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Ryan Lambert
February 20 2009 10:45AM

fargo

I'm going to change my perspective on this team, I guess. I've been looking at this slump all wrong.

Specifically, it's fine to acknowledge that the team has played like absolute garbage for the better part of the entire month now. There was that four-game losing streak to start us off, which coincided nicely with the launch of this site and made us feel like quite the fool.

But since then, they've continued to play poorly and have somehow earned points in a little stretch of six straight games, during which the team has gone 4-0-2. While they've only allowed 15 goals in those six games, that's largely been because Miikka Kiprusoff was playing his ass off, as he did once again last night, making 25 saves.

Let's kick the ballistics here: Calgary, in this run, has allowed 207 shots. That's 34.5 a night. Realistically, you can't continue to allow that many shots and expect to win games. But because Calgary's been doing it, I don't think I can continue to be upset about it.

Because if the team plays this poorly and wins, imagine what it will do if it ever gets on-track again. (Big if!) It can lay the powers of the Western Conference to waste. No problem.

At least, that's what I'll keep telling myself while all these points keep the team warm at night.

The Good

  • A win. While it was only in overtime and thus Calgary conceded a point to a division rival, at least the Wild are far enough back of the Flames (14 points) that, in the end, it likely won't matter. So whatever, I guess.
  • The fact that the game went to overtime at all is a miracle. Calgary was pretty damn awful for more or less the entirety of the opening 35 minutes, but a goofy happenstance that resulted in the Rene Bourque goal sure was nice to at least give Calgary some breathing room for a little while.
  • Kipper was very good again. Can't fault him on the goal from Clark Gillies, and I'm still not sure what happened on Danny Fritsche's shortie. But what the hell, right? Guy's been pretty much bulletproof lately.
  • Dustin Boyd's goal right off the draw was a perfect little set piece that resulted in a goal. Win the faceoff back to the point, big shot, get bodies to the front of the net for the rebound/deflection. Pretty much exactly how you draw that up. Big goal, too.
  • And obviously, Adrian Aucoin's OT game-winner was fairly important. At least it didn't go to a shootout!

The Bad

  • Losing Rene Bourque for "a long time" due to the ankle injury caused by Fritsche's slew foot (and that's exactly what it was) is very upsetting. Keenan noted in the postgame presser that Bourque should have been a Selke nominee, but now he won't get his due consideration. Keenan also seemed on the verge of tears while announcing the injury. While I'm not sure I'm that broken up over this, I'm certainly broken up some. The guy's got as many goals as Jarome Iginla, fer chrissake.
  • Aucoin's giveaway on the aforementioned Fritsche goal was awful. That's two shorties against in two games, both off terrible turnovers. The Flames seem to have at least one giveaway a night that directly leads to an opponent's goal. It's unbearable.
  • In fact, and this is obviously related to the first two points here, the entire sequence was just awful for the Flames. Bourque catches a slew foot from Fritsche and is out for a long-ass time, Aucoin loses the puck to the middle of the ice for no real reason, and Fritsche scores shorthanded. Brutal turn of events right there.

The Ugly

  • Oh hey Jarome Iginla's play was awful once again last night. I knew it was too good to be true.
  • My "Needless Todd Bertuzzi Penalty" counter is now officially broken.
  • That power play last night was atrocious. One shot? Come on.
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Yer ol' buddy Lambert is handsome and great and everyone loves him. Also you can visit his regular blog at The Two-Line Pass or follow him on Twitter. Lucky you!
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#1 Kent
February 20 2009, 11:57AM
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The PP is an abomination right now. There's just not much at all happening with it.

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#2 Brent G.
February 20 2009, 12:46PM
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A conspiracy theorist would say Bourque going down was planned because he was going to pass Iggy leaving him third on the team in goals, looking quite foolish, and leaving us all wondering about that 7 mill extension. Im on to you Sutter. Im just joking.

Anyways, thats a terrible loss and calling him a selke candidate is not too far off IMO. He'll be hard to replace until he comes back although I do think hell be back by playoffs. It took Crosby 21 games to overcome a similar injury. I hope thye have someone in the system who can atleast fill in, likely Lundmark.

Even though Bert didnt get the penalty he definitely deserved it on one interference play. Him and another player were coming back to the Flames zone and he bowled him over. Bert them proceeded to look directly at the ref and have that stupid innocent look on his face. This broke the count but the intent to do something stupid and get another needless penalty was there...

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#3 The C of Red
February 20 2009, 02:04PM
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Like i've said this past week to friends and people who can't seem to be proud of the way these boys have been playing. Goaltending is strong, depth scoring is there we have the keys and last night was a kick back in to reality every team isn't immune to injuries and some get over it some don't this team can do it and what's a better cure then dealing with the hated Oilers tomorrow night.

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