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THE PLAYOFFS 2018-19: CALGARY FLAMES EDITION

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Just now, rickross said:

It’s really a shame. This season we had so many things fall into place. We had the offense and depth, we had 2 good goalies, we were healthy pretty much all year! Even our conference was having a down year which allowed us to seize the division, conference and earn home ice “advantage”. I’m not sure we could have had more help or a better path to the Cup than we had this year. 

It happens just look at TB, how do you think they feel ? Teams like STL and COL got better while we did not. I said earlier if BP didn't fix our 2nd and 3rd lines we were in trouble come playoff time. There was ways to many mistakes made to overcome and when you don't hit to slow down speed it kills you.

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At the beginning of the season I think we all would have thought just making the playoffs would have been a success this year. Half way through the year the measuring stick changed. At the end of the day we have to take this as a learning and development year.

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Being at the game last night was hard.  But what was more embarrassing than watching the team play, was two idiots throwing jerseys on the ice.  If you get so upset that you will throw a $200 sweater away, then professional sports aren't for you just stick to watching action movies where the good guys always win.  Those idiots took away most of my angst until I got on the boards and read all this crap.  I'm not thinking no changes are needed, because some are, but lets have a little faith.  The core of the Red Wings were knocked out first round several times as a number 1 or 2 seed, the core of the Capitals never made it to the third round until last year, the Penguins were pretty dismal in the playoffs between their '09 and '16 wins, the Bruins blew a 3-0 series lead and 3-0 game 7 lead the year before they won.  

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1 hour ago, JTech780 said:

At the beginning of the season I think we all would have thought just making the playoffs would have been a success this year. Half way through the year the measuring stick changed. At the end of the day we have to take this as a learning and development year.

Exactly .. we need to learn from this , add to what went right , but adjusting to what went wrong 

BT could have loaded up on this year , by killing future years .. but he was right not to do that .. I'm happy we still have Valimaki and Anderesson.. I still would not make that trade. I'd love to have Stone , and hey he may have made a difference .  but his contract will be an albatross long before Valimaki and Andersson decline  

Playoff performers, typically started off as Playoff Failures 

We learned how to win .. how to play consistent .. forged an identity.... next step, learn to handle adversity and find the next gear when needed 

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26 minutes ago, phoenix66 said:

Exactly .. we need to learn from this , add to what went right , but adjusting to what went wrong 

BT could have loaded up on this year , by killing future years .. but he was right not to do that .. I'm happy we still have Valimaki and Anderesson.. I still would not make that trade. I'd love to have Stone , and hey he may have made a difference .  but his contract will be an albatross long before Valimaki and Andersson decline  

Playoff performers, typically started off as Playoff Failures 

We learned how to win .. how to play consistent .. forged an identity.... next step, learn to handle adversity and find the next gear when needed 

I also agree, people that believe this team was going to the SC were way ahead of themselves. Live and Learn was the motto for this year.

I think from BT on down learned something about this team and its needs for the coming season. Peters as a 1st season coach with the Flames did well but spent a lot of time getting to know his team. He should have a better handle on current players to have an intelligent conversation with BT. I believe the keepers have clearly identified themselves and the rest will be moving on. Our young players, Tkachuk, Mangiapane, Andersson, Valimaki, Hanifin and Kylington all received some valuable NHL experience this season.

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At the end of the day the team needs to take an honest look at why they went out in the 1st round and what went wrong.

 

If I am being completely honest, I think this team over achieved during the regular season by a fair margin. That in turn set the expectations quite high for the playoffs, higher than they should have been.

 

We took advantage of a weaker than normal Pacific Division and got the 1st seed in the West. Colorado on the other under achieved all year and we're also stuck in a very strong Central Division.

 

You have to hope that everyone from Treliving down to Peters to Andrew Mangiapane learned a lot from this and can take their respective games to the next level next year. I think you will improvement next year for a lot of people, (Peters, Andersson, Valimaki, Mangiapane, Neal), and I think you will see a regression from some players as well (Giordano, Lindholm). 

 

It was a great year with a disappointing ending, but there was way too much good to not have hope for next year.

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2 hours ago, JTech780 said:

At the end of the day the team needs to take an honest look at why they went out in the 1st round and what went wrong.

 

If I am being completely honest, I think this team over achieved during the regular season by a fair margin. That in turn set the expectations quite high for the playoffs, higher than they should have been.

 

We took advantage of a weaker than normal Pacific Division and got the 1st seed in the West. Colorado on the other under achieved all year and we're also stuck in a very strong Central Division.

 

You have to hope that everyone from Treliving down to Peters to Andrew Mangiapane learned a lot from this and can take their respective games to the next level next year. I think you will improvement next year for a lot of people, (Peters, Andersson, Valimaki, Mangiapane, Neal), and I think you will see a regression from some players as well (Giordano, Lindholm). 

 

It was a great year with a disappointing ending, but there was way too much good to not have hope for next year.

 

Even if there’s some slight regression from Gaudreau it’s not going to hurt as much as we’d think; as long as there are steps taken by the rest of the roster. I’d like to see the first line try a few new looks entering the zone and getting open for plays. 

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Sometimes I wonder if we could've used Mark Stone's 6-goals and 10-points in these playoffs.  And signed him $10.5x8years.  Would we be advancing to the second round?

 

Or would he not have made a difference at all?

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19 hours ago, MAC331 said:

It happens just look at TB, how do you think they feel ? Teams like STL and COL got better while we did not. I said earlier if BP didn't fix our 2nd and 3rd lines we were in trouble come playoff time. There was ways to many mistakes made to overcome and when you don't hit to slow down speed it kills you.

 I hope tampa bay feels like they had a Stanley Cup stolen from them by the referees. 

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You Know People i think what Pissed me off to No end was the consistency of the Reffing all Playoffs on the flames like you look at that one Penalty Against Micheal Backlund that forced the game to overtime that Penalty was not called all night yet all the sudden when when backlund did it ohhh it is all of the sudden a penalty

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10 hours ago, The_People1 said:

Sometimes I wonder if we could've used Mark Stone's 6-goals and 10-points in these playoffs.  And signed him $10.5x8years.  Would we be advancing to the second round?

 

Or would he not have made a difference at all?

Sadly I don’t think Stone would have helped. This was a collective choke. The entire team was ill prepared for these playoffs. The coaches and players both failed each other. Stone would have just been an expensive 1st rd exit addition to the team. 

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10 hours ago, The_People1 said:

Sometimes I wonder if we could've used Mark Stone's 6-goals and 10-points in these playoffs.  And signed him $10.5x8years.  Would we be advancing to the second round?

 

Or would he not have made a difference at all?

 

No question they could have used him (who couldn't) and while I think he would have made a difference to the journey I'm not sure the end result changes. I don't think 1 player could have made up the gap in the series. 

 

And for me watching valamaki in the last 2 games does not make me feel bad about not having Stone. 

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5 hours ago, cross16 said:

 

No question they could have used him (who couldn't) and while I think he would have made a difference to the journey I'm not sure the end result changes. I don't think 1 player could have made up the gap in the series. 

 

And for me watching valamaki in the last 2 games does not make me feel bad about not having Stone. 

 

IF we were able to sign Stone, I would have been okay with Valimaki.

It never seemed to be an option, so I guess it down't matter.

 

Like you, I was super impressed with Valimaki.

I'm not sure why Fanta got the start, but that pairing didn;t really matter.

It was Gio-Brodie and Gio-Ras that let us down the most.

Asking Ras to make up for a less than good Gio was asking too much.

 

Good times ahead.

At least on D.

Room to move out at least one D-man.

Could use some top 6 help.

Anything that helps scoring for anyone other than the top 4 at 5v5.

 

I know this sounds funny, considering we were 2nd n NHL scoring, but the playoffs showed you can;t shut down and score at the same time.

Backlund at 5v5 provided little offense.

Yes, the top line was shut down too, but you should have had one line able to score out of the two.

As it stands, the PP, the 4th line and the odd goal was all we could manage. 

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35 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

Does anyone feel we could've beat Dallas or Arizona?  Was Colorado the worst match up for us?

 

I don’t think we could beat any of the playoff teams. Since the all star break the first line wasn’t able to make room for themselves, against almost everyone. Without the first line there was no beating anyone. 

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43 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

Does anyone feel we could've beat Dallas or Arizona?  Was Colorado the worst match up for us?

 

Dallas is one of the best defensive teams in the league so we would have had a harder time scoring against them, and Benn, Seguin and Radulov are starting to score. So I think it would have been even worse against Dallas. 

 

Arizona, maybe because they don't have a MacKinnon to take over a series. Arizona did have more wins than Colorado and should have been in the playoffs over Colorado. Going in I thought Arizona would have been tougher to beat just because they are probably the hardest working team in the league, and I was worried they would have out worked us, and they would have because Calgary didn't work nearly hard enough.

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3 hours ago, JTech780 said:

 

Dallas is one of the best defensive teams in the league so we would have had a harder time scoring against them, and Benn, Seguin and Radulov are starting to score. So I think it would have been even worse against Dallas. 

 

Arizona, maybe because they don't have a MacKinnon to take over a series. Arizona did have more wins than Colorado and should have been in the playoffs over Colorado. Going in I thought Arizona would have been tougher to beat just because they are probably the hardest working team in the league, and I was worried they would have out worked us, and they would have because Calgary didn't work nearly hard enough.

 

And here I thought we had a hard time scorng against Gru.....

 

The end of the season was a curse for us.

Smith seemed to take over the net after beating a lot of weaker teams and winning against SJS, even though Jones/Dell were not great.

The top line was shut down for an entire month.

Gio needed a break, but perhaps that's what ruined him rhythm.

The coach opted to go with some vets even though we were struggling.

Fantenberg wasn;t a bad choice, but I though he had a meh playoffs.

Frolik couldn;t help Backlund and Tkachuk.

Neal's game fell off after he looked really engaged after his injury return.

 

Every team presents different issues.  DAL could have been tougher, but low scoring.  ARI might have been more exciting.  VGK would have been a decent fight.  SJS would have been our best opportunity for playing a struggling goalie.  All in all, it didn't matter.  You don;t win games when you let in 6 goals.  Doesn;t matter how many shots you face.  

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17 minutes ago, travel_dude said:

 

And here I thought we had a hard time scorng against Gru.....

 

The end of the season was a curse for us.

Smith seemed to take over the net after beating a lot of weaker teams and winning against SJS, even though Jones/Dell were not great.

The top line was shut down for an entire month.

Gio needed a break, but perhaps that's what ruined him rhythm.

The coach opted to go with some vets even though we were struggling.

Fantenberg wasn;t a bad choice, but I though he had a meh playoffs.

Frolik couldn;t help Backlund and Tkachuk.

Neal's game fell off after he looked really engaged after his injury return.

 

Every team presents different issues.  DAL could have been tougher, but low scoring.  ARI might have been more exciting.  VGK would have been a decent fight.  SJS would have been our best opportunity for playing a struggling goalie.  All in all, it didn't matter.  You don;t win games when you let in 6 goals.  Doesn;t matter how many shots you face.  

 

At the end of the day if you want to be Stanley Cup champions you have to be ready and able to beat all challengers. We weren't.

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13 hours ago, travel_dude said:

 

And here I thought we had a hard time scorng against Gru.....

 

The end of the season was a curse for us.

Smith seemed to take over the net after beating a lot of weaker teams and winning against SJS, even though Jones/Dell were not great.

The top line was shut down for an entire month.

Gio needed a break, but perhaps that's what ruined him rhythm.

The coach opted to go with some vets even though we were struggling.

Fantenberg wasn;t a bad choice, but I though he had a meh playoffs.

Frolik couldn;t help Backlund and Tkachuk.

Neal's game fell off after he looked really engaged after his injury return.

 

Every team presents different issues.  DAL could have been tougher, but low scoring.  ARI might have been more exciting.  VGK would have been a decent fight.  SJS would have been our best opportunity for playing a struggling goalie.  All in all, it didn't matter.  You don;t win games when you let in 6 goals.  Doesn;t matter how many shots you face.  

 

I think you’re right. It doesn’t matter how many shots you face. For me it’s the quality of them. We can have great possession but then give up Brodie-esque giveaways for great scoring chances.

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20 hours ago, JTech780 said:

 

At the end of the day if you want to be Stanley Cup champions you have to be ready and able to beat all challengers. We weren't.

 

What if the Avs win the Cup this year?  Does the narrative change?  We lost to a Cup winner in 5.

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35 minutes ago, The_People1 said:

 

What if the Avs win the Cup this year?  Does the narrative change?  We lost to a Cup winner in 5.

 

Nope, because that just shows the gap between the Flames and a Cup winner is 3 whole wins in a series.

 

Seems easy, but those 3 wins are an overall massive gap and won't be made up without contributions from everyone in the lineup. There were too many passengers and not enough real gamebreakers on this team to make it work.

 

I remember watching MacKinnon destroy the CHL in the playoffs in 2013 and thinking if he brought half of what he showed there consistently in the NHL playoffs he'd live up to his billing as one of the best gamebreakers drafted in the 21st century, and here we are.

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1 hour ago, Crzydrvr said:

 

Nope, because that just shows the gap between the Flames and a Cup winner is 3 whole wins in a series.

 

Seems easy, but those 3 wins are an overall massive gap and won't be made up without contributions from everyone in the lineup. There were too many passengers and not enough real gamebreakers on this team to make it work.

 

I remember watching MacKinnon destroy the CHL in the playoffs in 2013 and thinking if he brought half of what he showed there consistently in the NHL playoffs he'd live up to his billing as one of the best gamebreakers drafted in the 21st century, and here we are.

 

REDACTED:

But let's not tank for MacKinnon though.  It's not worth it.  We are better where we are now.

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1 hour ago, The_People1 said:

 

REDACTED:

 

  Hide contents

But let's not tank for MacKinnon though.  It's not worth it.  We are better where we are now.

 

 

It isn't wrong at all to put your best foot forward. Organizational influence and culture is important and you have to gauge what is most important to you at the given moment,  it's too easy to say that one way or another is better when reality is much more nuanced than that. At the time, the Flames decided that a no-quit mentality was worth more than a higher spot in the draft, and given that the 5th overall pick was Elias Lindholm who didn't break out until this season, it's pretty safe to say that the end result would be basically the same because at that point it would have been very difficult to move into that top 4 that late in the season.

 

I get into this with my coworkers a lot, whether you can draft superstars with late picks and whether that's a sustainable way to build a winning team. It's not impossible and yes you see the odd 4th rounder turn superstar, especially in Calgary. But it is much much harder because while you can find superstars late in the draft, those are rare enough that if you are reliant on late picks solely in order to become a contender you end up relying on lady luck a lot more. High picks aren't valuable because of the reward, they're valuable because of the (lack of) risk. You're almost always guaranteed a capable NHL player if you're drafting in the top 5, and a good GM and coach is able to turn that into success on a more consistent and reproducible basis than teams that miss on their high picks or trade them and end up having to try and find top 6 and top 4 players with 3rds, 4ths and 5ths.

 

Right now the Flames have a couple of glaring holes as a result of being the latter, rather than the former. One is that the picks they do have aren't really that impressive in the grand scheme of things. Monahan, while a good 6th overall pick, has had his overall development stunted and isn't a great all-around player. Bennett has been a disappointment relative to draft position. They didn't have a pick in 2015 because they traded it for Dougie Hamilton. 2011 was Baertschi, 2010 was traded for Jokinen, 2009 was Erixon who left and then busted and 2008 was Greg Nemisz who also busted. Between 2008 and 2015, the Flames drafted exactly 1 top 6 NHLer with a 1st round pick, and some of those were real good picks to work with. That is the core of this current team and that's a big reason for why this team has, up to this season, struggled to put together consistent depth options up front and on the backend without trading for or signing older/established NHL players. Bring that up to 2018 and the number goes up to 2 with Tkachuk and a possible 3rd in Valimaki.

 

The Flames have to decide what they are going to be, and whether or not they can win with this group. I think they're closer than this team has been in almost 30 years, but there's also a gap between the Flames' best players and the league's best players, and all of the Flames' top players have some sort of flaw that needs addressing before you can really look at them and say "I'm comfortable in believing they are favorites to win the big one". That was my thought before the season and I don't think that changes because of the Flames' regular season. Again, you don't need to tank to draft a star, just look at Mathew Barzal out of the Islanders who went mid-first or David Pastrnak of the Bruins who went late 1st, but you need to be lights out with the opportunities you get and the Flames haven't done so.

 

I do believe that the players this team is built around are capable of being key players on a contender, but I didn't see the 100% confidence, poise and buy-in needed to do so at any point this season (Johnny floating around and being the last man in on your TV screen in the playoffs, for example, has been happening all year to some extent). The disappointment comes from raised expectations which is somewhat unfair, because our playoff result is basically what we were expected to do before the season began. Colorado is also a better than 8th place team who suffered a horrendous stretch of games. What the Flames DO need is a star player in a different mold than a Monahan or Gaudreau, someone who is capable of taking some of the offensive and defensive load away from the other core players. I had hoped that Bennett would be that guy but with what we have now the only thing the team can do is knock this upcoming draft pick and next year's pick out of the park. This team can win and a lot of it will come down to summer development and good trades.

 

Also, let me end with this: I don't regret winning the games ever. Where the Flames have shorted themselves is using the assets they have, not missing out on the assets they didn't get. MacKinnon is a huge favorite of mine but he wasn't making it here; he's just very very useful as a measuring stick for what the team is trying to build talent and character-wise.

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1 hour ago, The_People1 said:

 

REDACTED:

 

  Reveal hidden contents

But let's not tank for MacKinnon though.  It's not worth it.  We are better where we are now.

 

From the Iggy trade we finished 6-10 to end that season, hardly an inspired effort.  We were bad that season, other teams were just worse.  

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2 hours ago, Crzydrvr said:

At the time, the Flames decided that a no-quit mentality was worth more than a higher spot in the draft

 

REDACTED:

At the time, some guy living in their mother's basement wearing nothing but underwear all day saw 2019 way back in 2013.  Yet, million dollar GMs either did not or didn't want to see it.



 

Some of us were here for the long game while GMs are not.  And so, 6 years later I'm sitting here saying "I told you so" but I can't because I've only time travelled once so I can't call myself a pro.  That would be annoying.

 

Never again is no-quit mentality worth more than a higher pick because there is something called 6-years later.  I don't want to be the "I told you so" guy.  The higher pick just destroyed a team with no-quit mentality from 6-years ago.

 

I love you all though.  Nothing to see here.

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