After putting together 3 straight wins, the Flames were back to their old ways coming up short and fizzling out in a must win game. every game from here on in is a must win given how tight the Pacific Division is, and how little the Flames did at trade deadline. With the LA Kings and SJ Sharks getting better, a whole lot better, the Flames decided their deadline would amount to a waiver wire pickup. A castaway from the Minnesota Wild. Not good enough to make the team, but somehow good enough to play for Calgary. Where did the coach put Stewart in his first game? Top line, for two whole periods. He was completely lost on the ice, but that’s not his fault, it’s the coach.
Calgary can’t afford to giveaway points but tonight the coach did his part to put the Flames behind right from the get go. It didn’t matter Sam Bennett was hot during his time on the top line with Ferland out. Gulutzan wants to tinker and try out new things like it’s pre-season. The results? Zero goals offensively. Stewart wound up on the 2nd and 3rd lines, some how booting Frolik down too. On a night the Flames needed to have their best, the coach made sure the team was a step behind.
The second part of Calgary’s game that’s been clicking as of late is the PP. Tonight, special teams were terrible. A full 5v3 amounted to nothing. Powerplay after powerplay with few chances. That’s not how you win games, and that’s not how you pull yourself ahead in the playoffs race.
You have the sense that given the injury to Smith, and the inconsistency of the Flames, Brad Treliving conceded by doing minor moves at the trade deadline that this wasn’t the year the Flames were going to make any noise. There are too many inconsistencies in the lineup and a coaching staff that can’t handle the NHL.