Quips and Quotes: Flames beat Wild 2-0

The Calgary Flames beat the Minnesota Wild by a 2-0 score on Thursday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

A few topics dominated the post-game conversation.

Matt Dumba’s hit on Mikael Backlund

Mikael Backlund was hit by Minnesota’s Matt Dumba with roughly 40 seconds left in the game. Backlund went down the tunnel after getting up.

Following the game, Flames head coach Bill Peters was asked his thoughts on the hit.

“I go back when they had the goalie out around the three minute mark,” said Peters, noting later the time was with around 2:54 left in the third. “We created a turnover in the neutral zone and Backlund had the puck and got tripped, that’s a goal. So that’s 3-0, game over. That’s where it should’ve ended.”

Peters’ argument was that under Rule 57.4, Backlund being tripped with an empty net should’ve resulted in a goal. (He obviously didn’t cite the rule, but that’s what his point was.)

If, when the opposing goalkeeper has been removed from the ice, a player in control of the puck (or who could have obtained possession and control of the puck) in the neutral or attacking zone is tripped or otherwise fouled with no opposition between him and the opposing goal, thus preventing a reasonable scoring opportunity, the Referee shall immediately stop play and award a goal to the attacking team.

[Morning After Note: We checked the video and there was clearly a Wild defender between Backlund and the open net when he fell, which (if penalized) wouldn’t result in an automatic goal.]

Peters was asked his opinion of the legality of the hit.

“Obviously it was a clean hit, there’s no penalty on the play.”

Peters noted that Backlund was in the quiet room when he saw him after the game so he didn’t have an update on his condition.

Ryan Lomberg’s late instigator penalty

Immediately after the hit, Ryan Lomberg hopped onto the ice and engaged Dumba in an altercation. Dumba kept his gloves on, threw no punches and received zero penalties. Lomberg received a fighting major, an instigator penalty and a game misconduct, per Rule 46.12 – which aims to eliminate fights in the late stages of games.

Per Rule 46.22, Lomberg might be getting an even longer time-out:

A player who is deemed to be the instigator of an altercation in the final five minutes of regulation time or anytime in overtime shall be suspended for one game, pending a review of the incident.

When the one-game suspension is imposed, the Coach shall be fined $10,000 – a fine that will double for each subsequent incident.

The suspension shall be served unless, upon review of the incident, the Director of Hockey Operations, at his discretion, deems the incident is not related to the score, previous incidents in the game or prior games, retaliatory in nature, “message sending”, etc. The length of suspension will double for each subsequent offense. This suspension shall be served in addition to any other automatic suspensions a player may incur for an accumulation of three or more instigator penalties.

No team appeals will be permitted either verbally or in writing regarding the assessment of this automatic suspension as all incidents are reviewed by the Director of Hockey Operations as outlined above.

It’s virtually impossible to argue that the fight had nothing to do with the hit on Backlund. It really sounds like he’s getting suspended.

When asked about his opinion on Lomberg standing up for his teammate, Peters had a pretty simple response: “2:54, the game should be over and none of this happens.”

Elias Lindholm’s disallowed goal

Peters was much less fired up about Lindholm’s first period goal that was disallowed after a coach’s challenge related to Johnny Gaudreau going off-side at the blueline.

“Well those are tough right?” said Peters. “I thought it was going to end up being inconclusive. I never have seen a [angle] where you can say hey it’s out. I haven’t seen that yet. I’m sure somebody has, but I haven’t.”

Lindholm had a similar reaction to the officials’ decision.

“I saw it on the jumbo-tron,” said Lindholm. “I think it was the right call. You never know. It’s tight. They were watching it for awhile, so you never know.”

  • Fat Tony

    Backlund gets tripped before he’s about to score on the empty net, no call. Initial contact straight to the head with from Dumba, injuring Backlund for the foreseeable future, no call. Lomberg sticks up for his injured team mate, 17 minutes in penalties and possible suspension. I’m not saying Lomberg didn’t deserve it, because he did and we all respect him for it, but it wouldn’t come to that if any of the first two call had been made like they should have. If they want to reduce fighting in hockey then don’t give them a reason to have police the game, because that’s what missing important calls will get you.

  • Mickey O'Reaves


    Pause the video at 1:20. Sorry, I’m just not seeing that hit as dirty. It wasn’t late. At initial contact, both of Dumba’s skates were on the ice. Dumba can’t get out of the way, and the leaving his feet part was the player trying to spin out of the way before he smashed into his man .

    Backlund had his head down, and that was a bang-bang play. If I saw something different, I’d say so. Not just because I mentioned that I thought the hit was okay on the other thread. And I’m not automatically going to call it a dirty hit just because it was on a Flames player.

    Unfortunately, “stuff” like that is going to happen with the speed at which players fly around the ice. Sure sounds like Backlund will miss some time, and I obviously hope he’s okay.

    • Stan

      I try to look at hits in an unbiased manner and I don’t think it was clean. Sure, Dumbas feet may have been on ice at the point of initial contact but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t jump into it. I think it’s pretty clear he launched himself into Backlunds head/upper body.

      I understand that feet can leave the ice due to the force of contact, but in this case it looked to me like he jumped into it. I’d expect him to get a game or two.

    • withachance

      Left his hit to follow through the hit, took multiple strides to complete the hit, head is the main point of contact (albeit head was lowered), resulted in injury.

      Sounds pretty dirty and suspendable to me. Probably wont be though cause the league hates Calgary

  • FlushedOut

    Mike Smith with 1.50 GAA and .939 save % in last 5 games. Is he still past his expiry date? Also could all the people who claimed we overpaid Lindholm please identify themselves. What a steal of a contract that is going to be in the next bunch of years

    • Getpucksdeep

      Also note his year avg is finally back under 3.00 at 2.93! The save .ptg is still ugly but we all know we seem to have last years Smith back. He proving to be justthe guy to bring Rittich along as well.

  • Burnward

    Remember something called a “Dougie Hamilton”?

    Seems like it was a thing here before, but I can’t seem to care or gather any emotions about this player.

    • Cfan in Van

      3G, 7A, -7, just because you brought it up. He’s missing Gio big time. We thought the Tre contract was great value, but I think his next deal will be substantially smaller, as will his trade value.

      Waita cash out when you’re up, Tre!

  • MontanaMan

    Good game by the Flames and great to see they can win any type of game – tight checking or a shoot out like in Columbus. Regarding the hit, no doubt in my mind it was a clean hit. Backhand had his head down way too long, put himself in a vulnerable position and Dumba took advantage. It happens, but as a former d-man, you wait for that opportunity and take it every time. Right call by the on ice officials. As for Lomberg, he’s a career AHLer who went out looking for Dumba and rightfully so. Having said that, anyone who questions Dumba not fighting Lomberg must have the same opinion of Tkachuk not fighting Kassian.

    • Chucky

      Having watched the Dumba on Backlund hit several times, I don’t think it qualifies as a clean hit.
      First Dumba left his feet just before impact.
      Second the primary target of Dumba’s contact was Backlunds head.
      Finally the point of contact was Dumba’s forearm.
      If you were waiting to put a forearm shiver to a vulnerable guys head then you must be one tough dude, because in my day your next position would have been looking at the lights after a blindside cold cock.
      Certainly Backlund exposed himself and Dumba had every right to lay the body on him, but the finish with his right arm and the targeting of the head should earn him a suspension. It was a expression of Dumba’s frustration in the fact that they were going to lose the game, a cheap shot and shows no respect for the safety of other players. To my eye there is very little difference between this and spearing a guy in the back because he is skating away.

      • MontanaMan

        I’m a Flame fan but be objective. Tkachuk was targeted by Kassian for taking shots at McDavid and others. He did his job well but to say that he did nothing is foolish. The two scenarios are very close. In Dumba’s case he laid out Backlund with a clean check. Why was that stupid?

        • Burnward

          I think if you’re running a guy with 30 seconds left you’re asking for it.

          Tkachuk merely wrestled with McPrincess. That’s what you have to do against him.

          • MontanaMan

            Don’t disagree but when you target the best player in the league, you’d better be prepared to face the music. Remember a guy named Gretzky and his bodyguard Semenko? Backlund is hardly considered a high end talent and it was a clean hit. I have no problem with it and no problem with Lomberg going out to settle the score. But to say that the top scoring d-man in the league should have fought a plug like Lomberg is ridiculous.

        • cberg

          Launching both arms into the opponents head as the primary point of contact, while jumping upwards is NOT a clean hit. Just because the refs did not call a penalty, just like their refusal to call the trip on Backlund with the empty net and multiple other infractions like hand slashes doesn’t somehow make them OK. The refs did a pretty lousy job last night, which unfortunately is all too common across the league. I am a Flames fan, but I also have eyes and integrity.

  • Flamesforever

    Dumba$$ should get a game or two. Didn’t like the hit. He took his frustrations out for his poor play infront of his family and friends. Also I believe he has a history of blindsiding guys. Lindholm is an absolute stud.

    • MontanaMan

      Blindsided? He hit him straight on. Backlund had his head down and put himself in a vulnerable position. Do you really expect Dumba to not take advantage of the opportunity?

      • Chucky

        I do not expect him to use his forearm to Backlund’s head. If the forearm gets involved at least he should not follow through.
        I do expect him to keep his skates on the ice.
        A hockey player uses his body a WWE entertainer uses his forearm because the blow is pulled.

  • Chucky

    Last week we were seeing a lot of comments about the weak Pacific division, this week the Flames are needing to beat teams from other divisions to stay ahead of the rest of the Pacific.
    I was waiting hopefully for the easy part of the season when they got into their own division and had some easy wins. It looks like they are going to need to work to finish first in the west.

  • SgtRoadBlock

    i think it was a good hit, hitting it part of the game,Flames can hit like that too if they like.
    But i did think Gio leg trip was bad, player was hurt after it..
    But we won so that the main thing..

    • Chucky

      The only defense I see for Giordano’s trip is that it looked like a reaction. It looked like he misjudged Koivu’s speed and lunged with his left foot. Certainly deserving of a penalty and hopefully Koivu is not injured, not sure that the verbal abuse that Koivu gave Gio was because he knew he was hurt more than that it was an intentional attempt to injure.

  • Redleader

    Must be some high scoring games in Ottawa because they have the same amount of goals as Flames but the diff is a minus -17 and Ottawa is last in there division but Flames first in there’s .

    • Avalain

      And you know, none of us Flames fans have a problem with that. It’s the right choice to make in that position. But you Oilers fans can’t seem to get over it. I understand why you’d live in the past as an Oilers fan but don’t you think you’re taking it a bit far?

    • Redleader

      Johnny will pass mcwipe soon , at half price , and TKACHUK could pass him soon too, …… ahh and Monahan……. ahhh and Lindholm…. heck even Gio is catching 12 mill of mcwipe ! You got nothing but a loser team to cheer for ! Hilarious