Don’t blame the refs for this loss, but of course that doesn’t mean we can’t gripe about it though. Yea, this was literally (a la Rob Lowe) the worst officiated game of the season with pointless call after pointless call, but Calgary wouldn’t have won the game let alone competed if the refs hadn’t handed the Original Six squad six powerplays. The stripes tried to even things out late in the game, but when you impact a game at the start there’s no use for a few ‘make up’ calls.
Referees are supposed to be invisible. Instead tonight they played a crucial role for all the wrong reasons. First off they got in the way which lead to Bourque’s hitting from behind. Then they call a phantom slashing penalty when in fact the puck broke Stempniak’s stick. These penalties lead to two powerplay goals putting the Flames way behind.
Calgary never really were in the game. Top to bottom they were getting pushed around; at times you wondered if Calgary had any forwards who wanted to compete. It was evident the size of our forwards was also an issue, calgary kept losing pucks down low. It doesn’t help when your centermen either can’t compete (Stajan) or don’t want to compete (Backlund). That recipe will be disaster for the Flames (if it hasn’t already proved to be so already).
For their part, the top line with Jokinen continues to produce on the powerplay, but that’s irrelevant since the odd powerplay goal here and there doesn’t help the Flames even strength.
The depth of the Flames was evident as Chicago rolled line after line that dominated. The fourth line gave up the first goal after getting hemmed in their own end (which happened over and over again).
The road woes continue, Calgary can’t click on all four lines and they’ll continue losing if they don’t decide as a unit to perform. They can’t afford to pack it in since they have an extended road trip coming up.
No time to lick wounds, but an opportunity to get two points this Tuesday vs. another top team in the West, the Wild. If Calgary can’t pul out some wins at home against better teams you can pretty much put a fork in the whole season.