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Photo Credit: Mrs. Finest

Stockton Heat winless against San Jose Barracuda

Stockton played a home and home series with the San Jose Barracuda this weekend, which was bad news for the Heat. Someone asked me who owns the Heat? I said “Owns… Owns…” San Jose owns the Heat, as Stockton had a 0-8 record against their Northern California rivals going into the weekend.

On Friday, most of the play was in the Heat zone, as pictured below.

2nd period defensive zone time
Our view for most of the 1st and 3rd periods

The Stockton faithful cheered when Jon Gillies got yanked after he gave up four goals on 17 shots in 23+ minutes, his sixth hook of the season. Tyler Parsons came in and held the fort while Stockton chipped away to finally tie it up at four with goals from Curtis Lazar, Tyler Graovac, Dillon Dube, and Juuso Valamaki, who buried home a top shelf snipe for his first Heat goal.

Parsons doing his job

But all was for naught, as Alexander True beat Parsons on a wraparound goal with seven minutes left, which became the eventual game winner. A late goal by San Jose sent the 4,500+ frustrated fans home feeling sad. It’s too bad when a goalie (Parsons) gives up two goals on 22 shots (0.903 – 3.03) and gets saddled with the loss while the starter (Gillies) allows four goals, goes 0.765 and 9.11, and gets a no decision. No justice.

Quotes from Friday’s game can be found here.

On Saturday in San Jose, Parsons got the start and held the Barracuda scoreless through the first 19:59. The goal that was waved off on the ice went to replay and was overturned. The puck is clearly not across the line while the end of period light is on.

Really? Video replay overturned this?

Anthony Peluso knotted the score at one with his third of the season, but San Jose took a one-goal advantage midway through the middle frame. In a bizarre world, Peluso potted a goal while “Rocky” Lazar got into his first fight as a Heat member when he dropped the mitts with True late in the second period.

In the third, Spencer Foo evened the score with a power play marker (with an assist from Parsons), but the Barracuda had toyed with the Heat long enough and closed the door with two goals, one an empty netter, to send the Heat back to Stockton winless in 10 games this season. We are their bitch.

No highlights were available for Saturday’s game.

AFTERTHOUGHTS

Poster Stu Gotz asked me if the problem was Gillies or weak defense. The answer: both. The offense is doing its job, as the Heat ranks seventh in the league in goals scored with 156 and tied for fourth on the man advantage with a 22.7% power play. Defensively, Stockton is dead last (31st) in goals allowed with 183 (12 more than the Ontario Reign) and tied for 29th with a 77.2% penalty kill.

While the defense is bad, the goalies need to be better, especially Gillies. All three goalies play in front of the same defense yet only Gillies is sporting a losing record and a goals against average above four.

Goalie Record Save % GAA
Gillies 6-12-4-0 0.866% 4.14
Parsons 6-6-1-0 0.889% 3.98
Schneider 6-3-0-0 0.922% 2.45

TIME FOR A ROAD TRIP

Mrs. Finest getting ready

It’s finally here! This week Mrs. Finest and I are headed to the Great White North to see the Flames and Sharks on Thursday and jet on over to Vancouver to see the Flames visit the Canucks on Saturday. I see you set out the ice carpet for our arrival.

After polling Flames Nation a few months back, Mrs. F will be sporting her Inaugural season Sharks jersey, as she is a Flames fan against all teams not named the Sharks. But fear not, she will have on Stockton gear under her jersey to represent, along with a game-worn Garnet Hathaway Heat jersey for Vancouver.

Last year at the Tank

Come meet us at Naina’s Kitchen on 17th starting at 5 p.m. Thursday and then a live postgame discussion after the game at Jameson’s Pub on 17th. Who needs to post in Ryan Pike’s recap when you can do it live with your fellow Flames Nation posters (just kidding Ryan!). We can discuss all of the comments as they come in.

On Saturday, we will be at Devil’s Elbow across from the arena for some pregame drinks and discussion starting again at 5 p.m. After the game, more postgame reactions and discussion will be had at Red Racer Brewery and Distillery (formally Central City Brewing).

  • freethe flames

    SF looking forward to meeting you. It sure sounds like it’s time for the Flames organization to cut bait with Gilles; something we have discussed a fair bit. The issue for me is how to get someone who could a good third Black ace for the playoffs. Or would we be just as wellof having both he and Parsons up when the season ends. It has been a real frustrating season for you and all the Heat faithful. See you Thursday.

  • MetalGearCody

    Despite the bad numbers, it seems as if Parsons is close to stealing the #1 goalie reigns from Gillies? Maybe send Jon to the ECHL for a bit (if he can be send down there) and go with Parsons as head honcho of the goal? How has Juuso looked since being down there? 3 points in 4 games sounds good but has he been playing as well as he can and should be?

  • everton fc

    They have to let Parsons be the #1, to see what we have in him. He is up and down like a yo-yo, but still young. Gillies should be moved. Schneider can assume the #2 spot. But we’ll need to sign a backup in Calgary, and some netminders for the farm teams, off-season.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I never realized how far down the standings Stockton had dropped…they are among the bottom teams in the league. They are the worst in the league for giving up goals. I realize our goaltending has been bad but Gillies and Parsons are likely not going to play in front af a D that is that bad ever again. I would be curious to know how many times the 2 goalies have faced the league average in shots….my guess it has been a lot. Gillies may not be as good as we thought but he is not as bad as we are seeing this year. My guess is that both would fare better behind the Flames D even with its lapses.

  • BendingCorners

    I hesitate to give up on Gillies (and even MacDonald) because of Brossoit and McEIhinney. Packaging Gillies might be necessary to get a decent return, but he could still end up being a decent NHL goalie somewhere down the road.

  • SeanCharles

    Parsons is our only legit goalie prospect.

    Schneider may have increased his stock this year but he and McDonald are longshots at best.

    Goalies are voodoo but I honestly wouldn’t care if the only remaining goalies we have next season, out of the 6 we have now, are Rittich and Parsons.

  • Stu Gotz

    Thanks for the update SF. I don’t believe the Flames have given up on Gillies and rightly so. I watched Martin Jones play 4 years behind a weak Hitmen defence and the rest is history. Ditto Schneider with the Hitmen with the Flames making the decision to sign him as a FA with a long term development plan. IMO Gillies last opportunity with the Flames will be in training camp as he will carry a one way deal. If he craters I can see a buy out. If he shines the leash get’s a bit longer but he will be going on 26 at that time. Regardless with Smith on an expiring contract the entire Flames goaltending strategy behind Rittich will change drastically this summer if not sooner.

  • SydScout

    Two things:
    1. Having seen Gillies play up close with SF and Mrs Finest, I concur with SF in that he is the smallest ‘big’ goalie out there. He’s a big unit, but somehow manages to look much smaller in net. Inclined to trade now if there is value for him.
    2. People of FN – go meet them both when they’re in town! They are superb people, know their hockey (SF’s AHL knowledge is ridiculous) and a bloody good laugh.

    Enjoy your trip Mr and Mrs F!

    • freethe flames

      Thanks SydScout. Luckily I am planning on meeting with them on Thursday. I decided to see if I could dig up some old footage of Gilles playing at Providence to see if he played small then. What I found was a three minute highlight reel of Gilles being big most of the time, on his feet, on the top of his crease, scrambling around like hell to control rebounds and deflections, going down late rather than early on shots from the wall off transition and getting back to his quickly. Now he was not facing as good as shooters but he was considered a top prospect doing that. Since joining the Flames organization he’s on his knees, he’s deep in the crease, he blocks shots instead of catching shots. What is our biggest complaint when our goalies are struggling? All these things for just about everyone of them. A often stated complaint by many on this site- goaltending coach.

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I have never been one to look at the goaltending coach as the problem. In fact Singalet should get credit for his work with Rittich. I don’t think he can do much with Smith because he won’t change.
        My concern is Gillies plays small and Parsons plays even smaller and that is not going to cut it in the pros. A good example is how Rittich would crouch when a player was at the side of the net on their backhand until he got burned twice by shots going top shelf. He showed the last game that he learned from his mistakes.

        • Cheeky

          Ok, how do you not rule out Sigalet as a problem? During last season many on here still supported GG, this year everyone can see how bad he really was. It’s no coincidence that our goalie prospects have the same “playing small and going down soon” style, and that it’s not working – something has to change…

          • freethe flames

            Why does a goalie change his style? It is either not working or it is coached out of him. Why would Gilles change his style after being successful at high level. In part maybe because of his surgery(question how has this impacted him) and because the goalie coach believes in a Pro style. It seems to me that while Rittich has some elements of the Pro style(doing what he is told) he has adapted it and generally plays further out than he did in the preseason. Even then he gets beat high short side to often because he is down to early when forwards are coming down the left wing. The pro style gives shooters the top left corner if the goalie goes down early. How many times do we see Johnny try and hit that corner.

  • How's She Goin'

    Flames need more depth on Defence in Stockton. Sounds funny to say that given the abundance of strong D prospects that were on the farm. Lots of good forward depth in Stockton, the Junior ranks and a couple overseas. Need to swing a deal or two for futures at the draft although I’m hearing 2019 draft isn’t very deep….

    • freethe flames

      We had 8 NHL tweeners come to training camp and decided not to sign any. What we need to do is sign some NCAA graduating seniors and CHL overagers to fill the gap. No one we draft out of the CHL this year will be AHL eligible next year.

  • PStronge

    Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow! Due to family commitments, I won’t be able to make it to Naina’s so hopefully we can arrange a hello beforehand to hand off Kyle’s delivery 😉

    Apologies for the chill in the air, it’s actually better than the last couple of days. 😐