An eight game home winning streak came to an end as the Calgary Flames struggled to play against a team they should have dominated. After returning from San Jose to the chime of local media inquiring about the new ‘contender’ status. I don’t know which media type started that one, but it’s premature, by a HUGE margin. The Calgary Flames are definitely an improving hockey team, but they are plagued by their number one problem: inconsistent play. Star players aren’t star players, defensive breakdown, bad goaltending. Elite teams do not have this problem, Calgary does.

Overplayed Kiprusoff Puts in Soft Performance

Playing in one of the first games on nationwide TV in recent memory (or so it seems), you’d think the players and even the fans would want to put on a bit of a show. Not so. The fans put out another eerily quiet presence, so much so the CBC colour commentator remarked more than half a dozen times how quiet it was.

The players couldn’t find an answer either. They came out of the gate slow, were outplayed, outworked, and generated little scoring chances. They suffered from the same problem they had against the Blues last week–crappy team syndrome.

The Calgary Flames can’t show up and dominate junky teams. Albeit credit to a much improved Phoenix squad, Calgary still dropped their gameplay to the level of a younger and inexperienced team. Not the MO of an elite squad.

Although Calgary drew within one from Cammelleri’s team leading 18th goal, Miikka Kiprusoff let in a terribly soft goal that was shot from BEHIND the goaline. The goaltender is over worked and it may come back to haunt Calgary in the playoffs with a mentally unprepared goalie.

Don’t call for trades or fires, Calgary is a much improved team and manage to come from behind in the third, could they do it tonight? They did the right things early getting a goal 3 minutes in. However, five minutes later Calgary gave up another goal after nearly tieing the game. Down by two again yet the FLames battled by to draw within one which was as close as they’d get.

Had the Flames come out and played hard in the first two periods like they did in the third they would have won. In reality, they could only play 20 solid minutes rather than 60, and that’s what separates this team from being a contender.

Notes: No goals yet again for Jarome Iginla, however, his line was +3.