Things didn’t start well for the Flames even before they hit the ice. With Warrner and Zyuzin out with injuries, an away game, and a red hot Colorado team, things weren’t going to be easy. Of course, in true Flames style, the game started with a nice slow pace, for Calgary.
The Flames were badly outplayed in the first ten minutes not registering a shot until 8 minutes in. The referees were doing their part to scam Calgary out of points blowing whistles due to bad positioning (a goal was disallowed cause the ref couldn’t see the puck (which was in the air not frozen).
Sakic opened the scoring and was dominant in the first; Iginla on the other hand was asleep for most of the night as the Flames couldn’t figure out who to put on the first line to be center. Why Langkow wasn’t tried out is odd. Luckily the Flames would answer back just after the power play after Hamrlik unleashed a blast from the point that alluded Budaj. This was the second time in two years Hamrlik used the massive shot he has. Instead of feeding Phanuef all the time (who does not have the hardest shot folks) he should shoot himself. Iginla tipped the shot for his 36th.
Despite being outplayed the Flames would cap another powerplay shot (improving their 9th spot in PP performance). The one man who decided to play a hard game in his old town was Yelle. He was hitting all night, losing face offs albeit, but scored with 3 minutes left in the first.
The second period would see more faceoff losses and losing battles. The Flames were badly outplayed yet again surrendering 13 shots to their crappy three. Luckily they improved slightly in the face-off dot. A Regehr penalty late in the second wasn’t killed off. We can’t pin this one on anybody, but Yelle never came back after the first which is too bad since he was the best Flames.
Flames Not Prepared for Playoffs
There is not drive or willingness to get into hard areas. The third period showed why the Flames will loose 4 straight in the post-season, assuming they even make it. They don’t hit, they don’t play defense, and they don’t have any heart. Yes we score lots, but who cares when you can’t go into corners and win battles (Lombardi, Huselius, Tanguay). When your top player refuses to play defense and your top lines can’t forecheck there are issues.
Preparation remains a problem. Another road loss, another two periods it took for the Flames to realise they were in a game. 40 shots were given up yet again, and another 40 and a loss are coming tomorrow if Calgary doesn’t start playing with a chip on their shoulder.
Notes: Ritchie sat, Yelle left the game hurt in the first which is a bad blow for the Flames. Hale made his debut.