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Sharks 5, Flames 1 post-game embers: So this is still going on eh?

Once the Flames officially shut Sean Monahan down for the season, they admitted defeat. Why should anything else change?

David Rittich is probably the only one who didn’t deserve this

Not every goal against was David Rittich’s fault. He was subjected to defensive breakdowns and bad bounces against: two things out of his control. And as apathetic as the rest of this season will be, the least the Flames could do would be to try to be fair to their rookie backup netminder who never asked for any of this.

Rittich has had a great season overall, especially when you consider his development curve. He performed well as a backup, consistently helping the Flames to, at least, points. As a backup, he never posted a save percentage under .919. And while that was a stretch that couldn’t last, when Mike Smith went down, he faltered; that extra cushion gone, and therein everything flew off the rails.

He had a .848 save percentage in this game. He’s at .908 now. It may be an accurate reflection of his abilities – he did falter in his own right – but games like this aren’t earned. They’ll drag his numbers down, and it’s just not fair to him, to say nothing about playing 60 minutes behind a team that has largely appeared to stop caring.

Everything is a learning opportunity now so just roll with it

On that note, though, get him those starts. Even if the team in front of him won’t play well, it’s still NHL experience he can use and turn into next year.

Brett Kulak played the most out of everybody, with 23:06. So what if he made a poor cross-ice pass that led to the Sharks’ first goal – the season is over anyway, they can go winless the rest of the year and it will not matter one iota, so let Kulak make those mistakes and go over film so he won’t make them when the games actually matter in seven months. In the meantime, give him that ice. It’s of more use to him now than it is to Michael Stone. Can Kulak turn into someone who can handle top four minutes? With whatever changes may come this offseason, it might be nice to know that.

Rasmus Andersson played 15:26, the most he’s played this season. He also got 1:58 on the powerplay. He still played the least out of the defence, but if he’s going to be up in the NHL playing out the stretch instead of down in the AHL fighting for a playoff spot, it’s best to make proper use of his time.

Is Nick Shore the fourth line centre of the future? He played 13:40 in the game, including 1:13 on the penalty kill, behind only Troy Brouwer and Mikael Backlund for shorthanded forward time. He’d better be appearing in every remaining game, because all that’s left to look forward to is decisions on next season’s roster.

Just some Dougie Hamilton thoughts

A lot’s being said on the Flames vastly outshooting their opponents. But who is it actually shooting?

For the second game in a row, Dougie Hamilton had a powerplay shot go off the crossbar and turn into a shorthanded goal seconds later. It’s absurd just how bad the Flames’ luck has been this season, but that’s just how it’s been all year. And while it’s no guarantee that the Flames will experience a reversal in fortune next year, it at least does provide some hope that this team isn’t as bad as they appear to be.

I mean, they’re still plenty bad at this point – they’ve completely thrown in the towel – but there’s literally nothing left for them to play for at this point, so… why not?

Hamilton did lead the way with five shots on net though. It was the sixth straight game in which he has accumulated at least five shots. In 24 games this season, he has put at least five shots on net. He has 255 shots this year; only three other Flames are in the 200s, including runner up Johnny Gaudreau, with 221. With 16 goals, he’s still scored the most out of all defencemen in the NHL, and his shots are second league-wide by a fair margin. He plays at least three fewer minutes than the other league-wide leaders.

For the love of god, whoever is in charge of this team next year, put that man on the first powerplay unit and do not take him off for any reason. The Flames have a young, cost-controlled offensive force on their blue line and to not maximize his potential is, well, part of the reason they are where they are.

  • MontanaMan

    Just when you thought the Flames goaltending situation was resolved and that the cupboards were full of high end prospects, a season like this happens. Parsons has struggled with injuries and on ice performance. Gillies has looked inconsistent at the AHL level and over his head with the big club. And Gillies and Rittich appear to be technically struggling. Both are beat often on low quality scoring opportunities and both struggle with their angles. In tight, Rittich will battle and is effective but hasn’t figured out the angles in the NHL with better shooters. And after a strong season, Smith has looked very ordinary since returning from injury, again giving up weak goals. When a team is fragile and scoring challenged like the Flames, goalies simply cannot give up weak goals and need to steal a few games which hasn’t happened much lately. The club will look at the entire coaching staff in the off season, including the goaltending coach.

    • Stockton's Finest

      Please remember that Rittich only has about only 20 games in the NHL. As Ari wrote, the defense in front of him has not been stellar.

      Last year in Stockton, he went 15-11-4 with a 2.27 GAA and a .924 save %. He also had 5 shutouts.

      In comparison, Gillies went 18-14-4 with a 2.93 GAA and a .910 save %.

      He was always the back up in Stockton last year but outperformed Gillies constantly when called upon. Then when he was called up this year, he played sparingly. I, along with a lot of other posters, believed he needed a few more starts to keep him active while resting Mike Smith.

      A full off-season of conditioning, practice, and a good camp, where he actually gets to play some pre-season games will only help. That, along with a new coaching staff and knowing he is the full time back up, should prepare him for between 20 to 25 starts next year. That gives Mike Smith between 57 and 62 games, which is perfect for a 36 year old goalie.

      You are correct about Gillies. He needs some better coaching to correct the flaws, like going down too quick and getting beat top side.
      Parsons was playing hurt all year, both in KC and Stockton. From the little I have seen of him in person, he will be fine. He just needs time to heal and experience in the minors.

      • PrairieStew

        Unfortunately – I think we’ll need more than 25 starts from Rittich. Smith was great to start the season but clearly has struggled lately and it feels like Hiller 2.0.

    • buts

      Totall agree every single goalie that is signed to this ream is struggling right now. Too many to not question what kind of goalie instruction is being given to each. A change in all of this teams coach’s is a must.

      • ThisBigMouthIsRight

        Ya, they always seem to start strong and as the time goes on the worse they get… the more time they spend getting “coached” here the worse they seem to end up… It needs to Stop! No more Free Passes to Coaches who can’t get the best(if not just down right make the players worse) out of these guys coming in…. I don’t care about whether the guys(coaches) are “good guys” or have had struggles in life or are well liked or etc etc etc… This is a Tough league to compete in and there is No room for ~extended~ sentimental protection for anyone not being successful at their position with the club. If Its Broken… Fix It ~! Enough!

      • kirby

        I’m ready to flip Hamonic back out this offseason and get those picks back (or as many of them as possible at least)

        The ones we gave up for Lazar, Stone, Smith and Lack sure ain’t comin back, and you know they’re feeling that buyers remorse.

        Two 1st rd picks, two 2nd rd picks, two 3rd rd picks, a 5h rd pick (+ other small pieces)

        Basically gave up the top half of 2 whole drafts for a 4th liner/healthy scratch, a borderline #6 defenseman, a 36 year old declining goalie who isn’t even better than the last guy we had, a backup who we didn’t even want to let touch the ice and put on waivers, and an underachieving “shut down” defenseman who constantly let his guys get wide open in front of the net.

        Cool.

      • L.Kolkind

        That trade is bad no matter where the Flames end up if it’s out of the playoffs and not lottery protected. Treliving should be fired this team is his ding, and it isn’t good enough and his moves a rea a big reason why.

      • kirby

        By the way, regardless of who the Isles pick, the trade already feels like a bad one. Even if the Isles pick a bust, that doesn’t mean it’s the same player we would have picked. Even if we had it and didn’t use it to draft anyone, but rather used it in some other package for something like a top 6 winger who would have contributed more than Hamonic did this season, or traded it for a true #1 goalie, or used it to trade down in the draft and acquire extra picks for all the other questionable trades we’ve made giving up picks for borderline useless players, etc.

        Regardless of what the Isles do with our asset, we could have done something better with it than what Hamonic gave us.

    • Kevin R

      How about play for a little pride & stealing valuable points from fierce foes that are fighting for every point in a tight seeding race. If they only want to play 50% effort so they don’t have any injuries on the links then how about refunding me 50% of my tickets?

      • kirby

        They couldn’t even play with pride when they were trying to steal valuable points for themselves, so why would they suddenly take so much pride in playing “spoiler”?

  • The GREAT WW

    Looks like the Flames are playing to get their coach(s) fired…….and the Oilers are playing to save their coach’s job……

    Hopefully they both achieve their objectives!

    WW

  • Squishin

    1st point: Shots do not equal goals. Early in the season, Hamilton was shooting everything directly into the goalie’s stomach. He has done a much better job lately of turning his shots into legitimate scoring chances (see the multiple posts and crossbars hit recently), but the attitude on the Flames needs to be geared more towards dangerous shots, rather than a weak flip to the goalie.
    2nd point: Play the kids. Play the damn kids. If there’s ever any time for them to learn and develop, this is it.

    • Frank the Nose ?

      Exactly they shoot right into the goalie , they will save those all day long doesn’t matter if you fire 60 per game , this team can’t move the puck around and apparently no body can do a one-timer anymore ….huh…..what…..what’s a one-timer ? Duh ?

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Power lineup yesterday, keep playing the old slugs, Glass, Stewart Brower, I’m surprised Bartkowski wasn’t inserted into the lineup.
    The jig is up, why wouldn’t you be giving your young guys a look see. Truly don’t understand what the heck is going on in Flames land this season, just baffled.

    • Frank the Nose ?

      I think they want Stockton to get into playoffs so the young guys can get more experience . Probably trying to see who or if there gonna sign .stewert, or Hathaway ,glass . But I agree I’d like to see Klimchuck and Foo get a couple games too ,Klington . Most of the prospects are going into playoffs otherwise Dube etc may have gotten a game or two as well .

        • Frank the Nose ?

          I thought most of the call ups were do to injuries ? But yeah your right puck they only get a few . Mangiapane,Lomberg,Jankowski, Hathaway didn’t start with the team , Gillies,Tittich , Anderson . Kulak started the year with Flames ? Can’t remember but definitely had a few this year , which were ones were due to injuries ?

      • HOCKEY83

        I agree. A lot of these guys are going RFA and UFA they want to watch them try and win rather than call them up and watch their confidence be totally destroyed playing with this bunch of losers.

    • kirby

      What young guys though? Janko was already called up earlier this season. Hathaway was already called up. Rittich and Gillies have both been called up. Andersson is called up. Mangiapane is out with an injury for the rest of the season.

      Who else do we bring up? Lomberg again?

      Stockton at least has a chance to make their playoffs. Whatever actual prospects we have left down there are probably better served playing in that chase, as opposed to coming up here while our team goes through the motions and loafs the rest of the season away.

    • Chopper #2

      Ever think they are trying to save the season for Stockton and that’s why they haven’t called up a plethora of young guns yet? At least they have something to fight for. Huge win over Manitoba Moose. If these guys are going to be future Flames they ARE LEARNING VALUABLE LESSONS!

  • TheWheeze

    I’ve said it on FN once, and I’ll say it again – I’m betting Flames ownership are not giving BT the budget he needs for top flight coaching. They want to go cheap. Find a marginal young guy we don’t have to pay and take a chance he might run with it

    • MontanaMan

      I don’t know how you can say that when the ownership has never balked at spending to the cap. Ottawa has a cap restricted situation but I’ve never seen money as an issue in Calgary.

    • Skylardog

      Should not be an issue if they use economics to decide how much they should play.

      At 19,000 seats, $100 per seat, each playoff game generates $1.9 million in revenue in ticket sales alone. Even in a 2 game year where they get in and get blown out 4 straight, they get 2 games. That’s $3.8 million in revenue.

      I know they don’t get it all, but it does show why paying for a proven top coach, costing $5 million a season is worth it. That same $5 million also translates into about 1000 season ticket holders. The Dome isn’t sold out right now, and while the economy is hurting, the product has to be worth watching.

      Rumour is that GG makes about $750,000. Quennville, as an example, would need between $4 and $5 million it has been reported. Just 2 playoff games would cover the difference.

  • Alberta Ice

    Should be an interesting game in LA Monday night. LA playing for their playoff lives. Calgary playing for their er, ah, …_____, who knows? You fill in the blank. (And, yes, pity whoever plays goalie for the Flames. Ugly.)

    • Rocket66

      I totally agree with what was mentioned about the one timer They don’t do it and when he hold the puck before shooting it gives the goalie time to get in position. Soo lots of shots but none go in. Ovie has made a living with the one timer. Camaleri used to do the same
      As far as coaches go. I would be shocked to see a high caliber coach come in because of the price to pay
      If Q is available he should be able to demand Babcock money
      That being said a few rounds in the playoffs would be a lot of revenue. This is where ownership has failed How could any business owner watch this bs and not demand changes no playoffs means lost revenue

  • Raffydog

    I think we’ve seen enough of Rittich and Gillies to say add a new goalie to the list of wants this offseason. So new goalie, a first line rw, a second and third line (got plenty of 4th liners so that’s taken care of) and about 4 new defencemen. Should be easy.

    • The Beej

      Seen enough of Rittich and Gillies? Gillies is still a developing prospect who has only played a handful of games and actually looked quite good in some of them.

      That statement is ridiculous.

      I know everyone is pissed that this season did not go well at all but there are still a lot positives with this young team and now is not the time for emotional decisions.

      • calgaryfan

        Both Gillies and Rittich have big flaws in their games. Both look clumsy and out of position at times. I don’t know if either will correct their game enough to play in the NHL. I had thought Gillies was going to be good, not so sure now.

    • ThisBigMouthIsRight

      Miikka Kiprusoff first 3 years with the Sharks ~> 47gp (34g-started)/ W-14, L- 21, T-3… His Last year with the Sharks Sv% = .879… So Lets Not Jump to conclusions about these kids Future! Way to early to write them off.

  • Flamethrower

    I sure hope that when they sack the coaching staff 3 stooges, Glen, Dave & Paul that they don’t forget the destroyer of goal tenders sack surfer Siglet.

    This one man is totally responsible for the destruction of many goalie careers.

  • Sir ryosus

    I don’t get why people asking to trade for marner. Do you really think we need a small/soft player to fill our gaps!? The terrible trade ideas must come from leaf trolls. Yeah trade your top d for a top line of JG,sm, marner? Lol can you imagine? We would be fishing the puck out of our net every time they lost the puck. True the game is going to speed and skill but we have to many floaters to pick up another forward who plays one side of center

  • Stu Cazz

    An interesting coaching candidate was mentioned on the Fan call in show….Adam Oates? An offensive guru…PP specialist. Currently consulting on offence with a few NHL clubs. Didn’t do a bad job as HC Capitals…..add him to the Quensville & Vigneault list of possibilities….

  • snotss

    nothing to do now but wait and see if the “brass” has the balls to fix the many problems facing this team…this could get real ugly…I don’t have a lot of faith with current gang of decision makers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Let’s say Gully and his staff are axed next month, and the new coach is not a rock star like Quennville or Trotz. Nor is Tim Army or Doug Houda or some other assistant coach who has never been an NHL head coach. Let’s say the Flames hire Lindy Ruff or someone who has a fairly extensive career as an NHL coach but who has never won the cup as a coach and who is getting on years (Ruff is 58) and who is regarded as a second-tier coach. By second-tier I mean that despite having a long, successful NHL head coaching record, he is not held in the same high esteem as his peers who have won Stanley Cups and Olympic gold.

    Would Coach Ruff or someone of his ilk be embraced by FN as a good hire at the time he is hired? My sense is that if the Flames hire a new coach this year, the best we can hope for if we want a rock star is a second tier guy.

    • OKG

      Hartley was embraced by all but those who thought coaches should make possession numbers a target at the expense of fundamentals.. Every coach will have his naysayers but we just need a coach who fits. Ruff wluld be an excellent signing and arguably fits better than Sutter or Quennville when you break it down.

    • FL?MES

      To sit here and guess about who the new coach will be is a waste of time. There are too many variables and unknowns at play, most of which we will never be privy to. Time to sit back and see how if all unfolds. ?

  • Trevy

    I can’t believe how many posters have got their knickers in a knot over Hamonic. Yes, Treliving may have overpaid to get this man, but he provides more intangibles than someone like Hamilton. How many times is a guy with Hamilton’s stature going to stick up for a team mate or lay a good hit. He’s an average defender that scores goals and good on the PP when used. Hamonic has more passion and fight, a better contract, is still young and a great team mate. To start running him out of town based on his first year with this coaching staff is ludicrous. Treliving might of overpaid for him, but underpaid for Hamilton. You win some you lose some. I’m looking forward to seeing what a competent, hopefully experienced coaching staff will do with this team. Maybe start with getting rid of Siglet and while I’m at it, trade Brodie and Frolik, find a true RW, a veteran back up goalie, hire Quenville or Trotz, revamp the bottom six, rip the A off Brouwer and put it on Tkachuk and for destiny’s sake, Ari, go on a date with Frank the Nose

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Early in the season, Hamilton absolutely destroyed an opponent with a huge honking check–okay it might have been an accidental collision but let’s mot split hairs–but his opponent , by far, took the worst of it and later said that he had been clobbered by a guy who was “19 feet tall.”

      Apart from Dougie’s accidental hits, he is never going to play a physical game. Get over it! He’s a big man who plays like a small man, but that shouldn’t be a problem if the wily GM builds his backend with players who are known for their finesse and players who are known for their physicality.

      • Trevy

        I’m in no way bashing Hamilton, he is what he is physically and I value his scoring prowess which will only get better. However, just because we paid a premium for Hamonic, doesn’t mean he doesn’t provide another element this team so desperately needs. People are so blinded by the association that a player is only as good as his points, which is foolish thinking

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Hamonic has not had a golden first season in Calgary on the ice, but there is a lot to like about his game. As you noted, he plays a physical game and is always willing to take one for the team be it blocking a shot or a fist to the mug. Main issue many have with Hamonic is not his point total but the heft price he cost and that he has failed to click with Brodie. Don’t get why so many here are so eager to want him traded this summer because his contract his favourable and he is one of the few Flames who plays it tough. I am all for bringing him back to see him build on a season where we just saw glimpses of how good he could be.

          Can’t talk about Hamonoc without alluding to his class and character off the ice and all the work he does in the community. I just love his charity that brings folks from isolated northern communities to Calgary for games. That is the kind of cool initiatives I would like to see more of from this team. Hamonic is also one of the most articulate and introspective members of the team, so he is always a great interview.

  • oilcanboyd

    Heard John Davidson President of Hockey Ops Columbus BJs on Hockey central last week….Astute hockey guy….why did the Flames not land him instead of BB? BJs are where Flames should have been now…

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I figured out what irritates me the most about this season. Last night with the Flames thoroughly outplaying the Sharks, the Sharks score on a bad bounce. The camera pans to player celebration and it is all smiles and a shrug of the shoulders. It is that feeling of not knowing how you scored.

    Then the camera pans to the bench and it is all smiles and disbelief that they are winning despite being dominated. Another low percentage shot, another unlikely goal suddenly Calgary is faced with a similar situation of having to play from behind. This time the camera pans to the Flames bench and GG is looking at his monitor and the body language of the Flames looks defeated.

    The Flames continue to press but can’t score. The opposition goalie is starting to feel invincible and is now joking with his defenders. He is bewildered that the Flames did not score on their many grade A chances but chalks it up to believing that it is just “his night”. Other than this, I have thoroughly enjoyed the season.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am really excited about Ras as a prospect he looks like the real deal. He reads when to jump up in the play, he makes great stretch passes, and hits the net with his shot. Now the not so good news, his first 5 steps are really bad and desperately needs a skating coach. He may be faster than Stone or Hamonic but he seems to get in more foot races that are not necessary. He reminds me of how Matty skated last year. He also reminds me of mow Matty processes the game.

  • everton fc

    A few random thoughts;

    1. Fire the entire coaching staff and get an experienced group that know how to handle young players, especially primadonas. Look at the post-game interviews for Loyola Chicago in the NCAAs for the type of coach we need – or even the more experienced coaches. They get the most out of their players because they are respected, and those who show no respect, don’t play, and/or, in the case of pro sports, get traded.
    2. I continue to have serious doubts about “BT” and Burke. Forget mentioned King here. He’s the core cause of this teams woes, all these years.
    3. I’d move no one until we get a new coaching staff. This includes Bennett and Brodie. If we want to play Andersson, Stone has to go. Or another d-man. I’d hold onto Hamilton and Kulak. Obviously, we need Giordano. Actually, Kulak and Stone aren’t a bad 5/6. It’s our 3/4 that kills us.
    4. The other “As” on the jerseys need to be reconsidered.
    5. Rittich will be a very good #2, and perhaps a good #1, if he has the right coaching.
    6. Back to “BT”. This guy signes Brouwer, dumps a 2nd for Lazar, and the Hamonic deal is not worth typing about, at this point (and I like Hamonic). BT went for the long ball this season, and failed, because he hired the wrong coach. We stink of Coyotes here. Perhaps it’s time for changes beyond the bench boss??
    7. Foo, Mangiapane, Klimchuk… These guys are not elite prospects. Our farm team is thinner than some want to admit.

    You look at the last 25 years of this organization, and it’s a joke. Ken King should be the first to go. Then Brian Burke. Then maybe keep going, down the ladder.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      While I like most of what you said, especially points 2 and 6, I totally disagree with 3 if you mean that moves don’t happen until training camp or when the season begin after the coach has had a time to get on the ice with the players and see them in game action. Offseason is the prime time for deals to be made to better your club. A club can’t go into hibernation waiting until the new coach finally meets his players.