The story before the game was another start for backup netminder Henrik Karlsson. The Flames have committed to have him play more games this season and that seems to be true thus far.
The story at the end of the game was another $()#(??#! loss by the Calgary Flames who are having troubles in two areas: special teams and intensity.
Throw in another weak outing by the captain and you get the idea.
Calgary largely outplayed the Rangers for most of the game, out shooting them and keeping NY hemmed in their own end for much of the third.
Yet, they could not generate quality scoring chances, only throwing pucks to the net in hopes for a dirty goal. The Flames will take any goal, but there’s just a lack of decisiveness on offence.
Jarome Iginla factored into both Flames goals, but apart from that, he in turn caused two goals. What good is this team if Iginla scores sporadically yet is constantly a defensive liability?
A really good article at FlamesNation on how Sutter is using Iginla. He’s not shielding him from opposing team’s top lines, and more importantly, not shielding him from defensive zone starts.
This is the worse year I’ve seen from Iginla when it comes to defensive play. He’s completely out to lunch and would benefit from better minutes. Although you can’t shield players all game, the likes of the Sedins benefit from smart zone starts.
The other component lacking from the Flames game was again–INTENSITY. Sure, players were forechecking, but any resemblance of hard hitting Flames hockey seems to be out the window. Watching the likes of Rene Bourque literally coast in the offensive zone is worse than watching paint dry. I hope they light a fire under Bourque or get rid of him fast.
For his part, Karlsson made enough saves to give the Flames one point, but Calgary could’ve pulled away with two in regulation rather than handing a win to NY with only .5 seconds left in the overtime frame.
Sutter for his part thought this was the Flames’ most complete game thus far. I thought the Flames dominated at times, but the overall game was boring so I’m a bit worried this is what we’ll be stuck with watching the entire season….
No point licking the wounds, a much better Nashville team will arrive for a contest Saturday afternoon. Kipper back to start, and maybe some more changes (like Cory Sarich out? He’s a PAIN to watch.)