48Bill Peters
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Quips and Quotes: Flames beat Oilers 4-2

The Calgary Flames beat the Edmonton Oilers by a 4-2 score on Saturday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

“Big Save Dave” delivers again

Flames netminder David Rittich faced 21 shots through the first two periods, including a trio of dangerous breakaways when the game was 2-0 Oilers – two from Leon Draisaitl and one from Jujhar Khaira. He made three big saves to keep the game close.

The Flames netminder joked with the media regarding what was going through his head during the back-and-forth scoring chances during Calgary’s late second period power play:

You don’t want to know that. No, I can’t say that right now… When it’s coming on me, it’s something with a couple swear words and kinda like that. When it’s the other way it’s a great feeling because if you get a power play you want to play in their zone.

Rittich improves to 6-1-0 on the season with a 1.92 goals against average and .933 save percentage through nine appearances (and seven starts). His teammates praised his ability to make big saves they needed them.

“Big saves at the right time for us,” said forward Elias Lindholm. “It’s something we’ve got to work on. We can’t get our goalie down like that and give them breakaways from the blueline. So it’s a good game for Ritter and it’s a huge win for us.”

Special teams come up big

The Flames’ special teams units allowed a pair of goals in this game: their power play gave up a short-handed goal to Alex Chiasson in the first period and Connor McDavid scored a power play goal early in the second period. But both coaches pointed to the role of the Flames’ special teams units late in the second period in swinging the game towards the Flames.

“It was a huge power play goal at the end of the second,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters. “And then a huge penalty kill with very little time in the period, just over two minutes. So we’re down to one, and it’s a huge kill.”

“Our penalty kill did a tremendous job,” said Oilers head coach Todd McLellan. “I think we actually had them frustrated at that point. Perhaps if we get that kill and get into the break, maybe it’s a little bit different. But they definitely got some energy, and got a chance to regroup and came after us in the third.”

  • Luter 1

    Well let’s make sure we keep this in perspective. With Smith in we would have not only been physically dominated in the first 30 minutes, it would have been 4 or 5 to nothing. That’s what clutch goaltending can do for you.
    Now for all you lovers of ice-capades (a few too many on Flames nation) without a true tough guy you take the chance of losing your top scorer and your captain tonight because the Oilers aren’t worried about anybody bringing retribution. We are just plain lucky King David stood on his head until we woke up, especially the PP, possibly Gios worst game of his career.
    We need at least one heavyweight, let the trashes from the pantywaists begin! (Same guys that wanted to send Bennett the Beast packing)
    Like I said yesterday, best all-around player on this team-Lindholm, got it all and plays a surprisingly tough game.

    • Albertabeef

      I disagree. I don’t think you need heavyweights on a team, especially the useless kind. I’d rather have Bennett type player that can actually contribute to a team. Goon hockey is of archaic mentality. There is a difference between grit and goon, I’ll take grit over goon.

      • Luter 1

        Of course we would take 8 Bennett’s and 8 Lindholms but they are special players, if Tkachuk got a concussion tonight from either of the cheap shots and your Captain almost got knocked cold, you talk different. We’re lucky it didn’t happen with the liberties being taken on our guys. You confuse goon with somebody that protects your stars, which we lack. Alberta beef are you sure you’re not an A&W vegy burger?

    • iggyrocks

      Completely disagree. Tkachuk was being Tkachuk, if we had a Kassian type player that would not have stopped Kassian from going after him because our goon would not have been on the ice when Kassian went after him. All that would of happened is our goon would of fought Kassian and that wouldn’t have really proved anything. Gio is a big boy, he took a hard clean open ice hit. That’s hockey and not sure how a goon on our 4th line playing 8 mins would of stopped that. Another Bennett/ Hamonic type player on the team is far more useful

    • cberg

      What this game showed more than anything is the effectiveness of TEAM. It doesn’t matter how great your goalie is, or how great your elite centre, if the team is broken that fact alone will doom its ultimate success. Sure you need great goaltending, scoring and defence, but playing together as a team is what brings it all together.

    • freethe flames

      Could the Flames use some more functional toughness absolutely but who would you suggest and what price would you be willing to pay? Could the Flames reaquire Ferland at the deadline if Carolina is out of the play off picture? Reeves from Vegas under the same situation? If so at what cost? Who else would you look at?

      • Luter 1

        That’s two good ones for sure, I’ll check the rosters, like I said everybody’s got one sometimes two…….except for us, we must like Johnny getting headed into the boards every second game.

        • calgaryfan

          What good is a tough guy who plays 5 minutes. They are not a deterrent sitting on the bench. The Flames did a good job of going after McDavid and you don’t need a heavyweight to do that.

    • Hackin Lube

      Love the toughness of Bennett but he can’t be asked to fight 25-30 times a season. He a bantam weight playing tough and pretty soon he’s going to get his clock cleaned or take out his shoulder delivering a big hit. Gio….be a leader! Losing a guy like Engeland really hurts in a game like last night. Flames may be more skilled but that doesn’t help when Johnny gets his head pushed in the boards

    • TKO

      calling people with different opinions “pantywaists” shows your true character… and by the way, looks like you haven’t quite figured it out yet, so I”ll help you… it’s “panty-waste”, not “pantywaist”…
      Nobody wants to see guys like Gio or our top guys hurt, but carrying some plug isn’t the answer… as evidence, exhibit “A”, Oilers have several goons on their roster and a couple others that are quite tough, and it didn’t stop calgary from mauling McDavid…
      Flames beat the Oilers where it hurts the most…

  • Calgarycandle

    Admittedly this is very small sample size, but on the other hand we’re a quarter way into the season. Lindholm and Hanifin have 28 points (21 + 7) vs. Ferland and Hamilton have 19 (Carolina has played one less game). Lindholm gives the Flames a true number one scoring line and he wins faceoffs and can also play tough. Hamilton is not Dougie, but at this point in the season he has one more point than Hamilton and is far more responsible in the D. zone. Maybe this trade is working out after all.

    If we think we have problems in goal Carolina has a three headed monster. Mrazek, Darling and McElhaney are splitting the net pretty equally though Mrazek has the most starts (8). His save percentage is .880 It seems like other goalies are struggling this year as well as Smith.

  • Off the wall

    You know, for as long as I can remember, that lady off to Peters left has been a long- standing season ticket holder.
    She loves our Flames. She probably gets as much footage as our team?
    Bless her heart!

  • Sploooosh

    I don’t want to jinx it, and perhaps Im misremembering, but Smith/Rittich reminds me a lot of our goaltender situation with Turek/Kiprussoff in 03/04. A man can dream right?

  • FlushedOut

    I was so angry half way thru this game. So happy for Ryan scoring for the unfair treatment he takes on this. He wasn’t signed to score 30 goals people. Lindholm made up for a huge brain fart on that first goal against. All he had to do was go at Chiasson and lay on the ice. Glad we won but we so miss a guy like Engelland who provides functional toughness. We have no one who can play every game and go against any heavyweight in the league if needed, not to mention throw some fear into the wanna be tough guys who will run our top guys. How do the commentators criticize Tkachuk for not fighting Kassian when Draisatl wouldn’t answer for the slew foot he gave Tkachuk when Tkackuk came calling (not to mention Draisatl is the bigger than Tkachuk) Bennett answered Nurse and that was for a completely clean hit.

  • Sven

    “We had an opportunity to go ahead two or three and that may have changed the game, on some of the breakaways, but their goaltender played well,” Edmonton coach Todd McLellan said”.
    How strange – and yet how wonderful to see those words put together in that order…..?
    “…their goaltender played well”

  • freethe flames

    Lots of talk about Dri slewfoot on Tkachuk last night but if you go back to the game in Montreal you should count the number of slewfoots the Habs did on the Flames. This needs to be an area where the NHL cleans up it’s business as guys are likely to get their knees destroyed b/c of get concussions landing on their heads. The Dri penalty was really for interference and it was; if he had hit Tkachuk with the same hit and Tkachuk had the puck I doubt the refs call it.

  • Chucky

    Now that the euphoria of a great comeback has worn off a critical look at the game causes some real concerns.
    The power play stinks! 1 for 6 is terrible, giving up 3 breakaways is just ridiculous. The frustrating part of this is that they do not get the puck to the net. They would be better off to use two defensemen who will shoot, maybe Giordano and Hamonic on the first and Valimaki and Anderson on the second.
    There is a lack of functional toughness successful teams need to have a few guys who are in the middle of the scoring pack but can keep the other team honest. One of the problems with the Iginla era was that he was one of the guys to step up. The Flames have a few guys who could fill that roll but they don’t seem to have the inclination Time to find a couple of players who will score over 15 and take a toll on the other team.
    Peluso and Prout are a waste of a roster spot. Time to give some chances to some guys labouring in Stockton. A couple of fast rugged forwards would give some leeway to Peters when it comes to setting the lineup.
    On the when will it happen side.
    When will Bennett break out? He is contributing everywhere but on the score sheet, it is a matter of time so when?
    Can the coaching staff wrap their head around the goaltending in time for Big Save Dave to win the Vezina? 🙂

    • Flint

      Everyong here is saying “we need to be tougher”, and everyone on the OIlers site is saying “we need to be smarter”. What did Kassian and Lucic do last night other than a little pushing and shoving? Kassian…. nothing but sit in the box. Lucic had one good hit on Gio and other than that he neutered a very talented duo.

      Lucic and Kassian do more to lose the Oilers games than win them games. We don’t want those kind of players on our team. Super tough players with tons of talent? Sure…. but good luck, those players are very hard to come by, and those guys aren’t going to fight a Kassian anyway. Tkachuk is a tough kid, but he has no need to fight Kassian, why didn’t Draisaitl answer the bell? Only our stars have to be tough while Edmonton’s can shy away? How’s that working for Edmonton? The only punch in Edmonton is punchline.

      • Chucky

        The pint is that super tough is not what they need but a little more grit would be a benefit. I look at guys like Bennett and Lindholm who will give a hit when they are available and bring a tenacity to the ice and prefer them over a Neal who seems to have all sorts of talent but lacks determination.
        That is why they should put the Peluso and Prout in Stockton, they are the Flames equivalent of Lucic and Kassian, fortunately the Flames have enough skill that they can win without the thugs. In his brief stint last year Foo brought energy and toughness with skill. Gawdin and Pollock might also fit the requirement.
        I think that it is unfortunate because he probably will be a legitimate NHL player but it is time to trade Mangiapane. With Gaudreau, Dube, Ryan and Czarnik the Flames have enough forwards under 6 ft and under 190 lbs. It is likely that they could get a good return for Mangiapane and it is hard to see how he fits into the future plans and if they are looking for a small prospect who can create offense it would appear that Phillips would be more the future.

    • FlamesFanOtherCity

      So many thoughts. For one thing, I don’t think the BOA was the best time to bring back Dube. He gets rocked playing against dirty teams. He was held to 4 minutes IIRC. Czarnik is no worse a choice in a game like this or even against the Knights. My preference would be to bring up Mangiapane or Rychel to slot in, though. True LW to replace a LW.

      As far as the PP goes, it’s frustrating to watch Gio on the point. He gambles too much. The first goal was as much his fault for not falling back as it was Lindholm for not coming across. Ras only pinches when he’s going all in on a play, such as looking for the tying goal. Other than that he rarely is beat to the point that a 2-1 develops. He gets his shots on net or for rebounds if he has no lane. Maybe a bit risky to have only him on the point, but you could always use him on the left side and have Lindolm cover the same way.

      Backlund on the PP is frustrating to watch. Janko is by far better. Ryan can take 1/2 the draws and use Neal on his off-wing. Valimaki and Hamonic on the point. Save Backlund, Bennett and Frolik for all PK situations.

  • checkmeup

    Awesome game but this is what concerns me. DR was amazing in net and confirms that BP made the wrong dissensions in at least 2 other games by putting Smith in net while knowing he was off his game. this equates to at least 4 precious points that could become very valuable at the end of the season. Hope he can learn from his mistakes.