10 games into the 2019-20 season there are some questions for this year’s Calgary Flames.
For one, is the lineup good enough?
There were essentially no changes, minus James Neal, who is leading the league in goals, and a couple of other Oilers cast offs.
But that’s it. No real identity change, slightly bigger from an already small team, all together make up for the lacklustre start.
The only surprise, if you can say that, is goaltending. With David Rittich showing he can carry the mail so long as he can keep his head in the game (in the game against LA he kind of reminded me of Noodles vs Detroit way back when).
Calgary suffered a hugely disappointing loss in LA on Saturday. A hyped game saw the Flames completely fold under pressure. The stars took a night off and the rest of the team followed.
Somehow they managed to fight through and squeak out a victory in back to back games, thanks to some exceptional goaltending by Cam Talbot, in Anaheim–a place they have rarely won over the past 10 years.
Players know they have to find ways to battle through this early adversity. I like the game Monahan is bringing to the table. If you watche dhim against Anaheim he was throwing checks and playing all around nasty. That’s unusual for him (bodychecks by Sean Manahan? Come on).
Players will hopefully feed off of the change in momentum and style of play, but ultimately, this team is still struggling to find some identity and consistency. They don’t look like the Western Conference champs as of yet. And at this rate, they’re barely a .500 team.
There’s also little time to figure things out with so many games and road trips upcoming. If they can find some healthy bodies, and return to their game of speed, they may be able to compete against those big teams they tend to shy away from.