Yes fans, the score is correct. Calgary lost against one of the worst teams in the NHL. Should you be surprised? Probably not, the team has been playing below average for almost a month now. Is there cause for concern? I’d say so. With a talented club and a coach that’s supposed ‘iron’ why can’t the team put together a solid 60 minute effort game in and game out? Tonight the forth line got things rolling for Calgary–by going -2 in two minutes.
Say what you will about nobody showing up to play, if the coaching staff makes a change before a defensive zone face-off instead of keeping the 4th line on, and if Mark ‘I score one goal a year’ Smith knew how to cover his zone, the Flames wouldn’t have been down 2-1 early. The complexion of the game really changed with shotty defensive coverage (4th line was one for 3 goals against). The tune of six goals against, some of them really bad to watch (from a defensive stand point), would suggest nobody was on their game tonight.
It must be a salary cap issue, why else would we keep the likes of Smith and Nilson on the roster? Reality is, the same Flames players are playing the same mediocre game and show zero signs of bucking the trend. Lombardi or Tanguay will continue to take their one a game hooking penalty (the fastest guys too). One or two of the defencemen will take the night off along with 1 or 2 of the forward lines. Kipper has been mostly on top of his game, but with six goals tonight (you couldn’t really fault him for any), it was an average night for him too.
What next? Quite frankly, the playoffs are lost if something doesn’t happen. The GM has tried talking to players. The players have had days off. Perhaps a closed door meeting? Someone put on waivers? Benching some vets? A bag skate? Anything, please! Because fans are getting tired of the same up and down Flames squad that should be in the very least battling for 60 minutes a game.