Photo Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Post-Game: Extinguished

The Calgary Flames were shut out on Sunday afternoon in Las Vegas and headed to Glendale, Arizona hoping for a better result. The good news is they scored. The bad news is just about everything else.

The same old habits crept back for the Flames against the Arizona Coyotes on Monday night. They led for precisely 123 seconds. They gave up goals on rough defensive plays. They couldn’t score a power play goal, or generate many chances. They looked every bit a lost and confused team, and they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Coyotes to effectively snuff out their playoff chances.

The Flames remain mathematically alive in the Western Conference playoff race, but their hopes are very much gone. Time of death: 10:38pm MT.

The Rundown

Neither team scored in the first period, though the Flames looked decent. They had two power plays but couldn’t generate much of anything. Shots were 15-9 Flames, scoring chances were 9-8 Flames.

The Coyotes opened the scoring early in the second period off a series of defensive lapses by the Flames. It was an even strength goal, but the low cross-zone lane was wide open and Clayton Keller found Richard Panik, who wristed one over Mike Smith from a bad angle to make it 1-0.

The Flames answered back a little while later off a lengthy stretch of zone time in the Coyotes end (with multiple shots towards the net), as Dougie Hamilton pinched and beat Antti Raanta with a wrist shot glove-side to make it 1-1.

The Flames briefly took a lead later in the period off the rush. Johnny Gaudreau’s wrister was saved by Raanta, but Hamilton whiffed on the loose puck in the slot… which allowed Sean Monahan to bat it into the open net to make it 2-1. But Arizona tied things up just two minutes later, as Max Domi snatched a rather casual Micheal Ferland outlet pass attempt and waltzed in, beating Smith to make it 2-2. Shots were 14-12 Flames, but chances were 12-11 Coyotes.

The Flames pressed a bit in the early third period, but couldn’t score. With four minutes left in regulation, Oliver Ekman-Larsson beat Smith with a wrister from the top of the circles to make it 3-2 Arizona. The Flames pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, but couldn’t muster anything. Ekman-Larsson and Domi added empty-netters to ice it at 5-2. Shots were 12-4 Flames and chances were 8-5 Flames, but they lost once again.

Why The Flames Lost

Tell me if this sounds familiar: the Flames had a ton of chances and a ton of momentum early, but couldn’t translate that into goals. A couple goals went the other way, and they just couldn’t put the ketchup back in the bottle from there. (I’m saying “tell me if this sounds familiar” because I literally copied these two sentences from the Friday and Sunday recaps.)

The Flames keep doing the same things – good and bad – and things just keep going the same way. They’ve won 10 games since the Bye Week break… and lost 19. You can blame bounces or injuries or whatever, but that’s just not what playoff-bound teams do.

Red Warrior

Hamilton had a goal and an assist, so let’s give it to him. Take a bow, Dougie.

The Turning Point

There’s a parallel universe where the Flames aren’t so casual with the puck in their own zone with a one-goal lead. They probably win this game. Instead, Ferland coughs it up inside his own blueline and Domi’s individual effort ties this thing up heading into the third period.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
Hamilton 72.2 45.5 3.200
Stajan 70.6 0.0 0.500
Giordano 70.0 45.5 2.175
Hathaway 64.7 0.0 0.350
Gaudreau 59.6 27.3 1.375
Backlund 56.0 25.0 0.700
Monahan 56.0 27.3 1.470
Lazar 55.6 0.0 0.250
Bennett 55.6 30.0 0.700
Brouwer 54.6 33.3 0.185
Frolik 52.0 33.3 0.275
Stewart 46.9 85.7 0.590
Stone 43.8 50.0 0.125
Ferland 43.8 85.7 -0.150
Jankowski 41.4 85.7 -0.175
Hamonic 40.5 50.0 -0.475
Kulak 40.0 25.0 -0.350
Andersson 36.0 25.0 -0.325
Smith 0.250

This and That

With TJ Brodie out, Glen Gulutzan bumped Michael Stone to the second pairing and we had the ultra-rare “right shot/right shot” defensive pairing. Brett Kulak and Rasmus Andersson played on the third pairing.

It was game 999 for Matt Stajan.

The Drive to 96 (Points)

The Flames now have 80 points with 8 games remaining. They need 16 points over their remaining schedule – the equivalent of a 8-0-0 record – to hit the 96 point mark that’ll probably be the playoff cut-off. They’re mathematically eliminated when Anaheim wins five games or the Flames lose five games.

Up Next

The Flames (35-29-10) limp home tomorrow. They host the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Three things done in the Flames this season.

    First, Jagr missing training camp and his subsequent inability to stay healthy and remain in the lineup.

    Second, Smitty missing a month. He was among the best goalies on the planet when he went down and the replacements simply did not do the job.

    Third, losing Chucky down the stretch drive. When the season was on the line, Chucky was unable to answer the bell because his bell was rung. Guaranteed that the team would still be playoff relevant if Chucky had not been brain damaged.

  • oddclod

    Management was more worried about Bennett showing up with a beard than setting him up for success.

    Ken King was more concerned for his ego than to negotiate respectfully in that arena deal. His rule for clean cut players is a joke. The dressing room isn’t the news, it’s a man zone. If a player feels more comfortable in a beard and long hair let him be himself. Half of them are kids and they need any tool available to them to feel comfortable in a man’s league. This policy is tyranical as a result. The technocracy is as stale as the jersey design. This is also the case of ownership not giving a rip. Putting lipstick on a pig is the mantra, it’s very clear. Iginla & Bouwmeester trades bungled due to having the biggest tool as your GM to manage the transition. Ken has been so far gone for so long, it’s pointless for anyone to justify his relevancy on any planet. Hiring a strong public speaker for office is so political it’s sad. It’s the reason I cancelled my seasons tix (2010). The heroine beer is a joke, the food stinks, it’s over priced, the music sucks, the goal songs have been embarrassing for years. There is nothing COOL about being a Flame as a player other than being a pro athlete. Like seriously, the walmart “Calgary” jerseys? The design was actually plush, but the logo was literally a symbol for me that this man was so out of touch with any sense of taste, it’s disgusting. There is nothing cachet about Calgary on an international scale so why force it? You’re not LA or NY. I remember chuckling about Vancouver’s jerseys until I saw those. Zero entertainment value unless you have a winning team. I want to vomit everytime I think of this franchise. And this season is an example. We get the Tkachuks Hamilton’s mixed in with the Brouwers and Gulutzans and there’s nothing we can do about it.

    This is your team Calgary. This is your franchise. As bad as Edmonton because they are close to icing a good team, but the technocracy has that mitigated. There is no upside. You can only hope for a new coach and pray they find lightening in a bottle cause you have a wannabe George Canyon as your president. Not a hockey man.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Bennett’s dopey-looking beard is all on Gio. As Captain, Gio should have told Bennett that he hadn’t earned the right to sport that ridiculous beard, that he was no Thornton or Burns and that he would do well to get noticed for his play on the ice and not the disaster growing on his chin. Love Gio as player and his work in the community, but he falls well short of being a solid captain.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      The Dome experience on Flames’ game nights is just so lame. Last December I was there for a game, the first time I had taken in a home game in 5 years. Man, it was deja vu all over again. The concessions are the same as I would find in any mall food court except higher priced. Canyon is one of the few professional singers who transmogrifies national anthems into bedtime lullabies for baby. The music played during stoppages in the action was so old and predictable and reminded me of the ho-hum playlists that are the stock in trade of so many of the local FM stations. Why do the Flames continue to use that horrible “Ya Hoo” after the homers score? Is this a beloved Flames’ tradition? If it is, it is time to retire it and replace it with something more meaningful. Likewise, “Ring of Fire” needs to be replaced. That song had its day but that was long before the Flames migrated from Atlanta. The between period entertainment was as bad as I had remembered five years before. Until they can do the intermissions right, I vote for the frisbee-catching dog. All in all, there was a reason why I stayed away from the Dome for five years and I was strongly reminded of it last December when I noticed the apathetic kid selling me my beer was the same apathetic kid who sold me my beer in 2012 except now he has got a bad moustache and an armful of mismatched tatties. The Dome wasn’t the place to be back then and it isn’t the place to be now. If the Dome ice experience is a wretched for the Flame players as it is for the Flame fans, I can well understand the club’s dismal home record this season.