Losing Streak Begins – Answer in Sight?

Calgary entered Texas late at night traveling direct from Colorado. The team didn’t have much chance to lament over their weak loss to the Avs the night before. Calgary has a notorious problem when facing sub .500 hockey teams–they don’t show up. Their gameplan isn’t as crisp despite what should be easy points.

Facing Dallas, who have recently picked up their game, Calgary basically picked up from where they left off in Colorado–boring labored hockey. Although they scored on the PP, Dallas scored twice on theirs.

Mike Cammalleri scored in the first, but yet again, late in the period Dion Phaneuf was weak on, get this, defence forgetting to tie up Lehtinen’s stick.

The game play was so bad for the Flames coach Keenan tried anything to find a spark. Apart from some stellar goaltending by Miikka Kiprusoff, the team was consistently behind the play. The line combos changes did more harm than good as players failed to respond with new linemates.

Nonetheless, going into the third, where Calgary is strongest, the team was only behind by one. This road-trip, short, luckily, hasn’t been sweet. The new line combos did manage to find life, but when Craig Conroy is your answer for first line center, and Dustin Boyd is his replacement, you won’t be winning many games.

There were a couple of individual efforts on goal, but the Flames are noted for speed and tight D, both of which have been abandoned lately. No wonder they can’t beat sub-.500 teams. This team is clearly not a Stanely CUp contender with the basic problems they continue to have.

Calgary competed all night, but they are not elevating their play to the next level. They beat San Jose and local media nuts claim them ‘an elite team’. They aren’t elite, but are only looking good because the NW division is terrible this year. The Flames need to continually elevate their play, and lately they’ve given up. Thankfully this is an opportune time to turn things around and fix some minor issues before the playoff season.

Notes: Miikka Kiprusoff started again in net and fatigue doesn’t seem to be a factor as he’s playing hot. However, this isn’t the playoffs where the minutes may add up.