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Quips and Quotes: Flames beat Blackhawks 3-2

The Calgary Flames beat the Chicago Blackhawks by a 3-2 score on Sunday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

Mike Smith makes another big save

David Rittich is likely still going to be called Big Save Dave by Flames fans, but Mike Smith had another solid outing in net. His best save came in the third period where he busted out a patented Miikka Kiprusoff move: the Scorpion.

Flames head coach Bill Peters praised his netminder following the game.

We were loose as a group and he bailed us out. He was real good here tonight. He’s put a lot of work in here in the last two weeks, he’s really done a good job digging in and tuning up his game, and now you’re seeing the result of that.

The Flames had a few question marks in net a few weeks ago, but suddenly it seems like they might have a pair of decent goaltenders on their roster.

Travis Hamonic takes an elbow to the face

The other big play of the game was a nasty elbow to the face of Travis Hamonic from Blackhawks forward Chris Kunitz. Kunitz was ejected from the game and Hamonic suffered what he estimated in post-game interviews as a broken nose.

Hamonic noted that the ensuing power play swung the game for the Flames.

“Dumb play, dumb hit, so it’s nice to be able to capitalize and make them pay,” said Hamonic. “Get two on the major and that was obviously the turning point, I guess, we get those two and we were able to hold on.”

Peters added: “We did what we needed to do there, but you’d rather not see a guy take a head shot.”

Every game misconduct is reviewed by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for supplemental discipline. Given that Hamonic returned to the game it doesn’t seem likely that Kunitz will get much, but you have to imagine the recklessness of the elbow will earn him a scolding over the phone at the very least.

  • FlushedOut

    Smitty starting to find his mojo, Rittich has been steady all year, the Stockton kids all holding their own in the bigs when called up This could be a fun ride this year. And just imagine when Neal finally clubs that monkey off his back.

  • theartfuldodger

    That view of the “hit” makes it look as though Hamonic skated into Kunitz. Looks to me like Hammy had is eyes down. It wasnt even a hit really. Am I crazy?

  • MontanaMan

    Bit of a head scratcher why Lomberg and Hathaway are both playing in a game against Chicago, never noted to be a heavy team. Flames need to dress one or the other, but against 98% of the league, never both. Czar provides much more than Lomberg and can actually contribute other than hitting.

    • everton fc

      Hathaway is a better NHL player, than Czarnik. He’s done more for our team this far, than Czarnik. To me, Czarnik is the odd man out.

      As for Lomberg – seems half here think he’s a waste of a roster spot, and half like what he brings to the 4th line. Peters and crew seem to think he brings more than Czarnik. We are where we are in the standings, thanks to “Peters, and crew”. I’ll stick w/Mangiapane and Lomberg, whilst Czarnik sits. In fact, some of the guys on the farm might be better options, than Czarnik (Rachel, Lazar, Quine, come to mind). There’s no proof Czarnik is more than an extra forward, on this team.

      • MontanaMan

        Lomberg and Hathaway are essentially the same player. Lomberg is a better skater and finishes checks well; Hathaway is a better PKer and has a little more skill. Neither can fight. My point is both shouldn’t be playing in the same game. Pick one.

      • freethe flames

        Here is the thing at the moment it seems BP has decided the 4th line is an energy line and anything they produce is gravy. Lomberg is more suited to this role than Czarnik. Hathaway is more valuable to this team than either. The question is how does BP deploy his lines when Frolik returns and what will the roles be. I would say that Lomberg goes down and Czarnik remains the 13th forward especially if Mangiapane builds on this game.

      • Sir ryosus

        Czarnik plays way to soft that’s why he sits. He is not going to slot into top lines. And with him and Neal on the same line pucks dies on the boards. Neal to slow czarnik to soft for retrieval. Not the type of player needed for 4th line duties. Now we miss frolik.

    • Chucky

      Czarnik provides absolutely nothing that is at the NHL level. Look at where the majority of the game is played and where Czarnik spends the majority of his time. He does not go behind the net, he does not go into the corners, he does not drive the net and he will not engage in a cycle because it is too close to the boards. If a guy is going to play between the faceoff dots and 15 to 30 feet from the net he needs to shoot at 20% plus.
      The Flames could waive this guy and no team would even sniff at it because everybody has his number. Right now he is sort of a reverse Prout.

      • BlueMoonNigel

        At least 16 clubs would be willing to file a waiver claim for Czarnik if he was made available
        .

        Czarnik looked really good against LA. I have no issue with sitting Lomberg in Columbus and dressing Czarnik. A lineup featuring Czarnik and Mangipane is more formidable than one of those guys plus Lomberg.

  • Burnward

    Kylington:

    There was one play I still can’t get out of my head. They were pinned deep and all of a sudden – whooooooosh- it’s gone on his stick.

    Like he had a damm nitrous shot in those skates. If anyone finds this somewhere, let me know.

    Think it was early third. Not sure if I’m remembering it being more awesome than it was. (Beeeeers)

  • Chucky

    What happens when Valimaki and Stone are ready to play? It is hard to see sending down Kylington, Anderson or Valimaki. There is no cause to break up the Giordano and Brodie pairing because they have returned to elite status, Hanifin and Hamonic look like the weakest pair, but that is like saying really good is the worst.
    It is hard to see how they can carry 9 defensemen but trading a big cap hit like Stone looks difficult and trading one of the young guys looks like the equivalent of horse theft.

      • MontanaMan

        Valimaki is a more complete defence man thank Kylington. Even though Kylington has settled in and has looked good, when Val returns, Kyl goes back to the minors.

    • Flames fan since 83

      Chucky, are you suggesting Kylington, Anderson or Valimaki are stronger than either Hanifin and Hamonic??
      Maybe the younger guys have more potential, but right now really on Anderson is currently equal to the second pairing. Kylinton has elite skating, but his decision making, vision and IQ still need more seasoning. Val is not far behind Anderson, and might end up being the best of the young trio, but not yet.
      Kylington is the obvious choice to go back down. Stone is the obvious choice to eat popcorn.

      • Chucky

        I do not suggest that the three rookies are as strong as Hanifin and Hamonic, but think that both Valimaki and Kylington need to play in the NHL. To my eye Anderson is a complete NHL defenseman already but the other two need experience that they will not get in the AHL. First look says that Valimaki will be the best of the four young guys (Hanifin included) and also that the left side is secure for the foreseeable future. With Hamonic and Brodie pushing 28 and the number of defensemen who have played at peak well into their thirties I am suggesting that the Flames currently have 2 extra bodies that need to disappear. It would be great to get something besides cap relief for Stone at least

        • Flames fan since 83

          ok, thanks for clarifying.
          I was unsure because you stated above that “Hanifin and Hamonic looked to be the weakest pair.” Which translated into the three rookies being stronger.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      You just answered your own question. Hanifin to TO for Nylander. Both clubs trading from positions of strength and positioning themselves to go to war with each other in June.

      • Flames fan since 83

        I could live with that.
        But I still not afraid to sent Bennett. I like Bennetts attitude and truculence. But his hands are iffy. He takes too much time getting a shot off. His Vision is iffy. He runs into other players leaving the box and doesn’t really see the open man to pass to. I feel he is destined for the bottom 6, but could have high trade value right now.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Bennett is not sweet enough to lure Nylander. I say no to Bennett plus high draft picks. Quite literally, there is no future in doing that. If the Flames want Nylander–and I don’t know why they wouldn’t–it’ll cost them a young defenceman and Hanifin is practically tailor made for such a deal. I asked last night and I’ll ask it again: will Hanifin ever be a true first pairing defenceman? I say no. He’s 3+ years already in the NHL and is he that much better than newbie Rasmus Andersson. In 3 years do you think Valimaki will be better, worse or the same as Hanifin is now? Valimaki projects as a first pairing but not Hanifin.

          • Flames fan since 83

            I agree, Bennett is not enough in himself to lure Nylander.
            Leafs want a D man more than anything.
            As far as where Hanifin ends up, is too early to tell for sure. It took Hamilton a year to settle in, it also took Hamonic a year. Hanifin is only 21 years old, only been here for 2 months, so I’m not ready to 100% say what he will be.
            I have seen Bennett for 3-4 years. I’ve also seen Brodie for 5 years. I’ve decided on what they are, and will be, and ready to move on. Both are Ontario boys. Both are relatively young. Their caps work with the Leafs.
            As mentioned before, I see your point, but if I had a choice, I’d move Brodie and Bennett for Nylander before giving up on Noah Hanifin.

          • Flames fan since 83

            To your point about Anderson and Val.
            I see Anderson taking Brodies spot with Gio. Rasmus in my opinion will be great with Gio.
            I also feel Val will jump over Hanifin one day.

        • BlueMoonNigel

          I don’t think a Brodie and Bennett deal will interest TO. The dollars are good now, but Brodie’s contract runs out in 2 years and then what? If Brodie were the last missing piece in TO and his presence there would make then the odds on favourite to go to the final, then TO would bite. There is also the matter of Brodie playing without Gio as we painfully watched the last 2 seasons.

          If Brodie and Bennett would land Nylander, I’d be all for it, but I don’t think it’s enough. Hanifin should be because of his age, potential and team-friendly contract. I’d peg Nylander’s ceiling as being much higher than Hanifin’s, so a one for one works for me. I am sure Nylander is on borrowed time in TO because his holdout put more than a few noses out of joint. Dubas can easily hide the revenge factor by citing the need to pay fair market value for Matthews and Marner. Tre has got to be in on Nylander.

          • Flames fan since 83

            Thx Nigel.
            I agree with “Tre should be in on Nylander”. Obviously not give away the farm, but now with Nylander locked up for 6 years at under 7 mil. We can live with that.

          • Redleader

            Why are we wanting to trade ? Are we not in first ? Do you think Brodie and Bennett have something to do with that ? They’ve played great and they should stay exactly where they are!

        • BlueMoonNigel

          Plunk Billy Nylander with Johnny and Mony and a second line of Lindholm centering Matty and Jimmy and the Flames immediately become the Poseidons of the Pacific and the shockwaves will leave the Jets and Preds quaking in their skates.

      • Rudy27

        Interesting. Because the first half of last year Smith made a lot of amazing saves that everyone loved, and often looked odd making them. Now this year, after a slow start those same types of saves are being questioned.

        • JoelOttosJock

          Smith is an overrated goalie. He has never been of championship pedigree, and should not be given a chance at redemption. This team will go as far as Rittich carries them. Smith should have be waived.

          • BlueMoonNigel

            Smitty was my first star last night. I lost count of how many Grade A scoring chances Smitty thwarted. Anybody finding fault with Smitty last night has their head in a dark and stinky place.

          • JoelOttosJock

            He is a perennial loser. What has he won? A gold medal as a 3rd string goalie. He took the coyotoes to a western final..one year. He was run out of TBay and Dallas because he was inconsistent. I did do my homework RedLeqder. Get an original comeback or chirp if you are going to chirp chief. He is not good in my eyes .

    • His Dudeness

      I’m firmly in the start Rittich as much as possible camp. We need to see if he can carry the workload of a starter in this league.

      I also believe Smith has cost us at least 4 and probably 6 points by letting in soft goals. But he has played well in his last 2 starts, not amazing, but good enough for us to win. Which is all we can ask for from him. If he can do that we will be ok. He didn’t just make one lucky save, he made a lot of good saves (that he should make).

      • Sir ryosus

        Overpay there. This 3 year “snake bite” is more than a phase until Benny can figure it out. will be short deals ala backulnd coming up or term for cash. My guess or have him come up at Seattle draft so you can choose then. I still hope they get Neal to the west coast. I’m sure he’ll love it there.

  • Brick

    Kunitz knew full well what he was doing. He is a cheap shot artist with a history. He should be suspended for that viscious elbow to the head of Travis Hamonic.