It’s kind of hard to come up with clever titles for the postgame article…really, tonight’s title is exactly what the game was. Another loss for the Calgary Flames. This time, it was to the Phoenix Coyotes (again) by a 3-1 score at home. Overall, Calgary has lost four straight at the ‘Dome and three in a row…they now sit 7-10 on the season.
The Flames really came to play in the opening frame, as they had their legs and were generating scoring chances on a fairly regular basis. Overall, Calgary outchanced the ‘Yotes 7-5, including 7-3 at even strength. But they couldn’t get one past Ilya Bryzgalov, despite carrying a 16-9 shot advantage into the second period.
That second period was odd…Calgary wasn’t awful, but they suffered for long stretches. Granted, Phoenix didn’t do a whole lot to take things over during that time, but that’s not how they play. The Coyotes keep things in front of them and pounce when they get the chance. Exhibit A: Wojtek Wolski at 7:13 of the middle frame. Wolski took an errant Cory Sarich pass in the neutral zone and brought it into the left corner…where he fired a shot that shouldn’t get past the goalie. Kiprusoff was beat on a bad one, and it started to get away on Calgary a little. On a powerplay, Phoenix would go up by two at 12:33 thanks to Martin Hanzal on a goal mouth scramble, and the Flames were down by two heading into the final frame.
The third was extremely frustrating capped off by a push by the home team. There was a loooooooooong time where Kent had the Flames with no scoring chances, which is 100% unacceptable for a team facing another loss and chasing in the third period. The urgency the team needed didn’t show up until far too late, but they did put a strong shift together and cashed in at 16:08 thanks to Rene Bourque…he scored his ninth to put Calgary within one. The Flames had a few chances to even this one up, most notably an Alex Tanguay shot that went off the post, but in the end, this one was iced at 19:52 thanks to an empty netter.
One Good Reason…
…why the Flames lost? Because they didn’t have enough urgency, push or desperation for enough of this game. A first period is awesome, and the Flames put together a good opening 20. But where’s the follow up? The second period was listless and frustrating, and even down a pair, there wasn’t enough of a flurry heading into the third period. Calgary was forcing turnovers when they had the puck deep on Phoenix, but it needed to happen more. It just didn’t.
I’ll go with Jay Bouwmeester. I thought he was really strong, and playing 26:59, he was able to see the chances finish 9-5 in his favor. I’ve been really impressed how he’s started jumping into the rush as of late, and has been a whole lot more comfortable overall. He’s a guy who needs to continue his elevation, but I thought he was good against Phoenix, and I thought he’s been pretty good the last three games or so.
Sum It Up
It’s another loss. This team is digging themselves a hole that can’t really get a whole lot deeper. At 7-10. they’re looking up at 13 other Western Conference teams, and regardless of the good things happening, they have to find ways to win hockey games. As a whole, things are not working…sure, there are good individuals, or good lines, or good periods. But when was the last time we saw a full 60 from this team? Oh, and Chicago is in on Friday…they’ve won eight straight regular season games over the Flames. Maybe Calgary is due.