I am at a complete loss to get my head around the Calgary Flames this season. Here we are, with six games remaining, and I can tell you nothing about what this team is or isn’t. This act that the Flames have put on throughout the season is what’s responsible for a desperate run to the end of the season, where the playoffs are anything but certain.
As a fan of this team, I don’t know how you’ve done it this season. You’ve been given glimmers of hope, indications that maybe this team can be better than a group of players scrapping for a playoff berth. The most recent? A 5-3 win over the league’s best team in the Washington Capitals. Before that? A 10-2-2 month of November and a 17-6-3 start. What about a damn impressive January win over Vancouver or a 4-1 start coming off the Olympic break? With all those examples in the bank, I think everyone has one question. Why are the Calgary Flames still so damn frustrating?
We know that the Flames aren’t a perfect team. I’ve pretty much made up my mind in that the Flames are probably right around where they should be. Do I believe they might be better than a 9th place team? Yeah, I think so… but not much. This is a team that hasn’t inspired any confidence that they have the caliber of playing division-challenging hockey for any extended period of time. And I guess that’s what’s so mind-numbing here.
Nobody expects a team to be deadly efficient for 82 games. But it’s not unfair to expect a team to put forth a rather steady front more often than not. The probem is, the Flames have had trouble stringing together stretches where the way they play resembles something positive from the previous outing. And when that does happen, it doesn’t seem to last. Yet, here we are again thinking the Flames may not be out of it. Or at least some are.
On Overtime Sunday night, there was a lot of "a win over Washington is good, but what’s to say they won’t step back against Phoenix?" And can you really blame anyone for thinking that? I don’t think it’s overly cynical to wonder if the Flames will put on their "will we or won’t we" act in the final six games of the season. If they don’t? Pleasant surprise I guess, especially if they’re able to catch Colorado for 8th. If they do, I guess we can’t really be all that disappointed. Fool me once, shame on you… fool me twice (or however many times after), shame on me.