One thing you get from the this Flames team is consistent effort. Lately, they haven’t been winning many games, but they’ve always been close. The missing piece? Talent. Or rather, a superstar who could be the difference maker. The Flames miss a couple pieces, and unfortunately for them, you can’t really go out and buy those pieces. If they had them, well, things would look a lot better, and the team that scrapes together wins against top NHL clubs, they’d have a few more wins themselves.
Calgary did really well against the visiting Blues. Sure, they were were missing their top goal scorer, but the Flames are missing a handful of top players as well.
What clicked today was the powerplay and a relentless attitude to stay the course and not give up. It paid off with seconds to spare.
Late game heroics aren’t the MO for the Calgary Flames. What they’re known for is blowing third period leads and folding the tent late. This same thing happened in this game. Devoid of offence once again, albeit they’re improving their defensive play, Calgary squandered their third period lead but managed to pull the game out of the hat in the exciting dying seconds of the overtime frame.
The ‘Done was a bit of a circus pre-game with the morning announcement of a management shuffle. Brian Burke fired Jay Feaster and his assistant GM John Weisbrod.
Calgary 1 – Boston 2
Jarome Iginla returned to the Saddledome for the first time since being traded at the end of last season. His pre-game welcome was met by a warm reception from fans. That disruption luckily worked in the Flames’ favour as Boston took 2 periods to wake up and dominate.
By this time hometown fans have a good idea what these Calgary Flames are about. They lack talent, the goaltending is abysmal, they always get out gunned, and they’ll always get caught in their own zone. But hey, at least they try. E for ‘effort’.
As per the usual, all of the above took place and translated into the more often than not loss.
That’s rebuild folks, and we should expect more of the same for at least two more season (if you’re an optimist). Which of course begs the question, should we have traded Iginla earlier so we could’ve started the rebuild earlier?
The mantra before the game was a ‘consistent 60 minute effort’. After a four game hiatus the Flames faced the visiting Stanley Cup champs only to be badly outmatched in the skill column. Nonetheless their game plan responded to the Hawks relentless attacks. Game plans are useless when only a handful of players carry the load; Sven Baertschi will sit in the press box next game after ignoring the pre-game keys to victory and instead blowing a chance to put the Flames up 3-0 midway through the third, and then giving up a terrible icing with 30 seconds remaining to give the Hawks the eventual game winner with 15 seconds left.
I called it right after the miss:
We know the Flames are terrible, but they used to compete. There was a drive to their game that was exciting. This is unfortunately the same old Flames identity from last season minus a handful of skilled players. It makes for very boring hockey, and if the hockey is boring then nobody should be watching, which a bulk of fans have stopped, and so will I.
Boring games, little to talk about, no storylines, no players stepping up, although perhaps the best save we’ll see this season courtesy of Reto Berra, but other than that–snore.
For almost 7 years the Edmonton Oilers have been rebuilding. They’ll be going for another 7 at this rate. Their ability as an organization to build a winner despite the talent is zip. Calgary is in year 1 and the rebuild looks promising. Juror still out but one thing’s for sure, the team lacks the drive to win.
Although the Flames dominated the game for 55 minutes, Edmonton’s skill and luck drew them even and ahead in the third. Calgary generated few good scoring chances, and the Oilers simply capitalized on their few. The Flames might have had more pace than the Dallas spanking, but they’re willingness to win is missing.
Andrew Ference pulled the most cowardly move I’ve seen in recent memory getting upset with a Stempniak shoulder check and busting his teeth out in the process. The league apparently has an instigator rule. Referees have no willingness to use it. That ends up putting a blight on the game as a whole. With Ference wearing the ‘C’ and representing the overall culture of the Oilers, it’s no wonder the team has a pathetic identity. As for the Flames they’ll end up with the same thing if they don’t respond. Nobody gave ANYBODY a hard time on the ice after the Ference incident.
We knew there’d be growing pains, but wow, the Calgary Flames put up a horrific night. The worse part about the debacle? Not just one part, but many, like these:
1) The best we can do on the fourth line is put talent of Backlund with McGrattan and Jackman. If you put goons in the lineup they should at least stir things up. They never do/did.
2) WTF Joe Colborne? Why is this guy so terrible. Toronto dumped his lazy ass for a reason. He’s nothing on the ice but a big body. This has Brian Burke written all over it. He needs to sit or go away. Doesn’t hit, doesn’t skate, and can’t win draws. Why is he on the team?
3) Where was the D? Butler -4.
Two games in a row the Flames were thouroughly dominated. The worse part I’ll share now. The point of trading Iginla and the ‘deadweight’ was to improve the effort and compete level. There was none of that tonight, in fact for the past few games. It’s the SAME OLD FLAMES. That part is what sucks the most. And to think fans paid money for this garbage.
A couple of firsts in a game that Calgary somehow hung in and tied up. First, Reto Berra made his home debut. He faced over 30 shots and was steady less two goals he had no chance on. Ladislav Smid also played his first game in the Red thanks to a recent trade with the Oilers. Not sure how Calgary walked away with this one, he’s a steal and apart from a salary dump, Edmonton got hosed.
The game was all SJ. Take a look at our tweets for some game time tweets @FlamesStamps. You’ll note the tirade on Patrick Marleau who’s horrendous dive in the first led to his own PP goal. Calgary got revenge when Stajan (the victim on the Marleau dive) took one of his own in the SJ offensive zone and drew a hilarious ‘penalty’.
Coaching decisions are the headline after the most recent Flames loss. After being manhandled 5v5 (ref looked the other way on infractions but the Flames didn’t push back) Calgary clawed back in the third to make it close but were really never in the game. Bad penalties and blown plays contributed to the complete loss of momentum in the first period.
The coaching decisions prior were suspect, sitting Baertschi for the second game in a row and playing ‘gritty’ players like Jackman, Ranheim, Bouma, and McGrattan. Why? Those players sat the entire third period .What a waste of not one, but FOUR roster spots.
Something must be happening in practice that is ticking the coach off to play 5th line pluggers and Chad Billins. Maybe certain players aren’t getting the message, but you need to put some talent on the ice especially with so many key injures.
There were a number of rare occurrences in Chicago. The Calgary Flames opened up what should be a challenging road-swing (aren’t they all?) against the Stanley Cup Champs no less.
For one, Calgary hasn’t won in Chicago in over 5 years.
Second, Calgary waived Joey MacDonald and brought up Reto Berra (another project of Jay Feaster who falls under ‘best ________ outside of the NHL’). After seeing MacDonald play on Friday I lamented aloud, “they’re going to send him to the minors for that goal….”
With Berra’s play he may be staying.