Well the Flames came out looking good against the Hawks tonight…no, let me start again. The Flames special teams were outstanding tonight…wait, lets try it one more time. The Flames stunk up the Saddledome in one of the most humiliating losses on home ice in recent memory. There, that sums it up better.
In a game that was reasonably close through half the game, turned into a laugher as the Chicago Blackhawk’s demonstrated that they are a far superior hockey team. The Flames allowed a season high four powerplay goals and with no pressure to speak of on the penalty kill, the Hawks were able to work it around with ease and score at will. Kiprusoff had one of worst nights of the year, but also had little to no help in front of him. The turning point of the game came early in the second period. After the Flames managed to tie the score at one, Blackhawk Defenseman Nik Hjalmarsson absolutely obliterated Rene Bourque; a great hit that sent Bourque crashing to ice and out of the game (Not sure if this was true as the TV in bar had no sound, but by looking at Bourque’s TOI, it would seem to be correct). A powerplay goal would follow, and then the Hawks would pile on four more in the period to make it 6-1.
Well, the lack of discipline was depressing for a veteran team that are playing like a bunch of rookies. For the second straight game against the Blackhawk’s (a team they should aim to beat) the Flames have been embarrassed on two different levels.
One key problem is the powerplay as they have gone 4 for 38 in their last ten games (no bueno) and failed to even gain the zone on many occasions, which is a serious concern going forward. Once again, why is Lowry consulting Preston about the PP?
Another serious concern is the lack of defensive ability anywhere on the team. Case in point, Colorado’s first goal on Tuesday night when the puck just sat in the slot while 5 Flames players stared at it, and eventually stared at it going into their own net. Tonight’s game; the Hawks control the play and are rarely pressured when handling the puck. Going back to the Leafs game, similar deficiencies can be found as the Leafs controlled much of the game and if it were not for Kipper, the Flames would be on a four game losing streak right now.
All of sudden the Flames can not win at home either. They have lost four of the last five games on home ice, getting outscored 16-6 in those four losses. What happened to teams being intimidated when they came into Calgary? That seems to be a thing of the past now as teams are coming in on a regular basis now and having their way with the Flames.
The Flames have now lost 3 of their last four games overall and have been severely outplayed in two of them (Toronto and Chicago). Maybe a road trip is the best thing for this team, as they need to re-group and re-focus on what it means to play as a team.
One final note, when did Sutter yell louder: during the second intermission tonight or yesterday talking to Phaneuf in his office? Apparently showing his displeasure towards Phaneuf about being selfish after Tuesday loss to the Avalanche, Sutter was witness to an entire team of heartless individuals play a game of hockey tonight.
I feel for the people that paid good money to see that game live…
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
Read More at: http://calgaryontheflames.blogspot.com