Mathematically the Flames are still in the playoff race, but as a team they are so far behind the level of the playoff bound teams that I’ll conclude along with others that it’s over. Here are the reasons why:
4) Major injuries early, but what really hurt were injuries down the stretch at an already weak center ice position late.
3) Inability to beat teams around them in the standings (and when they did win they needed to do it in regular time!)
2) Underachievers. A lot of 20+ goal scorers but that doesn’t matter in a 5-2 game, it matters when you score GWG in a 3-2 game!
1) Obviously, they forgot to show up for the first 35 games of the season.
Tonight SJ looked healthy and fast, the Flames looked hurt and slow. They were down 4-2 in the first period alone, which sort of gives you a broad indication of how the game was played out. The lines looked like swiss cheese.
Nik Hagman the latest to bow out due to injury. He was replaced by Lance Bouma who got into his first NHL game of his career. Centering them was 3.5 million dollar man Matt Stajan who has gone from poster child C in the Phaneuf trade, to bottom feeder plugger. FAIL Darryl Sutter.
However, on D the lines were the same as they’ve always been, but lately, when it’s counted, the past 10 games have seen the Flames play some of their weakest defense all season. The top defensive lines (they’ve been weak for this entire road trip) were absent. Bouwmeester was on for 3 of the 4 first period goals by SJ. He was ineffective at shutting down the opposing top lines tonight and for big games. What he is, however, good at is collecting a 7+ million dollar paycheck.
Calgary looked tired, out of place, out of sync, and pretty much like a 10th place hockey club. It’s asd given their prolific run in the past 3 months, but this team was simply not built to skate with the elite despite an elite sized payroll.
BTW, if this wasn’t the final score comment in and update, I shut off the game cause it was pathetic to watch.
Notes: Next up Edmonton Saturday which should be fun to get a meaningless win.