Quips and Quotes: Flames lose to Sharks 5-2

The Calgary Flames lost to the San Jose Sharks by a 5-2 score on Thursday night. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

There were really two big topics of discussion post-game, so let’s dive in!

David Rittich allowed two (bad) goals

Flames netminder David Rittich was pulled after allowing two goals on six shots. Following the game, he described what he saw on both of those goals.

On Evander Kane’s goal to make it 1-1: “I saw it in last second, but it hit my stick, my blocker and my heel and went in. So it was unlucky goal for me.”

On Brent Burns’ shorthanded goal to make it 2-1, coming with Rittich playing the puck well outside his crease: “He faked me, he go into boards then he jump right through the middle. It was smart play by him. I probably should’ve just hold it for a second and then try to play it.”

It should be noted that Rittich’s teammates neglected to blame him for the loss. Matthew Tkachuk felt that it was Burns’ sheer size and agility that made the play challenging for the goaltender.

“He’s a large, large man that can cover a lot of ground,” said Tkachuk. “I mean, if that’s anybody else on their team…  it’s just strictly on the fact that Burnsie’s way bigger than everybody… I’ve seen Ritter make that play a bunch this year and a few of them have turned into quick transition for goals the other way, for us. So, we’re not going to tell him not to come out and play that puck.”

Bill Peters pulled Rittich after two (bad) goals

Understandably, Rittich didn’t want to chat much about the decision to end his night after six shots and roughly 14 minutes. That said, he did take ownership for that development.

“It’s on coach. He pulled me and I think after the second goal, it was maybe the right thing.”

When speaking with the media, Peters explained a few aspects of his rationale behind yanking his top goaltender.

Why did he pull Rittich after two goals? “Just trying to get a spark. I didn’t think we were dialed in exactly system-wise. I thought we could be a little tighter with some things that we were doing. Just trying to get a little spark there, and obviously that didn’t work.”

Is he worried about Rittich not having the chance to bounce back? “No. We talked about putting him back in, too, and decided against it.”

What factors went into the decision to pull him? “We were down two, and he didn’t look comfortable. Didn’t like either goal.”

Despite the setback, Rittich was characteristically positive about moving on from his rough outing.

“Tomorrow is new day, new fun, and it’s a new practice day where you can be better,” said Rittich. “So I’m going home to sleep, and I want to be ready for next game, next practice, and I want to be better than tonight.”

In other news…

Peters wouldn’t commit to a starting netminder for Saturday’s game in Vancouver, and noted he didn’t know how Travis Hamonic’s hand was doing after he left the game late in the third period.

      • Cfan in Van

        Me too. I’ve got tickets, for the first time in 9 years. I hope Ritter is playing, because despite the 2 gaffs, I have confidence in the guy. The team’s going to bounce back once they get a regular schedule rolling, count on it.

  • Korcan

    One of those games where everything that can go wrong seems to. Just unfortunate it was against SJ, the Flames really wanted that win. Time to regroup and get back on track vs. Van.

  • Sol Goode

    First goal was weak for sure, second goal was a poor decision, I would have left him in the game though. That third goal definitely took the wind out of the sails for sure.

  • Stockton's Finest

    Thanks to Freethe Flame, Skylardog, and those who we met at the game and Naina’s for a great time in Calgary. Great time talking hockey and other topics. Great people.

    We roll this up and head for Vancouver for Saturday’s game. Only difference: Mrs. Finest in her Heat jersey as opposed to that teal rag she wore Thursday night. Looking forward to meeting the Vancouver group to continue the conversation.

    • Off the wall

      SF, I hope you have pictures to share with us on Saturday.

      Teal rag? Mrs SF better not read this post. You’ll be sleeping on the floor at the hotel. Lol.

      Safe travels friend!

    • freethe flames

      Indeed the pre-game meal and the post game banter lived up to all the hype of big game unfortunately the game itself not so much. SF, Mrs SF, Skylar and Son and Ari thanks for talking hockey.

    • Skylardog

      Thanks SF & Mrs SF for the great night out, some “proud to wear” Stockton Heat hats, and a chance to talk hockey. Thanks Free for looking after our visitors, and it was an absolute pleasure meeting you Ari.

  • Manginasal

    Everyone is so gloomy.

    What this board needs is some Willy!
    Come out WW we need you to rally us?
    Oh c’mon guys. After we beat vancouver all will be good again.

  • Chucky

    Some things scar us for life and I remember a game when the Gretzky lead Oilers came back and scored 5 quick goals to defeat the Flames, it was like a dagger to my heart at the time. This year the Flames have the ability to generate the excitement that accompanies this type of comeback but last night they did not adjust their game sufficiently to make it happen.
    Part of the problem is that Jones shut the door but the cause for concern is that the Flames persisted in playing an east west game when they needed north south. The Sharks continually focused on blocking the cross ice pass that the Flames love because they have an active defense who will jump the play and create scoring opportunities. It is important that the top line in particular (Johnny specifically) adapt to this defensive strategy and beat the defenseman wide and drive the net.
    The third line had several good shifts because they were willing to carry the puck deep, hopefully they keep up this aggressiveness because this could result in a major factor in the remainder of the year.
    No doubt that Peters will see this and provide the solution the only question is “can the team adapt?”.