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Quips and Quotes: Flames lose to Canucks 3-2 (in overtime)

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.

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.

  • Squishin

    Very generous comments on the officiating tonight. I thought the refs were god-awful, and I don’t say that often. Two quick whistles, negating highly dangerous scoring chances, plus a bogus call against Gio. Very displeased.

  • Garry T

    I am not a fortune teller, but I know a major mistake when I see one. And the 2-1 callback giving Vancouver 2 points at the end of the day may hurt us in the future. It resulted in 2 points the Canucks should never have received.

    The shot, initial shot stop did not result in the term control. The goal was in the net a split second before the whistle was blown and a points rape evolved. That was a goal and a protest review should have been called by the league in Toronto and the Flames. The comparative to no goal and an outright bad call by the official resulted in the wrong team getting the win.

    • Toma41

      0 for 5 on the power play and the refs are at fault? Come on man. You sound like an Oilers fan. Flames need to start producing on their PP again and they need to start scoring 5vs5. Rittich has bailed them out several times now.

      • Al Rain

        Yup, this.

        Bounces and whistles go for and against, all season long. If you’re not a good enough team to win without them all going your way, then you’re not a good enough team.

  • buts

    Time to get Jankowski on the pp and into the 3 on 3 OT rotation and take Backlund off those units. How many times has Backlund missed on a scoring opportunity. He shoots wide or shoots at the goalie or misses an easy setup like he did last night to Czarnik. He’s a shutdown forward no more.

  • Skylardog

    Against Vancouver, the game should never be in doubt or hinge on the calls made by a ref. We lost the 5v5 battle to a team with 1 line and half of a defensive core.

    Poor neutral zone gap play by the Flames last night allowed them to counter attack, and that is about their only weapon offensively. They are doing it to everyone. Once in the O-zone they have very few players that can dig in the corners and dominate any opposition. They are all counter attack, that’s all. And the Flames gave them the room in the neutral zone.

    That was a brutal third period by the Flames. No jump, no pressure.

    • Jourflamesfan

      2-5 vs Pacific rivals they need to beat in order to come out of the west.
      18 GF 18GA.
      In those tight games they have not done well..against those specific teams.
      Its definitely a concern imo.
      They will never be a true contender in my mind until they can reverse these stats and win the close tight games vs there divisional foes.
      Last night was another perfect example. Where was all that offense? Where was the killer instinct?
      Another thing.. just my opinion but some are touting Tkachuk to get way more $$$ than Johnny but I’m sorry matty is not a first line player AT THIS TIME.
      He doesn’t score consistently enough and doesn’t put up the big goals enough or often to constitute him a player the caliber of Sean & Johhny.
      Backlund used to be a good player that contributed more offense but then he got his raise….since then Backs has changed.
      Not brutal but not that spark plug we often saw.
      This latter part of the season is the grind. They have to learn to win games sometimes in ugly grind em out fashion.
      I think they can. Potential is there.