It’s always going to be close, but close isn’t good enough when all you need is W’s. What separates playoff teams from the rest is how you deal with adversity, particularly preventing multiple losses. Three in a row isn’t a mark of a playoff bound team. But before the stat hacks claim ‘regression’ in full force, take note of one clear thing–they’re still scoring.
The Flames will have to come down to Earth closer to their average, but with all the intangibles (and no stat hacks, ‘the bounces’ are not an excuse to explain success), they shouldn’t drop into the Western Conference basement. This is particularly notable when it’s the leading players contributing (or not) to losses.
– TJ Brodie was minus 2 and was at fault on two goals. He has to play better. He’ll have a bad game here and there, so we’ll see how he bounces back.
– Gio with a goal, but -2.
– Derek Engelland is BAD. He’ll single handedly screwup all on-ice stats. It is guaranteed that he will be at fault for AT LEAST one goal A GAME. Tonight was no different.
– Flames managed 3 goals yet defensive breakdowns were the cause of the loss.
– All night it seemed Calgary was being pushed around, losing puck battles, and watching play develop rather than getting the puck quickly out of their own zone. Credit Buffalo for playing relentless hockey that’s usually Calgary’s MO.
– Joe Colbourne back in the lineup. Mike Ferland down. Granlund in, and Stajan sat. Bolland in as well. Could see the play drop a bit with Bolland in the lineup. Raymond on the 4th line doesn’t help either. Look for Byron to sit and the vets to get back into the lineup tomorrow vs. Pittsburgh.
Calgary needs to tighten up defensively. It doesn’t help that the skill level literally goes from NHL to Bantam Div 5 level with the 5th and 6th D pairing, nonetheless, that will be the key to victory. Four losses on the road won’t cut it and they have to find a way to beat some tougher competition considering they squandered the chance to take advantage of a beleaguered Sabres team.