The Calgary Flames took way too many penalties and the Oilers made them pay tonight, as the Oil defeated the Flames 4-3. The Flames continue to make bad plays up the middle and play too loose in their zone.
The key point was the Oilers' awesome power play as they ripped three power play goals. The Flames continue their woes with silly penalties, which ultimately cost them the game tonight. The main reason for frustration with the Flames tonight is simply lack of discipline. When you take as many penalties as you do against a patient powerplay, you play with fire, and tonight the Flames got burned. You cannot just throw a stick in the way and then tackle the guy too many times. The Flames were taking lazy penalties.
The defensive play is way too easy to just blame the Flames defense. This goes a lot deeper than just the defense. It's the forwards not coming back to help the defense. It is also the defensive zone coverage not looking around to see who is covered, leaving too many wide open shots. I also heard a great insight by Charlie Simmer tonight, which was that there was no communication between the defensemen and forwards; no one knows where anyone is in the defensive zone. If no one talks to others to let them know they need help, there are going to be too many scoring chances, which of course again happened tonight.
The good news is these are all problems that can be fixed with hard work. I mean, it is not because they don't have the players to do it. The Flames players have to start communicating with each other. There has to be more body contact instead of stick contact. We have to stop being caught flat footed, leaving forwards to catch a 2-on-1. There were too many of those tonight. Dion was guilty of rushing in and getting caught up the ice. The Flames right now are concentrating to much on the offensive, and not enough on the defensive. I love the saying that if you take care of the defensive side of the game, the offense will take care of itself.
The goaltending has not been great. Kipper has not exactly been stellar; not that it was his fault tonight. He has to get back to the 04 Kipper. Too many times of late I have heard that he was a one hit wonder. I am confident that he will bounce back this season. Right now, he has no fear of repercussions. Maybe its time to put the kid in. I thought that Mcelhinney had a great camp and deserves a start soon. Why not put the kid in tomorrow? But again, I am not the coach and do not get paid the big bucks.
Do I think its time for panic? No, I do not. I think there are a lot of positives for the Flames right now with Bert playing so well. I think Cammy is being a solid acquisition so far this season also. I just think it is going to take this team some hard work. They have to stay out of the penalty box and play a full 60 minute game. I do not think the Flames have had a good full 60 minute game yet this season.