What a complete disaster that was.
After a dominant first 30 minutes, a 2-0 lead and a 21-4 shot advantage, things completely fell off the tracks as the Flames fell to the Minnesota Wild, 3-2 in a SO. For a team just two points out of a playoff spot and needing every win they can get, that's so unacceptable, unacceptable is an understatement.
From top to bottom, in front of Kiprusoff, the Flames stopped skating, stopped playing and sat back and watched their season go down the tubes in the hands of the 27th ranked team. The loss now extends the Flames losing streak to four games, three of them to teams ranked 27th or lower.
As a leader on this team, I don't think it would be uncalled for to simply come out and admitt they don't deserve to make the playoffs with the way they've played but at this point it's too late for a message like that. You never give up, doesn't matter what sport it is but at the end of the day, something has to change on this team and in that dressing room.
In my mind it's from top to bottom, I'm just so sick of mediocrity. If the Flames stay on the same road they’re on, they’re going to set a record for most seasons finishing in 10th place.
I have questioned pretty much everything in this organization besides coaching the last couple of seasons, as I don’t think Brent Sutter and co. has had the necessary pieces to be a good team let alone a playoff team. That stops tonight as the last couple of games make me really wonder some key coaching decisions. Tuesday night, playing the Colorado Avalanche, a team you’re chasing in an already 3-point game, who is on the ice for the winning goal? Anton Babchuk. Babchuk who has only dressed in 25 games this season and is no doubt the Flames 6th defensemen when in the line-up, makes one of the softest plays I have ever seen as the Avalanche pot the GWG. Then tonight, a 2-2 game that shouldn’t have even be in a SO, a game the Flames HAD to get the extra point, Sutter decides to switch things up.
First shooter… Matt Stajan, ok the guy is red hot, questionable but understandable.
Second shooter… Lee Stempniak alright scored tonight but streaky at best, my head is starting to hurt.
Third shooter… Blair Jones. First game back after missing the previous 19, usually players returning from injury say the first game is about getting your feet back and a feel for the puck. UH? You could have won the game with a goal but I guess you still got a chance just like their past three losses.
Fourth shooter… Blake Comeau. BLAKE COMEAU, game on the line, season on the line and you throw out a guy with 4 goals on the season, give me a break.
I understand and heard Associate Coach Craig Hartsburg say that they had gone with the same guys this year with little success and wanted to make a change. But to take that big of a risk is mind boggling to me. Four guys with one shootout goal on the season combined, with Stajan and Comeau shooting for the first time, I seriously question Mr. Sutter’s decision making.
The Flames best players up front, once again didn’t produce as Jarome Iginla’s pointless streak extented to four, while Olli Jokinen’s extented to six. The Flames played with no desperation, no emotion and no enthusiasm, something I feared and wrote about when some of the injured bodies returned to the line-up and some of the young guys went out. It’s the same story the past three years and no one, besides Miikka Kiprusoff, has stepped up to the plate and helped carry the team on their back. When games get crucial, the best thing the Flames top players do led by Captain Iggy, is say all the right things to the media.
I feel so bad for guys like Kiprusoff and Mark Giordano, they lay everything on the line night in and night out and if not for Kiprusoff this team would no doubt be in dead last place. If things continue to go down this same road, I really question when the Flames will be forced to change their name to the Calgary Kiprusoffs. He is the backbone of this franchise and he deserves so much more. There was a point in overtime tonight where, like usual, Kiprusoff made the first and second save and with his defensemen just standing there watching, Kiprusoff also cleared the puck from an oncoming Wild player.
Jay Feaster gave this team another chance for whatever reason and doesn’t look so good now. This organization needs a huge shake-up from top to bottom. It’s the harsh reality and there are some tough decisions to be made. I think Iginla could have done more these last couple of seasons in leading this team but he can only do so much. He deserves a Cup and it’s too bad the chances of winning it here are looking slimmer and slimmer.
At 9 pm the playoff heart beat was dead and boy was it painful to watch.
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