Both the Ducks and the Flames will be desperate for a win today: the Flames, because a 4 game losing streak would remind them of the late season swoons they experienced under both Keenan and Playfair, while the Ducks are currently enmeshed in the cluster-f that is the Western Conference play-off bubble.
The last three games have not been good ones for Calgary. Their stars have been outscored and the depth guys were quiet. The goaltending has been average – aside from the Dallas loss – and the power play has looked punchless. Different defenseman took their turn looking ineffectual as well – from rookie Adam Pardy to “Norris candidate” Dion Phaneuf to the usually unflappable Robyn Regehr. Yup, the pain hasn’t been localized during the recent spate of ineptitude…it’s been a total body ache.
Should the losing streak continue today, it’ll be interesting to see what it does to Sutter’s perceptions of the team and it’s needs going forward. About a week ago (I believe), he was quoted saying something to effect of “there’s nothing on the market that interests me. We have better players in the minors than what’s being offered.” While that may be true – I have no idea what is currently on the market – that comment strikes me as arrogance born out of the Flames noteworthy run. Especially since the Flames have very little on the farm outside of Jamie Lundmark, Kyle Greentree and *wretch* Anders Eriksson.
Losing has a way of revealing flaws that were previously hidden. A few more notches in the “L” column and Im guessing the on-going struggles of Jarome Iginla or the obvious lack of another legitimate top 4 defenseman will suddenly come into stark focus for the fanbase and management alike: meaning Darryl wont just be looking for another useless veteran back-up come the end of the month.