The Blackhawks deserved the series win. That is the first thing all Flames fans should admit to themselves and we can not say "only if" or "but the refs called this or that". We can not say if we had Regehr we would have won, as Jim Rome likes to say, "If. if.if. If my aunt had junk she'd be my uncle but she doesn't." The fact is the depth we all thought we had wasn't deep enough and here is how I break down what happened.
Keenan got out coached. They got out hit. They were not as healthy. Chicago had better goaltending. Their defence was lights out...the flames were just out injured. Top to bottom Chicago deserved this series.
It has to be mentioned...again... the power play was atrocious and I can not fathom how this coaching staff can remain intact going forward if they want faith from the fan base. I understand Keenan hates practicing the powerplay but really in the post season it wins you games, please see two goals for Chicago to none for Calgary tonight to prove my point. In my opinion Keenan and gang go. He is a decent coach but they need a statagy coach not a work horse coach, the players are tired of hearing, "just work harder!" . It won't work anymore.
There's been some talk of this being Sutter's fault because they were against the cap... I kind of laugh at that, you can not put players on injured reserve after a certain point in the season and no G.M. in the league, no matter how good, can forsee the rash of injuries the Flames got. All Sutter did was give the fans Jokinen, what we all wanted for three seasons now and aquired leopold who is soft but slick as well. So I really don't have an issue with Sutter personally but feel free to disagree.
Aucoin is a pilon, he's offensivly fine but Sharp and Havlat made him look like he was standing still, granted they can skate but he was just way to brutally slow. It is nice to see Pardy had a decent series and Sarich as well, Vandermeer was a non factor and not worth his contract. He often floats under the radar because he doesn't make glaring errors but he really is just very average... and expensive.
I've come to realize that Iginla doesn't really play well at all with other players and chemistry is not really ever there for him. Conroy breifly had chemistry but as soon as everyone figured out Conroy would just pass it to Iginla that stopped working. It's frustrating to think this was the best Flames team in years by far and they were first round fall outs.
Langkow was playing with one hand and it makes you think that maybe they should have played Lundmark instead... at least he could give you a wrist shot!
There will be questions if Kipper should be traded soon, he is declining, it's obvious. If he does not improve by mid season next year they might look at it (his contract does have low gaa and save % triggers to get around the no trade clause).
Cammalleri may be gone but will he be as much now that teams see he can be marginalized in the playoffs because of his size? No G.M.'s can be pretty dumb, Toronto will take him!
The worst part is that Pheonix has our first round pick this year or next and if Calgary give up this years pick then we as fans can't even look to the draft. All in all it is pretty disappointing and discouraging for us Flames fans.
I'd like to finish by saying that next year we can look to the following players to enjoy watching/ more: Backlund, Pelech, Nystrom, Negrin, Greentree. I will look forward to that and hopefully show some team next year what our young guys can do!
Well... there's always next year!