California dreamin’ or California nightmare?
I’d say the latter was a more apt description of the result of the two game road trip. Two games, one point – simply put, it’s just not good enough.
Despite late charges in both games, the Flames fell short in each game – stretching it to the shootout in Anaheim while falling in regulation in LA.
They fall behind early only to fight back and fall short in the end. The story is all too familiar, and so are the cast of characters, both on the ice and off of it.
The Flames powerplay went a surprising 2 for 9, which is at least respectable. But, given the fact the Flames had five chances before Jokinen finally broke the impenetrable Swiss fortress that was Jonas Hiller last night, the Flames power play is still horrifying to watch.
It reminds of the time when Homer became coach of Bart’s football team and was designing the next play by looking at a toy football game that was malfunctioning. “Okay, half of you vibrate that way, two of you fall down. Nelson, you just spin around in circles.”
That’s the essence of the Flames man-advantage unit – extremely static with little to no creativity. In the Kings game, the Flames could barely set-up in the offensive zone because the Kings would be on them right away. The Kings knew what the Flames were going to do, and for the most part, so does everyone else.
Along with the power play, the results have followed as the Flames continue to lose tight games and they continue to slide further and further down the ladder.
The Flames are now officially dead last in the conference behind the Edmonton Oilers.
On the Fan960 the other day, I heard a very interesting comment from one of the guys. He said the Flames aren’t scared enough of other players taking their jobs because they all have no movement or no trade clauses. He makes a good point as Iginla, Stajan, Bourque, Kotalik, Jokinen, Tanguay, Bouwmeester, Regehr, Sarich and Kiprusoff all either have NMC or NTC. Not to mention Langkow who is on the long term IR. That’s 10 players, nearly half the team, that can rest assure that unless they say so, they are not going anywhere. Where’s the need to work? Where does the push come from? How do you allow giving almost half your team, and a majority of your salary cap, rights on whether or not they can be moved? Trading is tough enough in this cap driven world, so why tie yourself (Sutter) into your own noose?
I’ve run out of things to say to describe my disappointment for this team.
When will the Flames ownership get tired of the same old same old? When will they realize that Sutter has created a mess he can’t get out of? When will they realize that this team has no chance of advancing anywhere given its current make-up and the only answer is change?
Change can’t come soon enough. Let the healing process begin. Please?