The Calgary Flames never showed up and were terrible. Again, the defense and netminding were again suspect. But the forward continued not to come back and there was no hitting, no anything. The defensive zone coverage was adequate, but again they just did not finish their checks. I may sound like a broken record, but when they continue to play the same song, it gets a little repetitive, if you get my meaning.
Somehow, someone has told the Flames that they are an elite team and the players seemed to have believed them. The problem is, no one else has. The Flames tonight played a very good first period, but never did nothing after that. They pretty much stunk up the joint for the last two periods. The return of Langkow did not even seem to lift the team up at all; the Flames did not show any emotion at all. Like I said, this team was reading to many of their press clippings claiming them as Stanley Cup contenders. The only thing they are contenders for right now is cellar dwellers. Now, that may be a little harsh, but this team is not working. There is no cohesion, they are running around in their own zone, and no one is playing like a team. There is too much “I” instead of “we”, too many players going on their own instead of playing as a team.
The most disturbing trend is the special teams. The power play has always been bad, but penalty kill has been outstanding. Now the penalty kill is beginning to struggle. The Flame gave up three goals tonight, losing 3-2. Now on paper, you might think that is pretty good. Guess what? This effort was just plain bad. They had no emotion at all. This team basically quit, giving up a short handed goal. Langenbrunner's short handed goal was a killer, but not as bad as the Rolsoton powerplay goal with two minutes left in the second period. The special teams were awful tonight, and it cost the Flames. Before you tell me the Glencross goal was a powerplay goal, it was a 6 on 4. By then the game was over. The third goal scored by the Devils was an even strength goal, one that Kipper would like to have back. Parise with the winner. The Flames' first goal was by Olli, a beauty of set-up by Moss, one of the few happy moments of the game.
These last three games have been a disaster. Like I said, this team has looked too much at their press clippings. The Canucks can easily catch the Flames, simply by winning their games. The Flames have stopped working. They have been easily out worked in every one of these losses. That may sound too simplistic, but simply put, it's true. They cannot rely on their talent. It does not work on talent alone anymore. There are no easy games in the NHL. What is it going to take to snap them out of this funk? Simple: going back to the basics. The Flames have to stop taking the easy way out. This team has the talent. The problem is, they have the ego to go with it. They need to know they have to work for a full 60 minutes.
The defense has to finish their checks. The forwards have to come back and take their man in the zone. To many defensive lapses: forwards not taking their men, defense is too slow to keep up with the rushing forwards. What is Kipper suppose to do? He can only do so much when the Flames are giving up 10-15 scoring chances a game. That adds up to an easy loss.
My friends tell me that they only lost 3-2. But this loss was just as demoralizing as the other two. Giving up another short-handed goal and a powerplay goal is really frustrating. The powerplay goal was a real concern, because the penalty kill was really strong until the road trip. But they have been giving up their share of power play goals. The Flames powerplay was one for eight on the road, which is an awful powerplay. There is no fear at all attached to giving the Flames a power play. In fact, the opposition has a better chance of scoring than the Flames do.