It’s been years since the Flames have been outscored by eight goals, I can’t even find the stat. Here’s the thing, I don’t have enough adjectives or superlatives to describe how terrible the Calgary Flames played tonight, but what I do know, is that management and the coaching staff CANNOT pretend like this didn’t happen. The credit crisis on October 2008 didn’t happen overnight, it was an accumulation of bad habits. Tonight, an accumulation of bad play was capped in San Jose when the Calgary Flames were absolutely embarrassed.

No words will help point out what’s missing from this team, but with this loss in the bag, if Daryl Sutter doesn’t do something, even a little something, what you saw tonight will repeat itself over and over again before the season ends. The Flames will be handed more 9-1 losses by legitimate Cup contenders.

ATTENTION Calgary Flames: your fans are not only embarrassed by your horrific hockey, but we’re disgusted by how little certain players care and why you can’t put together a consistent hardworking effort game in and game out.

Sound Off: What Changes Are Needed?

The good news is there’s tons of hockey to play with a condensed schedule so not very much time to lament on this blow out. The bad news, there’s zero change in sight. Calgary can’t be yelled at anymore by the coach and they clearly do not have respect for the coach. This leads to some postulations:

1) For the first time as a fan I will call out Jarome Iginla’s work ethic and his capability to lead. When the team is blown out, when you don’t score for eight games at the highest paid player, when you can’t lead by example as you’ve done over all the years, your leadership is subject to be questioned. Iginla is supposed to be the vocal leader in the locker room and right now too many players are doing their own thing.

2) Dion Phaneuf is the worst player on this team right now. He had a brilliant rookie season but is now a liability to the team. Honestly, Flames fans would put up with his celebrity attitude if he didn’t cost 6.5 million dollars a year, but alas, we can’t ignore his lack of production, one-hand-on-the stick defensive style, and soft play in his own end. Tonight he was a -4 and should have been more. He lost all battles and couldn’t care less to play within his own system.

3) As a result of Phaneuf’s disgusting attempts to pass off as a defenceman, Robyn Regehr has been on the slow decline. He doesn’t shut down anybody and is a liability due to his immobility. He’s slow and can’t move the puck out of his own end. Something makes me wonder he might be injured, but still, he’s no a ‘corner stone’ anymore.

4) Kiprusoff had another off night, even with a night off, which sucks because he’s been the only consistent Flame. If he goes down the whole team is messed.

5) Jokinen bust. 10 goals, 5.5 million, and not a first line C, yes that’s a bust.

6) Third line pluggers. The entire team is a bunch of third line pluggers, Sutter knows this and rumors have him shopping for a bona fide LW for Iginla to play with. Fact is, apart from maybe Bourque, the team is nothing but cast away third liners or waiver pickups. It looked good in November when Iginla was scoring and the team shared the load, but with everyone slumping it seems clear management put too much faith in Nigel Dawes to be the first line LW (or Craig Conroy to fill in as first line C).

7) Cory Sarich returns and messes up the team. I was hoping for some better play from him, but fact is he’s just a crappier Regehr (see point 3).

8) Daymond Lagnkow has fallen off the map, along with Nystrom, Glencross (-5 tonight), Moss, Boyd, Sjostrom, Conroy, etc.) Nobody scores, and now nobody plays defence.

9) Bouwmeester is like point #5, over 6.5 million for a puck moving defencemen who can’t get 20 points…… not a good investment.

10) Jarome Iginla on an eight game no goal streak. Need I say more?

11) Back up situation is not competent. Calgary hasn’t had a legitimate backup since Mike Vernon. Scratch that, since Roman Turek in 2004. McElhinney will loose us games, yet again.

12) The highlights? Well Bourque is approach 20 goals but that means over 4 million in his pockets come season end. Giordano is a highlight and if we get rid of Phaneuf he’ll stick around (since he’ll cost lots of dough after this fantastic season). And Kiprusoff is playing well (less tonight). Iginla does have over 40 points, but we expect more than 80 points a season, closer to a 100 is the expectation, so he gets a failing grade as of now.

As for coaching and management. They have shown they can’t control this team and don’t have an answer to a West division that’s improving while this team is on the downward spiral.

The only reason Calgary hasn’t garnered more attention for their abysmal play is because the rest of the Canadian teams–less Vancouver–are doing worse. That’s not a good thing to compare yourself to, but the fact remains, the Flames should be embarrassed and fans should demand change….ANY CHANGE will do at this point, just do SOMETHING rather than having me watch 9-1 losses from a heartless team.

BTW, Chicago is in town next, and they’re better than SJ….a nice test to see if Iginla and company want to make the playoffs or if the team needs to be dismantled.