Should Calgary Flames fans be worried?
After starting the season with one win over the first four games, should Calgary Flames fans be worried?
Well, truth be told you probably should’ve been worried before the season even started, or perhaps should have just lowered your expectations.
I know what people are going to say now, “Here comes Newman with another cynical look at the Flames,” but really what’s there to be happy about?
Let’s find some positives, shall we?
The Habs game. The Flames looked great and took advantage of an injury riddled defence and scored on opportune chances. They looked well rested and Kipper played great. The powerplay went 2-for-4 and even Niklas Hagman got in on the fun.
The power play in general has looked decent rolling at a 23% clip and ranks in the top ten in the league. Needless to say if it stays this way, the Flames should have no trouble scoring goals, but then again, over the last year that’s never been the problem.
The play of Curtis Glencross and Rene Bourque has been outstanding. Both players have tallied three goals in the first four games. Olli Jokinen can’t be overlooked either with his four in four games, and much maligned Niklas Hagman has looked good in tallying a goal and two assists and a plus two rating so far.
Mark Giordano has also looked good, especially on the point of the powerplay. Go back to the home opener where he set up Glencross with a nice move around a sprawling penalty killer. He also leads the team with 14 blocked shots.
The goaltending has been hit and miss. Kipper was great against Montreal but has looked average in the Pittsburgh and Toronto games. Karlsson, in his one appearance against the Blues, started strong but ended up letting five past him.
Now, the shot discrepancy has be addressed in the team’s opening four contests. Outshot by 17, 18, and 15 in their first three games, including getting outshot 12-1 in the third by the Habs. Now, you can argue quality versus quantity, but these are fairly distinct differences and eventually the numbers will catch up to you.
The three losses have all had an eerily similar feel to them. The Flames scored first in every one, then fell behind and failed to fully recover. Consistency is a major issue with this hockey team and for some reason they have a tough time playing a full 60 minute hockey game.
It’s grossly familiar to last season’s struggles where the Flames would be fighting from behind in a majority of their games, only to come up tragically short in the end – kind of like their fruitless playoff spot charge.
The Flames don’t like playing with the lead – or maybe, better yet, they simply don’t know how to play with a lead. Their game plan seems to change when they get ahead and they forget what got them there in the first place.
It’s frustrating to watch as a fan and I’m sure it’s frustrating for the coaches and players to go through it.
But what is wrong and how do you fix this problem, and should fans be worried?
Well I’m not a hockey coach. I’m just some “IDIOT,” as a loyal reader so eloquently put it, who knows less about hockey then his daughter.
So don’t come to me if you are looking for answers as to why the Flames aren’t a very good hockey team. The numbers speak for themselves.
Follow me on the Twitter which you find using the Google on the Internet machine