • aye

        The girls couldn’t match the speed of the Americans, so taking it to SO was probably the better strategy. But, you are right, the Americans dominated most of the game, and were the better team, although the tying goal shouldn’t have happened.

        • ThisBigMouthIsRight

          Agree, But in this case the tying goal came on a breakaway(like in a shoot out) So that left me a little concerned about that “strategy” Lets face it the shortening of the bench started way to early in the game, The best players for Canada were already Bagged by the time OT even came around… and when they(the benched players) did come on the ice they were stone cold and jittery, Just not a great game plan in hindsight. Cheers!

          • aye

            The breakaway happened because of terrible line change, and decision in the offensive zone on the 2-on-1. That kind of mental mistake should not happen at that stage of the medal game. But anyway, the Americans deserve full credit for the win. Flames on the other hand continue to fold when they face adversity.

    • Frank the Nose 👃

      Wow look it’s post 2347 of Fire GG . How’s that working out for the team ?is FN getting into the teams head yet ?sure looks like it .i wouldn’t want to play for FN either all they do is wine and complain and trash the team .get lost ‘!!!!!! Long live the Tooth 😇

    • McRib

      Corsi is all fine an dandy, but when 80-85% of your team is the same type of two-way player who can’t really shoot the puck all that well you’re going to lose the game score battle a lot. I even look at someone like Dillon Dube, I’m a fan of his game and think he will be an NHLer for a long time, but he really doesn’t have that great of finish and goes through stretches of dominance in junior with no points because of it. Can we please draft someone who can shoot the freaking puck. Though you know who can shoot the puck, Rasmus Andersson.

      • ThisBigMouthIsRight

        Desperation for a team who’s coaches rely on one players skill rather than playing a better Team style/system of 60 min NHL Level Hockey! IMO…

      • Skylardog

        And JG is -7 in the last 5 games. Only plus players are Stajan and Lazar.
        Hamilton despite scoring 5 goals and adding 2 assists is -6, and leads the D-core in GA/60 at 5.08.

        • Frank the Nose 👃

          Hey skylardoggy can’t you write another hugely negative article theee times over ?whats the Flames record since you stated writing them? Ever heard of synchronization? I’m guessing not . Your breeding negativity against the franchise .

          • JusAFlamer

            You do realize there has been the same talk for over a year about GG.
            Constant talk. your seriously going to try to blame a blog writer about teams poor performance?

  • Bob Hartley

    We just squeaked into the playoffs last year. Then we don’t win a single game. So the Flames Brass then decided it was a good time to go all in? Burke and/or Treliving should be relived of their duties.

    Hamonic- 1st round pick, 2nd round pick, 2nd round pick
    Lazar- 2nd round pick
    Stone- 3rd round pick, 5th round pick
    Smith- 3rd round pick and a prospect

    • Puckhead

      Smith and Stone were worth the price. Most 2nd rounders never play in the NHL and I would like to see what Lazar is capable of under a different coach before forming an opinion on him. Hamonic appears to be an overpay for sure but I would still like to see him under a different coach.

    • aye

      Ferland hasn’t been very impactful of late, but then again, aside from Dougie and Chucky, nobody has been good. Ferland actually reminds me of Rene Bourque, big guy, scored a lot of goals for a couple of seasons, and then disappeared. Hope he turns out to be more, Flames are really lacking on the wing.

  • Honkydonk

    I highly recommend watching Chucky’s post game interview and especially the end. Said it best “time to decide want to go home early or make the play offs”

  • Rambo

    Is it just me or does it just seems like just about every point shot has eyes and finding the back of the net?

    How do you have a 12-5 edge in high danger scoring changes and end up losing the game 7-3?

    Honestly this feels like one of those years… honestly I don’t blame the effort. I blame coaching, lack of attention to detail at crucial moments in the game, lack of finish and a whole lot of rotten puck luck causing trouble this season.

    It is frustrating because one could think 7-3 this team got routed, but if you watch the game they just couldn’t get any bounces go their way.

  • Franko J

    There once was a time long, long ago, maybe before some of the bloggers here on Flames Nation were even born where that Flaming “C” struck fear and awe in the opposition. Not anymore. Both the coaches and the players appear to be defeated and demoralized. They must know it by now the playoffs are but a fore gone conclusion. Without the glue that held this team together they have fallen apart. The only more disappointing is seeing the team to the North of us potentially picking up another quality draft pick, while the Flames have nothing to show for their ineptitude.

  • Calgarycandle

    I think this game shows just what Smith means to the team. That’s not to put down Rittich who just isn’t seasoned enough to carry the mail at this point in his career. Smith was keeping the Flames in games they had no business being in many times during the season. Now their defensive zone sloppiness is not being papered over.

    When the Flames play their best they can compete with some really good teams like Nashville and Boston. When they don’t like last night it’s 7-3.

    Realistically, even if they sneak in past say Dallas or St. Louis how far can they go? They’d probably face Vegas in the first round. I hate to say this, but if I’m BT and being “intellectually honest” I change my strategy and become a seller and recoup some draft picks.

    Brodie had a good game last night, maybe we could see high. Stone would have some value as would Stone. Frolik has looked shaky since getting hit with a slap shot. They should be packageable and bring back a first and maybe two seconds–what we lost for Harmonic. If would also save about $16m in cap, so the Flames could retool in the free agent market and maybe pick up a big fish or even two. Would Tavares come West?

    Maybe I’m just P.O.’d after getting thrashed. Maybe Smith will be back in the next game or two and we can sneak in.

  • Calgarycandle

    See I repeated Stone. About $16M in fresh cap without Stajan. And get rid of GG, DC and also PJ–the PK sucks once again. Look up PJ–he worked for GG in Dallas. Guilt by association.

      • The GREAT WW

        Hiring GG was and is grounds for termination, I told you he was a terrible coach the day he was hired, when everyone on FN was saying “let’s wait and see; let’s see what he can do”…
        Doubling down by trading away our first round pick is beyond stupid with this coaching staff….

        WW

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Actually Jankowski was only a -3 along with Gaudreau, Then at -2 were Hamonic, Kulak, Ferland and Monahan. The Only + Player was…. Stajan. The Rest were either 0(4) or -1(7). Good Times~!

  • Chucky

    Post game players take responsibility and coach throws them under the bus. Time to recognize that this season is going nowhere and this team is going nowhere as long as they have Gulutzan as coach. They would be better off with Cameron because it would signal an end to the pain, right now there is still a chance that if the were to sneak into the playoffs Gulutzan could be back next year. That would put anybody of their breakfast.

  • oddclod

    The Masochist in me hopes for missing the playoffs to see this coaching staff combust but the fan in me says hell no. Either way, Fire King (air out the arrogant strench and sign an arena deal give the team a buoyant PR spin), Fire Glen & Co, give Gelinas a player development role cause (he’s still God), reunite Brodano (resurrect Brodie’s career and utilize what we all thought was a bargain contract), bury the Troys of the world, bury the Troys of the world, bury Troy, take the merits of the Tkachuk, Hamilton powerplay and build on it, marry Tkachuk to Bennett, Let the Mike’s roll with whoever (Mangipane anyone?) Get a real coach that can see the obvious: A little creative line-up juggling (like the current powerplay that took 3/4 of a year to try) can actually work. Let Tre work more magic in the offseason and call it a day. Fire King. Follow @oddclod & @lofiblue music on instagram. Okay, well maybe not. But fire King already and Hire Lanny & Iginla (if he retires). Inject some spirit back into the franchise ( Behead the King) thank-you.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Hire Lanny and Iggy? What seismic shift just happened that I am unware of that relocated Calgary to the latitude and longitude coordinates that were formerly occupied by Edmonton?

      I have said repeatedly on this forum that King is ensconced as president of the Flames at least until a new arena deal is in place. There is nobody in the management of the team who speaks and understands the lingo of government and business and is as well connected in this city and province as King.

      • oddclod

        Lanny and or Iggy a PR move not for the president, sorry to link the two and incite you. King needs to go to get the stale out of the organization. Yeah King proved an expert negotiator. Tried to literally fleece the city and province for a near a billion (or more depending on cost creep) with a misguided, loosely marketed and arrogant campaign. I’m sure Murray and co know absolutely Zero professionals with credentials that know how to negotiate with Politicians. And when you have an accurate assessment of the credibility and merit of Lanny McDonald who Hockey Canada and HHOF has embraced let me know.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Did not think you touted Lanny or Iggy for president. You were clear about just hiring them in some positions with the team. Although doesn’t Lanny already have an ambassadorial position with the club?

          I don’t doubt the credentials or credibility of either legend but once again the hirings would be dubious considering their long and close associations with the team. The hirings would be subject to intense negativity if during their tenure the club backslides. The similarity between the hirings and Katz’s old boys’ club in Edmonton would be inevitable.

          Years ago, after a lengthy and exhaustive search for Canada’s next ambassador to the US, Prime Minister Cretien appointed his dear nephew Raymond. Critics had a field day with this hiring. It further made the Liberal brand look unimaginative and sleazy throughout most of Canada. Even though most neutral observers on the matter declared that Ray Cretien did an above average job as ambassador and represented Canada very well, many ordinary Canadians believed the hiring was Liberal nepotism as its ugliest, while the likes of Steve Harper and Jason Kenney used it to further their political careers.

    • Raffydog

      I’ll go one further and suggest Treliving should be booted out right behind GG. This is the team he built, and it has been painfully obvious since the 10 game mark that this coach wasn’t going to get it done this season. If you’ve been reading Skylerdogs recent articles, its obvious that GG is a terrible coach, and just as obvious that he never should have been hired in the first place. That falls on the gm, and if he’s to stubborn or to stupid to make a change then he and his buddy Glen can hit the unemployment line together as far as I’m concerned.

      • Cfan in Van

        Whether or not you think he should, I think he will be given one more coaching hire to turn things around.
        Despite at least one not-so-optimal signing, I think he’s built a fairly solid team. Given the current coaching contract situation (2 head coaches currently being paid), Tre may have been in equally hot water if they needed to pay for a 3rd coach this year, as would if we don’t make the playoffs. The winning streak also hid some of the flaws at the crucial mid-point of the season (in my opinion, the last opportunity to make changes.
        And that doesn’t even touch the topic of not having many qualified candidates at the moment. I think Tre gets another shot from management.

      • BringtheFire 2.0

        Oh , Frank. You haven’t been paying attention. The comment section in FN has been actively hoping for losses for a while now.

        Another wasted year is a DELIGHTFUL prospect here.

        Losses pave the road to success, dontcha know?

  • BlueMoonNigel

    For all the big hats no cattle here demanding that Gully be fired ASAP, you have been conspicuously silent about the fate of one member of Gully’s staff: Paul Jerrard.

    His the scorecard as I know it:

    Cameron–Fire

    Gelinas–Keep

    Sigalet–Suspect Fire

    Jerrard–?

    You have your chance. State clearly if Jerrard is part of the purge like Cameron or part of the solution like Gelinas?

    I don’t want to influence things, but firing the only black coach in the NHL during Black History Month would have terrible optics and would no doubt lead to a backlash against the club by those who engage in and thrive on race politics.

    State the case for or against Paul is what I am requesting.

    • oddclod

      Small hat no saddle here…. Keeping a manager in any organization because of race or gender is not sound management because it shows you are incapable of assessing an individual on their competence. Zero in the media would ever spin this narrative because it’s absurd. Your ideology is similar to the moron Prime minister that chose PR over sound management running this country… IE: to have an equal gender count in his cabinet instead of a normal policy of hiring the best talent available. If I wasn’t eloquent enough let Jordan Petersen squash your misguided arguement: https://youtu.be/34aNP4wyBJI

      • BlueMoonNigel

        “Zero in the media would ever spin this narrative because it’s absurd” tells me that you have a very traditional definition of media. We live in a world where the line between social media and mainstream media is becoming more and more blurred. Ultimately, it is up to the individual whether he puts more stock in what he hears on CNN or the rantings of the guy on the Twitter machine.

        One thing you can be sure of is that if Jerrard got canned in Black History Month, the Flames org would have to answer some unsettling and possibly unjust questions about firing a brother in a month that celebrates brothers and sisters.

        Welcome to the new world order, old-timer.

        • oddclod

          If this is your arguement, you’re afraid of what people may think when firing a human for not reaching organizational goals, I fear your apitude on the real world is moot, and your attempted slander in an ageism context is the same as the race baiting rhetoric that your MK Ultra induced head trauma is guilty of. Because of course, age has relevancy in your world in assessing apititude or self awareness. Seems others share my logic judging by how your rhetoric has trashed and as such thoroughly dismantled. Peace!

    • deantheraven

      Jerrard has consistently deployed the lesser-skilled personnel for PK 1 until very recently, much like the PP has done for the bulk of the year. Numbers don’t lie, nor does the eye test. There’s your reason, now let’s make him gone, with GG & Cameron. I would keep Gelly too, but only because I’m a hopeless romantic. I want him to get a cup with us.

    • Raffydog

      This is a business, as the players and owners and everyone involved in the league will tell you. You do what’s best for the team, and can’t worry about hurting the feelings of a bunch of snowflakes.

    • One Eyed Jack

      Like has been mentioned on here before, Tre is waiting for season’s end to find a coach, as there are not any suitable replacements at this time. C’mon Chicago. Let Coach Q Go.

    • Cheeky

      All coaches will get purged once season ends. Case for Jerrard is him running the defence (you know the one that is supposed to be one of the best in NHL). His PK including personnel is terrible (read Skylardog’s latest article), not agressive and slow. If not for the goalies standing on their heads most nights, both PK and GA would probably best last in league. That is on defensive coach – Jerrard (regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, etc…) he’s not an NHL level coach like the rest of them…

    • Danomitee

      Wow what a dumb comment. If you’re purging the entire coaching staff and you decide to keep the only black coach in the NHL purely because of his/her ethnic background then that is racial prejudice.

  • buts

    This team is just so soft up and down the lineup, there’s a lack of grit, there’s little consistency, character when down, they can’t handle adversity and they don’t have an identity. I think it’s going to take more than 96 points, possibly 97 or 98. Just watch MT’s interview after the game and you can see the frustration, the guy is a winner and leader, then watch GG’s interview….he’s not a winner or leader. Hate to say it but Rittich is slowly staying deeper and deeper in his net while going to his knees more and more….is there not a goalie coach on the flames? Flames will probably move on from him and he will go to an organization that will make him a vezina goalie. BT has assets on the blueline that he needs to move to improve the forwards on this team…..either now or at the draft. Priority number 1 is to find a coach to take this group to a consistant high level with an identity.

  • TheWheeze

    My humble opinion. Coach has got to go. I’ve said this before, but at least Hartley’s team had this city on it’s feet. Last game I was at (Buffalo) half the crowd were so disengaged from the game they were staring at their phones or talking. Much like the coach. Zero emotion. How many times did Hartley have to be kept from going on the ice after the officials. It energized the bench. And lastly, you’re all assuming Tkachuk will even want to sign here after his entry level deal is done. He might say, I’m going to a contender. And he will get his price. He will have every team in the league courting him

    • Frank the Nose 👃

      Every team (Fans)not in the playoffs blame coach or players . Apparently Vegas coach is the best now. It was fired when he couldn’t muster wins but now he’s a God in Vegas ? Lol but next year they could very well end up last in the league then guess who’s to blame? Funny you could have a bad coach on a good team and nobody says anything but a good coach that’s losing will get fired . Let’s try an article ” stand behind your team “

      • Danomitee

        Gerard Gallant is a very good coach. Florida won the very tough Atlantic division in his first year, and when they fired him every coach in the league was angry with the decision. The hiring of GG was criticized as soon as he was hired because he hadn’t proven that he was a “good coach”, and I for one won’t stand blindly behind my team because this coaching staff isn’t a good fit and they have to go.

      • Frank the Nose 👃

        You are probably right . But he is the coach and untilll that changes I don’t see how it helps the franchise to bash it constantly. You’d think Flames were last place . There’s still a lot to like about this team .these posters sound like there from ON .

    • Rocket66

      Everyone says trade Brodie What are you going to get for him. His stock is low compared to say 2 years ago. How does someone forget how to play Put him back with gio and see if things change or if he’s on the decline.
      I wouldn’t do any trades right now. Wait till matts brother gets picked then go hit that gm hard and make a deal
      This team needs heart
      I believe one of the reasons Vegas is good is because every player was let go by their former team now every player is out to prove them wrong that’s a team with heart oh and good coaching

      • Raffydog

        I’d be reluctant to make any major trades until we get a competent coaching staff. Next season we should have a new coach and new gm, and that should give us a good indicator of where this team truly is.

      • Cheeky

        @rocket66 – a top 4 defensemen that can skate, pass and put up 30-40 points. GM’s will throw alot to aquire that (hopefully they ignore his defensive liabilities)…

  • Jimmyhaggis

    I place sole responsibility on the team’s failure at the feet of BT or BB. They built the team, supposedly character guys, where is the character? They accept loosing, have no fight, and really don’t have the skill.
    I know the coaching is horrible but that was the choice of the GM. The organization mis calculated and went all in on a bad hand. Ownership is going to have to make an important decision on whether to work with what they have or blow the whole thing up and start with new management.

  • snotss

    this flames team is not going to make the playoffs….f–kin pathetic bunch of underachievers……fire coaching staff at end of the year and start something new hopefully at the draft but wait they don’t have a 1st or 2nd picks this year…..the whole team is rotten from the top on down