Game No. 38: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?

I probably don’t have to tell you this, but 2010 was not a good year to be a Flames fan.

While it more or less ended with a long-overdue ousting of Darryl Sutter, this has been the ugliest year to be a Flames fan since before the lockout. There was, of course, the slew of off-ice disappointments.

The Olli Jokinen trade to New York that brought Ales Kotalik. The Jokinen signing that brought Jokinen again. The Dion Phaneuf trade that also cost interesting prospect Keith Aulie brought spare parts including Matt Stajan and Ian White. The Stajan contract with the no movement clause that doesn’t make much sense. The Ian White trade that brought Tom Kostopulous. And so on and so on.

It hasn’t been much prettier on the ice. In 79 games, Calgary took just 74 points, going an ugly 33-38-8. They scored just 177 goals (2.24 per) and allowed 197 (2.49). Neither number is anywhere near where you want a team to be.

They played exactly zero playoff games, and were involved in games that got as ugly as 9-1 and lost 7-2 twice. They went on a nine-game losing streak. They traded for Steve Staios and gave him significant time. They repeatedly scratched decent players in favor of terrible ones. They didn’t make a first-round pick in June.

And yet, maybe 2011 will be better. Maybe over the next 12 months the trades for the future will come fast and furious. Maybe we’ll have to bid tearful goodbyes to long-celebrated players so that things can start getting better. Maybe the franchise will be run sanely. Maybe everything will get straightened out, and we can be happy again.

We’ll find out before you know it.

Take a hike, 2010. You were the friggin’ worst.