54Bill Peters
Photo Credit: Sergei Belski/USA Today Sports

Quips and Quotes: Flames lose to Avalanche 5-1

The Calgary Flames lost to the Colorado Avalanche by a 5-1 score on Friday night in Game 5 of the Western Conference quarterfinal series. Here are selected reactions from players and coaches following the game.

(Another) game that got away from them

The Flames never led in this game. However, head coach Bill Peters liked their start but felt the game got away from them after awhile.

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I didn’t mind our start. I thought we were dangerous at times. I thought we had the penalty shot there early, and then it was 1-0. We had a breakaway, a good save, and then it comes down and they counter quickly. And I didn’t even realize it but I knew Hammer was getting some work in-between periods. Makar misses the net, hits Hammer in the chin basically and they score, banking it in off Smitty (who was outstanding tonight and in the series). I think it was just it got away from us, no different than Game 3. And then when it got away from us a little bit, the frustration grew.

Peters summed up the feeling on the team rather succinctly at the end of his press conference: “We wanted to be getting on a plane tomorrow, and we’re not.”

Johnny Hockey gets looks, zero points

The best Flames player in Game 5, aside from goaltender Mike Smith, was probably Johnny Gaudreau. The Flames sniper played 18:33, had four shots, two missed shots and a shot that was blocked. He had a lot of chances, but just couldn’t get one past Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer.

“It sucks. I thought I had him beat on the penalty shot,” said Gaudreau. “My stick hit his skate, was gonna slide it in there far side. My stick hit his skate and lost the puck. Next one, he made a nice blocker save. It sucks, but that’s the way it goes. He played well.”

(Gaudreau was credited with a missed shot on his breakaway, for what it’s worth.)

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Peters liked Gaudreau’s performance in Game 5.

“Halfway through the game he scored a goal, it gets disallowed, and then he has two breakaways,” said Peters. “One results in a penalty shot, which is the right call I would think. He tried. I’m telling you, he tried. He had more looks than he’s getting credit for in the series.”

The Avalanche stymie Calgary’s transition game

The Flames’ calling card throughout much of the regular season was their lightning-fast transition game. But the Avalanche were all over them at the defensive blueline, creating oodles of turnovers and scoring chances – and contributing to the Flames gradually getting worn out throughout the series from defending so much.

“Some of the strengths that we had during the regular season weren’t strengths in Round 1,” said Peters. “And I can’t explain it to you why some of those went away. It’ll be interesting as we reflect and look back and try to find some answers. Obviously we tried to change some things lineup-wise, tried to change some match-ups a little bit on the MacKinnon line and we didn’t have an answer.”

  • Speed Kills

    Sorry, but for as unbelievable as Mike Smith was in games #1, #2, #4 …. Tonight and to a lessor extent game #3 He really looked not so great, esp tonight… I wish they would have given Ritter the Third Period in a lost cause. Happy Retirement Smitty … Sorry the guys couldn’t put it together for you for one last long playoff run. Is what it Is…

    • Bob Hartley

      My point exactly. I was like wtf is this guy rambling on about. Didn’t even seem phased or maybe he hadn’t come to the realization that his season was over. What a Tabernacle. On a side note I just seen James Whitey Neal at the airport. I guess he’s not sticking around for locker clean out day. I suppose it might get a little awkward.

  • Franko J

    I think that BP can explain what happened in the series, however for self preservation he can’t say publicly in the media. Right now in BT’s office the conversation is much different.

  • Kent Nilsson

    Flames didn’t show up and neither did KevinR, we had to listen to our self proclaimed GM all year and now he goes the route of our team! Maybe you’re just bad luck!

  • Zorn

    Great season boys, very entertaining and the most fun I have had as a Flames fan since 2004. I even had the flags on my car before the playoffs started in anticipation of a great run to the “Holy Grail”. Guess I need to upgrade to `Leafs` flags!
    I do have to say though that I am hugely disappointed in the non performance of “Skirts” Monahan, a total no show who provided zero support for his buddy Johnny Hockey, and the rest of the team. I would be packaging him and some other unnamed ladies to Ottawa for Brady.

    A note to Brad Treliving: If you can`t at least get into the AHL playoffs then where the hell is this supposed depth that you so freely brag about?

    • BlueMoonNigel

      The young depth is all in Cal. Andersson, Kylington, Hanifin and Valimaki are all 22 or younger. Name me another NHL club that has so many high-end talent on the blueline playing regular minutes? In the case of Andersson, he was playing first pairing minutes for a lot of the stretch. Mangipane is a perennial 20+ goal scorer who will never again ride the buses in the AHL. Dube with a year of pro under his belt will be tough to keep in the A again next season. A couple of the Heat rookies, if they continue their progression next season , will be hammering on the NHL door by training camp 2020. Thy cupboard runneth over.

      • Justthateasy

        I don’t think that Hanafin is high-end Talent. We need at least one guy on this defense that can crush you along the boards, that has a mean streak and will make you pay. A guy Robyn Regehr.

        • Speed Kills

          This 100% Vali can step up and take Hanifin’s place with out blinking…
          My Dream trade as of right now ~> Hanifin, Monahan, Stone, Gillies to Philly for ~> Couturier, Gudas + 2nd.

    • Justthateasy

      I noticed Monahan. It was when Johnny was getting pummeled in a scrum behind the net and Monahan kept his stick in one hand and he was lamely pulling on the Avalanche player with the other hand. Thanks for sticking up for Johnny.

  • deantheraven

    Quote: “This team will different key personnel next season.” (me)
    Not to say I told you so, but this team lacked the grit, the fortitude that is required in the Second Season when the going gets tough and the refs put their whistles away.

    • Porcupine at a balloon party

      They were missing something. Not sure it was grit. More so seemed to be their legs. Caught flat footed the whole series. And instead of playing their possession game, they were going out of the way to land hits… Which normally I’m all for… But it’s like they changed their entire game that made them successful (fast, transition, strong/aggressive forecheck, best defence is a good offense mentality) to this defensive shell, and more interested in hitting than getting the puck…. Which again, normally I’m all for playing the body, but if you abandon what got you there, I can’t see you having success. Coaches didn’t seem to be willing or able to adjust to Colorado’s counters.

      • Albertabeef

        Yep they got all worried about hitting and being physical that they forgot to play hockey. It happens every time they try to play that way. Not happy with our coach right now.

    • Albertabeef

      Mony’s stats suggest otherwise, I think Johnny tried to do too much by himself. Mony’s on ice stats are one of the best of all forwards on the team. He is second in “on ice goals for”(5) and has the 9th highest “on ice goals against”(2) among our forwards. Only the Ryan express had less goals against than Mony. It’s a team game, one guy can NOT do it alone.

  • Chucky

    I know that a good coach does not blame individual players but hope that Peters does not mean the comments about Smith. The acrobatic saves are great to watch but the dreadful rebound control, late passes to covered skaters and intercepted passes are a large part of the reason for the loss of possession that necessitated the saves.

    • Hockey4life

      Stop with the Smith hate already. I get that he didn’t have a favourable season, we all witnessed that. But he had an incredible playoffs and gave the boys a chance to win every night. There were a lot of players who didn’t show up to play but he wasn’t one of them. Credit where it’s due.

  • Getpucksdeep

    Dube, Czarnik, Mangiapane, Ryan all “good” forwards however when you ad Gaudreau in thats 5 small forwards in a group where Hathaway and Bennett are the only guys we can expect to play a heavy game when needed. Gaudreau is an exception so having 4-5 small guys isn’t working for us. Keep 2 of the 4 say Ryan and Mangiapane or Dube and use the other two for trade bait. On the Blueline Raz and Valimaki are both well over 210 and can skate well for big guys. We need a couple more Hathawy/Bennetts to fill out the forward group. Some size with speed for the bottom 6 and start next year with Bennett on the top line to give it some physicality.

  • Luter 1

    Well disappointed but not surprised. Players had 82 games (plus past seasons) to prove what they were made of. Brodie, Frolik and Neal proved they would not be effective in playoff type intensity. Unfortunately Monahan, Jankowski and Hanifin have also shown a disappointing softness and lack of intensity that will not win in the playoffs. You now add softy Backlund, small Johnny and Ryan and what do you have left?
    Lindholm who played hard but had gone stone cold, Benny who is always a warrior in tough games, Byng who was surprisingly ineffective and looked slow compared to the Avis. Mangiapane very feisty but undersized, Gio all heart but far from a Norris type D man in the playoffs and Hamonic who was a complete giveaway machine this series.
    We’re definitely set with our young D looking good. Clean house on the soft players, protect Johnny and come back next year with some grit.

    And what is Peters mumbling about, he doesn’t even have the timelines right on Johnny’s chances. He did absolutely nothing to change this series around and he needs to take a big part of the blame. Tre too because he built this team of small, non-contact players when I think a lot of people and fans thought this team needed to be bigger and tougher. Him and Peters bring in bruisers Ryan, Hanifin and Neal, wow.

    • Albertabeef

      Just for the record Brodie was our #1 bestest defenseman in the playoffs. His “on-ice” stats suggest he was the top producer and top defender of the top 4 D. I know you all hate him but it is true, numbers don’t lie.

  • shaner

    You guys should be proud how the flames played this year. I get the exit sucked but good, well built team with lots of youth being injected. As a non flame fan. I think there is a lot of good happening. But wow is Cassie and Khrudey ever brutal to listen to. I know Kelley kept checking the weather update when the flames started losing just hoping for rain so no one could see him crying…….You guys will be back.

    • Luter 1

      Cassie’s voice is like a drone hovering above your summer picnic, very annoying and half of what she says is BS. Come on get someone on there worth listening to.

      • Justthateasy

        I like Cassie because she has in-depth knowledge and she gives a different perspective. She did say one eyeball thing and it had something to do with ‘The Flames have learned a lot of lessons’ hahaha

  • checkmeup

    After all the goals Johnny set you up for ,which has made your career. You do not have the balls to stand up for him well he is being man handled behind the net. Lady bing,give me a break. Try baby bing

    • Justthateasy

      Yep it was clear that he was not really jumping in to help Johnny one iota.
      I’m afraid Mony will never change because that’s the way he is.
      Trade him. For a bag of pucks if that’s all you can get.

      • Buttonpusher

        It’s because nobody likes the little whiner. “Johnny hockey” is kind of a perfect nickname for him (even though he picked it himself, what a loser!) because he’s very much like his hero “Johnny Football”…VERY overrated, cocky, arrogant, and even his own teammates don’t really like him!

      • fretsey

        Monny may not be a natural checker or a mean pr!ck but he plays through alot of pain for this team. I bet he has reinjured or broken his wrist again-hard to manhandle someone with busted mitts. And where were the other Flames? I didn’t see anyone else bee-lining to help JG. All this Monny hate is pathetic

    • Albertabeef

      @checkmeup, you are funny. Mony doesn’t care who sets him up, he will score all the same, 48 assists might suggest he can set people up too. I do recall a game with 5 assists he had. Generally you do put your best shooter with your best set-up man. The guys lost because the tried to play a physical, when they should have been playing hockey. When the Flames played goon against the Oil they were down 4-0, then they started to play hockey and won 6-4. Flames need to stick to hockey not goon.

  • snotss

    and yet another playoff choke job…the lames are very good at crapping the bed when it comes to playoff success…pissed off lames fan …..its like a curse has been cast over this teams playoff record…ugh!!

    • Beer League Coach

      Coiler fans never have to complain about a choke job by their team in the playoffs. I hear they are setting their sights high for next season. They hope to still be in the race for a playoff spot by Thanksgiving Day. Canadian Thanksgiving, that is.

  • What the hell was that?

    Four coaches are living that have coached flames to the second round Al MacNeil, Terry Crisp, Darryl Sutter and Bob Hartley the only other coach to do it is Bob Johnson who died in 91

  • What the hell was that?

    Numbers might look good on paper but just because ALL of Brody’s giveaways didn’t end up in the back of the net doesn’t mean he played good …those giveaways steal momentum, put the team on its heels and cast a cloud of doubt over the whole team….I especially liked how he stepped out of Neito’s way to allow him to walk in all alone instead of putting a shoulder on him in game two….and someone posted Monahan’s numbers but how many minutes did he log against McKinnon? And what would his numbers have looked like if he had any significant time against him? Maybe he’s hurt but then he always has some mystery injury when it counts the most that allows him to take up the number one centre spot and accomplish nothing but being on the ice when his line mates score