Here are some numbers from the five game road-trip the Flames just came back from:
A record of 1-2-2.
Average of 2.8 goals against per game.
Average of 1.8 goals for per game.
1 for 15 on the PP or 6.67% completion, including going 0 for 12 in the final four games.
16 for 21 on the PK or 76.19% efficiency
1 -1 in shootouts
Only one blown lead – to blow a lead, you must first have a lead and those were few and far between.
1-2-1 against the Atlantic division.
Injuries: Stajan (2 games), Regehr (1 game). Both returned before the trip was done.
So in summation: The power play is horrifyingly bad which coincides with the team’s inability to score timely goals.
So what you’re telling me is that nothing really changed...
I look to one stretch of play during the Detroit game that set the tone for the entire road trip in my mind – the four minute power play opportunity in the middle of the third period while leading 4-2. The team was lackadaisical in their effort barely gaining the blue line for a majority of the man-advantage. Coincidentally the Wings drew a penalty mid way through the extended minor and scored soon after, and well, the rest is history.
The Flames inability to put a team away is frightening. They don’t have the cutthroat mentality, or so it would appear, to win tightly contested hockey games against formidable opponents. You can shower the Wings with compliments all you want, but the bottom line is that the Flames should have won that game being up by two goals that late. There is no excuse, and that one incident set the tone for the entire road trip where scoring clutch goals became more difficult than getting out of a complex hedge maze.
The team is still stuck in 14th spot in the conference with 20 points and sits seven back of 8th position.
Compare this to last season and the team was 14-6-3 at this point in the season for a total of 31 points.
The bright spots on this team are few and far between. The penalty kill was good in the Philadelphia game. Iginla and Bourque scored a five of the teams nine goals on the road trip – not sure if this counts as a bright spot or not. Bouwmeester is actually stepping up and taking command of the blue line. Kipper kept the Pittsburgh game from being 10-1, which was helpful in keeping our team pride.
In potential trade news, Cory Sarich was riding the press box pine for the final three games of the road trip, and not by choice I might add. When the coach picks Steve Staios, Brendan Mikkelson and Anton Babchuk instead of you, something must be up. Sarich was not playing THAT poorly. With Kotalik set to come back, the Flames need to free up some cap room and Sarich’s $3.6 million is the perfect amount.
The shoe seems to fit.
But like all of Darryl’s recent deals, this one will simply be another temporary band-aid on the complex mess that is the Flames salary cap situation.
The locals are getting restless.
In case you missed it, check out Bryan "The Rev" Wright's trip alongside the Flames in these Road Trip Blogs!
And look for his blog about his first visit to the brand new CONSOL Enery Center in Pittsburgh this week!