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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
For%
O-Zone
Start%
Game
Score
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
Rittich

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.

  • RKD

    Crumble city once again, Andersson gives the puck away to Domi and Lazar makes weakest defensive play and they tie it up 2-2. 3rd period 3 unanswered goals by the Yotes.

  • RKD

    It’s sad when a kid named Matthew Tkachuk who’s not even in the lineup brings the most heart to the team and tries to carry the team on his back while other guys just coast to collect their paycheque. Very disturbing. We really miss his energy, compete level his everything out there.

  • MarbledBlueCheese

    Not sure what you folks are upset about. This is the most flamesiest outcome around! Now we can finish just out of the playoffs, without any draft picks. As is the Flames tradition.

    Now that we are back in the familiar Flames wheelhouse, I pronounce the rebuild to be complete. Thank you, Feaster and Burke and Treliving. Feels like home again.

  • kipper2004

    Lets be honest, did anyone in Calgary really think GG was the answer the day he was hired (Greg who??). I always thought the Flames settled on their second or third choice due to limited options, you would have to look back at BT’s decision to fire Hartley and really must have swung and missed his desired coaching target, i cant see why else we were left with GG.

    • Joeyhere

      We were left with tintin because Trev was ready to fire Hartley but not ready to hire fast, he got beat to the good coaches. Trev missed the window – he’d better be ready for the right hire this time

    • flames2015

      GG proved immediately he was the wrong hire, when he thought it was genius to pair a top defender with a bottom 6 defender last season.
      Gio – Wideman
      Brodie – Engelland
      Hamilton – Grossman

      God that still makes me cringe.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Bull! On the day Gully was hired I condemned the move royally as a terrible choice. When I last checked the tote, my comment had 6 thumbs up and more than 30 thumbs down. Those were the days when the mooks here thought Tre was the magic man and whatever he touched turned to gold. The real kicker is that leading up to Gully’s hiring, very few posters wanted anything to do with the guy. But when he was hired, so many poster switched off their brains and said, ‘Well if Tre says he is the right man, then he must be.”

      The unquestioning stupidity of the Flames’ faithful and more importantly the big bucks they are willing to allocate to the team have allowed team management to ice a substandard product for almost three decades.

    • PrairieStew

      Second worst coach in Flames history. #1 also a Greg. Gilbert – who ran Savard out of town, then we spend 10 years looking for a centre to pass the puck to Iggy.

  • slyall41

    You will probably see Ferland Backlund and Monahan get off season surgery and feel a lot different about the out come. These three aren’t close to the level they were at mid season

    • Honkydonk

      Nah even if that’s the case they simply do not measure up!

      Mony is too slow and not physical in play at all. Take that away and show me one goal scored based on his setup?

      Backlund well he can skate and dabble a puck and pass and defend albeit not much this season. But he can’t score and he also has no killer instinct

      Ferland well he doesn’t hit anything anymore. He has a great shot but he lacks judgement by making the wrong decision about 70 percent of the time

  • Joeyhere

    Were 10-19 since January
    Playing .300 hockey is not the sign of a successful rebuild. Time to Turn this back in the right direction
    1 fire the coach
    2 get a RW
    3 don’t fool yourself that this was all the coach – – address the serious lack of grit, character and “will to win”

    • FL?MES

      Ummm. If we were seeing crazy coaching decisions from where we were sitting I’m pretty sure the players were fed up with it as well. Would you seriously bust your nutsack when you see the Brouwerplay unfolding before your eyes on a regular basis?

    • Kneedroptalbot

      Travis Hamonic and Dougie Hamilton have played no where near what they are capable of in the last month. Too many freebies in front of the net and too many 2nd shot chances.
      Mike Smith is a great goalie, but was probably rushed back too soon from his groin injury too.

  • loudogYYC

    Sometimes it just is what it is. The Flames season was on the line and the team goes 3-6-1 in their last 10. A team like Columbus was in the exact same spot 10 games ago and rattled off an 8 game win streak for a record of 8-2. Flames season is buried by the worst team in the league meanwhile Columbus beats Boston in OT to keep their streak and playoff hopes alive.
    After 2 years under Gulutzan where the team mastered the curious ways of collapsing I don’t even care what BT does or doesn’t do, as a player how do you even listen to anything this hairdo has to say anymore? He’s clearly in the mold of Jim Playfair: great guy, people really like him, players don’t respect him.

    Brian Burke, love him or hate him, said something interesting a few years ago about a team having to learn how to walk before it can run, and then learn how to run before it can sprint. It’s clear the team has taken a step forward and plays better as a unit compared to the Hartley days, but Gulutzan absolutely cannot get this group over the hump. Unfortunately it’s probably time for that type of coach players hate/fear, the type that doesn’t just let you figure it out in your own time but instead makes you learn one way or the other. I really hope that’s Quenville but it could also be Darryl Sutter.

  • ThisBigMouthIsRight

    I wonder if Tre/Conroy/Gelinas and Tkachuk are sitting together watching these games and getting the inside scoop from Matty on whats been going on with his team and their Players/Coaching?
    Man wouldn’t that be a room to be in after tonight…

  • The GREAT WW

    In the bush, couldn’t watch the game, sounds like I didn’t miss much……

    I wouldn’t be surprised if GG goes before the season is over.

    Why wait at this point…?

    WW

  • The GREAT WW

    I like BT; he has done some good things for this team (since the 2014 draft) but hiring GG, sticking with GG and going all-in on GG (unprotected first rounder traded) could/should be enough to get him fired.

    I would not blame ownership if they cleaned house completely…

    I would not blame the Oilers if they hired BT……

    WW

    • GER

      I think it’s because BT has to provide a solution to the owner, so he needs to see who’s available and willing to take the job before firing the coach without a replacement

  • Hockeyfan

    as a fan since they came to Calgary all i could do was chuckle, so very tired of seeing this team finish out of playoffs and playing badly down the stretch. i guess indifference has set in. With buttman and likely king looking to move, i can see it happening, and quite frankly, if they need my money to display a lousy product, sell your crappy wares elsewhere boys.

  • TheWheeze

    I’ll bet green money the reason BT had to pass over the big name coaches and settle with GG and Cameron is because Flames brass won”t give him the budget to get a big name coach. These coaches cost money. Flames brass want to go cheap.

  • Kzak

    Last night both the Flames and the LA Kings gave up goahead goals with 3 minutes to play. One team came to tie it and win in OT while the other one allowed 2 empty net goals. Guess which one is going to make the playoffs and which one won’t.

  • Theo4HoF

    Don’t know why Monahan get so much hate while Backlund gets nothing but love. Backlund is invisible too when he’s not scoring, which is a lot less than Monahan. Talk about players without a heart beat, Backlund should be the poster boy. Can’t believe 6 more years of this boring player.

    • _vntony

      The hope is Backlund will be one day be the third line shutdown centre, (albeit overpaid when that time comes) when Janko or Bennett or maybe someone else, (Dube?) matures enough to take over that second line role.

      Monahan is supposed to be our first line centre. But he doesn’t play like one. Injury or not, he’s also not good enough. Both Barkov and MacKinnon have improved immensely while Monahan’s stagnant. How would his numbers look without Johnny?