February 18 2013 11:07PM
The Flames looked to go into the desert, find the magical oasis and leave with two points to finally put them over the .500 mark. Instead they ended up running out of gas, lost, and will be on the plane tending to some really bad dog bites.
Experimenting with yet another goaltender, Calgary seems quite content to try and make hay out of whatever the opposition gives then on any given night.
Tonight, Mike Smith didn't give them a thing, and after clawing their way back against Dallas last night for the win, they simply had nothing left in their canteens once they got to the desert.
The much anticipated debut of Danny Taylor didn't start off too great. Just :41 seconds into the game Phoenix was on the board when former Flames fan favorite, David Moss, would center the puck right in front of Taylor. Calgary was too busy asking Mosser how he enjoyed the desert air to notice Keith Yandle, and just like that, it was 1-0 for the Yotes. Taylor didn't have a chance, but I'm sure many fans were already shaking their heads.
That was it for the first. Phoenix out-shot Calgary 14-8, out-chanced them 8-5. The only brightspot was that the Flames kept it out of the net on the Coyotes PP, the only one of the period for either team.
The second period was even less eventful. Despite the Flames out-chancing the Yotes 5-1 and out-shooting them 13-10, they weren't able to generate enough offense to get the puck past Mike Smith; even on their one and only PP of the period and game.
On we go to the third. So it's going to be just like the final period against the Stars right? Dig deep, press hard and just will your team into coming from behind again for the win... Yaaaawn, nope.
:30 seconds into the third, Mikkel Boedker would put the Yotes up by two. Ekman-Larsson would shoot wide left of Taylor and the puck would come right back out to his left. It seemed that Danny tried to track the puck behind him but was looking over the wrong shoulder. By the time he realized the puck came back out the other side, it was on Boedker's stick. The good news, Taylor slid over in time to make the save; the bad news is he left his pad open, which Boedker banked the puck off of and into the net. Not a good goal for Taylor but he was playing well enough to excuse it in his first game, the team however, was not.
After that, the third can be summed up with, "the Flames just didn't have anything left."
At 9:27, Antoine Vermete would make it 3-0, and that was all she wrote. To add insult to injury, Raffi Torres would make it 4-0 and David Moss would get his second assist of the game.
Why the Flames Lost...
Because despite generating 15 scoring chances, they couldn't get anything passed Mike Smith. With 30 shots-on-goal you would think that some of them would leave you saying, "Ohhhh that was sooo close". Not tonight.
Because the team didn't bring any energy with them from Dallas. They played the game and despite keeping the score close for two periods, they were pretty much playing from behind the whole night.
Because their special teams was a non-factor tonight. Despite keeping the Yotes offthe scoreboard via the power-play, the Flames only had one themselves and couldn't capitalize on it. If Calgary could have tied the game with Ekman-Larsson in the box, we might have had a different game in the third (doubt it though).
Because the Flames only managed to win 29 out of 73 face-offs. Part of the Flames success in generating chances and being able to score often, has come from controlling the play. Calgary had 41 hits on the night yet only created four takeaways from Phoenix. Calgary isn't talented enough to win games when they are playing from behind in all categories.
In a game like this? I don't think so.
I'll give an honourable mention to Danny Taylor. He let in four but really only one was a stinker, and let's face it, tonight the whole team stunk. Calgary's best line was their fourth line... THEIR FOURTH LINE!!
That means their was no one tonight providing any spark, of any kind, for this team. That means no Firestarter.
Ex-Flame, David Moss, had 16:03 of ice-time, 2 assists, 1 hit and was 50% on his face-offs. He can have it!
Sum it Up
Yeah... Hartley should be upset about this one. It seems for every step forward this team takes, they are just as likely to stumble back.
The Flames may have been on the 2nd half of a back-to-back night, but it was still a pretty pathetic effort tonight. Calgary went .500 on this mini road trip, but finds themselves a game under overall. Worst of all, they burned a game-in-hand that they didn't have the luxury of giving up.
Anyways, you can't whine about it after the fact. Take your beatings from Hartley and then put this one behind you. The Flames face the Kings on Wednesday back in the Dome. LA is a team that is currently behind Calgary but now has a game-in-hand on us. Wednesday night should be considered yet another must win... but then again, aren't they all for this team?
Gametime against the Kings is 8:00 pm. It's the late one on TSN's double header night, which means they'll probably join the game in progress.. cause well, that's what TSN does when the Flames are on.
If I'm Hartley, I give the start right back to Taylor. Can't put this loss on him when his team can't score even one for him. Give em another chance? Hell, why not.