October 11 2011 01:47PM
Okay. So the first couple of games have been, uh, underwhelming. The Flames have been outscored 10-5, have the worst shot differential in the league and have looked for all the world like a hopelessly outclassed collection of overpaid stiffs.
Coming into the season, FlamesNation detailed some noteworthy concerns with the club: Kipper's poor season(s), the lack of truly elite forwards, the club's bad record against high-end teams in the etc. I think those are still realistic anxieties and ones the Flames organization will have to continue to assess and address.
All that said, let us all take a collective breath here. Any team in the league can stink for two games. Human performance is variable. I once saw the Red Wings lose to the Blue Jacket by 6+ goals (and they were fill value for the suckitude that night). Sometimes performance doesn't equal ability.There are games when the bounces go against you. There are others where you just play well below your ceiling. It happens.
We can safely say the Flames first two losses probably aren't accurate reflections of the team we have. Whatever faults there are on the roster - and there are a few - the Flames simply aren't this bad. They've come out of the gate rusty and snoozing for whatever reason. I'm not sure how long it will take for them to get back on the horse be it another few games or another month, but things will turn around.
I'm not usually one to play pollyanna and I certainly think fans are certainly entitled to be skeptical of the Flames given the last couple of non-playoff seasons. That said, I think there's been a few bright spots:
- Curtis Glencross is having a decent strart to the year. I think he's been one of the more dangerous Flames forwards thus far.
- Mark Giordano looks like he'll be able to carry Hannan or whoever he skates with. It wouldn't surprise me to see him get an all-star nod this year.
- As evidenced by the Babchuk scratch, Brent Sutter is obviously not intimidated by contract status. Clearly the upper office isn't dictating coaching strategies anymore.
That's a few dim bright spots in the murk for now. Feel free to chime in with your own.
As regular readers know, I'm not an apologist for this club (quite the opposite) and I will certainly be unflinching in my criticism should the Flames continue to flounder as the season moves along. Right now, though, we're just two games in - less than 3% of the season as a whole. And just as no one would be etching the Flames name on the cup if they dominated the first two contests of the season, no one should be writing their obituary quite yet either.
It'll get better folks.