Quips and Quotes: Flames lose to Penguins 9-1

The Calgary Flames lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins by a 9-1 score on Thursday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

“I thought the first few minutes, we got a power play, we got some looks. And then they scored a few and we started taking some risks that obviously you can’t take against a team like that, who knows how to put the puck in the net. And it really snowballed and obviously a lot of us in here, it’s a tough feeling. I don’t think many of us have been through that, especially in your own building. We’ve got to really regroup in here. I feel like our past few games haven’t been good at all and tonight it’s time to sit down with each other and figure this out.” – Flames captain Mark Giordano on the loss.

“It’s too much now. Tonight’s obviously embarrassing on home ice, you lose 9-1 and give up quality chances shift after shift and obviously with the skill they have they’re going to capitalize. They capitalized on both power plays there and whenever they had a chance it seemed to go in the back of the net, so we’ve got to clean that up.” – Flames forward Sean Monahan on the loss.

As you’d expect, head coach Bill Peters had some interesting assessments of his team’s play in his post-game press conference:

“I think the late one in the first and the early one in the second, right? We sagged a little bit, didn’t have enough resiliency there.” – Peters on precisely when the game got out of hand.

“I think we ended up trying to do too much as far as do everybody else’s job instead of just do our job. I don’t think we did a good job getting in and being physical on the fore-check, so we didn’t have much zone time or as much zone time as we would have liked. And then the same thing in the defensive end: you’ve got to get contact, you’ve got to it stalled, you’ve got to make small fast and we didn’t do that.” – Peters on the many breakdowns the Flames saw during the game. (“Small fast” refers to short, fast passes on their breakouts from the defensive zone.)

“It’s definitely three games of being outplayed, there’s no question about that. We got out-skated in all three games. We’ve got to get our pace picked up and our puck speed and our foot speed definitely has to get up to where the National Hockey League is right now. I don’t think we’re at that pace.” – Peters on the trend of three games of being out-worked dating back to the beginning of their road trip.

“You don’t evaluate the goaltending in a game like this. I don’t, right? There’s numerous breakdowns and guys getting beat up ice and losing one on one battles and foot-races.” – Peters on how to evaluate the goaltending in a one-sided game.

    • Flaming moe

      Probably not because WSH is going to be pissed when they come here Saturday night. Oilers just took it to them. Ovi -3, Kuznetsov -3
      If the boys don’t come ready to play hockey (and that involves body contact) on Saturday night, then it could easily be another 9-1 thumping.

    • Buttonpusher

      What a numpty comment…Oilers fans don’t have a clue what that feels like. We were too busy watching our team beat the defending champs. 9-1!!! Haha what a bunch of losers! Good luck with your goaltending! ?

  • Franko J

    Wow what a bunch of sugar coating by Gio and Monahan. One the many culprits why this team has fallen off the tracks so early in the season. Monahan shouldn’t even be talking. The guy doesn’t even demonstrate any leadership on the ice. If anything he should of been saying hey Flames fans I sucked tonight and got schooled by 87. Maybe it is time for me to show some sort of emotion.
    As for Gio he should be saying you know what as leader of this team it is time for me to start kicking some butt with a few teammates and if they aren’t willing to listen maybe go to the GM and say do something about it.

    Then again we live in a world today where are so afraid of hurting anyone’s feelings and telling it like it is.
    Right now not even the comments from tonight shows any emotion or heart.

    • Luter 1

      Franko Gio plays hard and leads usually by example, but he is not a true leader in the sense of rattling people’s cage. $6Mill a year will turn you into a cream puff like the rest of them, especially Mony wow he’s been weak.

      • Franko J

        Yes Luther, the many dimensions and layers of the word “leadership”.

        Yeah I liked and missed the days of Pep, Otto, and Macdonald. Everyone comments on how Messier was a great captain, but back in the glory days of this franchise the Flames, they had some great leadership on and off the ice as well.
        Can’t say much about it today though. I think over the past two seasons this team has taken more shellackings than I can remember.

    • Korcan

      Monahan could learn a lot from watching tape of Crosby. 87 never takes a shift off and works just as hard without the puck as with it. He takes the man, even though he is not that big, he defends hard around his own net, and he hustles like a 4th liner trying to stay in the NHL despite being one of elite talents in the history of the game. Mony could learn a lot from him.

  • dontcryWOLF

    Looking like GG and Hartley weren’t the problem. Who knows though, it’s a long year.. After last year I divested my expectations. It’s less disappointing that way.

    • cjc

      GG wasn’t the full problem, and BP isn’t the solution. BP is just GG with better public relations. The big problem has always been personnel, in that the team goes all-in for pricey vets, while mis-evaluating the talent they do have on the roster.

    • kz82

      Plz tank for Hughes… enough is enough … dont try to rebuild getting others junk and free stuff. dont change things are working for you. ferland gone now all team are having fun with johny .

  • Abagofpucks

    Yes those Cap’s aren’t gonna be a happy bunch after getting schooled by the hapless Oilers huh. The speedy but soft as butter Flames might be in for it come saturday. How bout that Neal goal, what a beauty lol.

    • Korcan

      Ferland is capable of scoring 30+ and in a contract year, for his sake and his family’s, I hope he does. But he is equally capable of going weeks on end without a goal. That lack of consistency is why Lindholm is an upgrade on the wing.

      • everton fc

        Ferland played w/heart. He stuck up for his teammates, need be, More so than any of our guys thus far, this season.

        That said, Lindholm has played well here. The Flames should re-sign Ferland, and make that one of their top priorities, off-season. If this team tanks, BT will be gone anyways…

  • Skylardog

    Suggestions for D-pairings next game? Who do you sit now? There is only 1 extra forward right now.

    Picture says a 1000 words. I honestly don’t think Smith plays 20 more NHL games. Don’t tell Ritter he’s the starter. Just let him think they are going to the back up cause Smith needs another night off to rest up for a game in late January.

      • Sol Goode

        Stick a fork in him already. I won’t blame him for the first 2 goals but the 3rd and 4th needed to be stopped if we were going to have a chance. He can’t come up with timely saves when we need them.

      • JoelOttosJock

        Yah he was WW. Cheated on the first goal..gave rebounds right to the penguins sticks, and was beat clean a few times. The first goal by Crosby deflated the team in my opinion.

      • Korcan

        Smith has always had kind of a flailing style to his goaltending. What I’m noticing this year, however, is he seems to be slow at recovering from his first save, which is leaving him badly exposed for rebounds. Just like skaters lose a step with age, Smith is losing his ability to recover quickly.

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        WW, you will no doubt be happy that Backlund played the way you suggest he plays all the time. He had more chances that Neal and did nothing with them. A perfect pass from Byng and he shoots about two feet wide. Alone with the puck in the slot, the goalie down and out, and he decides to pass into the pile. I know he isn;t a great shooter, but these days I wonder what people are seeing in him. I watch a game and feel that only Byng is playing well on that line, and all I hear is how Backlund and Tkachuk had a great game.

        Please trade him for Mark Stone. Add in a goalie prospect to sweaten the pot.

      • Beer_League_Ringer

        As an Oilers fan, I am familiar with bad d-zone play, lazy backchecks, crap goaltending, etc… Sometimes it is difficult to identify the chicken/egg. IMO Regardless of how the team has played, Smith hasn’t looked comfortable in the net this year. Overreacting on shots, bad reads, terrible form, “nervous feet”, etc. I don’t think he’s forgot how to play goal, he just needs to get back to basics. Sorry for the comparison, but Talbot had this exact problem last year (all year).

      • Korcan

        Gio Andersson
        Hanafin Hamonic
        Valimaki Stone
        Give each of the young guys a steady vet to lean on for support. H&H look good together as do G&A, and V&S are developing some chemistry.

        Now that the Brodie experiment w/ Gio has apparently failed, I’m not sure how/where he fits in the rotation. IMO TJ appears to be the odd man out.

        • Brian McGrattan's Salute

          Sure, but the real problem is probably less the defensemen themselves (not taking away from Brodies gaffs) and more the failure of the team to adapt to any sort of defensive structure, or play any sort of team defense (other than the 3M line, who must be getting sick and tired of being the only forwards other than Bennett to play any D)

      • everton fc

        When I watched the goals against where Stone was on the ice… He didn’t look as terrible as Brodie… But he wasn’t far behind.

        Brodie has no “physical” at all, in his game.

  • LannyMac

    Everyone discusses who deserves to go in who needs to sit. I am 100% convinced since 1990 it doesn’t matter what name you put on the back of the jersey it is always the same results. A group of gifted athletes that refuse to work hard. Even coaches that you would assume could turn a sh!tty attitude around like Brent Sutter had no effect. It appears Peters , cut from a similar mould is running into the same problem. Hartley seemed to get a strong work ethic going but what happened to him. Oh ya the players ran him out of town.
    Lanny was running out of time in 89 and it was he and his assistants that, in my opinion, were the coaches that year. Since that time I think the Flames organization has hired coaches/captains in other words I have not seen an strong internal leadership from the players in the organization since. Yes Iggy was a hard worker for the first half of his career culminating in 04. After that I would argue his value other than an amazing shot. It is Bullsh!t that a coach has to be the single motivator in a dressing room. But that is exactly the role every coach that has been hired in the last 30 has had to assume. That makes me want to puke when I realize I am a fan of this putrid organization. There is a cultural problem with this organization and you can sit or place in the lineup who ever you want it won’t change a thing. Until what is happening btwn the ears with this whole organization changes nothing will change and you can take that to any bank.

  • Heeeeere’s Johnny

    Probably time to use Stockton for a reset. Janko needs to go down and I’d get Dube away from this toxic environment for a while. Same with Valimaki. Push Czarnik down there for a while too. I’d bring up Mang, Foo and Rychel for forwards and Kylington on D. I’d bring Janko back up as soon as he finds some try and some snarl. Valimaki might have to come back up to stop the bleeding but I’d leave Dube down for the year.

    • cjc

      Mostly agree. Jankowski is not waiver exempt, and I think he would be claimed based on the other players getting claimed this year. That said, it wouldn’t bother me if he sat more often. It should be clear to everyone that he is not cut out for top 6 duty. Dube should go down, Mangiapane back up in his place. I think Czarnik has been better than most here seem to think, I would play him regularly. Valimaki I think could go down, bring up Kylington for a while.

  • buts

    3 brutal efforts this week. Last night was on Smith but where was the leadership. If your getting lit up you gotta do something, like hit everything in site for starters. Montreal sat back in the third and we did nothing, Rittich stole it in NY, pens…..well look at Smith positioning on the first Crosby goal and it’s says it all.

    • everton fc

      It was on Smith, and the absolutely horrible forechecking and defensive play, of his teammates. Smith was not alone.

      And the lack of a power play, second year running.

  • Getpucksdeep

    I’m a little surprised Peters said nothing about the total lack of snarl. I said it last game in Montreal. Zero physical play at all. We tuned out after it was 6-0 but I don’t care what the stats sheets said, I didn’t see a bodycheck by any one in that game. Burke may be gone but he was always right in his assertion that a team has to able to play fast when needed, play defensively when needed and play physical when needed. It doesn’t mean fighting it means keep the oppositions heads up. One hit by Gio in Montreal almost saved the game. The hit by Andersson against the Rangers stopped their come back attempt cold. Zero snarl on this team and Peters didn’t address it.

    • everton fc

      I think he did mention, in his own way;

      “I don’t think we did a good job getting in and being physical on the fore-check, so we didn’t have much zone time or as much zone time as we would have liked. And then the same thing in the defensive end: you’ve got to get contact, you’ve got to it stalled, you’ve got to make small fast and we didn’t do that.”

  • Skylardog

    Andersson was even until goals 8 and 9. Neither were his fault. Gio was on for those 2 plus the one right after the PP. You could see Gios frustration in the last 2 goals. I think he lost his mind on 8 and 9. That pair, even on a night when the wheels came off were intact. If wish Andersson could handle the puck just a little bit cleaner, just to give my nerves a rest.

    I can just picture Valimaki chomping on popcorn with a sly smile on his face on one side and a look of dismay on the other. See what happens when I am out, and holy crap, sure glad I’m not on the ice tonight.

    The game is a bit of a blur. Can’t remember any defensive errors, then again I can’t remember any defensemen being on the ice either. Just know the bottom 2 pairs were swiss cheese.

  • TheWheeze

    Before the season started, FN were hailing Geoff Ward taking over from Dave Cameron as a huge upgrade that will fix the many PP ailments. I, the great Wheeze, knew better…….

  • Flamethrower

    Is Smith sleeping. Not even 10 games in and what I thought was a pretty good squad look completely lost. My three duds for the night, Brodie, Stone and Frolik. No guts on this team, does anybody throw a hit anymore? Frustrated.

    • everton fc

      The problems lie in our “Core”. The Neal and Ryan signings will prove BT’s firing, unless both show some leadership, some grit, and most importantly, some offence.

    • cjc

      Smith isn’t sleeping, he is 36 and pretty much broken. With goalies at this age, it is a matter of time before the wheels fall off, and I think we started witnessing that last year. Of course it isn’t all his fault, but a team won’t play aggressively if they don’t trust their goalie.

    • Moneyball

      Burn, it’s one game and the team is at 500. Stop being a drama queen th Flames are a good club that had an off day. Johnny Hockey can pick this team up and carry them on his back to win games if need be.

      • Burnward

        Sure. That’s a fair response.

        But…it’s the same core that quit last year. And have shown zero balls this year. And there appears to be no actual leadership up front aside from a 20 year old kid.

        There are good parts. But the overall Charmin make-up of this team is the issue. None of these guys can punch out of a paper bag.

    • Jobu

      Jobu knows how you feel, and this thought has crossed his mind as well. Just a bit too soon in Jobu’s mind. But if this measley effort continues we should definitley send the message to the club by making a head roll… or two

  • cjc

    At this point, I think the entire Pacific division save San Jose should be relegated to the AHL, and we should just send them to the playoffs as the 8th seed, along with the rest of the Central division.

  • Chucky

    There are real problems with this team and it is not clear that the Neal and Ryan signings established the right tone.
    In a objective analysis it is hard to blame Smith with 5 of the 6 but the first one was a disaster. Listening to Hrudey you would think it was an unstoppable shot but in reality a goaltender that was standing up facing the shooter would have stopped that shot 100% of the time. I am not sure when goalies started to drop to their knees when the puck gets close to their goal line but it is a dumb idea.
    Somebody has to figure out how to make the power play more effective, they are putting out 5 guys who stand around and take shots from the perimeter, nobody in front of the net and nobody moving their feet.
    Who knows what would have happened but if the score was 1-0 for the Flames after 10 minutes the end result might have been different.
    There are some guys that are working and deserve to be combined to create a line that will push back and give them a chance.
    Bennett, Tkachuk and Dube should be on the ice to start the game and set a tone.
    Follow that with Frolik, Backlund and Hathaway and maybe they other guys would get the message that work and aggression gets ice time.

    • Jobu

      That first goal killed the Flames, no doubt. One he should have had.

      No reason not to hug the post on that one. Jobu thinks Smith was genuinely afraid of the traffic in front of his net more than the puck carrier – a classic example of a guy who is playing hurt. Jobu worries Smith didn’t recover well from his last injury.