I think the perfect storm for angry Flames fans is when the Oilers win and are two points back of catching the Flames (with a game in hand) and the Flames get blown out by the Vancouver Canucks on the same night. That is simply like pouring salt and lemon juice on our open heart surgery.
There are fans clamoring for heads to roll however which heads and in what order is hotly debated.
Should it be Darryl? He is the one who built this team, hired the coach and is ultimately responsible. He is the one who will tell you, "ok isn't ok". If ok isn't ok then... what is horrible? If Darryl Sutter had 9 lives with fans he is on 8 or 9 with most. The Kipper trade now having lost it's luster due to time. The signing of a good core to under market value now forgotten because of their poor performance. Darryl is simply expendable. "In Sutter we trust" has now been replaced with, "make sure Feaster doesn't let him dial a phone alone". Confidence has been demolished and poor move after poor move have weighed heavily on fans. It simply isn't reasonable to ask us to be excited about watching Matt Stajan for four more years and also ask us to pay through the teeth for the privilege.
Is it Brent Sutter? A team was handed to this coach that boasts at least 4-5 20-30 goal scorers and a ton of depth on defense as well as a world class goalie. Despite those tools this team has boasted one of the worst power plays in the league and gets out efforted almost every night. Almost nightly it appears the team is unprepared mentally and has lost a winning attitude. Having said all of that previous coaches have tried and failed with this core group as well. He has continued to publically blame his core players and maybe he is right.
Is it the core players? Players Like Iginla and Kipper come along almost never for franchises yet some call for their trades. Regehr once looked at as premier defenseman is now looked at as just "steady". Iginla has gone from, "Mister November" to "Missing in November". There is some good things to look at like Kipper being outstanding again and Bouwmeester has picked his game up some what. There is a feeling that perhaps Iggy could use a change of scenery but really I think the problem with Iginla is simply that the expectations are too high. He signed for less then he could have and now that he's under performing to his pay grade he's vilified when really it's just becoming a wash. If you expect Iginla to get 30 goals and 20 assists this year then I think you'll get that. If you expect 35 goals and 40 assists get ready to be disappointed. Either way I'm not sure trading Iginla would make this a better team but it MAY give a boost for the future.
There is no shortage of things to be frustrated with and too little information given to decide where to place blame so you get calls of, "Blow it up and start over!". Rarely does blowing it up work (see Shaun Vetter's blog today) but as we saw in 2004 that a change of management and a couple tweaks can make a world of difference.
Although it was a blow out loss and humiliating to the teams and fans last night it may take a few more painful nights like that to have ownership step in and make a change. Right now they are in the top 5 of the league for spending to try and get us a winning team and they are not getting value. These are business men, very smart and passionate. None of us want to see that happen, we'd prefer to see the playoffs, but every loss, especially ones like last night, make fans ever more willing to see heads roll down at the Dome.