Heartbroken. Disappointed. Frustrated.
All words that describe how the Flames must feel right now. The Flames lost their 8th consecutive game tonight despite holding a lead going into the final period. They fought hard in the 2nd, arguably their best period, but let one squeak by them with only 24 seconds left in the period to cut their lead in half. This event, one of two goals to bank off of Flames defensemen tonight, was the turning point of the evening. The Flames went into their ‘prevent defence’ formation in the 3rd and let Dallas dictate the flow of the period. The Flames managed only 5 shots in the 3rd and overtime before falling in the shootout.
For the first time in 11 days the Flames held a lead going into the final period. However, for the 2nd time in 11 days, they relinquished said lead. They simply have zero confidence in themselves and it shows on the ice. Once their friend ‘adversity’ shows up, the Flames players seem to run for the hills. You can not expect to win hockey games by allowing teams to dominate you in the final period when the game is on the line.
Due in part to a bonehead play by Rene Bourque (you are supposed to drop your stick when it breaks), the Flames were forced down a man. Thirty seconds later Bouwmeester joins Rene in the sin bin, giving Dallas their much needed opportunity to tie the game. They did not miss. The Flames were ‘white-knuckling’ the steering wheel and it cost them the chance to snap the drought. The Flames can not win if they only show up for a half, or two-thirds of a 60 minute affair; they are not that good of a team. The Flames must bear down and play a full game.
A few positives out of this game was the play of the Captain and his moustached comrade, Olli Jokinen. Both players scored goals tonight which was a great sign for a team in desperate need of scoring help. For the first time since November 30th the Flames scored two powerplay goals in a single game. This was thanks in part to Mark Fistric for using Nystrom’s helmet as his own personal Billy club. That had to be one of the most bizarre things you might ever see in a fight. Another bizarre happening was Miikka Kiprusoff getting awarded back-to-back slashing calls in overtime. Kipper clearly getting frustrated but at the same time, they were very, very soft calls.
The silver lining is this: they have a chance to get right back on that dilapidated horse and try it again against the Coyotes. If they can finally get a win and come away with 3 of 4 points on this mini road trip, than maybe, possibly they can turn this runaway train around.
Otherwise they might as well make this their theme song:
“Pants on the Ground, Pants on the Ground, looking like a fool with your pants on the ground!”
This has been,
Newman on the Flames
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