Game No. 45: Winning is losing

Ryan Lambert
January 17 2011 05:11PM

Calgary has an awful good chance to wrap up this long East Coast road trip at 3-0-1 tonight. Whether or not that's a good thing is up to you.

It has been with increasing worry that I've watched the Flames winning a fair number of hockey games lately. Granted, these are mostly against pretty bad teams, but they're 6-2-2 in their last 10, and that can't be discounted.

The question is: to what end? The Flames can certainly still squeak into the playoffs if they really get their act together down the stretch here, and Jay Feaster is certainly still managing the organization that way. No one would argue that this team has a shot at competing with most teams at the bottom of the current Western Conference playoff picture, at least not anyone with a realistic view of the club (the jury on Feaster is still out, I fear).

The club is old, slow and still, somehow, despite five years of being able to adequately prepare as other organizations have, not well-suited for the rigors of the New NHL. The prospect cupboard, also, is bare.

None of this is breaking news.

So why pursue winning, when each victory brings Calgary two points farther from a lottery pick? Already, Calgary is seven spots away from dead last in the league — and one supposes that the lowly bottom three are all but spoken-for by the Devils, Islanders and Oilers. Continuing to win, and to barely sneak by weak opposition, serves no purpose.

It's been said that Calgary won't trade The Core, and that's to be expected, since no GM worth having would ever tip his hand that plainly and drive down the asking price for what players of value he has.

But if you're going to do a tank job, do it properly.

Remember when Brent was mixing up lines with reckless abandon, and scratching people for no readily apparent reason? Remember when guys were earning minutes they didn't deserve? What happened to THAT?

Winning nail-biters with cellar-dwellers (which, I'll needlessly point out, Calgary's opponents tonight categorically are not), a cheery locker room and contributions from the fourth line are all well and good for teams that have Cup aspirations, even vague ones. Calgary does not fit that description.

I don't understand how anyone can operate under that delusion.

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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 Wilson
January 17 2011, 05:32PM
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Regehr in the line-up. So much for those trade rumors.

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#2 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 05:47PM
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That's what I get for besmirching Eller.

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#3 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 05:59PM
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Giordano not having a banner evening so far.

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#4 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:02PM
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All habs so far.

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#5 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:04PM
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Gio has been adequate this entire road trip.

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#6 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:04PM
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negrilcowboy wrote:

All habs so far.

Mostly. The Glencross line has created some chances this period, but everyone else has been mostly shut-out.

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#7 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:09PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Mostly. The Glencross line has created some chances this period, but everyone else has been mostly shut-out.

Glennie has to start burying those break aways.

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#8 FireOnIce
January 17 2011, 06:13PM
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Wow, being outplayed, outshot, and outscored so far, just as I turn it on halfway through the first period.

Kiprusoff follows up criticism with losses and barely wins, and follows up his barely wins with another likely stinker.

Why must the Flames torment us so?

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#9 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:15PM
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MTL led the chances count 9-6. I'm guessing Glencross' line had at least 3 or 4 of them.

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#10 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:16PM
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FireOnIce wrote:

Wow, being outplayed, outshot, and outscored so far, just as I turn it on halfway through the first period.

Kiprusoff follows up criticism with losses and barely wins, and follows up his barely wins with another likely stinker.

Why must the Flames torment us so?

10 8 round for the Habs,Rags says they gotta cut down on giving up quality scoring chances. Realy? Go figure.

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#11 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:17PM
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Also, Flames PP's were underwater in terms of chances and goals against in that one. Just abysmal.

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#12 Robert Cleave
January 17 2011, 06:20PM
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Corsi.

CGY +2, EV shots 10-8 MTL. Tough night for Iggy's line.

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#13 FireOnIce
January 17 2011, 06:22PM
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Didn't even hear Iginla's name during the second half of that first period... guess we need someone to hurl slurs at him, or maybe swing a stick at his head, to get him going.

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#14 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:28PM
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Tough night for Iggy's line.

Again.

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#15 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:29PM
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Surprised to see the Flames above water as a team in terms of possession. Didn't seem to be in the offensive end any more than the Canadiens.

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#16 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:33PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Surprised to see the Flames above water as a team in terms of possession. Didn't seem to be in the offensive end any more than the Canadiens.

Gotta get a pair of those rose coloured glasses that the sportsnet gang wear.

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#17 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:41PM
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@negrilcowboy

Heh. I'll do that when the Flames start paying me to wear them.

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#18 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:43PM
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Yeesh. Bad play and bad bounces.

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#19 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 06:45PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Heh. I'll do that when the Flames start paying me to wear them.

Once again the Flames overpaid a flattire. Charlies ok cause his wife was a bunny at one time.

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#20 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 06:50PM
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SNET with chances 8-6 in favor of CGY half way through the second. I have no idea what criteria they use to count chances.

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#21 GermanFlame
January 17 2011, 07:07PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

SNET with chances 8-6 in favor of CGY half way through the second. I have no idea what criteria they use to count chances.

They use: Step 1'nap through first period'

Step 2: Oh the shots look close...

Step 3:Lets make the scoring chances close even though they are losing quite handily

Step 4: Give the Flames the edge just because...

Step 5: Back to nap time

But on a serious note , well done Flames in the latter half of the second. Another comeback in the third? I dont doubt it, But that mountain doesnt look as steep now.

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#22 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 07:10PM
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I had the chances 8-7 for MTL in the second (and I didn't count their 4th goal as a chance).

Check that 8-6, owing to the second Flames goal being Bouwmeester's.

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#23 Robert Cleave
January 17 2011, 07:10PM
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Corsi.

CGY -3, EV shots 17-15 MTL.

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#24 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 07:22PM
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Pardy's corsi seems a little off to me, perhaps I need some rose coloured glasses.

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#25 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 07:24PM
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Robert Cleave wrote:

Corsi.

CGY -3, EV shots 17-15 MTL.

Flames have had some rough bounces in this one, but their being behind right now isn't a gross miscarriage of justice.

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#26 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 07:32PM
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Wow. Flames second improbable come back on this trip.

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#27 funkyjaman
January 17 2011, 07:32PM
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Wow is this happening????

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#28 coptin_
January 17 2011, 07:38PM
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huh turned the game of before the end of the first,i thought for sure mtl had it in the bag.did cgy pick it up or mtl take there foot off the pedal?

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#29 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 07:43PM
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coptin_ wrote:

huh turned the game of before the end of the first,i thought for sure mtl had it in the bag.did cgy pick it up or mtl take there foot off the pedal?

Ehh, bit of both. Auld let in a stinker or two as well.

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#30 negrilcowboy
January 17 2011, 07:57PM
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coptin_ wrote:

huh turned the game of before the end of the first,i thought for sure mtl had it in the bag.did cgy pick it up or mtl take there foot off the pedal?

Up by four the habs fans started cheering ole ole .... lol beautiful way to shutem up.

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#31 icedawg_42
January 17 2011, 08:00PM
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those loser points are just postponing the inevitable.

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#32 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 08:01PM
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Well, the Flames finally won a period, 5-3 in the third.

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#33 Robert Cleave
January 17 2011, 08:01PM
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Corsi.

CGY -2, EV shots finished 24-23 Habs. Lots of funny plays, so OT seems about right.

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#34 Robert Cleave
January 17 2011, 08:03PM
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Too bad, I guess, but that's an A-one shot from Subban.

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#35 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 08:04PM
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Quite the shot by Subban.

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#36 icedawg_42
January 17 2011, 08:07PM
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yup - great shot, but did the Tower give him a bit? Maybe just a bit of inexperience?

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#37 John Deere Green
January 17 2011, 08:11PM
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Kent, agreed, quite the shot by Subban but does Karrlson have to be on his knees on every shot?

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#38 Kent Wilson
January 17 2011, 08:12PM
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@icedawg_42

Yeah, he still tends to go down a little too early.

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#39 scott
January 17 2011, 08:34PM
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I'm kinda torn now, the flames are quite fun to watch WHEN they try, there is certainly no middle ground with this team, either everyone tries or no one tries (except Jackman of course).

I'd love to watch this team put in solid efforts night in and night out, but that results in them winning.... which is the opposite result I am hoping for (unless they make the playoffs)

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#40 the-wolf
January 18 2011, 06:19AM
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Hmmm....should've read this article before posting on the newest one. Now I look like a hack. In other words, I agree with everything RL says here.

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