Flames are officially cooked
And that’s that.
A two and a half month stretch of some impressive hockey collapses like a loosely formed house of cards in a matter of two weeks. As a result, the Calgary Flames will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year.
Despite going 16-5-1 from mid January to mid March, the Flames will be hitting the links and not the ice come April 13th.
Last nights game just further intensified the disappointing sensation that was emanating through Flames nation over the past week. A disallowed goal that from every conceivable angle was actually in the net was the final straw. The ‘non-goal’ allowed the Ducks an opening and they quickly took a two-goal lead and all but drove the final nail into the Flames coffin.
Just to be clear, it was in the net. If the majority of Emery’s body is in the net, it’s simply common sense to assume to the puck crossed the line as well. It was also visible on the overhead camera angle that the puck was past the crossbar, which acts as a mirror for the goal line.
Adding to the horror of the play was the fact that Ryan Getzlaf did his best to grab the puck and throw it out of the net, despite vehemently denying the fact. The resulting actuality would have been and probably should have been at least a penalty shot.
“It definitely wasn’t me. They’re saying I did it? Hey they got the wrong guy. I was sitting on my ass trying to find the thing,” he said. (Courtesy the Calgary Herald)
Bravo! Encore! Colin Firth should hand over his Oscar now
No, you were just yanking on Emery’s jersey for the sake of getting close to your netminder. After all, he is a new player to the team. That’s very nice of you to make him feel welcome.
The cherry on top: it would have been Matt Stajan’s 7th goal of the season. That’d make it $500,000 per goal. That’s right. Who’s laughing now? Huh? Huh?
So what’s left for the Flames? The string, as it were, is all that remains. Three of which will be barn burning affairs against the dregs of the Western Conference. The other, the curtain call, will be a battle against the best team in hockey, the Vancouver Canucks. Hopefully the Canucks can show some restraint towards the Flames and keep their goal total under 7 – unlike last year when the Sedin’s did their best Harlem Globetrotters impression and made a mockery of the 09-10 Flames.
And then here comes the offseason and things get even murkier for this organization.
Every potential UFA had a breakout or decent season and will be enquiring about a raise except Steve Staios. Glencross, Tanguay, Babchuk, Morrison, Pardy and Karlsson all had pretty respectable seasons.
In my humble opinion here is how I think these players will fare. Glencross will sign elsewhere for more money. Tanguay will sign in Calgary for somewhere around $2.3 per for two seasons as he realizes that playing with Iginla is where he plays best. They will sign one of Babchuk or Pardy but not both – leaning towards Babchuk on this one for something around $2 mill to keep the success of the PP. They will let Karlsson go and bring Irving up to prove himself worthy of Kipper’s successor. That’s the UFA situation in a nutshell as least.
The problem that lies ahead though is not simple by any means. It’s not a quick fix. The Flames are locked into some BAD contracts for next year (Kotalik, Hagman, Jokinen, Stajan, Ivanans, etc.) and have no real way of breaking free, short of burying their contracts in Abbotsford. No sane GM will take Stajan at $3.5 a year or Hagman at $3 mill. I imagine Kotalik getting sent back to Europe, but then again, I thought the same thing last summer too.
This is the mess Darryl Sutter left and it’s Jay Feaster’s problem now. Feaster can tweak a bit, but major changes can’t really occur until the start of the 2012-13 season, in my opinion.
The season is over, for all intensive purposes. At least Flames fans can move on.