Another hockey day in Canada ended with a thrilling game between two divisional rivals.
Three games in four nights didn’t really show, but a lack scoring touch sure did. With tonights loss the Flames end a fine run of points in the the last 12 games, no losses in the past 11 regulation. But just like that they actually sit in ninth spot.
Calgary lost against a much better Canucks team, but lets’ face it, they stuck in there for most of the game.
They lost for two reasons:
1) Special teams lost the game. Nothing on the PP and two goals against on the PK.
2) In the face-off dot they were major major losers.
How quickly things can change. Now, granted the Flames are playing great hockey and will play themselves into the playoffs, but with the likes of Chicago and LA getting hot, and Minnesota that’s matching Calgary point for point, there’s no room for error.
The team could use Tanguay that’s for sure. Sometimes on the PP Sutter has gone with two LW and a RW. There just seems to be a lack of competent centers. That’s partially true. When your 3 million dollar third line center is Matt Stajan and he’s got 3 goals, and your top center is a damn-near 40 year old in Brendan Morrison, the options are limited.
Five points separates 11th to 4th. If the Flames take care of their own business and win their games they should be able to sneak into the post-season. We’ll see if they can find ways to score some more goals and stop relying on overachieving wingers. I mean how many people expected Jackman to get 10 goals? Or Glencross 20? (Projected end of season numbers.)
How many expected Jokinen to get under 20? (Most did, but I didnt). How many though Stajan would get less than 5? Nobody thought that.
It will be interesting to see what happens in February before the trade deadline. My sense is if Calgary losses a few in a row they could be sellers in a hurry. A few more wins and maybe there’s enough hope for a push. At this point why not? With enough wiggle room with freed up cash from departing deadweight (Sarich, Staios) you mind as well wait for the off-season to make big moves.
But until then let’s focus on the now, and how the Flames need to take some opponents this coming week. Colorado and Dallas before a break until the HUGE game Sunday (which they need to win so I do’nt hate myself for blowing huge cash on tickets :D).