96Mike Smith
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames tame the Wild

The Calgary Flames were in a crazy high-scoring game on Tuesday night in Columbus. They returned home on Thursday night for a much less crazy, more defensive, game against the Minnesota Wild. They beat the Wild by a 2-0 score.

The Rundown

The Flames carried play for a good chunk of the first period, but simply couldn’t get a shot past Alex Stalock. They did midway through the period, as Johnny Gaudreau seemingly held the puck in at the blueline while skating around the perimeter of the zone. He ended up with a pass from below the red line to Elias Lindholm, who beat Stalock with a one-timer. But the Wild challenged and the goal was over-turned because Gaudreau was off-side.

Shots were 11-8 Wild in first, scoring chances 4-4.

The Flames got on the board early in the second period during some four-on-four play. Gaudreau whacked a puck loose inside the Flames blueline and sprung himself and Lindholm on a two-on-one. Gaudreau found Lindholm with a nifty cross-ice pass and Lindholm beat Stalock top corner to make it 1-0 Flames.

Things were back and forth for the remainder of the period. The Flames nearly scored a couple times on a power play but couldn’t bury their chances. Shots were 14-8 Wild, chances 6-3 Wild.

The Flames doubled their lead early in the third period off a few smart plays. First, Mark Giordano found Gaudreau at the offensive blueline and sent him into the Wild zone one-on-one against a defender. Gaudreau protected the puck and passed it to the trailing Lindholm, who waited out Stalock and beat him five-hole to make it a 2-0 score.

From there, the Flames did a pretty good job keeping the game going, running clock and holding onto the puck. Aside from a Giordano penalty immediately after Lindholm’s goal, they didn’t give the Wild a ton of zone time or scoring chances.

Shots were 6-3 Wild and chances 4-3 Flames in the final period.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames were the better team overall, but they were also much better defensively than they were in recent weeks. They played a smart 200-foot game and got key contributions from their goaltender, their best defenseman and their top forward line.

Red Warrior

Smith was at times, uh, “unconventional,” but he was really engaged in this game and was superb. He made big saves when called upon and even threw a couple of body-checks behind the Flames net.

The Turning Point

Lindholm’s third period goal made it 2-0, but the Flames had a big penalty kill just after that goal. The Wild could’ve crept back into this game, but the Flames’ PK – and particularly Smith – were quite sharp.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Corsica.Hockey)

Player Corsi
Mangiapane 77.8 71.4 0.760
Jankowski 76.2 71.4 0.695
Giordano 69.2 60.0 1.825
Neal 68.2 66.7 0.400
Brodie 66.7 50.0 0.875
Gaudreau 60.0 60.0 1.925
Monahan 57.1 60.0 0.685
Lindholm 56.5 60.0 2.175
Hanifin 42.3 40.0 -0.225
Andersson 40.0 71.4 -0.250
Hamonic 40.0 44.4 -0.125
Bennett 38.9 33.3 -0.225
Backlund 35.0 33.3 -0.155
Kylington 33.3 71.4 -0.350
Tkachuk 29.4 33.3 -0.100
Hathaway 18.2 60.0 -0.350
Lomberg 8.3 50.0 -0.800
Ryan 0.0 50.0 0.400
Smith 3.100

This and That

Both Flames goals had the exact same scoring: Lindholm from Gaudreau and Giordano at even strength.

Mikko Koivu left the game following a collision with Giordano in the early part of the third period. Giordano caught Koivu with his leg while trying to close off his entry into the offensive zone. It wasn’t exactly a knee-on-knee hit, but there was definitely some iffy contact.

Mikael Backlund got flattened by a big hit from Mathew Dumba late in this game.

Up Next

The Flames (18-9-2) practice tomorrow. They host the Nashville Predators on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday night.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost


        This is the player you’re all routing for, real class act on a team that always goes on and on about having “high character”. I’ve been to the Unviersity of Maine as I had a friend play there, I don’t even want to know what you would have to do to get kicked out of school there, it’s as back woods as Universities come. Not that analytics are anything, but he was also a Corsi For of 8.3% tonight, which means the Wild absolutely steamrolled us whenever he was on the ice. He also took a dumb 7:00 minute penalty that could of cost us the game if it was a minute or two earlier. I’m all for guys who show emotion, but everyone “rooting” for this clown is a little much.

        • Porcupine at a balloon party

          First off, what was the outcome of the charges? Dropped? Settled? Guilty/not Guilty??

          Secondly, he took the penalty because it’s his job. Peters sent him over the bench to do just that because Dumba made a Dumbo move and most likely concussed Backlund with a hard hit to head. If that’s not suspended I’ll be pretty shocked to be honest. Peters will probably get that instigator fine (last 5 minutes of game).

          Last point, the 7 minutes was served in the last minute of the game. It didn’t cost us anything.

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        The University of Maine is literally the school you go to when you can’t get into any other school in Division 1. Everyone on the team is a “big partier” and that’s why they end up there and not elsewhere, so therefore what do you honestly have to do in a school where bar fights are expected to then get kicked out of there….

        He does remind me a lot of Rocky Thompson, someone who never scored a goal in the NHL and judging by Lombergs only shot on net tonight, an uncontested clear look in the slot that he fired six feet wide, Lomberg wont be scoring anytime soon either.

        This is like the time when Akim Aliu became a big Flames fan favourite for a few weeks, Aliu is honestly one of the worst human beings to every lace ups skates whose been kicked off every team he’s ever been on, at least Lomberg isn’t that I guess.

        • everton fc

          I personally think Lomberg is much more of a player, and a person, than Aliu.

          He may gave screwed up at U of Maine (their basketball program is far worse than their hockey program, by the way) but he was a fan favourite, in Stockton. This, because he reached out to the fans. Maybe Stockton’s Finest can chime in here.

          Rocky Thompson never scored at any level he played in. Lomberg has. He scored in the USHL, the ECHL and the AHL. Sure, in the “teens”, but he has shown offensive acumen, at those levels. He’s also shown he can go double-digits, when it comes to assists.

          He’ll be 24 on Sunday. He got into a scrap in university, and got tossed. He clearly has no fear of fighting (just check him out on Youtube). But to say he isn’t worth our support, as fans, and to compare him to Rocky Thompson – I find both, way off base. Listen to him interview. He’s articulate. I hope he doesn’t get concussed out there, the way he plays. But he’s a Flame, and I’m rooting for him. Sortini was a lousy NHL goon, but Lomberg defended Mangiapane in the clip above, and did well. Who do we have, outside Hathaway, who’d drop the mitts w/a guy like that?

          The only other name that comes to mind, sadly, but I’ll add proudly… Is Bennett.

        • everton fc

          Maine is not the worst team, in Hockey East. In fact, they were National Champs in 1993 & 1998, lost to Boston College in the 2000 Frozen Four, and lost the NCAA final to U of Denver, in 2004. Jimmy Howard went to Maine. Ditto Teddy Purcell. Scott Darling. Ben Bishop. Ben Hutton and Devin Shore, both who played w/Lomberg, at U of Maine. A host of other NHL “losers”.

          U of Maine is not, and never has been, a doormat of NCAA hockey.

          • Burnward

            Things I would have been guilty of being a bad person if I was arrested for as a kid:
            DUI, assault? (based on small town scraps) intoxicated in public, illegal possession of narcotics, buying liquor for a minor, driving without a license, ummmm…probably a few more.

            We all grow up.

        • Azim

          Paul “mother-effin” Kariya went there too. HOFer and generally known as one of the most intelligent, classiest players to every play in the L. Can’t generalize an entire school like that. As for what Lomberg did when he was 19; it was obviously wrong (assuming he was found to be guilty). But everyone deserves a second chance, and unless there is a recurring theme of similar instances, then we shouldn’t judge an isolated incident as an indictment of their character.

  • oilcanboyd

    WW has been pretty quiet about the poor job Huska did in developing Flames prospects. Eight Heat graduates doing well in Flames lineup… What say you now, WW???

  • The Doctor

    I wasn’t able to watch the game tonight, so I’d be interested to hear what the deal was behind our 20 shots on goal, which is obviously a low number. We still played well, regardless?

  • oilcanboyd

    Looking forward to seeing Dubnyk screw the oilers again….Craig Mctavish stated biblically that Dubnyk wasn’t number one goali talent when he was an oiler….