137Johnny Gaudreau
Photo Credit: Perry Nelson/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames come up empty at Rogers Place

The Calgary Flames are a depleted team, missing Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund. After playing on Thursday and Saturday, they were a tired team when they visited the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday night. The Flames could never quite get their legs under them in a 1-0 loss to the Oilers at Rogers Place.

The Rundown

So, not a ton of things actually happened in this game.

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The only goal of the game followed a Derek Ryan offensive zone turnover and an Edmonton rush into the Flames zone. TJ Brodie lost track of Connor McDavid, and Alex Chiasson was able to feed him for a lightning fast one-timer that beat David Rittich to make it 1-0 Edmonton.

Anthony Peluso fought Milan Lucic in the first period, just following the McDavid goal. Lucic hit Travis Hamonic and it was arguably a late hit. Peluso looked overwhelmed and lost his helmet before the linesman stopped the fight, for the benefit of all involved.

The Oilers controlled the first period (shots 16-10, chances 7-4), but the Flames came back a bit in the second period (shots 10-7, chances 8-6). But they took three penalties in succession in the third period and ran out of gas. Edmonton out-shot them 7-4 in the period, though the Flames out-chanced them 3-2.

Why the Flames Lost

Remember that Simpsons “Treehouse of Horror” episode where Mr. Burns puts Homer’s brain into a robot? That was this game for the Flames. As Mr. Burns declared: the spirit was willing, but the flesh was weak.

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The Flames were playing their third game in four nights. They had no Mark Giordano or Mikael Backlund. They looked equal parts exhausted, out of sync, and over-matched against a rested Oilers squad. It happens. This was what’s known as a “schedule loss,” compounded by the Flames’ roster limitations.

Red Warrior

Rittich made a ton of big saves and kept the Flames in this game for the first 30 minutes.

The Turning Point

Down 1-0, the Flames had a second period power play that generated one shot and an early third period power play that generated one Flames shot (and one Oilers shot). Had they buckled down on either of those man advantages, this could’ve been a different game.

The Numbers

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

Player Corsi
Hamonic 71.4 45.5 0.850
Lindholm 68.0 50.0 0.350
Monahan 66.7 50.0 0.930
Tkachuk 64.7 25.0 0.250
Gaudreau 64.3 50.0 1.175
Ryan 63.2 25.0 0.370
Bennett 60.0 25.0 0.305
Brodie 56.3 33.3 0.050
Hanifin 54.2 42.9 0.350
Quine 45.5 0.0 -0.040
Kylington 40.0 50.0 -0.125
Hathaway 37.5 0.0 0.160
Andersson 37.0 0.0 -0.500
Prout 34.6 50.0 -0.550
Peluso 33.3 0.0 -0.200
Neal 32.3 50.0 -0.710
Mangiapane 32.0 50.0 -0.200
Jankowski 25.9 50.0 -0.515
Rittich 2.150

This and That

Bill Peters’ Line Shuffler kicked on midway through the game. Brodie and Rasmus Andersson were broken up, with Brodie paired with Travis Hamonic and Andersson paired with Noah Hanifin.

Peluso was largely benched for the duration of the game, suiting up for five shifts and 2:28 of total ice time.

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Up Next

The Flames (19-10-2) fly home and are off on Monday. They host the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday night.

  • Flaming moe

    I wish we would get some true toughness on this team that can match those pukes Lucic and Kassian. Such a joke all game long they show highlights of then taunting and having there way with us. The only clips they have of the flames are of Johnny shaking his head in misery. Hathaway, Bennett, Peluso, Prout don’t come close. Prout wasn’t even engaged tonight. Like he didn’t want to mix it up or nothing. Why do you think your here Dalton??? Tkachuk must have been nervous cause he was nothing like the player at home when we played the coilers. Imagine if we play these guys in the playoffs. We are done if we do. Make it happen Tre.

    • Captain Ron

      You think we should worry would about a playoff series against the Oilers? Hahaha OK then.
      I would welcome a playoff round against them. Only chance they have is if their goalie is lights out like Fleury was against the Jets last year. Your putting way to much emphasis on this one game that we had to play under pretty crappy circumstances. Lost by one (disallowed) goal with our best player, and our best defensive forward out on a back to back 5 games in eight nights. You can’t be serious either when you suggest anyone was nervous or scared to be on the ice. We just won 7 of 10 against some pretty good teams and are in 1st place in the West. When it comes to playing actual hockey Lucic and Kassian are among the least of our worries. As for Prout we needed him on the ice more tonight than spending 5 or 7 minutes in the penalty box. Relax we will be just fine.

      • Flaming moe

        If it wasn’t for our goalie tonight it would have been 5-0 halfway threw the game. I for one would not welcome playing the oilers or ducks in the playoffs. They have taken it to us the last few years. Statistically speaking.

        • Captain Ron

          We are much better than we have been in the last few years and we appear to have competent Coaching for the first time in a long while. Our biggest concern against the Ducks will be goaltending. Otherwise relax this is a good team that will only get better as the season progresses. They probably are not good enough win it all but they could make some serious noise if injuries and goaltending don’t become an issue.

  • Bills Bills

    A schedule loss? WTF?? Schedule every game against the Oilers a loss. Talk about a lame ass excuse. They got beat. The Oilers are also missing arguably their best defenseman (for the entire season) and two of their top six players. Not only that but their rest, included a full road trip that they just got back from.

    Keep making lame excuses for a poor effort.

      • Bills Bills

        3 in 5, 4 in 7, 5 in 9. The Oilers have been playing every other day for the last while including trips to Dallas, Vegas and St. Louis while coming home in between. So yes you can say they were well rested. Delusional is what you are. Make more excuses for getting shut down tonight. Where does that parade route run again?

        • Albertabeef

          I’m not making excuses for a loss. I’m trying to comprehend why your team sucks so bad that they only won by the grace of god and a giant in net. Should have steam rolled the Flames but barely managed to squeak away with a win. It’s sad really. Ya oh my a one nothing loss. Yawn, big deal. Can’t win em all. Can’t help with running into hot goalies. On to the next game please! You know as of right now Flames are 5th in the league for goals per game and fourth best in goals against. Oilers are 18th in goals against and 26th in goals for per game. Which team looks closer to a cup contender right now? Win or not Flames are way closer to getting there by the look of things.

        • Albertabeef

          Watch out though your stupidity kills. Jumping all over the place with a lucky 1-0 victory like you just won the cup. Enjoy it cause this will be as close as you get to winning the cup this year. At the end of the playoffs when Calgary hoists the cup you can feel good knowing that your team won a 1-0 game against the cup winners. Mind you last night I did say if the Oilers lost to the Flames tonight they had zero chance of making the playoffs this season. Guess you still have a chance, for now.

  • JusAFlamer

    wasn’t really expecting a win. 3rd in 4 vs rested team, without gio or backs and with a bunch of non regular roster players in lineup. Really annoyed with the refs though, oilers were mauling flames all night with no calls, but when flames did anything at all was off to the box. Not really blaming the refs for loss BUT i will say they were garbage tonight

    • Flaming moe

      Ummm Mcdavid scored the only goal tonight lol and is 4th in league scoring!! Let’s not look pathetic flames fans. It’s one game. And besides I’m thinking any team including the oilers would rather be playing defence first and winning games then worrying about Connor finishing 1st in points. I could care less if Johnny had as many points as Neal if it meant getting out of the 2nd round for the 3rd time in 30 years. Team Wins anyday over personal awards.

      • L.Kolkind

        I think he meant what a waste of McDavid by that the Oilers strategy is apparently to try not to get outscored too badly without McDavid and then have him provide all the offence.

        McDavid on almost any other team is 1st in points just by being McDavid and not carrying around the dumpster fire that is the Oilers. If you take McDavid off that team, they would be in chanting lose for Hughes and throwing jerseys on the ice again.

    • Rudy27

      Prediction!. If the Oilers continue the Hitchcock style, many of their fans will be tuning in to Flames games to watch some entertaining hockey. Either that or turn off the Oilers game and jaunt down to the library for an action packed evening!

  • Abagofpucks

    LOL Prout was to chicken to fight, Peluso is taking the refs out for steaks tonight because he’s so happy he still has teeth to chew with after they jump in and saved him. And did the Real Deal Neal play tonight huh didn’t notice him.

    • Peplinski's Thunderbird

      Says the guy with a $6M goon on his team. Did you enjoy all the turnovers Looch served up tonight? Maybe I’ll try a new drinking game next BOA where I’ll take a swig of beer every time Lucic fumbles the puck. I’ll probably be unconscious by the 3rd period.

      • Ol_OneNut

        I’d take Looch anyday of the week over Neil and twice on Saturdays.

        Speaking of Saturdays, really enjoyed the last time the two teams met, even though the Oil lost, cause it couldn’t have been pleasant for a six-foot-two, 202-pound winger who plays a tough, aggressive style to curl up in the fetal position on his own logo in a Hockey Night in Canada Battle of Alberta.

  • Chucky

    Just finished watching the game (wife committed me to a Christmas concert and party, I wussed) and they kept showing the hit by Lucic on Hamonic and I kept wondering “where is the puck?”. Obviously when the Oilers throw a hit there is not way they get a penalty so it has nothing to do with hockey. I think Lucic would play a better game if they just disposed of that annoying black rubber thing, he could skate around the ice running into people and have a great game.
    The NHL really has to do something with their officials to gain some credibility.

  • Off the wall

    I’m building a rocket ship for FN.

    It’s going to collect all the trolls from Oilers Nation and jettison them to outer space.

    A monkey has volunteered to fly them. I asked. He grinned, that means yes’ in monkey.
    Plenty of bananas for all the passengers and a higher IQ pilot to get them all safely to Mars, where they can share all their glory stories of Oilers magic to galactic strangers who will listen for 3 seconds before eating them.

    You’re welcome!

    • canadian1967

      As bad as Bob Cole is, he’s still better than Kevin Quinn. Quinn’s voice makes me physically Ill.
      Connor McDavid; Overtiiiiiiiime Winnerrrr! Yuck.
      Is that a True Edmonton accent? Probably nobody knows what an Edmonton accent sounds like because nobody ever admits to being from there!

      • Fat Steve

        Rick Ball sucks too, same with Cassie. They all suck. Remember when they went on strike a while ago and the networks just aired the games with the sounds of hockey? That was awesome. Wayy better. There should be a option to mute the voice on ALL sports broadcasts.

  • Fat Tony

    Wow. A 1-0 win for the Oilers when the Flames are missing key guys, playing half an AHL roster and are coming off a back to back. They probably should have won by a touchdown, however, to only come up with a 1-0 win is a testament to how deep our team has become when all signs point to a blowout. Yet, here are all the Oilers scum trolling as if they just beat us in a playoff series. I forget, who is first in the pacific? no nevermind, the west? you can troll when you start playing some consistent hockey and have something to show for it, until then, go away please

  • flamesburn89

    A few takeaways from me after tonight:

    – I don’t know what goalie interference is anymore. At this point it feels like if you stand too close to the goalie, you’re gonna get penalized. Not sure if that is the spirit of the rule.

    – David Rittich was a monster again. I get that Smith is playing better than before, but Rittich has been incredibly consistent and has held the Flames in games when they’ve struggled early. He deserves, at the very least, a 50/50 split moving forward.

    – If anyone doubts the value of Backlund playing with Tkachuk, they might wanna go back and watch this game. Backlund is not a world beater offensively, but he is significantly better than Jankowski, Bennett, and Ryan. His defensive contribution against star players like McDavid is where his real value comes in.

    – Credit to Hitchcock, he knows that besides McDavid/Draisaitl/RNH his forwards are pretty bad, so he’ll have them clog up the neutral zone for the majority of the game and then loosen the reins when McDavid gets back on. They will be a tough team to play if they keep this up.

    – Flames were without their best player and captain. I shudder to think what the Oilers would have looked like if they had been faced with the same circumstance.

    • Korcan

      McDavid is an amazing talent, but apart from him there is not much there up in Edmonton. Both Draisaitl and RNH have the stats they have for one reason only — being Connor’s wingmen. When they are separated from him, they appear merely average (i would be very curious to know their stats away from McDavid vs. their stats with if anyone can provide such info). Draisaitl has to be one of the more overvalued and overpaid players in the lesgue. At least RNH has a decent 2-way game that gives him added value. Is there another team (not counting LA and Chicago) with as many burdensome contracts as Edmonton? Whoever replaces Peter is going to have quite the challenge fixing that roster.

      • Bills Bills

        One season only? You’re not paying any attention are you? Draisaitl has 241 points in 299 games. Plus 16 points in 13 playoff games. You still want Johnny hockey over him? Okay by me. I will take the massive center with a mean dominating physical side over the turnover machine every single game.

      • Fat Steve

        I had to trash because #29 is overpaid yes, but everyone in the NHL is. His agent is more to blame then the player. He does has a weird slowish/fastish skating style though plus he seems to be sort of strong on the boards, he is not as bad as you say he is and he definitely isn’t worth 8.5m ATM.

    • Bills Bills

      In the same circumstances you mean missing their best DMan? Aka Sekera. Yeah it has pretty well been two seasons. You know, since they were a knee on knee hit which left them one win away and a Kessel pad pull from the conference finals?

      BTW they never clogged the nuetral zone. You literally know zero about hockey.

  • Prairiechicken

    At the game. Lots of good fun cordial banter with Flames fans (there was quite a few). That’s fun. Banter online (both flamesnation and oilers nation) sucks.
    Oilers aren’t “trapping”. Pretty sure Hitch has never done that. Just finally playing defensively responsible. Random observation. as good as Johnny is … that dude needs to occasionally suck it up and just dump it in. Turnover after turnover at the blue.
    I’m guessing it wasn’t Calgary’s A game and can only cross my fingers for playoff games between the two. That would be epic.

    • Peplinski's Thunderbird

      Johnny can definitely be frustrating sometimes with overhandling the puck at the blueline. he needs to learn how to bail when he runs out of options and make the safe play. Whatever banter was had at the game didn’t really translate through the TV by my ear. Rogers sounded like a library to start the game compared to what it was like in Calgary.

      • Prairiechicken

        Oh ya. Always quiet at Rogers. I just meant respectful banter with guys in front and behind me, in beer lines, etc. I’d guess that’d be similar when the game was down in the dome. Funny how tough we all are on our iPads typing, than compared to in person …

        • Cheeky

          Well said Prairiechicken. Good to see some Oiler fans (not to be confused with Coiler trolls) talk some hockey with insight from your end. We Flames fans (not to be confused with Lames trolls) will always welcome the banter…

    • Albertabeef

      I guess you don’t need excuses to tell us why your team barely beat a tired team with a depleted roster, right? No captain and down an assistant caption, plus 6 of the Flames players were not on the opening day roster and three of those qualify as rookies. Now on top of that the Flames played the late game last night and had to travel although a short distance and play an early evening game tonight. All that and your team barely lucked out a 1-0 win. The home team played like as if they were on the road. Flames were never really out of the game until time ran out. Even strength shots were equal. They excuses aren’t for us, they are for you. How pathetic they could not decimate such a vulnerable team. Shots should have been 45-20 not 30-26. Starting to think the Oil are even worse than I thought.

      • Green Bastard

        Oil are NOT my team. I was just observing how flame fans are so quick on the excuse wagon. Travel, missing bodies, refs out to get them, a tuff schedule. Do you honestly think its any different for any other team? Take a cry-lenol, call the whaaa-mbulance.

        • Albertabeef

          Oh you must be a Nucks fan. My deepest condolences. Must be sad days when you have to live vicariously through a sad pathetic one-zip win of the Oil over the Flames.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      Cole’s high point as a national broadcaster was in January ’76 when he made his never-to-be-forgotten “Their goin’ home” call when the Red Army players left the ice during the first period of their Super Series game against the Flyers. Cole would never top that summit again, so, in effect, he has been goin’ downhill for 42 years and counting.

  • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    Flames fans before the game: the Oilers suck and have no depth. They won’t be able to keep up with our four lines that are all rolling (because the Flames have such great depth).
    Flame fans after the game: the Oilers were lucky because two of our key players were out and we don’t have any depth beyond those two guys to win a game like last night’s game.

    Oilers fans before the game: the team’s defensive game has improved significantly over the last ten games (look it up), the Lucic line can forecheck any top line into the ground (check the tape) and we have McDavid (can you say Ted Lindsay Award winner, 2 years running). This should be close, but there’s no reason that the Oilers can’t win this one if they play disciplined hockey. You can kinda see this one coming.
    Oilers fans after the game: The Oilers played a disciplined game, McDavid is McDavid (watch the tape), Lucic’s line forechecked Johnny Jockey into the ground, and from the goalie out, the Oiler D was sound. Koskinen has a .973 sv%, 3 shut outs and 6 wins in six games at home. It was close but you could see this one coming. In terms of points%, the Oilers are ahead of the Sharks, Wild, and Knights, and nipping at the heels of the lucky Ducks. Check your rearview Calgary, objects are closer than they appear.

    • Cfan in Van

      You’re dead wrong. Every Flames fan knew that after the last half-week, we were the ones who were hurting for depth, and would be lucky to get a split in the 2 games till Gio was back. A couple weeks ago, yeah we were likely laughing at your depth for obvious reasons. So funny how many Oilers trolls show up after their team scored a whole goal on the Flames and one. Enjoy the parade.

      • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

        I’m not trolling. I did hear a lot of Flames fans talk about the depth of the team and that the Oilers have an AHL roster. If one guy (Gio) makes such a difference in the Flames fortunes, I don’t see the depth that you’re talking about. And for all the offensive skill on the Flames, they had to rely on Peluso standing in the blue paint and bouncing a puck off his shinpad to even have a chance to score a goal.
        Let me ask a different question: what should the team have done differently last night to win? They had next to no transition game, the pp was bad (for both teams) and they couldn’t stop themselves from taking bad penalties in the 3rd. What would you do differently in a do-over to fix those problems?
        For the Oilers, they needed to bury the grade A chances that they had to make the win convincing, but otherwise they played the game they needed to play to win. The Lucic line, for all of its offensive limitations was a killer line against Johnny & Money. It won’t get any easier next time. Just asking.

        • Albertabeef

          It wasn’t just one guy we were missing. We were missing two veteran and a rookie defensemen. Plus we were missing one of the best play driving two way forwards in the league. Yes it is true, our depth guys are slumping right now. Some of them are proven scorers, so what happens if they break out of that slump? How good would the Flames be then? Flames ran into a hot goalie more than a good team. That third period you could say the Flames beat themselves more than the Oil actually played that good to win.

  • Green Bastard

    Attention flame fans, the oil are a one player team. Stop with the parade of excuses. Every team must battle similar or worse issues. John hockey, turtlin’ tkachuk, Lindholm, no one found the back of the net?

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Tonight’s Takeaways:

    Neal, Jankowski and Mangipane were not good as a line tonight, though not a reason to bust them up.

    How bad was the ice tonight? Guys on both sides had loads of trouble completing even simple passes.

    When the Oilers fired TM, I feared only one man as his replacement: Hitchcock. Hitch has a history of turning around struggling clubs and he looks like he’s doing it again. My only comfort in the Oilers’ hiring the feared Hitchcock is his dismal playoff record.

    Hitchcock really had his boys playing Hitcheck tonight. The Flames were hapless and hopeless when they came within 15 feet of the Oilers’ cage.

    Speaking of the Oilers’ cage, that goalie of theirs has to be at least 9 feet tall!

    Flames did not learn from their disallowed goal. Instead of trying to take more shots on goal and looking for deflections and tip-ins, they made way too many pretty passes when they were in the Oilers’ end and that strategy repeatedly got stuffed by Hitcheck.

    While it has always been painful to have to listen to Bob Cole, he was beyond awful tonight. Frankly, it was painfully embarrassing listening to him as he should have been retired at least 25 years ago. Games called by Cole need to have a disclaimer saying, “The game called by Cole may or may not accurately reflect the actual game. Listener discretion is strongly recommended and generously appreciated.”

    I am sure that some will take up Coles’ honour and rebuttal me reminding me he is in the HOF. Big whoop! Cole was a CBC hack for decades, so the legend of Bob Cole had nothing to do with Cole being any good at his job. He was force fed to us for decades along with Mansbridge by the godlike suits in TO who to this day still fervently believe they know what Canadian TV viewers want more than Canadian viewers themselves. If Cole had to work for a commercial network back in the day, he would never have been hired because he wasn’t good enough. I give him credit for one thing: he knew a good thing when he latched onto the CBC teat, for he hung onto it for as long as he could and that network exposure got him into the HOF more than his ability to call a good game.

    • Dougiefred

      Glad I will never have to listen to Bob Cole again. Good thing 85 year old helicopter pilots don’t get farewell tours and have people forced to ride with them.

    • The Doctor

      I totally agreed with your observation re: over passing and not shooting. I’ve never screamed SHOOT at the tv this much in my life. Related to that, we didn’t just fail to shoot from over passing, there were also a number of times where we hesitated, hung onto the puck too long and didn’t get a shot at the net because in that second or two of hesitation, an Oiler would stick check us. God we were stupid this game.

  • Abagofpucks

    LOL you Flames fans are too funny, i just sit here comment a bit and just lose it laughing. And your gonna be hoisting the cup no less omg what is in the water down there.

  • FlamesFan27

    Flames fans, don’t make excuses. The Oilers outplayed the Flames last night, end of story. Yeah, missing a couple of key players is a factor. As is fatigue. But, every team goes though injuries and tough stretches of the schedule. It’s only one game in a very long season.

  • Derzie

    It’s pretty clear that the Oil trolls think their team beat the Flames last night. Let them have their ray of sunshine. When our Norris calibre captain and our ‘only forward in the league who shuts down Mcdavid down’ comes back, and the team has had a decent rest, they’ll still think they have a team worthy to play the Flames. Until the next match-up, they’ll be sweatpants shopping, cheering MMA & bum fights, and googling ways to get Tkachuk on their team, while we rack up the points.

  • canadian1967

    Ryan, your description of the sequence leading up to the goal is exactly right.
    I don’t Love Ryan’s awareness of where McDavid was on the giveaway, and really he should be cycling deep but there was enough coverage with the backside coming across in the Neutral zone.
    But How The Heck can Brodie move away from McDavid there? He actually bumps into a teammate in the middle while leaving McD open for the only goal in the game.
    Just basic, simple D-zone play, which he didn’t execute at all.