Postgame: Sinking, Sinking...

Pat Steinberg
December 21 2010 08:02PM

COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 21: Jakub Voracek  of the Columbus Blue Jackets is congratulated by his teammates after scoring against the Calgary Flames during the first period on December 21, 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

A battle between two teams not playing very well went the wrong way for the Calgary Flames, as the Columbus Blue Jackets rode a first period goal to a 3-1 win on Tuesday night.  It drops Calgary to a new season low, four games below .500 with a Thursday game against the Dallas Stars to finish off a three game road trip.

WHAT HAPPENED

It didn't start well for the Flames, as Jakub Voracek opened things up with a nice individual effort at 5:14.  Grabbing the puck in the right corner, Voracek went on a little bit of a walk and found some open ice in the high slot area, where he wired a shot past Calgary goalie Henrik Karlsson.  It was Voracek's sixth of the season and the Jackets would carry their one goal lead into the second period.

After a fairly even start to the middle frame, the Jackets would score at even strength once again, this time on a goal mouth scramble.  After Tom Sestito put the puck on net from close range, Boll would follow up by pushing the puck past from the crease area, and the Jackets would take a 2-0 lead at 11:18 of the second. 

Karlsson would make some big stops in the second period, including a real nice glove save to thwart a golden Columbus chance, and the Flames would finally got on the board late in the period.  On the powerplay, Jarome Iginla showed some nice patience on the left half boards before firing a nice cross ice pass to Olli Jokinen; he'd make no mistake from the right circle to get Calgary within one, and after 40 the Flames were down 2-1.

It was the 18th time this season the Flames would find themselves down after two periods of play, and they'd get some push at times in the final frame.  Calgary generated a few opportunities, and caught a break late in the third thanks to a bench minor on Columbus for too many men. 

They would be unable to tie the game up though, unsuccessful on a key powerplay and didn't do much once they pulled their goalie for an extra man.  After a few times being unsuccessful gaining the zone, Jackets defenceman Rostislav Klesla banked the puck off the glass and the puck found it's way into the empty Calgary net to seal the game, and seal Calgary's third straight loss.

ONE GOOD REASON

...why the Flames lost?  Because they just didn't have enough.  I'm sure the fatigue of back-to-back games played it's part, but all teams play games on consecutive nights, so it's not a viable excuse.  They just looked flat for too much of this hockey game, and didn't generate enough at even strength. 

Not taking credit away from the Jackets, because they played their game well, but this is a team Calgary should be able to generate on...yet it was the Columbus fourth line generating at even strenght and not enough of Calgary's offensive players.  The likes of Rene Bourque, Curtis Glencross and Brendan Morrison were no good and well under water in the scoring chance count, and 11 chances at even strength isn't going to get it done.

RED WARRIOR

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 26: Olli Jokinen  of the Calgary Flames skates during a hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 26, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flames won 3-2. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
 

I don't know, why not - Olli Jokinen.  I'm thinking of just disolving this particular part of the postgame.  He scored a goal, because he shot the puck...and yeah, he made you drop a few four letter words tonight, as he usually does, but at least he scored. No one else did.

SUM IT UP

The team is four games below .500 for the first time this season, and they have one more game before the Christmas break.  The Head Coach continues to say "stay the course" and that's all he can really say...but the fact of the matter is, they just aren't playing well enough on a game in, game out basis.  Stay what course?

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Pat Steinberg can be heard daily on the Fan960 in Calgary at can be read at the FAN 960. Born and raised in Calgary, Steinberg considers himself a huge fan of all sports including the CFL, MMA and 13 round bare knuckle boxing matches. Follow Steinberg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Fan960Steinberg.
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#151 ise
December 23 2010, 05:40AM
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here what i think, the whole coaching and managment structure needs the boot. then we trade guys like bourqe, reggie, jaybo, bassicaly guys with value. but keep iggy , i kno your gona say iginla isnt gona win a cup thn, but think about it. hes the perfect guy to help the prospects grow , also i do think calgary has a chance of winning a cup in 3 or 4 years if the team decides to rebiuld in the end of this season, so why not rightt

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#152 dougtheslug
December 23 2010, 07:08AM
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I agree with CitizenFlame and SmellofVictory that there are differences betweeen the circumstances of Kovalchuk, Heatley and Iginla. My point was really that there are no guarantees that a trade is going to result in bouncing the Flames back into a realistic contender. Trading a player like Iginla, a former Hart trophy winner with Hall of Fame numbers, on the downside of his career, has few precedents. SmellofVictory mentions the Pronger trade(I assume he means the Anaheim to Philly one, not the Edmonton to Anaheim one but they are both illustrative of what I'm saying).Edmonton had its hand forced much like Ottawa did with Heatley, and they got Lupul, Smid, and a low 1st rounder which turned out to be Riley(not Rick!) Nash. Not a great return. Anaheim, under very different circumstances(just off a Cup win) got Lupul(again!), Lucas Sbisa, and 2 low first rounders which turned into Emerson Etem (having a decent year in Medicine Hat) and Kyle Palmieri who will play for USA in the WJC).Not bad but illustrative of my point that it will take a few years to play out as to who got the better of that deal. I think that is the best Calgary can hope for - prospects and picks that will take years to develope. Prospects can be tricky, and one has to be patient and buy in to the slow rebuild.

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#153 dougtheslug
December 23 2010, 09:20AM
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One further comment: with all due respect to Robyn Regehr, a good guy and a decent shut down d-man, he is no Chis Pronger, who, no matter what you think of him as a person, was an all-world stud who basically carried 3 underdogs to the cup final on his back, winning one. And we saw what Edmonton and Anaheim got for him in the prime of his career with decent contract numbers. It is a lot to hope for that Calgary could get more than a few draft picks and a couple of longshot prospects for Regehr if they were to trade him now.

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#154 dotfras
December 23 2010, 09:33AM
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I don't think Calgary knew Jarome would turn into the player that Jarome is when they traded for him.

Prospects are never a sure fire thing, but you have to get younger. Boston could be an ideal trade partner given that they would have to rid themselves of a player to fit in Iggy's salary, a guy like Wheeler would be nice coming back. He's young, big, would fit great on a line with Bork.

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