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Calgary Flames win at home… again

09 Dec

Calgary Flames 4, San Jose Sharks 2

Calgary looked really good against an excellent road team at the Saddledome on Tuesday night. Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, and Karri Ramo made 31 saves to help the Flames to a 4-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks. This was the first time this season that Calgary has won three games in a row.

Markus Granlund, Sean Monahan and Michael Frolik scored for the Flames, who have won seven in a row at home. It’s Calgary’s longest home winning streak since winning eight straight in 2013.

Also of note was that the Flames finally scored a powerplay goal. It must be said though, that Calgary had 8 powerplays on the night. Even thought the last two were meaningless, scoring once in eight chances is still a very cruddy powerplay.

Martin Jones, who allowed three goals on 11 shots, was replaced by Alex Stalock after San Jose coach Peter DeBoer successfully challenged what would have been Monahan’s second of the night.

Wait a second, are we really in last place?

Yup, if you were watching the game last night you heard Rick and Kelly mention that at game time, Calgary was in 30th place in the NHL. Behind Edmonton, behind Toronto, behind Columbus, behind Buffalo. So even though they’ve been playing better of late, they are still in last. Ouch.

With the win, Calgary is still in last, but tied with three other teams with 24 points. And because the Pacific division is so bad this year (except for L.A.) the Flames are really only 4 points out of a playoff spot. I know it’s too early to talk that way, but if you can beat San Jose, Vancouver, Arizona, Anaheim and Edmonton – you’re in the playoffs. No matter how good the rest of the league is.

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Gaudreau with the hat trick in OT

05 Dec

Calgary Flames 5, Boston Bruins 4 (OT)

What a fun game that was to watch. Even if the Flames wouldn’t have come out on top, the game overall was one of those entertaining matches that keeps you watching.

Calgary went up quickly 2-0, with a start that got the building really into the game. However the Bruins were able to finish the first period with a goal and come out strong in the second period to tie the game 2-2. Then Boston scored, then Calgary scored, then Boston again – three goals in 46 seconds – and the game was tied 3-3.

There wasn’t any scoring in the final period, until Dougie Hamilton made a horrible error on the powerplay. Marchand was able to get by him and go in on a breakaway shorthanded. Hamilton took the penalty, which lead to a penalty shot, which lead to Marchand scoring to put Boston up 4-3 late in the third period. The Flames would not be denied however, when Jiri Hudler scored with just 1.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Overtime is Johnny Hockey time

Gaudreau already had two goals on the night going into overtime. Calgary in overtime was 5-1, with Johnny either scoring or setting up 4 of those 5 game winners. Then with just under 2 minutes left in extra time, Gaudreau scored his hat trick goal, at home, in overtime. How cool was that?

You don’t get to see games that exciting too often, I hope you all had a chance to watch it. But if not, here’s a recap.

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Flames finally recall a third-period rally

02 Dec

Calgary Flames 4, Dallas Stars 3 (SO)

It didn’t start pretty, but it did end that way. It began in a similar fashion when Karri Ramo let in a real soft goal just two minutes into the game. Then Dougie Hamilton scored 10 minutes later (for Dallas mind you) to put the Stars up 2-0 after one period.

The Calgary Flames came out strong in the second period, but it was once again Ramo letting the team down by letting in a wraparound (really, who scores on a 1/1 wraparound?). The score was now 3-0 after twenty minutes on goals by Jason Spezza, Cody Eakin and Mattias Janmark. Dallas was 10-0-0 when leading after two periods and had won six consecutive road games. Things didn’t look promising.

Call in the comeback kids

To their credit, the Flames came off a strong second period with a dominating third period. Calgary was out-shooting Dallas 13-1 just five minutes into the final frame. Mikael Backlund scored first on his fourth rebound, then Johnny Gaudreau scored just a minute and a half later on the third rebound of the series. I’m not sure what Dallas’ defence was doing, but you just can’t let that many rebounds happen in front of your net. It wasn’t on Antti Niemi either, I thought he was solid.

Dougie Hamilton made up for his earlier gaff by scoring the tying goal to send the game to overtime. Ramo showed up for overtime, and he can be credited with getting that extra point. Especially in the final minute when Dallas had a 4-on-3 powerplay in extra time. All three shooters scored for Calgary in the shootout, and that’s all she wrote.

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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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