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Oh goodie, Jonas Hillar is back!

30 Nov

San Jose Sharks 5, Calgary Flames 2

Well that was bloody awful. Jonas Hiller gave up five goals on 29 shots in his first start since Oct. 28. That’s good for a .828 save percentage. Yes that’s even worse than he was before his injury, which was already horrendous to begin with.

The Flames as a team didn’t play too poorly. All four lines tried to contribute in the way they are supposed to and the defence didn’t play as bad as giving up 5 would have you believe. This one falls squarely on the shoulders of Jonas Hiller. Hiller and Ramo have been the polar opposite goaltenders of what they were last year. Although no one expected Calgary to be as good of a team as they were in the past season, we did (or at least I did) think the goaltending would be the consistent position this year. Boy was I ever wrong.

The two goals the Flames did score were with 10 minutes to go in the game, when San Jose was just riding out the remaining time. So the final score actually flatters the Flames. So very sad.

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Arizona Coyotes 2, Calgary Flames 1 (OT)

27 Nov

Short post, since the Flames play back-to-back.

Ferland played well, Hamilton was fine, Ramo was good. I thought Gio played his best game since the beginning of October.

Of note? Hiller is starting tomorrow. That’s it, that’s all.

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Jonio Ortio put on waivers, what does it mean?

26 Nov
Brad Treliving

Brad Treliving

The Flames have put 24-year-old third-stringer goaltender Joni Ortio on waivers. The three goalie “system” the Flames found themselves in has finally bitten them in the ass, and even a fortunate injury timing-wise to Hiller can’t save them now.

A few things may happen because of this:

  1. Because Calgary hasn’t played him, and the three games he did played in were bloody awful, he may clear waivers and go help out in the AHL. The Heat recently lost their starting goalie. This is the best case scenario.
  2. He’s a 24-year-old prospect with NHL experience. Twenty-nine other teams won’t let that go by without action. He is claimed by another team and we see him again in four years as a starter. Let’s call this the worst-case scenario. Although it’s also likely we’d never see him again.
  3. He clears waivers, is sent to the AHL and we never see him up in the bigs again. Another goalie prospect ruined. Let’s call this (unfortunately) the most likely scenario.

If I may go out on a bit of a rhetorical rant for a moment…

If we’re rebuilding, then why is Ramo here? Wait… why is Hiller here? Is it for their leadership? I doubt it.

Let’s stop fooling ourselves. Put in the rookie, trade your veterans in Wideman, Hudler, Russell, before they lose all value. Keep your leadership in Giordano, groom Monahan to be the next leader.

Come on Brad Treliving. It’s hockey, not rocket science.

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The Calgary Flames cannot win at the Honda Center

25 Nov

Anaheim Ducks 5, Calgary Flames 3

Dougie Hamilton aka The Pylon

Dougie Hamilton

Calgary didn’t come out flying in this game, but they did score two goals on four shots on horrible rebounds to chase Anaheim backup goalie Anton Khudobin just 10 minutes into the first period. Calgary’s two goal lead and the Ducks’ really poor play led this fan to believe that the 11-year, 20-game losing streak the Flames have in Anaheim was coming to an end.

Then Corey Perry scored 8 seconds into a powerplay. Then Dougie Hamilton stood still while Rickard Rakell just walked around him to tie the game. Calgary did regain the lead after a pretty pass by Sam Bennett, setting up Michael Frolik’s second of two goals. But that would be it.

By the end of the night, Karri Ramo had let in four goals on 31 shots and Ryan Getzlaf matched a franchise record with five assists. For whatever reason, the Calgary Flames just cannot play a third period this year.

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You got Johnny Hockey’d!

21 Nov

“Do these jerseys come in an extra-small?”

Calgary Flames 2, Chicago Blackhawks 1

Gaudreau scored in overtime (again) to give the Flames a 2-1 win against the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday. The Flames are 5-0 in overtime thanks to Gaudreau, he’s got two game-winners and has an NHL-leading four points in overtime.

The Flames actually played really well, and if it wasn’t for Scott Darling and his 35 saves, it would have been easier. Afterwards Duncan Keith said he “was the biggest reason why we got the one point, he played great and kept us in the game.”

Has Calgary started to get their mojo back?

No.

Has Calgary started to play a little better?

Why yes, they are slightly better. They have now won two in a row for the second time, three games in a row at home, and are 6-4 in their last 10. Largely in part to Ramo starting to play like an actual starting goalie. Another is the play of the third line of Stajan, Jones and Colbourne. Not only have they been shutting down some top lines, they’ve also started to contribute offensively.

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That’s a #100 puck in Davy Jones’ locker

18 Nov

Calgary Flames 3, New Jersey Devils 2

Davy Jones LockerDavid Jones scored his 100th career goal and added assist to lead the Flames past the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night. That’s not only thing he leads with the Flames, he also surprisingly enough leads them in goals this year with seven.

Calgary got out to a really strong start, scoring twice in the first period. The Devils pulled within one goal twice during the game, to make the score 2-1 and 3-2, which made for a really interesting final 5 minutes of the game.

I was really impressed by how the Flames came out in the third period. With New Jersey needing a goal to tie the game, Calgary didn’t allow a shot for the first six minutes of the period.

Karri Ramo was also solid, making 18 saves on 20 shots. But again, this game didn’t ever feel like it was out of hand for Calgary. It was how a home game should feel. Safe. And under control.

“To be competitive and work your way up the standings you have to win at home, first and foremost, and then you try to gain some points on the road,” Jones said. “This is such a great building with our crowd, we have to win here. That’s the bottom line.

Matt Stajan and TJ Brodie also scored for Calgary.

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Blackhawks beat the Flames in under 2 minutes

16 Nov

Chicago Blackhawks 4, Calgary Flames 1

Karri Ramo — in his eighth straight start — played really well stopping 37 of the 40 shots the Hawks had. There was just that one 2-minute stretch of the game where Chicago took over, and scored three times in 115 seconds. Ouch. It’s really tough to recover from that in the Madhouse.

David Jones scored (again) for Calgary, and the Flames end the road-trip 1-3. Jones’s 6th goal of the year is tops among the Flames skaters. The GaudreauMonahanHudler line was held off the scoresheet, save their combined -6 plus/minus.

Josh JoorisMason Raymond and Ladislav Smid were all healthy scratches.

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Flames win in OT, but are the playoffs already out of reach?

14 Nov

Calgary Flames 3, Washington Capitals 2 (OT)

Ramo started his seventh game in a row, this one in the second half of a back-to-back, while Joni Ortio sits on the bench. Karri Ramo was great thought, making 34 saves on 36 shots for a respectable 0.944 save percentage. I’ve really been focused on save percentage this year, so it’s good that Ramo is finally working his way out of the NHL basement. By the way, did you know that Reto Berra is currently tops in the league in that stat?

Back to the stats that matter. Sean Monahan had two goals, including the overtime winner, and Michael Frolik scored on a fantastic setup from Sam Bennett. Calgary has won four of its past six games and is 4-0 in overtime.

Can Calgary still make the playoffs?

With 44 games remaining, it may be crazy to talk of being out of the playoffs. After all, the Calgary Flames are only 5 points out.

However… 5 points out usually means you have to win 2 games for every point you need to make up, so 10 games. Also the magic number for the playoff cutoffs seems to be about 10 games over 500, so that’s 15 games the Flames need to win – if they go 500 the rest of the way.

So that’s a record of 30-14 (to simplify I’ve removed the loser-point scenario aka 500 hockey) for a winning percentage of .667 the rest of the way. Only 8 teams in the NHL have sustained such a high winning percentage so far this year.

It’s not likely Calgary can be a top 8 team for the remaining 44 games.

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Karri Ramo shows up, rest of team does not

13 Nov

Tampa Bay Lightening 3, Calgary Flames 1

Karri Ramo showed up on Thursday and played really well for 54 minutes. He made 26 saves (SV%: .897) for Calgary before — similar to the Colorado game — the Flames just ran out of gas with about 7 minutes to go. Sam Bennett scored Calgary’s only goal.

The game puts them at 5-11-1, so 6 games under 500. To make the playoffs we typically see teams at about 10 games over 500. Being the mathamagician that I am, that means that we’re going to have to win 16 more games that we lose over the remaining 65 games. That’s a lot to make up, and I’m fairly certain it’s not going to happen.

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Ramo returns to his old ways, the 20% report card

12 Nov

Florida Panthers 4, Calgary Flames 3

Karri Ramo of this season returned to throw down 27 saves on 31 shots, for a 0.871 save percentage. Maybe that doesn’t sound all too terrible, but then you should check out the goals he let in.

The Flames had a lot of good chances, especially in the third, but Luongo was simply the better goalie. Maybe that’s why it was more noticeable on how poorly Ramo was playing?

David Jones scored twice for Calgary (5-10-1), which saw its two-game winning streak end. Sean Monahan scored late in the second period to tie the game at 3-3, but that was as far as they got.

16 games is 20% of the season

Since no one seems to do the 20% of the season writeup, I’ll take that upon myself.

Calgary’s 5-10-1 record is good for seventh in the Pacific division. There are only seven teams in the Pacific division. That also puts them 14th in the Western conference. There are only 14 teams in the Western conference. They are 28th in the League ahead of only Columbus and Toronto. Wow, how bad is Toronto this year? Maybe the coach wasn’t the answer?

MVP of the Flames:

JOHNNY GAUDREAU (5th in the league in scoring)

LVP for the Flames:

KARRI RAMO (last in the league in wins)

Rookie of the 20% of the year:

SAM BENNETT (9 points in 15 games)

Most improved:

JOE COLBORNE (who has finally found his ColBorne Identity)

Pleasant surprise:

DEREK GRANT (came out of nowhere to be a serviceable fourth-liner)

Unpleasant surprise:

DOUGIE HAMILTON (the Flames’ highest-paid player is playing as the 5th defenceman right now)

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