Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Quips and Quotes: Flames lose to Avalanche 6-2 in Game 3

The Calgary Flames lost to the Colorado Avalanche by a 6-2 score on Monday night in Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

The Nathan MacKinnon show

For the first two games of this series, the Avalanche went as Nathan MacKinnon went. He was pretty good in Game 1 but lacked execution. He was really good in Game 2, particularly late in the game, and scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

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Well, he was superb for the first period of Game 3. He had two goals, a primary assist and four shots in 6:47. At that point, Colorado really didn’t need to use much line-matching and MacKinnon basically played a little bit against everybody. He didn’t do a ton in the last 40 minutes because he didn’t have to; he just had to not be terrible, which was something every Avalanche skater was fully capable of doing.

The Flames needed to wear MacKinnon down to make life easier on themselves for the latter part of the series. That didn’t happen in Game 3, and it seems pretty evident that he has a lot left in the tank.

The Cale Makar show

Calgary product (and newly-minted Hobey Baker Award winner) Cale Makar debuted in Game 3. He was pretty good, with his debut capping off with a pretty decent goal at the end of the first period (eventually serving as the game-winner) that took advantage of several Flames players standing around in their own end.

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Makar played 14:19 overall with two shots on goal.

Situational stats

At even strength, the Flames were out-shot 37-23. Their special teams units were out-shot by a combined 19-6 margin.

If you want to break it down by any metric, they really weren’t particularly good in any situation. They were out-chanced at even strength and out-chanced at special teams, and Colorado seemed perfectly content to run out the clock for the final 40 minutes.

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  • Theo 2.0

    James Neal takes the “its all about me approach”. Calls out his coach in practice lol haven’t done a thing all year but you think you deserve more icetime. The guy makes Lucic look fast. 58 shots against. Avs dominating. Red mile is quiet again. Wtf. Great effort again by 23.

  • Honkydonk

    The things we said were problems have turned out to be a problem. Monahan as a first line centre is too slow, not physical enough, not good in his own zone and terrible offensively. Frankly he isn’t a centre he is a one shot wonder sniper.

    Johnny hockey gets shut down physically and can’t find a way to be a game breaker he supposedly is.

    Brodie is useless as a two way defender and average at defending.

    Neal is about ten seconds behind every play it’s like he is sleep walking.

    What on earth has happened to our R.W. on the first line? Where the hell is this guy all of a sudden?

    Frolik is skating all over the place without the puck. We can’t seem to make one clean play. I mean it’s so bad where do you even start.

    • Albertabeef

      I can’t disagree with you much, except Brodie. Stats would suggest he hasn’t been any worse than anyone else on the team. Brodie has only been on the ice for 2 goals against out of the 9 goals the Avs have scored. Hanafin and Andersson have the same amout but Gio has 6 while Hamonic has 4. Fantenberg is the only D not on ice for a goal against yet(along with DAG line).
      Jankowski is the only Flames player to not yet be on the ice for a a single goal for yet in these playoffs. Brodie and Bennett have been on ice for Flames “goals for” the most at 5 each. Andersson has been on ice for 4 flames goals while Gio and Hanafin were on ice for 2 each, Ham and Fant sit at 1 each.
      Getting tired of “blame Brodie”.

    • Porcupine at a balloon party

      We have our problems, no doubt. But I have to disagree on a few points here; Not that your points are wrong, just see it much differently. Monahan isn’t ELITE/Superstar, but he is a legit first line centre on many teams. Would we be better off with Mackinnon as our first line centre? Ya for sure, but he’s still better than most teams first line centres. But he has been struggling, I won’t argue there.

      Johnny has been shut down, but not due to physicality. In fact, I hardly see the Avs really pestering him physically any more than we’ve seen in an average regular season game. Seen him take a lot more abuse in many regular season games for that matter. His ice time is way down due to matching 3M with Avs 1st line, and then when they are on the ice, they just making really bad plays. I don’t know what that’s all about, but it seems far more mental than anything the Avs are doing to him. The team as a whole is flat footed, not skating, and waiting for the play to come to them instead of forcing the play. I do think we could stand to shake up the lines though, let the guys play by instinct instead of overthinking things.

      Brodie makes mistakes. And I’m sure he made a couple tonight, but he was one of the better defenders on the night (admittedly that doesn’t set the bar very high). Even disregarding his goal, he broke up plays and was one of the few defenceman that could clear the zone without icing it. There is a Jekyl and Hyde component to his game, no question, but he is still one of the top 5 D on our team right now. I would argue top 2 at this moment, but Phat Ras is knocking on the door.

      Neal… Ya, no arguments there.

      1RW … I think the lines need a shakeup. Lindholm hasn’t looked first line material in about a month. But to be honest, most of them seem to be fighting it. Perhaps something like Ryan and Bennett with JG and then put the breadman with Mono and Lindholm?? Would at least please the crowd asking for Mono to be demoted… not sure Ryan is a better 1c, but he’s fast and cerebral and can play with Johnny.

      It’s not just Frolik. Either guys are skating with heads cut off, or stopped dead in their tracks and then when puck actually does come to them, they have no idea what to do with it, and no one is moving to support them so they either ice it or turn it over….

      • FlamesFanOtherCity

        Mostly agree with what you said. 3M is not doing us any favors right now. On for 3 in the last game. On for too many in this one, though JH’s line got owned as well and Gio was on for 4 of 6 goals.

        I think that your line suggestions may be the only thing other than hypnosis to get the team going. Mangiapane is one of the few to play every shift like it means something. Bennett is playoff hockey but he needs to use his stick to score a few more.

    • Speed Kills

      LOL … Please more perimeter muffins on net with no traffic and Keep backing our D in like a cheap folding tent, Forget about the neutral zone turn overs that gave you success all year… Just be afraid, turn the puck over as much as possible and don’t engage in hard fought playoff style hockey. The Aves Thank you very much. Meh, Still time to pull out a Miracle somehow.

  • FlushedOut

    Amazed by what is happening. Besides Mike Smith and Sam Bennet no one else seems to have showed up at all so far. I think Johnny is trying but he has no one open to pass to. We are not a slow team but the Avalanche make us look like we are skating in cement. If guys don’t show up and start helping the goalie in game 4 we are sadly done. You can start throwing all the crazy line changeups you want on here but when almost every guy on the team keeps skating in quicksand it won’t matter

    • Franko J

      Yes at this point as cliche as it sounds, Colorado’s best players have to come to play in this series and Calgary’s well they appear to be booking tee times and off season vacation schedules. Simply put in game 2 the Av’s Laid down the gauntlet and the Flames as a whole have tripped and fell over it. Time for talking is over and it is up to this team come game 4 show how serious they are willing to sacrifice and fight for every inch of ice. Game 4 is pivotal for #23, #28, #7, #77, #65, and maybe even #5 future going forward in flaming “C” jersey. There other players as well who come Wednesday better show up as well. If this team ever wanted to demonstrate to their fan base that they give a darn and are proud to wear the Flaming “C” jersey Wednesday night will be the true test.

    • flames2015

      I agree @Flushed. Johnny has no puck support, other guys are too far away or there are no attempts to move around and get open. There is only so much he can do before two guys get on him. Our powerplay is predictable, there is zero movement. Rim it around the board a bunch of times, pass to Gio, back to Gaudreau etc. Monahan is completely idle in the center and useless.

  • Porcupine at a balloon party

    I do want to say, but at risk of sounding naive and full of sunshine and rainbows, but the sky is not completely falling. We are down 2-1. That’s hardly a difficult hole to crawl out of. If we keep playing like we did in games 2 and 3, it’s likely this series is over in game 5. But I can’t remember us playing this bad for 2 games straight all season. The 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh was a real turning point for the team and forced them to wake up. This is not the fragile team of seasons past, I expect a strong turnaround for game 4. As an added bonus, we can probably expect Rittich back in net for game 4, who despite Smith’s strong play of late, is just a better goalie at this stage of career and I think gives the team more confidence playing in front of.

    We certainly have our problems right now, but that’s just it, they are OUR problems. Colorado isn’t beating us, we are beating ourselves by not skating, getting caught flat footed, overthinking our passes, and not playing with same intensity as our opponent. The good news though?? That’s relatively easy for us to correct. We don’t have to rely on AVS to play a bad game, we just have to play a good game on our own and it won’t matter what they do.

    We still got this. GO Flames GO!!

  • Raffydog

    Not sure how anybody can be surprised by the outcome. This is classic Flames, finish first in the conference then choke in the playoffs. Other than a couple blips on the radar that’s pretty much their legacy. I feel bad for the league that a better team that plays with heart missed out on the playoffs while the world has to watch the Flames play whatever that sad excuse for hockey is. Pretty hard to deny the league wide belief that the big C on the front of their jerseys stands for Choke.

  • Fat Tony

    This feels like the tampa series where a team can have a great regular season but just isn’t ready for the playoffs. Finishing first is almost a curse. The team coming in as the 8th seed either shouldn’t be there and are playing with nothing to lose or have got hot at the right time just to get in and are playing out of their minds. This could be over quickly.

  • Karma

    The only way Gio can handle MacKinnon will be to cut his legs out from under him and hope he hurts his knee. It’s sad to say, but it’s the only club Gio has in his hockey bag.

  • Flaming Duck

    Wow! WTF was that. In a sad attempt to find a positive out of this; their jersies looked great, the white really popped, the equipment manager had a great game; too bad the guys weating them disgraced the emblem on the front the way they did.

    • Karma

      They lack the speed and heart necessary to compete with the Avs. You would think such a humiliating defeat would spur them on, but I’m guessing they come out flat and submit like an elderly buffalo being taken down by a lion.

          • SgtRoadBlock

            A roster where no one making more then $6,750,000 and a 37 year old UFA goaltender and they still win the West not bad for a new Coach/ Roster … not like that other team that will not been name..

          • Karma

            Yes they came into the season like a lion and went out like a lamb. It’s too bad. I thought this was the year they put it all together, but they’re just coming up flat in the playoffs again.

  • Ben.

    the danger of a dominating defeat like that is it instills huge confidence in the Avs and they know that if they play hard and fast as a team they can defeat the Flames. And the Flames now know it too.

  • Honkydonk

    You cannot win if your first line is absolutely brutal or missing period.

    Mommy Mony has been absolutely terrible. We can’t rely on him to play again MacKinnon. That tells you the problem right there. Your first line centre should be able to compete with the opponents.