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Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Flames blanked by Stars

Man, Ben Bishop was really good tonight.

That’s the main takeaway from a game where the Calgary Flames did 90% of things correctly. Sure, their power play could’ve done a lot more with six chances. But the Dallas Stars performed reasonably well and rode a hot goaltending performance by Bishop to a 2-0 shutout victory over the Flames in a tight-checking game between two teams that both needed the two points in a jam-packed Western Conference playoff race.

The Rundown

There were only two goals in this game, so we’ll eschew the “normal” format and just look at how this game swung.

Dallas scored twice. Once late in the first period on a weird play. The Flames broke up a Dallas zone entry but couldn’t corral the puck, and it found its way to the stick of Devin Shore in front of the net. Dougie Hamilton slid to attempt a block, and Jon Gillies seemed to think Shore was going to pass the puck to his left. Shore instead went to Gillies’ right and buried a wrister to make it 1-0.

In the second Dallas made it 2-0 on the power play on another odd play. The puck was dumped in and rimmed around the back boards to the far corner. Travis Hamonic went to play the puck and got bear-hugged by a Dallas player, which allowed the puck to go to Jamie Benn, who fed Tyler Seguin for a wrister that beat Gillies high. Glen Gulutzan was livid on the non-call on the bear-hug.

The first period was pretty even, with Dallas having a slight shot edge (9-8) and chance edge (7-5). From there on, the Flames were very good at even strength. Shots were 17-7 in the second and 13-8 in the third for the visitors. Scoring chances were 4-1 in the second and 9-4 in the third for the visitors. But the Flames could not score a goal because Ben Bishop was in the zone.

Why The Flames Lost

They couldn’t generate enough dangerous chances on the power play. And when they generated scoring chances of any kind during the game, Bishop swallowed them up. He was the difference-maker tonight.

Here’s what the Flames generated in 1:55 of a five-on-three advantage: shot, miss, miss, shot, miss, miss, miss. That’s not good enough.

Red Warrior

Giordano was excellent tonight, with blocks, shots, scoring chances and monstrous possession numbers.

The Turning Point

The Flames went down 2-0 and instead of having some even strength pressure to get their momentum back, their coach takes an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty by losing his cool at a crucial time of the game.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
Tkachuk 82.4 0.0 0.935
Giordano 77.8 50.0 1.525
Hamilton 75.0 53.9 1.100
Frolik 75.0 0.0 0.675
Bennett 72.7 85.7 0.475
Hathaway 71.4 50.0 0.250
Jankowski 71.4 100 0.365
Backlund 70.6 0.0 0.300
Lazar 69.2 37.5 0.110
Stajan 66.7 25.0 0.445
Brouwer 66.7 28.6 0.415
Kulak 56.3 100 0.100
Hamonic 52.4 33.3 0.325
Gaudreau 50.0 87.5 0.150
Monahan 50.0 87.5 0.265
Stone 45.0 50.0 -0.075
Brodie 40.0 33.3 -0.150
Stewart 35.7 60.0 -0.475
Gillies 0.900
Rittich

This and That

This was the fifth time this season that the Flames have been shut out.

The Drive to 96 (Points)

The Flames now have 73 points with 18 games remaining. They need 23 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 11-6-1 record to hit the 96 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off.

Up Next

The Flames (32-23-9) head to Denver tonight. They cap off their short road trip tomorrow when they play the Colorado Avalanche.

  • Off the wall

    Pretty difficult to judge Stewart’s game, however those stats aren’t promising. I hope it’s due to not knowing our complicated ‘Corsi mathematical system’ rather than the alternative.

    Don’t you think someone should have done something when Gaudreau got pasted to the boards in the third period?

    The refs were horrible. GG trying to do his ‘hug impression’ got him a bench minor.

    What a frustrating game.
    Thanks Bishop for Smith- ing us

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    I could have lived very well without this day in my life…. this game was just the cherry on top! Oh well, the sun will still rise tomorrow and we can all try it again. Good Night Everyone.

  • Stu Cazz

    When your team works it’s ass off but lacks finishers then the opposition goalie always becomes the 1st star. That has happened often this year. Part of the offseason plan to fill that gap….I hope!

  • Franko J

    Looking at the remaining schedule, I am not too confident this team will have the ability to make it to 95 or 96 points. Unfortunately having such a mediocre home record has really placed this team in a very tough position in the playoff race. They have to pretty much win 66 % or better. Between the coaching and inconsistent play I just can’t see that happening.

  • IUsedToHaveAName

    I’m going to have to agree with Ben Bishop winning this game for Dallas. Flames were all over him, appeared to be at times more dangerous on the PK than they were on the PP, which itself looked great with lots of movement to open up lanes, but any chance the Flames even got a whiff of Bishop was there to stop the puck.

    The difference was that Gillies let in a couple rookie goals which makes sense since he’s a rookie. If it weren’t such a critical time in the season I’d chalk this up to a “good loss,” this game will do a lot of good if Gillies learns from it.

    The fact that this is such a critical time in the season for the Flames goes all the way back to the beginning of the season and the usual suspects that I’m sure I need not list again.

    Anyway, a fine effort, a couple of hiccups but otherwise it was a good game from the good guys. Lots to learn from. They need to buckle down and fix it. It should probably go without saying that the Flames should have been thinking this way in game 20 and not game 64.

  • RKD

    Gaudreau smoked no one defends him, Brouwer ran over no one steps in these guys need to stand up for their team mates, a lack of identity stems from the coaching staff.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      Tough to step in when Calgary is chasing the game right to the end. I agree that the team needs to exercise discipline when points are crucial. The hit on Gaudreau was aggressive but nothing more, now the kneeing cheap shot on Johnny by Benn last game needed are response.

      • Al Rain

        Pro tip: If you’re going to comment on the grammar/punctuation of other posters (and believe me, I’m sympathetic to your cause), you should get your apostrophes and ellipses down.

    • Al Rain

      It was a clean hit.

      I have a lot of respect for players that can take a hit (that being part of the sport).

      Much less respect for whiners who believe they should never have to take a hit. Or players who have to fight after a clean hit.

      Or fans who confuse dumbass retaliation fighting after a clean hit with “standing up for their teammates”.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    All praise yesterday to Tre for bottle picking instead of overpaying for a rental. How’s that looking tonight? What problem has dogged this team all season? The absence of scoring. It done us in again tonight. I am going to keep track of how many games we lose the rest of the way because we get goosed or score a single goal.

    Why was dealing a first round pick in 2019 for Kane such a stinko idea? Think about it. If the Flames progress as Tre intends them to, the pick should be in the low to mid 20s. Likely a kid picked that low will do a couple more years in junior and possibly a season or more in the AHL. We are realistically at 2022 at the earliest before we get a return on the kid. As of now, only Monahan and Backlund from the current roster will still be under contract in 2022.

    Having Vandy would have increased team scoring and toughness as Vandy is a scorer and can be a pain in the heinie to play against.

    There would have been bucks to extend him too by letting all the UFAs walk and dealing Stone.

    Retaining draft picks is crucial for the long-term success of a club, but based on Tre trading for Smitty and Hamonic, it seems he is in the “win now” mode. A late first round pick in 2019 ain’t going to help the club win now whereas Vandy would have.

    • Chrissu

      But do we have the Cap Space to get him for next season? And what if Kane doesn’t want to sign with Calgary? His contract is up this season and if he doesn’t want to sign here, we’ll be giving up a first round pick for a rental who won’t play for Calgary in 2018-19. We traded for Mike Smith as a temporary backstop and we traded for Hamonic because he still has term and a flexible contract being a top 4 defenseman. Kane is neither a temporary backstop nor have term on hus contract. We won’t have a 2018 first round pick, that is correct, but that does not mean we are playoff juggernauts

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Yes, the money is there provided the club not re-sign any of its underwhelming UFAs and creates a spot for Ras by trading Stone and/or Brodie.

        Trading for a rental is always a risk. What isn’t a risk in life? Driving to work every day is a risk, but you do it.

        The Western Conference is wide open this playoff season, so why would having more scoring depth and pugnacity in the form of Kane have been a bad thing?

        With more than 60 games played this season, it is clear the Flames only have one consistent scoring line. That doesn’t cut it in the playoffs. 3M will never be a line that can be counted on to pot a goal or two per night. The third line remains a work in progress. The fourth line isn’t even made up of three bona fide NHLers.

        Last word to Vandy:

        “Evander Kane made an immediate impact in his San Jose debut by assisting on two goals during a four-goal second period and delivering a few big hits that helped the Sharks beat the Edmonton Oilers 5-2 on Tuesday night.”

        Not only did he outpoint the entire Flames roster last night, he helped beat the Oilers, something this team has never done during the Gully era.

    • Jumping Jack Flash

      I am torn on the moves that Tree did not make. I would like to see some of our prospects develop like the Jets did this year after not making the playoffs. I wanted Hoffman but when I saw the cost of Tatar….I realized there was no deal to be made. To see Kane on our roster at the cost of Ras or Fox would be more disappointing.

    • FL?MES

      If you know anything about the Flames organization you would realize that one year of limited picks will not affect the organization much. Our core players are young and we have 4-6 blue chip prospects. Some veteran players will retire or be sent on their way while others will gradually be traded for picks, prospects, or NHL calibre players. The Flames will be a different looking team 2-3 years out. It’s all good. Patience…

  • canadian1967

    Monahan needs to start playing like he’s 6’3 and gives a shirt.
    He doesn’t need to be truculent, but some bloody “Nasty Sean Monahan” would be refreshing to see. He will never be Captain
    “Get into the game Sean!!!”

    • BlueMoonNigel

      That is not and never will be his game. The next captain of the Flames is Chucky provided the club doesn’t dick around with him and try and shoehorn him into a ridiculously low contract.

  • Skylardog

    Watching Brouwer get in the line up is getting very difficult for me to watch. To see him starting the penalty kills, and out on the second PP is just about killing me.

    While he was injured it became so clear as to how bad he is. I thought he had progressed this season compared to last, but with him being out, I am seeing his impact on those around him.

    The 4th line was the best line on a few nights when he was out. Stajan, Lazar, and Lomberg really showed some jump. That is now gone with him back in the lineup.

    Not sure how GG or any of the coaching staff can’t see just how big a plug he really is.

      • Skylardog

        There is no deal for Brouwer. Even if the Flames ate half his salary, there is no one that will take him. You couldn’t even package up Brouwer and a 3rd round pick keeping half his salary, for a 7th in return and find a team willing to bite.

        Not knocking BT here by the way. I liked the deal when it was signed. It made the Lucic deal look like a bargain (and it still does).

        • FL?MES

          I said that BT will deal with Brouwer and his contract when the time is right.

          You played for the Calgary Buffaloes and wrote a few blogs for FN. Tre is a GM in the NHL and understands how it works in a way that you and I never will.

        • Chucky

          There was no way of knowing that the signing of Brouwer would be seen by Gulutzan as the acquisition of a superstar. He plays this guy like they got a combination of Gretzky and Gainey.
          When you overlook the salary at the time Brouwer didn’t look like a bad deal at the time not a great deal but maybe a piece of the puzzle.
          To keep Gulutzan and buyout Brouwer would defy reason.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            How can you overlook his salary as the league is tightly controlled by the salary cap? Isn’t that like saying that apart from being a psychopath, Charlie Manson had dynamic leadership skills and was excellent at getting his entire team involved in a project?

        • buts

          Seeing how GG uses Brouwer shows how terrible a coach he is. As for BT not moving him I call bs because anyone can get moved ask Wayne. Keeping GG and not moving TB when everything wrong with the flames was and is so obvious is knock against BT. He could have made a coaching move after 25 games even if the replacement was interim and straightened out this ship but in true arrogance admitting a mistake in hiring GG would hurt his ego. Skydog you have many insightful comments and people are trashing them….crazy.

  • PlayitagainSam

    Keep blaming Brouwer and or Stewart? Try blaming Treleving who did absolutely nothing to improve this team at the trade deadline. This is just continuing the tradition of being nothing more than a bubble team. Show me proof otherwise!

    • supra steve

      This team IS a bubble team in 2017/18, as are a LOT of other clubs. Evander Kane was not going to change that. Enjoy the rest of the season, either they make the playoffs, or they do not.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Brad came out publically last week to say the club had underperformed this season, but there was still time before the end of the season to make things right.

      Before the season began, Gully talked about this club being a 100 pint club. No club with 100 points has ever missed the playoffs.

      How many contributors to this forum said before the season began that this club was a lock to make the playoffs?

      I too think that Tre should have rolled the dice before the TDL to try and land a scorer but maybe he did and he came up empty. Better no trade than a bad trade.

      If the club doesn’t make the playoffs, then Tre will really be under the microscope in the offseason because this underperforming club is not going to be fixed just by re-signing Steeger and Barty. Some significant changes will have to be made.

      • Burnward

        I think Tre is fine.

        This deadline was a message to GG that “I like my team. It’s on you to figure it out.”

        They miss the playoffs, Gulutzan gets the axe.

  • WillyWonka

    we have now reached the point in the season where officiating goes from inconsistent and frustrating to “WTF”? Gully was not out of his place to question how their guy could literally be hanging onto the back of our defender (was it Gio?), but the ref’s don’t like it so they call him. then there were the back and forth make up calls… the refs really blew it. they really need to decide on one scheme for calling penalties, and stick with it for the entire year, including playoffs.

  • CalgaryBornandRaised

    Will be interested to see how Nick Shore does, but first impressions of Chris Stewart…….meh

    5 on 3 powerplays for us are killer, and not in the good way. We don’t usually score and then the other team gets the big momentum swing

    I’d like to see Johnny get a little more freedom on 5 on 3 to move to different sides and play make a little more……anything can be better then what we get

    Not in fire GG camp, but definitely in the fire Dave Cameron camp

    • CalgaryBornandRaised

      I do, but looking at how the standings are shaking out, we would play Vegas first round, and as crazy as it sounds, not sure i like my chances against them

      • BlueMoonNigel

        Vegas is the one team I’d love the Flames to play in the first round. Will the Rusty Knights play like they are using house money or will they be as tight as a drum? Will they finally look down and see how thin the highwire they have been treading really is?

        The one solid playoff performer they have is Fleury but considering his very mixed bag of playoff success, is he really the guy you want leading your playoff pups?

        McPhee’s Capitals were a playoff bust year after year and when Gallant coached the Panthers into the playoffs the one season, they were a quick exit.

    • where.is.ville?

      It is getting to be nearly impossible! I have said they need clutch scoring for ages now. Who picks a guy up off waivers and puts him immediately on the top line? What are they thinking? The team has only five real scorers (Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk, Giordano and Hamilton). The rest of the team couldn’t hit the side of a barn from twenty feet. At one point last night they had 70+ shot attempts, 35 shots got through, and 0 goals – pathetic.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Yeah, they are still in the thick of it. But they have to start stringing together some wins and when they play a team in the same boat, they have to polish them off in regulation. A win against the Avs in regulation tonight is a must.

  • Bucky 1989

    What does it say about your team when a 19 year old kid has the best Corsi?
    What does it say about your team when your top scorer gets manhandled and known does a thing?
    Yes, Bishop was good but now they pretty much have to win in Colorado tonight. Team are going to distance them selves from the Flames

    • Cfan in Van

      I get the sentiment about sticking up for Johnny… But he’s tiny, and there are going to be times when he gets man handled, because it’s relatively easy. Reacting to a clean hit, when your trailing 2-0 in the 3rd isn’t the time to take an instigator penalty. There are certainly two sides to that coin.

  • snotss

    bye bye flames squad…their toast………..the rest of this year will be tough to watch…hey blue jays are starting their season I might as well watch that