Flames fall from grace
This past week has been an interesting one in the world of the Calgary Flames. It has been a week of blown chances, missed opportunities, and horrendous defence.
The Flames went 1-2 over the seven day span beating Edmonton, and then subsequently losing to Colorado and Washington. They blew a 4-1 lead to the Oilers, only to salvage the win in a shootout. They blew a 3-1 lead to the Avs – eventually falling 6-5. They jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Washington, before allowing an avalanche (seven) of goals in the next 25 minutes of action. These are not exactly defining characteristics of mentally strong, defensive minded hockey teams – something Calgary was supposedly thought to be.
The Capitals game, more so than the other two games, really exposed the Flames and some of their glaring weaknesses. The PK, once thought of as the strongest part of their game, was torn to shreds by the most lethal firing squad in the NHL. The defence, looked dreadfully slow – when DJ King flies around you, you know something is amiss (Cory Sarich). Jay Bouwmeester, after thinking things over behind his own for what seemed like an eternity shovelled it up the boards which resulted in a giveaway and Green’s goal. Apparently that was his best option (eye roll). Gio, fresh off signing a juicy extension, did his best Freddy Krueger impression on Dave Steckel hacking and slashing him down half the length of the ice in an effort to keep up before bringing him down with a football legal tackle. Steckel scored on the penalty shot he was duly awarded.
The scary thing is that this isn’t a runaway winner for low-point in the Flames season thus far. Was this worse than the stinker against the Panthers? How does it match up against the season opener versus the Oilers? All very lethargic efforts to say the least, but at least the Flames looked good in the first period on Saturday night, right? Or is maybe the spookiest thing of all is that this team has had so many disconcerting efforts and it’s not even November.
Brent Sutter has been preaching that everyone must “buy-in” to the system for this team to be successful. Well, it seems that some players are buying in while others are pulling a Phil Helmhuth and showing up fashionably late to the dance.
And it begins and ends with the Captain Jarome Iginla. He has looked terrible lately, there is no denying that. Rumours are rampant that he and Brent are not getting along – such rumours are heard to be true despite Darryl’s statement that they are everyday chums. George Johnson, the Calgary Herald’s Flames writer, has said “Sutter says his under-fire captain and under-fire coach are on the same page, thick as thieves, the hockey equivalent of Bert and Ernie or Butch and Sundance, anyone who's spent the least amount of time down at the rink knows otherwise.”
For more of his column which inspired me to write this one click here: (http://www.calgaryherald.com/sports/Johnson+Flames+looking+dumb+slow/375...).
Bloggers and fans everywhere have jumped on the “Trade Iginla” bandwagon faster than people are jumping off the Dallas Cowboys runaway train. What people have to realize is that Iginla is like a tortoise when it comes to jumping out of the blocks. He has never really been a great starter, albeit this year has been exceptionally slow. But look at the transition that this team has taken. The second line is now constantly, taking time away from the top line. Iginla isn’t the only guy on this team that can score, and that’s eating away at his minutes. If a player is on the ice for less time, he will get less scoring chances on average and thus score less goals. I’m clearly on the “Don’t trade Iggy” team as I think it is the worst thing you could possibly do. He will snap out of it, he always does. You can’t rip the heart out of a team and expect it to keep beating, can you? Build around the guy, don’t trade away the centerpiece. If it’s December and he is still struggling, let’s revisit the topic, but until then just be patient.
Since when did the Flames change their colours
In other Flames news, I would like to bring to attention a column written by Janet Eagleson of Yahoo! Sports and Rotowire.com. She had a little blurb about Tanguay and how his fantasy value has risen since last year. No, really? Anyways, she wrote, and I quote, “fancy pants is looking like the point-per-game guy he was when he first donned the orange and white in 2006-07.”
Orange and white? Did Tanguay play for the Flyers? Am I colour blind? Is she? How does this woman have a job? It was not only this but her whole article was centered on trading away the best player in fantasy hockey right now for two mediocre ones. The yokels that sit next to you at the game know more about hockey than this ‘so-called’ expert. Do some research please. Here, I’ll help you get started: The Flames fan base is called the ‘C of Red’ because that is the colour of their jerseys. RED. R-E-D. Not orange. Red. As in the colour of pen your editor should be using to mark up your god-awful columns.
For further rants about the other weekly events in sports like Lee Westwood, Donovan Mcnabb and Shaq singing in drag click here: http://bit.ly/d4IWDb