Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Ducks 3, Flames 1 post-game embers: Anyway

It’s a lot easier to talk about a meaningless game when the team at least scores some goals.

Feel of the game

The game was sloppy from both teams, though particularly so for the Flames. The Oliver Kylington-Dalton Prout defence pairing had a bit of a rough time, spotting the Ducks two early goals (that’ll make for some good learning moments, one would think). Some wide open ice and pretty passing from the makeshift top line got the Flames back within one, but that was pretty much all they had in them.

Ryan Miller made some good saves on some good chances, but the Ducks were definitely the better team, and the game was cemented when Ryan Getzlaf briefly reminded us Rasmus Andersson is still a rookie (but what a rookie he is) and scored to make it 3-1 just as a Flames powerplay had expired.

The Flames got plenty of powerplay opportunities but didn’t do anything with them, and it was an all around pointless, dull affair. Kudos to whoever needed a tuneup; that game was for them and nobody else.

The good news

Derek Ryan continues to be absolutely awesome. This season he’s quickly gone from “why are you here, you aren’t doing much” to the embodiment of what it means for a team to have outstanding depth. There’s a reason he’s the one who has gotten to play with Johnny Gaudreau for a couple of games; he’s genuinely talented and puts the work in. Great player.

Matthew Tkachuk popped up in the offensive zone with a number of close chances, so good to see him going for it. It’ll be more meaningful in a couple of games.

Oscar Fantenberg only has one assist as a Flame, but it was nice to see him up in the play and trying to score a fair bit, as well. Especially since he’s made it clear he should be the team’s sixth defenceman.

A couple of times the Flames had the chance to throw out a Valimaki-Andersson pairing and it was a cool glimpse of what could be to come.

The bad news

From Game 1 to Game 81, opposing players are pulling dangerous moves on Dillon Dube for some reason. What did he do? The hit on Sam Bennett the previous game was rough and certainly had the worse outcome, but Jacob Larsson’s boarding on Dube was vicious and uncalled for. What the hell.

Numbers of note

36.71% – The Flames’ 5v5 CF. They weren’t exactly thinking about this one.

4 – Tkachuk, Fantenberg, and Juuso Valimaki led the way with four shots each. A bit of positive standouts there in a game otherwise pretty devoid of them.

38 – With his goal, Ryan tied his career high in points: 38, which he registered in 2017-18 as well. One more game to pick up another point and break it, though coming up with an even 40 would be cool, too – and would give the Flames seven 40-point scorers.

98 – Happy Gaudreau was in on the Flames’ lone goal. Two more points in one game would be nice, and hopefully he gets it. Assuming it’s a full lineup for Game 82, Gaudreau will be the only Flame to dress in all 82 games this season.

109 – The maximum number of points the Flames can reach this season. One more win or any kind of Boston loss will clinch second overall in the NHL for the Flames. Boston sits at 105 points with two games to go, so they can hit 109 points as well, but the Flames will hold the first tiebreaker should it come down to that. Oh – and Boston’s regular season finale is against Tampa. So it’s not a done deal yet, but…

Final thought

Well, that was definitely a game that happened. A couple of young Ducks players had something to prove; nobody else did. Soon the Flames will get the chance to play for a lot more than two meaningless points. And the rookies of theirs that will be dressing next week will get the chance to contribute to a whole lot more than merely trying to stake out a place in an NHL lineup next season.

  • Chucky

    It is hard to believe that Fantenberg will stay as #6 through the playoffs.
    Valimaki is more physical, faster, is better at getting the puck through to the net and seems to have a higher hockey IQ.

    • withachance

      It’s not like Valimaki is de facto the better player right now though. Fanta has better positional awareness, great stick positioning, great cycle game and just overall knows where to be in all 3 zones. He just doesnt make any mistakes and thats going to be so important in the playoffs. According to my eye test at least

      Valimaki is the future #1 dman of this team but definitely still got some rough edges to round out

      • Skylardog

        And his future is why I would really like to see him get playoff experience this year. But how to you go with a lesser lineup when it could be a long deep run…

        • withachance

          of course would be nice, but no one wants to see a key mistake in the playoffs by a rookie that can potentially alter a series. No need to throw a rookie in his first year of pro to the deep end when the club is so deep on the blueline.

          1) Win the cup, if you can
          2) Blood the youngsters, soak in all the playoff atmosphere and experience they can
          3) Win the cup

  • deantheraven

    Nice to see Doc finally getting some love here after the weekly beatings he received throughout the season.
    Admittedly, he’s raised his game and seems settled in. Welcome to Cowtown, Doc. Don’t sit with your back to the door.

  • CalgaryBornandRaised

    Already looking forward to seeing the gulf in teams on Saturday, one on the way up, one on the way down

    If Anaheim and Edmonton could just not make the playoffs for like 5 more years, that would be more than great

  • Off the wall

    I’m so excited. Since I’ve covered my windows with plastic, I have saved 17% on my heating bill. Even with my Landlord stealing half of it.

    I think the Flames were so hot, that they decided to give 17% effort last night. At least Neal did, what a Corsi score! That a boy Neal, save your energy.

    We are both winners…🔥

  • Skylardog

    For those looking at entering a draft hockey pool, ESPN and Yahoo have not yet set up NHL playoff pools. Disappointing.

    I have set up a pool on Officepools.com, but will wait another day before paying for it.

    A few have you have indicated interest in entering my draft pool. Here is how it will work. I have kept a list of those that indicated interest. You will have the first option.

    I will use first come first served as the order I select those interested, based on the time I get your emails in my inbox. I will give those that have expressed interest until 8AM tomorrow (Friday April 5) to confirm their interest.

    I will cap this one at 10 entrants.

    Cost – $25. To be paid to the winner by email transfer at the end of the pool. Honour system here people.
    Keep in mind, that if you cannot email transfer (say you are out of country) then you are not eligible. Sorry, I know I have some people that are interested from out of country, however, if you really want to be in, I could have one person pay for the pool instead of me paying, if I can make that work. The other option is to get me the $25 or guarantee it to me before the draft. I will then pay the winner on your behalf. Guess you have to trust me here.
    Pool cost on Officepools is $20, I believe this is in USD so my $20 is the equivalent to your $25 after the exchange. This will count as my entrance fee, so I will not be emailing the winner $25, I think that is fair.
    If I win I eat the $25. If it is in Canadian funds I will pay the $5 to the winner.

    Forwards: 1 Point per point, 1 point per OT goal
    Defense: 2 points per goal, 1 point per assist, 2 points per OT goal.
    Goalies: 2 points per win, 1 points per shut out.

    This should make all positions worth approximately the same value based on the playoffs over the past 3 seasons. In other words, the top scoring forward should get about 30 to 35 points, the top Dman about 30 to 33, and the top goalie about 32 + any shutouts he has. This will help to eliminate the importance of being the first to pick by making all positions valuable.

    Roster will be 12 consisting of 8 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goalie.
    There will be a free agent period after round 1 and round 2, where everyone will be able to drop 1 player and add one player in each period if so desired. The order of picking for these periods will be based on the last place team at the end of each round getting the first choice of available players.

    It will be a snake draft, and is available online.

    We could arrange more than one pool quite easily if demand is great enough. We can talk about that.

    Office pools provides the research data based on the scoring system. It is downloadable to excel.

    I was looking at Saturday during the game against EDM as the draft time. Waiting for ESPN to launch a playoff pool has possibly pushed that back. I will firm up a draft time before you need to commit. If we could go Saturday at 8PM mountain time, that would be awesome. You have research to do to be ready. Another option is Sunday afternoon or evening.

    If you want in, please email me at skylardog@shaw.ca

    I need 4 things from you:
    Your location
    Your FlamesNation handle, we will use these as team names.
    A commitment to pay the winner.

    Once I have that, I will set up your invite by email to the pool, and confirm a draft time by email before I put it in stone.
    I will wait until tonight before I set up the pool in the hopes we get an ESPN launch.

    Good time is the weeks and hopefully months ahead!

      • Skylardog

        And the trash is the reason I put things like that in. Confirmation of my view.

        You would be surprised by the fact I didn’t have a single bad view of anyone except for those using imposter accounts and our usual Oiler trolls.

    • Jobu

      Goalie points ruin playoff pools – lots of experience here. You’re picking teams not players at that point and picking a team to win is a lot easier than picking a player to get you points. The people who get 1 starting goalie in the finals typically wins the pool. This typically isn’t fair for anyone picking outside of the top 4.

      Plus, your gambling with squads like CGY and BOS as to who might start.

      Sorry Skylar… Jobu is out unless goalies are out.

      • Skylardog

        I get the theory and I am open to having the group decide

        Let me play devil’s advocate. If the first picks are much, stamp, point then hedman, then are not the first 4 teams have a clear advantage over the remaining 6. By adding goalies now 5 teams are on equal footing.
        Home late will figure out once home

  • Sven

    Looking at Derek Ryans numbers last year as a top 6 forward on Carolina you knew he was going to be good as his end of season all situation ranking had him ahead of Marleau, Nugent-Hopkins and Silfverberg and essentially equivalent to Lindholm

    but his all situation game score this season of 43.4 points has him just behind Getzlaf (43.8) and just ahead of Patrik Laine (42.7) while playing in the bottom six

    Man did Bill Peters know what he was doing when he brought him to Calgary-

  • Alberta Ice

    Hats off again to the Captain Gio! If any team member is more deserving of a playoff run, this is our man. So glad Peters is giving him another well deserved rest along with many others before the real battles come. This team is for real (and here’s hoping the Real Deal is for too). One more twilight zone BOA to go (where the only significant issue will be personal stat padding for some) and then time to get the real dance started. GFG. Go Flames Go. GGG. Go Gio Go.

    • oddclod

      He needs to do alot of squats. He’s not grounded in his skating. Most defenders have tree trunks for legs. He’s not strong on pucks as a result. Physically outmatched often. Relies on athleticism (which he has) over positioning which creates risk.

      Just needs time in the gym, the video room and in the AHL. After goal tending, developing a steady NHL defender takes time for the majority.

      We’re lucky to have the depth to give him all the time he needs.

      He’ll be fine. One more year away from leveling up IMO.