The Calgary Flames lost to the Vancouver Canucks by a 3-2 score in overtime on Saturday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.
What’s was with the whistle?
Late in the first period, with the Flames pressing on an existing power play, Canucks defender Ben Hutton was called for a slashing penalty. The Flames got David Rittich out and put on the extra attacker and it appeared that Mikael Backlund had scored to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.
But the goal was waved off after Canucks goaltender Jacob Markstrom had made contact with the puck on an initial shot. The calling of delayed penalties falls under NHL rule 15.1 (“Calling A Penalty”):
Should an infraction of the rules which would call for a minor, major, misconduct, game misconduct or match penalty be committed by a player of the team not in control of the puck, the Referee shall raise his arm to signal the delayed calling of a penalty. When the team to be penalized gains control of the puck, the Referee will blow his whistle to stop play and impose the penalty on the offending player.
Flames head coach Bill Peters was fairly restrained when discussing the whistle with the media following the game – as was defenseman Travis Hamonic.
“We talked about it and obviously he thought Markstrom made the save and poked it and that was enough for control so that’s why there was a whistle there,” said Peters.
#Flames Hamonic gave the refs a break as well. "Those guys got a tough job. we have the luxury of replay and things like that and things do happen quick… You’re not going to agree with all the calls or a good chunk of them but that’s something you just got to fight through"
— Jermain Franklin (@TSNJFranklin) December 30, 2018
What constitutes “control” is fairly subjective, but given the speed of the whistle during a delayed penalty call on the Flames earlier in the period, the question of consistency in interpreting what “control” means is worth mulling over.
Many even strength chances, zero even strength goals
The Flames were arguably the better team for the first half of this game, but couldn’t get pucks past Jacob Markstrom at even strength. Peters noted the team seemed to fade a bit as the game wore on.
“I think we got a little impatient,” said Peters. “I thought we were good early. I thought we started on time. I liked our first period. I liked our first probably six or seven minutes of the second, and then when we didn’t get rewarded offensively with a goal I thought we got a little bit loose and they got behind us a few times.”
Peters also noted that the team offensively is being a bit “too cute,” in that they’re working on passing plays rather than playing a direct game with more shots towards the net. He also noted, though, that the Flames were better than they were in Winnipeg and that he expects they’ll be better still on New Year’s Eve against San Jose.