51Andrew Mangiapane
Photo Credit: Candice Ward/USA Today Sports

Post-Game: Flames grind out a win against Columbus

The Calgary Flames inched closer to a division win on Tuesday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome. They were good, lucky, and occasionally both as they grinded out a 4-2 victory over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Rundown

The visitors were the better team early, and ended up opening the scoring. The Flames had a power play but couldn’t generate much. Following the advantage, the Flames got caught in neutral zone and the Jackets jumped into the offensive zone with a two-on-one. Zach Werenski opted to shoot and beat David Rittich low blocker side to make it 1-0 Jackets.

The Flames tied it up midway through the period, though. They weren’t able to score on an initial odd-man rush from Johnny Gaudreau and Derek Ryan, but Ryan retrieved the puck off the rebound and found Gaudreau in the slot with a nice pass from the far corner and Gaudreau buried a wrist shot to make it a 1-1 game.

Columbus pressed in the latter stages of the first period, getting a couple odd-man rushes and hitting a couple posts via some scrambley defensive play by the Flames. But the Flames got a late scoring chance with the clock running down, as Mark Jankowski found Andrew Mangiapane in front of the net and the Flames winger double-clutched on the backhand before putting the puck past a lunging Sergei Bobrovsky to give the Flames a 2-1 lead.

Shots were 14-9 Flames and scoring chances 10-8 Flames in the opening period.

The Flames got a bit of insurance early in the second period after Michael Frolik scored himself a goal. Sensing the Columbus skaters looking a bit flat-footed, Frolik took a pass from TJ Brodie and simply strode into the zone, deked around a couple players and beat Bobrovsky to make it 3-1 for the home side.

The Blue Jackets nearly cut into the Flames’ lead on the power play, as the locals got running around a bit in their own end. But Mark Giordano made a big save on a Columbus scoring chance and somehow kept the puck out.

Shots were 12-11 Blue Jackets in the second, while scoring chances were 11-10 Blue Jackets.

Columbus finally got one back five minutes into the third period on a power play. After the Flames stifled their top unit, the second group jumped on the ice and Oliver Bjorkstrand strode in on the right side of the zone and fired a wrist shot that beat Rittich over his glove side shoulder (short side) to cut the Flames lead to 3-2.

The visitors pressed late in the game, but Matthew Tkachuk notched an empty net goal with 51 seconds remaining to finish this one off with a 4-2 score for a Flames victory.

Shots were 12-6 Blue Jackets and chances 9-6 Blue Jackets in the third period.

Why the Flames Won

The Flames played a desperate team while missing two of their top nine forwards. But give the locals a ton of credit: they played smart, composed two-way hockey. They didn’t take a ton of unnecessary chances, but they got their lead and then did their best to slow the Jackets down and make them play their style of game.

It was a weird game, though. The Flames got a few big shot blocks, the Jackets hit a few posts at key times, and the home side just found a way to be a little bit better than Columbus when they needed to be.

Red Warrior

Let’s jointly honour the new-look third line of Mangiapane, Czarnik and Mark Jankowski. They were dangerous all game long.

The Turning Point

Take your pick:

  • Frolik’s insurance goal 35 seconds into the second period gave the Flames a two goal cushion (and some wiggle room).
  • GIordano’s big shot block (or goaltending, if you want to call it that) kept the Flames up two goals heading into the second intermission.

The Numbers

(Percentage stats are 5-on-5, data via Natural Stat Trick)

Player Corsi
Hathaway 66.7 80.0 0.100
Andersson 60.0 76.9 0.400
Czarnik 57.1 36.4 1.895
Fantenberg 57.1 83.3 0.275
Lazar 55.6 80.0 -0.030
Hanifin 53.5 25.0 0.550
Jankowski 52.0 33.3 1.120
Quine 50.0 80.0 0.140
Mangiapane 48.4 30.8 0.700
Tkachuk 48.2 11.1 1.075
Hamonic 47.8 16.7 0.500
Backlund 45.5 9.1 0.880
Gaudreau 44.7 44.4 1.075
Ryan 41.9 36.4 0.925
Lindholm 41.4 36.4 -0.230
Frolik 40.6 11.1 1.065
Giordano 29.2 6.7 0.375
Brodie 27.6 7.1 0.200
Rittich 1.600

This and That

This game was Giordano’s 826th played as a Flame, tying Robyn Regehr for second on the franchise’s all-time leaderboard.

Noah Hanifin left the game midway through the second period after blocking a shot off the side of his head. He skated off under his own power, missed the remainder of the second period, but returned for the third.

With their victory, the Flames have clinched one of the three divisional spots in the Pacific Division. The Arizona Coyotes, fourth in the division, cannot catch them in the standings.

Up Next

The Flames (45-21-7) are in action again on Thursday when they host the Ottawa Senators.

    • Kzak

      Agreed. I know there’s a lot of talk that he should be one of the guys to let go this summer to save cap room but it seems he’s always coming up with a big goal and you rarely see him make a blaring mistake. He might be very important in the upcoming playoffs.

  • Toma41

    Derek Ryan, 1st line centre. Dont mind this at all. If this guy can click even more, leave him their and bounce Mohnny down. That spreads our scoring out big time. Ryan does not look out of place at all.

  • Speed Kills

    Dear Flames & BP…. Please Don’t Ever go into a Defensive-shell for an entire period Ever Again… I Loath that game-play mentality and usually doesn’t end well (unlike tonight), It gave me nightmarish flashbacks of GG Hockey and I really didn’t appreciate that at all.
    All is Well that ends Well…
    GFG… Keep that pedal to the metal (pls)…

  • Gus Fring

    Another good tight game. If we draw Arizona or Minny in the first round I can see our games being played just like this. We seem to be one step ahead of the opponents the score is close but we are basically in control of the entire game. Keep it up boys! Keep taking these points. One more stumble by the Sharks and the conference is ours!

  • BlueMoonNigel

    Tonight’s Takeaways:

    Like the Jets, the Jackets have an alt jersey that is original and scintillating. Jets went Simple Simon, while Jackets went old school. Pretty slick that a club that has been around since 2000 created a ‘50s/ ‘60s stylish look that reeks of resplendent retro. When do the Jackets realize their alt look should replace their ho-hum main look?

    Just as the Flames are one of the biggest surprises of the 2018-19 campaign, the Jackets have to be the biggest disappointment. For a club that was supposed to battle the Caps for the division crown, they are still fighting for their playoff lives. Hump like mad for the rest of the season just to earn a trip to Tampa. Wasn’t supposed to be like that.

    Jackets jacked the Flames for the first half of the first until the locals decided it was go time. Both Flame goals in the first were very nice goals. Mangi up to 5 goals. Is he destined to become a perennial 20+ goal getter? He’s got some moves and a lot of smarts.

    What analytic measures Hathaway taking a bashing for the team at the fists of Lone Wolf?

    Loved the group effort in keeping the puck out of the net on the Jackets’ PP.

    Sweated out the last 5 minutes of the 2nd as the Jackets really pressed. I was certain they would score in the last 30 seconds or so.

    Does Panarin look like a guy determined to lead his club into the playoffs and a deep run or a guy hoping his NHL season will be done ASAP so he can play in the worlds?

    Had to laugh when Hrudey said no player dreamed of playing in the minors when he referenced Lazar’s selfless request of going to Stockton because it reminded me of the old Hawaii Islanders Triple A baseball team. At times it was the baby club for some horrible Chicago White Sox and Washington Senators’ teams. I think more than a few guys on those clubs worked the worry beads OT to get demoted.

    Ugly 3rd for the Flames until the PK when they finally levelled the ice and kept it that way for the rest of the game.

    I thought the Flames played better in a losing effort against the Jets. The win was huge as it creates a 3-point bulge. Flames would be wise to have a 3 or more point cushion going into their clash with the Sharks.

    Have to think tonight was the last time we’ll see Torts behind the Jacket’s bench unless the club wins the cup or loses the final in seven. I’d argue that his stale message and methods are chiefly why the Jackets have come apart at the seams this season and are a bad trip out west away from ending up in a Goodwill bin.

  • Flamesfanforever

    ‘Simpsons’ producers pay homage to Flames in recent esports episode’Calgary Lames’ were defeated by team from Springfieldby Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / NHL.com Staff Writer

     March 18th, 2019

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    The Calgary Flames have been anything but lame this season, and that’s why some writers of “The Simpsons” felt their fans could take a joke.

    In the Season 30 episode “E My Sports,” which aired on Sunday, the Flames were referred to as the Calgary Lames, an esports team that was defeated by the Evergreen Terrors in a tournament for the fictional video game “Conflict of Enemies.”

    In the episode, the Lames pull ahead of the Terrors to the point where team members start to dump a bucket of maple syrup over their coach’s head. But the Terrors, led by Bart Simpson, rebound and defeat the Lames, earning a spot in the world championship in South Korea.

    “We wanted to have a Canadian team, and we wanted that team, instead of Gatorade, to be dumping maple syrup on their coach,” Al Jean, an executive producer for the episode, told NHL.com, “so we were working backwards and we wanted to get a team based on a Canadian sports team.”

    The Flames lead the Pacific Division with 95 points, have the most points in the Western Conference and became the second team to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth on Sunday. Those facts were not lost on “The Simpsons” team.

    “One reason we picked Calgary Lames is because in real life the Flames are so good, we knew that the Calgary could take a joke,” Jean said.

    Joel Cohen, 51, was the episode’s co-executive producer and is a huge Flames fan from Calgary, who was at the Saddledome to watch the Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup against the Flames in Game 5 of the 1986 Stanley Cup Final. Cohen deemed the dig at Calgary a sign of tough love; something hard-nosed, ex-Flames coach Mike Keenan would approve of.

    “I rationalized it in two ways,” Cohen told NHL.com. “One, we’re not calling the hockey team the Lames, we’re calling the esports team the Lames, and I imagine it a type of Mike Keenan-motivation where calling them garbage is only going to make them play better and maybe win the [Stanley] Cup this year.”

    “The Simpsons” have not shied from hockey references in past episodes, including Jean’s inclusion of a photo of the legendary Gordie Howe in the Season 3 episode “Bart the Lover.”

    Last season during the Vegas Golden Knights’ run to the Stanley Cup Final, an image of the Stanley Cup appearing in a Vegas hotel room as a gag on the episode “Viva Ned Flanders” from Season 10 went viral.

    Cohen is certain that this reference, where a team from Calgary loses a championship to a team from the United States, will not ring true in the end.

    “I’m super hopeful. I’ve had my heart broken too many times to count,” he said. “I still believe. And this is going to be what it takes to put [the Flames] over the top.”

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  • Harley Hotchkiss’s Ghost

    “Let’s jointly honour the new-look third line of Mangiapane, Czarnik and Mark Jankowski”

    The more speed that Jankowski has on the wings the better he looks. I don’t know if I would put Bennett back with Jankowski. I might keep this line for awhile. If they can keep this up.

    • Gus Fring

      Yes but they think he might be gone before he gets to us. There is multiple teams with more than one first round pick. They are saying the rangers might pick Spencer Knight. It is risky taking a goalie in the first round especially if you only have one pick. I think we need a sniper IMO experts feel like Foote might be the player we target big power forward/sniper. Since we really have none in our system

    • cjc

      They should draft the best player available – but that advice is less meaningful when you are drafting in the low 20s and whoever you get is going to take time to develop. That said I think they need to look at their defense – Valimaki is the only prospect in the system, and he’s only there because of the logjam at LHD. In two year’s time Calgary won’t be able to retain both Brodie and Hamonic (or may choose not to retain either) at which point they will need some young talent to take over.

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    I am starting to figure out Rittich. He seems unlikely to get a shutout always letting in a soft goal. But, he almost never lets in the go ahead or winning goal…which is pretty impressive. At times he looks like nothing can beat him while at other times he looks really shaky but all he does is win.

  • deantheraven

    Looked at the corsi numbers again.
    Then I asked myself why. You could almost flip the list for the players who looked most dangerous. Johnny’s goal. Fro’s goal. Chucky’s goal. Things of beauty!