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Old 08-21-2019, 03:04 PM   #21
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I still say I properly diagnosed the issue while the whole thing was going on... And yes, it was an issue with coaching. Either that, or it was an issue with the players not listening to the coaches, which is a different kind of issue with coaching.
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It's not the Avs zone entries that is causing the problem. It's not even their neutral zone play. It's the ease with which they're permitted zone exits.

You leave your end with speed, you get through the neutral zone with speed, and you attack the blue line with speed, and the defenders have to back off and leave a bigger gap. The sense that there has been an unending assault against the Flames zone is the result. The Avs never have the sense that they need to struggle to move the puck out of their end - they have time and they have options.

This all starts with the forecheck. When the Flames are playing two guys up ice, aggressively taking time away from the breakout, the whole game changes for them. This happens almost never. They're using one forechecker and they're keeping him high in the zone with an active stick rather than pressuring the Avs' D. This is a coaching problem and it's not at all clear to me why it has not been addresssed.
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Old 08-21-2019, 03:30 PM   #22
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"I think as soon as we clinched, we were — you’re not doing it [intentionally], but without knowing it, you’re like ‘Oh, try to take a breather’ and relax a little bit," said Lindholm. "And Colorado kept fighting for a playoff spot. As soon as the playoffs started they were ready to go and we weren’t. I think that’s what happened to Tampa as well. Yeah it’s tough, that’s probably something we can learn from. I think it all stings for everyone there, for our team, we were expecting more of ourselves and to go further in the playoffs.
I think this is mostly bunk. Quite simply, COL was a better playoff team in almost every way.

How could you not be "ready to go"?
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Old 08-21-2019, 04:11 PM   #23
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I think this is mostly bunk. Quite simply, COL was a better playoff team in almost every way.

How could you not be "ready to go"?


The level of intensity increases significantly from the regular season to the playoffs and again throughout each round of the playoffs. The Avalanche had already been playing elimination-style hockey for 25 games prior to the start of the playoffs. That amount of desperation can produce effective results in the short term, but also results in a team burning out quickly, which we saw in the 2nd round. The Avs/Flames matchup was similar to having a team the survived three 7-game rounds of playoffs playing a team just had to play meaningless exhibition games all month. Which of those teams do you think would be more ready and know better what it takes to win in the playoffs?

Also, letís not forget that in spite of how it looked, the Flames almost won 2 (arguably 3) of the 4 they lost. It was a 4-game losing streak at the worst possible time.

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Old 08-21-2019, 04:36 PM   #24
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Fair.

I see it more chicken then egg though. I think the defensive posture came from getting burned wide early in the series and then they refused to play the way they can for fear of looking foolish.

I don't think they were told to chip or stand still, or play safe.
There is no chance Peters said prior to playoffs, we are going to change the way we play. Now start chipping it out. Makes no sense.
That was all the players. They were outworked.

What I do have issue with is the taking the foot off the pedal when clinched. That is something Peters could've corrected. But many (myself included) were calling for players to get rest and heal up (Hamonic had a tough year physically).
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Old 08-21-2019, 06:57 PM   #25
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Also, letís not forget that in spite of how it looked, the Flames almost won 2 (arguably 3) of the 4 they lost. It was a 4-game losing streak at the worst possible time.
I often wonder what the series looks like if Frolik chance immediately before Mackinnonís OT goal in game 2 had gone in, and the Flames went up 2-0.

Game 4 easily could have gone either way too, as it was in OT.

Game 5 we got some bad luck that put us behind, and it just wasnít our night. Iíd still argue that Gaudreauís goal should have counted, and that could have given the Flames some momentum, instead of being another deflating event.

Game 3, of course, we were embarrassed.

However, with a good bounce in game 2, and Neal not being lazy in game 4 in OT, we very well could have been the team up 3-1 after game 4.

Smith was great, but Grubauer was even better. Colorado got some luck with seeing eye shots that we didnít. It doesnít take much of that luck to change before the series starts looking a lot different.

Also, we certainly werenít playing our best. They were literally playing their best hockey of the year.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:07 PM   #26
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I'm just guessing from the outside, but I don't see it as coaching. I see it as trust and execution.

Peters wouldn't have coached them to collapse low, widen gaps and back in on their goaltender. They were scared. McKinnon torched them and they almost to a man started playing in fear instead of taking the play the other way. The result was a prevent defense that destroyed their transition and made them ineffective to counter or sustain pressure.

I can't see that as being a plan.
I agree with this 100%. And the question of how Flames will handle a similar team at their next opportunity in the playoffs will remain for at least 82 games.

Now Peters does need an answer for this question. As Treliving made explicit when he hired him, this teams needs leadership from its coach. Not just game planning.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:12 PM   #27
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I still say I properly diagnosed the issue while the whole thing was going on... And yes, it was an issue with coaching. Either that, or it was an issue with the players not listening to the coaches, which is a different kind of issue with coaching.
Too easy to blame the coach
I'm on the side of the fence that sees it as lack of execution and commitment.
Saying you hate losing is easy.
Committing to do the things you need to in order to win - is hard
This team failed in that regard.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:16 PM   #28
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I don’t believe many Flames (players, coach or GM) can escape their share of blame for that Avs series. Smith, Bennett and maybe a couple of others are about the only ones who showed up playoff ready.
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:31 PM   #29
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I donít believe many Flames (players, coach or GM) can escape their share of blame for that Avs series. Smith, Bennett and maybe a couple of others are about the only ones who showed up playoff ready.
Yeah you could spread the blame around equally. I do think the first line slumping down the stretch was probably going to make for difficulties no matter what opposition they faced as you need your best players to be your best players in the playoffs and Gaudreau, Monahan, and Lindholm hadn't been the Flames best players for well over a month prior to the playoffs. Making matters worse Backlund and Tkachuk played by far the worst hockey they had all season and when you add all that up the Flames would have likely lost to any of the 15 qualifying playoff teams as it's not like the Avs are a playoffs juggernaut as they lost in the next round to a banged up Sharks team.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:45 PM   #30
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The Avs top line took our top 3 lines to the cleaners is what happened. They played with speed the flames played like they have never been there before.


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That's momentum for you. Easy to push back when there isn't much of it. Once its built up, you just get run right over. Unfortunately the flames allowed them to build 5 or 6 solid periods following game 1 to allow the avs confidence to bubble over, at that point it was series over.

Part of swinging momentum back is not allowing the other team to have more than a couple periods of running the show at a time and also being able to hit reset entirely, forget the circumstances and play your best hockey. That's a skill in itself that takes building.

The flames are streaky as a team. They can go on a run but when they get their show run by one team the top players allow it to get into their psyche. I think weve seen that for years with Anahein, and the bad year and a half they had vs the Oilers, as well as those game against the Canucks where they couldn't break through. Irritated me when they'd talk about the curse and past games excessively with the players. It just gives them a mental excuse to call it quits if things start to go sideways. They're going to have to learn to tune out those storylines and hone in on their game when the teams needs it most.

Feels like experience is the best teacher at this point.
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Old 08-22-2019, 09:34 AM   #31
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Yeah you could spread the blame around equally. I do think the first line slumping down the stretch was probably going to make for difficulties no matter what opposition they faced as you need your best players to be your best players in the playoffs and Gaudreau, Monahan, and Lindholm hadn't been the Flames best players for well over a month prior to the playoffs. Making matters worse Backlund and Tkachuk played by far the worst hockey they had all season and when you add all that up the Flames would have likely lost to any of the 15 qualifying playoff teams as it's not like the Avs are a playoffs juggernaut as they lost in the next round to a banged up Sharks team.
Agree with every word here but I also think if you're going to start naming names, you can't leave out the Flames elite defensemen, which should have been our biggest advantage going in. The second pair got owned and the near unanimous Norris winner, who should have been the single biggest plus in the Flames column was held off the scoresheet and had very pedestrian advanced stats.

It's not hard to see why some people want to look hard at the head coach when nearly every single star player on the Flames laid an egg. It's hard to believe that none of those guys know how to play playoff hockey.
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:00 AM   #32
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I like my ledge and I'm staying here until they win a Cup!
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Old 08-22-2019, 11:39 AM   #33
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I like my ledge and I'm staying here until they win a Cup!
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Old 08-22-2019, 12:00 PM   #34
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I'm still convinced Jared Bednar told the avs to let us win game 1.
I assume this is a joke.
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:26 PM   #35
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^ Wasn't the plan, but the out coaching came when Peters didn't/couldn't get the team to adjust
I think a big part of this was not recognizing that "hey our top guys aren't going, maybe I should shake it up and get the two forwards who are giving effort more than 12 mins a night in playoffs"

Bennett and (arguably) Mangipane were the only two forwards who were trying to do something all series and both were so low in TOI I have to think that things could have been different if Bennett had been given a bit more ice
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:11 PM   #36
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While I don't think Peters is in any particular way more to blame than someone else (or more than a losing coach always is), it did become clear Peters wasn't a very good playoff coach this spring.

There are fortunately plenty of reasons to think he can be better in the future.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:45 PM   #37
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Flames had the lead in the 3rd in 3 of the 5 games despite playing well below their best hockey. Series could have gone the other way easily. Game 4 was a killer and decided the series IMO.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:50 PM   #38
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What miffed me about the last two games of that series was the stupid and clearly defendable overuse of Gaudreau in every single situation.

Whether he wanted to try and carry the team on his back or it was the coaches throwing it all on him it was a terrible mistake. The great thing about playoff hockey is that the heros that drive comebacks are usually the andrew shaw or justin William's types.

I honestly felt pretty annoyed with every single play going through Johnny's stick. Everyone else was then relegated to just sit and watch him try to one man show and maybe get to a spot where they might get a pass.

It was gross. Johnny's good but that was a terrible display of trying to force you best player to carry the load.
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