What do you think the hottest topic with the Calgary Flames is this season? Everywhere you go, if they are talking the Flames, they are talking Iginila. Whether they are talking what is wrong with Iggy, or about the rumours of Iggy being traded to LA or the Rangers, or saying that Iggy should turn over the torch. Then again, there is talk about how Iggy has always started off slow, he will pick it up in November. And of course maligned relationship between Iggy and Sutter. I must admit that Iggy is the hottest topic among the fans. The rumour that worries the fans the most is the trade rumour.
No matter what is being said about Iggy, it is slowly getting to him. You can tell by his play. He does not look happy at all while playing for the Flames. If there is one thing I have noticed about Iggy, it is that he is really forcing the issue. He is fighting the puck, at times having trouble controlling the puck on his stick. The players have stuck up for Iggy, saying to give him a break. Ken King has stood up for Iggy, stating that this is a team; they lose as a team. Just maybe the rest of the team should start giving him some assistance.
The one conversation that really baffles me is the trade rumours. The main reason it bothers me is because there is no way the Flames would do this willingly. It makes me wonder about the relationship between Sutter and Iginila. The only way the trade happens is if Iggy decides that it is time for him to have a change of scenery. If there is a player that breathes red and white, it is Iggy. He is is the embodiment of the Flames, and I really hope that does not change.
The fact is that there is talk around Iggy, and it won’t change unless he picks up his play, or the team begins to pick up their play. The players can stick up for him all they want, but as long as he is the captain, there is a lot of expected of him. Fair or not, that is the bottom line. Iggy has been the leader of this team for so long he does not know any different.
t is hard to be positive right now if you are a Calgary Flames fan. The Flames have gone on vacation, for the last two games and showed very little punch against the Wild and the Wings. Iginla has really struggled offensively that is no secret. But he is not alone. Matt Stajan is off to slow start. Tanguay has been the best forward on that line and has scored four goals. The second line is doing the best out of the lines as Bourque, Mr. Everything, has been outstanding with 7 goals. Nickolas Hagmen has been constant also adding in 4 goals.
The problem is that after Tangs, Hagmen, and Bourque, the offense has really gone dry. We have too many forwards with only one or two goals. Whether this team can snap out of the funk is totally dependant on whether or not they buy into Sutter's system. His “defense first” seems to have the players very frustrated, because they have no idea what to do in the offensive zone. There is no confidence in the team's offence, which has really tightened the players up. The players' hands have turned to stone.
Craig Conroy said it best when he interviewed on the Fan in Calgary: “It is not fun in the locker room anymore.” The Flames are really pushing; they have to get back to the basics. Which basically means: when in doubt, shot the heck out of the puck. I was told by a very good friend once “When you go to the net, good things happen.” It really is great advice. The Flames have to simply make things harder for the opposing goalies. Stop letting them see the puck so easily.
The only forward line on the Flames right now that really hustles is Jackman, Conroy and Mayer. Any given night, these three are the best forwards. You want to know a secret? There the only freaking players who like their role. Either no one else knows their roles, or they are not buying into them. Either way, the result is deadly. A failing team with a broken dressing room. The Flames are not working as a team. They are working as individuals, not a team.
When you have a bunch of individuals not working as a team, you get a mess. The Flames have a lot of talent. The problem is, no-one can agree on how to use it. As a result, you have very unhappy Iggy, and White can hardly wait until Sutter gets shot. Okay, that is a little exaggerated, but they are not happy. I am sure they don't really want Sutter shot.
I am not sure Olli knows what is expected of him. He has all the tools to be a star. He has been put in two different roles, the first and second lines, sometimes both in the same game. I really am not sure where he is supposed to be or who his line mates are. But then I have seen him play the best hockey I have ever seen him play. The inconsistency is mind boggling. It really has to be due to the coaching staff as much as Olli?