Postgame: Brutal

Calgary Flames' Mark Giordano (L) is sent flying by Washington Capitals' David Steckel during the first period of their NHL hockey game in Calgary, Alberta, October 30, 2010. REUTERS/Todd Korol (CANADA - Tags: SPORT ICE HOCKEY)

Due to a very, very long locker room session and a long wait to hear from the Head Coach of the Calgary Flames, I’ll be unable to put a full post up following Calgary’s 7-2 debacle of a loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals.  I’ll put one up later, but I figured discussion needs to start now, especially when the night goes like that.

Coach Sutter called the first period of this game as one of the best they’ve played all season in terms of how they want to play.  It went from a good opening frame, to an absolutely awful second period where six goals were scored and the team absolutely collapsed.  Not only did the team collapse, but the Flames quit, and this game snowballed out of control.

There’s really no excuse for what happened in that final 40 minutes, regardless of what team they were playing.  It’s three straight games where Calgary got away from playing good, smart hockey…and it’s three straight games where the results were pretty clear as to why that can’t happen.  It just so happened on this night, the result was shockingly lopsided.

  • Oyo

    Does anyone think stripping Iginla of the’C’ might wake him up a little??? I’m not sure who you would give it to, no-one really deserves it right now, except maybe Gio

    • That’s the thing…I don’t think doing that helps matters, in fact I think it makes it worse.

      There’s a disconnect between player and coach, and this look to only make things worse.

      Right now, it’s either on Iginla to start playing some consistent hockey, and doing that how Brent Sutter wants, or continue to be inconsistent and draw the ire of more and more fans.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    There is more than one way to circumvent the salary cap.
    Ilya is an example of one way.
    Jarome is an example of another way.
    Instead of paying him $9M two seasons ago, and $5M this season, he gets paid $7M each season.
    Jarome isn’t worth $7M now, but Darryl didn’t expect him to be. He expected him to be worth $49M over 7 seasons (or 42 over 6, I forget), with the bulk of his value coming in the first several seasons.
    As such, Jarome’s contract becomes increasingly untradeable as time passes.

    • Oyo

      exactly my point. we all love him in calgary and he has done everything he can for this team. but were not winning a cup anytime soon i dont think and the least we could do for him is make that a possiblity. his value goes down every year now so it makes this THEE time to trade him for some value!

      no??

      • I’m sure last year team’s like Philly & Montreal were saying that they weren’t gonna win a cup any time soon & look what happened.

        Once playoffs hit it truly is a free for all. We have one of the best goaltenders in the league, great defense, and a decent group of forwards who have history of playing well. Iginla isn’t going to get traded after 10 sub par performances.

        I don’t think Iginla gets traded this year, MAYBE next year if at all.

        I can see White going at the deadline for a draft pick, I really don’t see him getting resigned.

        • Oyo

          “Once playoffs hit it truly is a free for all. We have one of the best goaltenders in the league, great defense, and a decent group of forwards who have history of playing well”

          ONCE playoffs hit……if we play the right way i have no doubt we can get in the playoffs in a 7 or 8 spot. but if we dont…… were not making it. plain and simple. to many good teams in the league right now.

          i can also see white going… but id rather trade j bouw for a top 3 forward.

          but i SERIOUSLY doubt either iggy or bouw is going anywhere

      • I’m sure last year team’s like Philly & Montreal were saying that they weren’t gonna win a cup any time soon & look what happened.

        Once playoffs hit it truly is a free for all. We have one of the best goaltenders in the league, great defense, and a decent group of forwards who have history of playing well. Iginla isn’t going to get traded after 10 sub par performances.

        I don’t think Iginla gets traded this year, MAYBE next year if at all.

        I can see White going at the deadline for a draft pick, I really don’t see him getting resigned.

    • PrairieStew

      Because Iggy has almost 3 years left at $7 m, that is asking a team to take on a big liability, hence the return will be low. At this point you would probably get the same assets for Glencross or White ( since their salaries are both lower and shorter) as you would for Iggy and that would not do from a public relations POV. Iggy’s trade value will remain constant until the last year of his contract when, even if he is playing even at a 20 goal, 50 point type level, his value will actually increase as Trade deadline 2013 approaches.

      Same logic applies to Bouwmeester – he is tied up long term to big dollars and his play is roughly that of someone making half of what he is bringing home. Trade value is therefore nil.

      Having said that, I don’t think Sutter is afraid to act; it just doesn’t make any sense to him yet.

  • Section 216

    We can all say that we should trade Iggy, But in all honestly what market is their for him. It’s clear to me he’s not a Top line player at the moment and we can all say “Oh the Kings need a guy like him” but how these teams like the Kings and Hawks got where they are is through youth not taking on older players.

    I’m afraid I might die if Iginla leaves. I think the best thing we can do is just wait it out and look we’re entering Iginla’s best month as well.

    • Graham

      Its all about asset management, think of the return you could have had a couple of seasons ago, vs his current value?

      His market value is tanking; poor on the ice performance (last year and this year),lack of scoring, difficult to coach, slow, a defensive liability , he is quickly becoming a true powerless forward…

      He still has time to turn this season around, so maybe you try and move him at the deadline
      and get what you can. (although I expect he will retire a Flame)

  • everton fc

    @B

    “Maybe we should try Morrison with Tanguay and Iggy? Morrison looks like he has some passion left”

    This is the sanest idea I have read from this thread.

    Or, swap Morrison with Iggy (your idea is better, though!)

  • It’s gotta be tough to play in calgary. I know that the players sign up for this but everyone is so hard of them right now. It’s well known that players always play their best when they are having fun. I think the main problem is that there isn’t an attitude of fun in calgary right now. I think it starts at the top and works it’s way down. Both Sutters are hard nosed and serious guys. It can be emotionally draining to be working for a guy like that day in and day out. There has to be a change. The players have to feel wanted and appriciated in order to play relaxed and confident. That isn’t there right now.
    My only solution to fixing the problem is getting a new GM that brings another attitude. Someone that the players WANT to play for. I’m sure the players will tell you right now that they want to play in calgary or play for sutter but I don’t believe it. They just look stressed and drained every night (even when they win)

  • everton fc

    @Dave

    Good post.

    Calgary is getting like a Toronto or New York, as a sports market. And we are doing it to ourselves. (Potentially I’ll take a few on the chin for saying this… but that’s how it is) This becomes problematic, as I think we are all experiencing.

    It is also why Karlsson scares me. I hope he’s a hit, but I think we’d be better served by a goalie like Cujo, or some other veteran who’s seen minutes and dealt with the bad press. Auld comes to mind, but is gainfully employed. We continue to go with kids… and get the results we have been getting from our backups. Too much pressure, perhaps?

    Brent keeps talking about wanting to have fun. “The players need to feel like they are having fun.”

    I don’t sense they are. That’s pretty obvious.

    They may want to play here and for the Sutters. I think they do. I like the Sutters, actually. But the approach towards the players seems to drain them of all hope.

    Not good leadership.

    I don’t blame the GM this time. He’s not in the locker room between periods, or running practice.

    Which makes me wonder about our coaching staff. Lowry, McGill – perhaps they are in over their collective heads?? I understand McGill can be a real drill sergeant…

    Funny, but the Flames of old played their guts our for Darryl, didn’t they? And he was tough. Rigid. Obstinate, at times. But I wouldn’t say he was a downer. Not really.

    Brent seems to be a downer. Seems whooped. As does his entire coaching staff. You could see it in Lowry’s face Saturday, as well. Whooped.

    It has trickled down into the players, methinks…

    They should have given Playfair more time.

    He’s still in the organization…

    • everton fc

      …most people seem to have a “lovem or hatem” opinion of the Sutter’s. For me it’s not that black and white.

      …I think they run a sort of Western Canadian old-boys-club from top down. There is little room creativity and little deviation from the party line so-to-speak. This goes hand in hand with the lack of Eastern European representation on the team, because stereo-typically Eastern Europeans players are more individualistic and creative.

      …from what I hear Brent works them pretty hard in practice. This goes hand in hand with the image the old-boys-club is trying to project (“farmer-tough attitude”). I think the players may just be burnt out, 82 games is a long haul, you need to pace yourself so you have some juice left for the playoffs.

      …when lots of people were calling for the Sutter’s heads this past offseason I didn’t agree. They had 40 wins and barely missed the playoffs. Sure they aren’t the most modern of people. But they have and do produce above average results. If they don’t make it this year I’ll be more open to the idea. If they don’t make it three years in a row I’ll be behind the angry mob 100%.

  • everton fc

    @B

    I agree with the assessment of the Sutter’s. It’s obvious.

    Ands I must confess my POV is jaded because I still think Playfair should have been given a chance. He should still be our coach. (My opinion, of course).

    Being more rural-at-heart than suburban, I will never hate the Sutter’s. I guess I find myself wondering what they say to someone like Sarich after that own-goal of his. Sarich has been working hard. He is like the Sutter’s – no-nonsense, serious player. Takes his job seriously. And so forth.

    His own goal was a fantastic fluke, and timing being everything, it was a nail in the coffin for the Flames that evening. What do the Sutter’s say to Sarich in this scenario?

    I know when a kid does something unintentional, yet destructive on the farm, some farm dad’s hammer the heck out of the kid. But many put their arm around them and simply say, “It’s okay. Don’t worry about it.”

    I know this team frustrates Brent far more that any of us fans. But Sarich needed to here that Saturday – that his fluke own goal was just that, a poorly timed fluke. It happens. What message, if any, does a guy like Sarich get in that situation? You have to build these fellows up now. That’s the coaches job.

    Brent keep saying he wants the players to have fun coming to the rink. Are they? Is he?? The mood of the crew on any ship cascades from the captain to the deckhands…

    Easy for me to say, of course, sitting here trying to get my kids to sleep! Brent, Iggy, Joker – all of them are under way more pressure than I am these days. But Brent is the mood of the team. Not Iggy, Regehr, Jokinen, or anyone else in that locker room.

    Brent has to get these boys hungry to come to the rink. He has to make it fun again. No matter how frustrating things are at the present.

    If he can’t…

    • everton fc

      …actually, it is VERY obvious, haha.

      …you can’t blame Sarich for that goal. If Sutter’s do it’s wasted energy at best, insanity at worst.

      What message, if any, does a guy like Sarich get in that situation?

      …both Sarich and Sutter need to be professional and objective. Dwelling on a fluke goal negates both and turns a negative into an even bigger negative.

      Brent keep saying he wants the players to have fun coming to the rink. Are they? Is he?? The mood of the crew on any ship cascades from the captain to the deckhands…

      …the Sutter’s, in my opinion, need to put their collective ego’s aside and reduce the work load on their players to keep them fresh. Recovery is just as important as putting in the work. The Flames players would be having more fun if they would go into games mentally and physically refreshed and energized, but that is impossible when in many ways you have a 1970’s coaching mentality (or are used to coaching junior players with a lot more to lose and a lot more energy, just think how much more eager and energized you were at 17 with no money as opposed to 2X, 3X, or 4X with a nice salary).

  • everton fc

    Oh my god, what a meltdown. If nothing that game was comical. I missed the first & second period, but heard the game on the radio. I watched the third and thought it was boring.
    I think we’re looking at this game wrong. Maybe the Capitals are just the better team. Calgary just doesn’t have the Ovechkin, Semin, Green, & Backstrom’s of the hockey world. Come on kids, can’t really fault them for that. It takes talent to know talent. Now everybody knows the Flames have very little.
    What’s with Jay Bouwmeester being so careless giving the puck away? My lord did Cory Sarich honestly score a goal on his own keeper? Did Mikka Kiprusoff seriously get pulled in the second and thrown back into the game at the start of the third?
    Does anyone think Ken King should print a retraction on the Flames website (reference Mike Peca on Jay Bouwmeester giving the puck away). Of course King won’t.
    I think I’m the only person that wants to see Jarome Iginla score 500 goals in a Flames uniform. What Iggy needs is a puck hog on his line. Some player like Rick Nash who says I want to score more than you. Inject some infectious play into his game.
    Let’s not kid ourselves Calgary is playing like last year, the year before and well the wheels just keep falling off. My question to management is why do they keep overlooking the same problems? Yes, the fact is you have problems that are going unsolved. Let’s just hope your talent just corrects itself. Forget the problems and they will just eventually go away.
    I’m not even mad or upset. Calgary in my mind has not made enough changes to their roster. Don’t see them making the playoffs this season.
    I’m tired of hearing Conroy saying “layoff Iginla. We’re tired of paying like this. We’re embarrassed, etc).
    The morale of this rant/blog is I enjoy watching the Caps light up the Flames. Thank the mighty lord for highlights.