Flames general manager Brad Treliving: ‘I don’t think we put our game on the ice.’
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike6 months ago
On Thursday night, the Calgary Flames were eliminated from the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs via a Game 5 overtime loss to the Edmonton Oilers. On Saturday afternoon, the day that Game 6 was scheduled for, Calgary Flames general manager Brad Treliving held court with the local media for the final time this season.
It was, to say the least, a melancholy affair.
“There’s an empty feeling today because I think there was more there,” said Treliving. “I look at that series, and the team that played the best won the series. I think you have to acknowledge that. What’s empty for me is I don’t think we put our game on the ice.”
Asked about what went wrong against Edmonton, Treliving said that he felt the team didn’t get to their identity in the second round.
“There’s times you play and, you know what, we weren’t good enough,” said Treliving. “We just weren’t good enough. I don’t feel like that with our group. We didn’t play well enough, I think our team was good enough. But we didn’t get to our game that had made us successful all year.”
He went into a bit more detail in a subsequent answer.
“It became really an open game,” reflected Treliving. “You guys were all watching the Dallas series, it was like ground warfare. It was hard to get to the net. There was no space, no room. And then that first game, it just looked like it was a different game. There was a lot of space. There was a lot of room… And we didn’t choose to do it, but we got into a rush game and a trade chances game. And I think in a lot of ways Game 1 almost set the table for the series. It was unique, but that’s not how we’re built and that’s not how we’re going to be successful.”
One thing that Treliving seemed keen on doing when chatting with the media was setting clear goal posts and dispelling narratives. He kept emphasizing that the team made progress, but also made it clear that this team is only responsible for what this current player group can do. He said he considers 2018-19 the first year of the current player group and that he feels this team is knocking on the door of contention now.
Treliving, when asked about the performance of goaltender Jacob Markstrom, defended his goalie (saying he’d go to war with him) but pointed out that Markstrom’s poor performance against Edmonton was part of many things that went wrong.
“He’d be the first one to tell you he didn’t get to his game either,” said Treliving. “But let’s go back. There’s a lot of things that happened before the puck went in the net, before it got to Jacob, that didn’t go right. as I said, in that series we didn’t look like ourselves: the chances that we were giving up didn’t look like ourselves. Yeah, you need good goaltending, you just do. But there were a lot of things that went wrong. The final act is the play at the net. But back up the tape 40 seconds. There’s some things that happened before it got to the net… To me there’s a lot of stuff we could’ve been done differently and better before it got to Jacob.”
Treliving praised head coach Darryl Sutter for his season, particularly his ability to push people and maximize individuals. He thinks it would be a shame if Sutter wasn’t named the coach of the year.
“To be really good is hard,” said Treliving. “And he pushes people to be really, really good. So he’s brought structure, he’s brought accountability to this group, and the group’s embraced it.”
Treliving praised his group and noted that the growth in the team this season was from internal growth. He also emphasized the importance of getting the contractual work done and continuing to make the team better.
“Nobody feels worse than the 23 guys in that room, I can guarantee you, nobody feels worse when they lose than they do,” said Treliving. “And nobody wants to have more success than they do. They’re good men, and they’re competitive, and they want to be successful. Now we’ve got to get a couple of them signed, and we’ve gotta continue to tweak the group and make it better.”
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