54Rasmus Andersson
Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

Quips and Quotes: Flames beat Coyotes 5-2

The Calgary Flames beat the Arizona Coyotes by a 5-2 score on Monday afternoon. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

Rasmus Andersson steps up

Versatile defender TJ Brodie didn’t dress against Arizona due to a minor injury. In his place stepped third pair defender (and rookie) Rasmus Andersson. The youngster was very solid, eating up minutes and generating two assists.

“I thought he was steady,” said Flames head coach Bill Peters of the 21-year-old Andersson. “I thought we all got it going a little bit and he was one of the guys that played real well. Solid. Was good on the power play, shot the puck. He’s got a real good shot probably and nobody in the league knows it. He doesn’t use it enough. But I think people will figure it out.”

Mark Giordano sets a career high

Defensemen play tough minutes. Since he became an NHL regular in 2006-07, Flames captain Mark Giordano has blocked nearly 1,500 shots. It’s reasonable to expect blueliners to slow down a bit, especially as they get on the wrong side of 30.

Monday night’s two point effort gave Giordano a new career high in points with 57 – with 23 games remaining in the regular season. Speaking to media after the game, Giordano characteristically deflected credit for his accomplishment.

“It always feels good to contribute and get points offensively,” said Giordano. “But again, we have such a good team and score so many goals that a lot of guys numbers are gonna look really good this year. But more importantly, where we are in the standings is huge right now and we want to keep pushing and get that top spot.”

Peters had a pretty concise assessment of his captain’s play.

“He’s good every night.”

Doing the line shuffle

With Brodie on the shelf for the night, the Flames had a new look first pairing (Giordano and Andersson) and a relatively new third pairing (Oliver Kylington with Dalton Prout). After 20 minutes, Peters flipped Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm, producing the following forward units:

  • Gaudreau – Monahan – Tkachuk
  • Frolik – Backlund – Lindholm
  • Bennett – Jankowski – Czarnik
  • Mangiapane – Ryan – Hathaway

Peters provided his rationale for the change-up after the game.

Just freshening it up a little bit. Just freshening it up. Lindy was going well on draws and that was important. It’s an important part of the game. They had an icing, no change, we scored a goal on it. People try to devalue the importance of face-offs but they’re very important. And you know what? It was time for a little bit of a change.”

It’s worth noting that the Noah Hanifin/Travis Hamonic pairing and the fourth line were kept together, likely to (a) provide stability and (b) reward those units for their efforts in recent games.

  • Alberta Ice

    Congratulations to Gio the Warrior. 4th line adding a new level of depth to this team. Great to see Smith playing confidently again in goal. I trust Smith and Rittich will both be motivated to raise their level of play as we approach playoffs. KIGF.

        • Chiz

          Well obviously… but who’s to say that little guy will be ready to light I up in the playoffs? Lots of people making excuses for the lacklustre play of the top players.

          • Cfan in Van

            Also a lot of people in a huff about a little slump. Every player has them (Crosby – 11 games without a goal). Not worth getting worked up about, in fact, I think it’s a mixed blessing. It’s giving Peters an excuse to start experimenting with different combinations, while our depth scoring is stepping up.
            I honestly think they’ll pick it back up soon and be just fine.

    • Heeeeere’s Johnny

      I think this is a point where Johnny needs to adapt and add some tricks to his game. It’s almost like opposing D now hold a line about 5 feet inside the blue line and then collapse on him when he crosses the line to force him. Johnny needs to figure out a new approach to move the puck quickly or to set his sights on 10 feet inside the line and move them back again.

  • Luter 1

    Mangiapane raising his game has really helped the depth. I don’t care if he gets knocked down 10 times a game, he usually comes out with the puck or is involved some way or the other, unlike “The unReal Deal Neal”.

    • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

      He’s getting a bit better and not falling down as often, but there is still some room for improvement in that aspect. It’s funny, I have a couple of friends who have played a bit in the NHL and they all say the hardest thing to get used to is how strong everyone is, even the smaller players are impossible to knock off the puck. Obviously the speed is a big step up, but they were all prepared for that becuase everyone always talks about it. Though no one really knew just how strong everyone was until they got there. Even the undersized players can leverage their size and hold an edge unbelievably well.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    The stats say that Lindholm was 8-1 and Janko was 10-2 on Facoffs. I do not remember us being that dominant in the dot but that is impressive. We are playing better without a heavy footed Neil.

        • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

          Ras has great shot (won AHL All-Star games hardest shooter). Glad he is starting to get more offensive minutes. I like Brodie, but he has a muffin for a shot and isn’t that great of a passer on set plays (he creates most of his offense off the rush). Brodie’s never been someone I think should always be a must on the PP, whereas Ras could be a specialist in the future, where you have to put him out.

    • MontanaMan

      That’s why competition is important. Czarnik and Mangi know Lazar is waiting for his chance as are Quine and a few others in Stockton so they can’t take a game off. Love it. Same can be said for the goaltending. Just when Rittich thought he had the #1 tender position, he has a few rough games, Smith brings his A game and we have a great competition. It’s what makes players better and keeps them hungry and motivated.

  • Orrwasbest

    Really impressed with the effort from the bottom 2 forward lines today. Anderson looked right at home on 1st pairing with Gio. From first pairing Stockton to first pairing Calgary and looking like he belongs well done. Gio was outstanding! About the only negative is a little underwhelmed with top lines play lately!

      • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

        I honestly like him more than Stone (and Engelland) in that shutdown role, where you just want them to play quiet and don’t want to notice them. When Stones playing well he’s a better defenceman, but Prout is just so steady and quietly consistent. Stone kind of was more up and down for me with more highs and lows.

  • Toma41

    Andersson was great. What else can we want from him? Other than score, he had a great game. Prout had another good game. He doesn’t make any noticable mistakes and isnt afraid to get involved in the offensive end. We do not need another d-man. Focus on Stone from Ottawa if anything.

  • Garry T

    Chiz, the reason the first line is not producing is that they are running Johnny double shifted and have done for seven or eight games straight. If he looks sloppy to you, you are entitled to your opinion. I have been watching hockey for 67 years and have seen a lot of players come and go. No one, repeat no one ever had the skating capability of Johnny
    Gudreau. Maybe one guy, Valerie Karlamov pronounced ( Harlomov ) . Bobby Clarke broke his ankle for him in the 72 series because he was absolutely killing the NHL team we sent over and that was some team. The guy was never the same after that. If you watched the all star events recently, he had most of the guys laughing in awe at his edge turns and his ability to go from zero to full speed in a matter of three strides. He is highly skilled. He now plays a 200 foot game and has been responsible for saving us from being scored on numerous times this year. The little guy is wearing down so give him a break. He wants to win more than anyone on this team. And to the team, especially Bill, you are going to get this guy hurt bad one of these days if you continue to skate him like you are. Additionally, you are somewhat responsible for the slow down in the first line’s productivity due to running that line so hard for so long. They are trying hard. All of them. They will go through a wall for you. But you do not need to do what you are doing. I think you are a very effective coach but, what you are doing to Johnny is wrong. Trust the rest of your team. They want to win just as much or close to how much Johnny wants to win.

    If you want to help the team, add one player up front. Dzingle from Ottawa and you will really help the club. If you want to add a second, obtain Juljujarvi from Edmonton. He wants out. Sent down to Stockton for the rest of the season, and a plan is developed for him to get his confidence back, he will come back and be a helluva player for the Flames. PS. Do not trade away any of our young defence. They are doing fine. Absolutely amazing drafting.

    • Chiz

      Nobody in your 67 years of watching hockey has had the skating ability of gaudreau? I’ve been watching for 35 years, and I feel like I’ve seen lots of guys who were as good or better.

      • Cfan in Van

        It depends on what ability is. If you mean all-out speed, he’s definitely not on top. If you’re talking strength on his edges and directional shifts, shiftiness etc… I’d agree, he’s extremely unique. Remember there haven’t been very many players of his caliber and size in this league. His ability to change direction also has a lot to do slight body mass and low center of gravity.

    • Alberta Ice

      Makes me even more excited to know Valimaki is in the on deck circle as he was showing the same great promise and play as Andersson when he played healthy early this year. I like our D depth. No panic needed as we near the trade deadline folks. The Flames Youth Movement on D is looking good along behind the leadership of Captain Gio and the gutsy play of the Hammer Hamonic! KIFG

  • Alberta Ice

    On a side note: Besides the fact that the Lightning look like the unbeatable juggernaut of hockey this year, Kucherov’s quest for the Art Ross trophy is looking more assured each day. 13 points in the last 3 games? Are you kidding me? 12 points up on Kane and 16 on McDavid? Good grief. This guys stats are getting ridiculous to follow along with the wins they are piling up as a team.

    • Chiz

      When they talk about who the best player in the world is, why do we never hear kucherov mentioned? In my opinion, he might be the guy right now. 18 points in his last 5 games, averaging better than a point per PERIOD. 99 points in 60 games

  • Chucky

    Several times today Prout’s poor skating opened the Flames to chances. The fact that they were laying against a team not capable of taking advantage of the the opportunity should not make anyone think that he is a competent replacement.
    The Flames have four guys capable of playing left defense at NHL speed. From what we saw today they only have three on the right side.

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      I admit to being a Czarnik basher. I will admit that these last two games he has played better. I still don’t like his battle level and defensive play, but you can’t argue with the offensive results.

      As for Smith, he’s as good as the D in front of him when he has a good game. Even then, he can let a couple stinkers in at any time, and when theyre not playing well in front of him he is a tire fire. I will say that if we want a cup, our D needs to be consistently good anyway – that’s a given

      • KootenayFlamesFan

        I forgot Prout – He has performed sufficiently as a 7yh/replacement D. The only times I’ve really noticed him is when he’s cut someone off on the boards, or thrown the puck on net – That’s a good thing. With Vali waiting in the wings, I think we’re set for D, and can cut Brodie loose if the return is right (a decent signed forward piece). DONT waste him on a rental!!!

  • Fat Tony

    I see a lot of you guys talking about the play of Johnny and Mony. I think they just need to see a couple goals go in and they will be back on track. Johnny is trying to do too much, needs to simplify and just get some pucks on net. All I see from him is trying to make cross ice passes through 2 or 3 guys and is getting picked off every time. If JG is struggling that usually means Mony isn’t far behind and especially if the powerplay isn’t clicking. I did see some good opportunities at the end of the first period though, at least 3 or 4 chances from that top line with chucky out with them so lets give these guys some more ice time and see where it takes us.

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Don’t think the Flames have the assets to move to make a TDL deal that brings back anything more than this season’s Chris Stewart or unloved Shore brother.

    Think about it. Who would you trade from the roster you saw against the Coyotes? You have the untouchables (Gio, Johnny, Lindholm), the valued (Hamonic, Backlund, Bennett) and those who apparently have low market value (Czarnik, Mangipane, Smith, Prout).

    That means the Flames have only draft picks and low-level prospects in Stockton to deal. I have intentionally not mentioned their biggest trading chip, one of Valimaki, Andersson and Kylington as the team would be damn foolish to trade any of those before the offseason.

    If you look beyond the TDL the picture is much clearer. First, Frolik is the kind of player competing teams trade for at the TDL in the hope of a long playoff run. Why would the Flames trade Frolik now for a guy like Frolik? Frolik is an offseason move, not a TDL move.

    Club has 7 NHL-quality defencemen. Playoff-bound clubs clamour for d-men heading into the second season, so just as with Frolik, why trade that which you will absolutely need in the spring for a serious playoff run? Moving one of the 7 in the offseason looks like sound business, not before.

    So who does that leave you with to deal? Jimmy Neal, but he is hurting and that contract of his makes him a tough sell. In effect, the Flames can only offer draft picks, which is not the Tampa way, and fringe prospects. I’d be shocked if a 1st rounder and Dube or Mangipane nets a Stone or Duchene or Panarin.

    Again, a late round draft pick or a Foo should yield this season’s Stewart or Shore. Tre just doesn’t have the expendable assets at this time to try and go for broke, so tinkering seems the best course of action leading up to next Monday.

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      The biggest trade chip they have is the one you didn’t mention – Brodie. They proved last night they don’t need him, and he could potentially bring back the biggest return of all.

      • flames2015

        Its one game they played without Brodie against the Coyotes… I wouldn’t be so quick to jump on the we don’t need Brodie wagon. Anderson looked good with Gio, but its ONE game.

    • Flint

      I agree with you in principle, but I also disagree with the idea that the Flames should try and get a big name player, unless they truly believe they cannot win with their makeup. The first scenario is getting a bottom 6 guy, or two, who are going to bring what’s needed for the playoffs – depth, speed, toughness, experience. And perhaps a bit more depth on D.

      Next year is the year when we really need to go big, not this year. This year we need to try and win with smart and shrewd tweaks. Next year we stand to lose Brodie, Frolik, Hamonic, in the 2020 offseason as they are all UFA’s. We also have a lot of RFA’s and question marks, and Gio will be 37! And you have Seattle. The 2021 team will be very different, so if this is a winning formula, next year is has to be all in to win.

      I still think this year is try to win primarily with what you got…. but maybe trade low picks for quality depth.