It’s getting a liiiiiitle old, this script the Calgary Flames have played by, isn’t it? Once again, for the umpteenth time this season, the opposing team scored more than one goal and the Calgary Flames lost. They scored the first goal, had chances to score more, but an opposing team stuck around and was able to burn the Calgary Flames… this time it’s Dallas, taking a 3-1 win on ‘Dome ice.
The big topic was whether or not a no-goal call late to tie things was right or wrong. From the replays I saw, and I’m not saying I saw every single angle, but I saw that it clearly wasn’t a goal. Inside the Stars locker room, goalie Marty Turco said the exact same thing… but what would you expect him to say?
The interesting part was Niklas Hagman, who said in the Flames locker room and in the FAN 960 postgame show that he DID see the puck go in… that he clearly saw it an inch behind the line. But to me, the refs made the right call — it wasn’t a goal from everything I saw.
But I loved Hagman after saying all that. Basically, he said, "You know, that’s hockey, sometimes singular bounces don’t go your way. But it shouldn’t have come down to that, we shouldn’t have been in that situation, and we need to bury when we have the chance."
That’s a paraphrase, but basically what he told us inside the room. That’s the right attitude, no question. But you wonder when or if anything changes.
Look, there’s no question Calgary lacks finish right now. They did some good things in this game. Even though they weren’t as strong in the final half of the game as they were, say, in the first period, they still were generating opportunities and some scoring chances. Head Coach Brent Sutter said it in his postgame address, when asked if this was similar to the lack of push shown in the final frame of the Ottawa game. He didn’t see it that way, and said his team was still doing some good things, even in the third period where they were outscored 2-0. But it seems as if the coach is as baffled as we all are at the lack of finish on some of these chances.
And what do you do? I could clearly be wrong, and I’d love to hear what you think, but do the Flames really have the pieces to acquire that BIG fish to try and really jumpstart the offence? I just don’t see it. The big moves made were moves that addressed some offensive balance, but you have to score to be balanced.
It very well may come down to the guys in that locker room right now…at least for this season. There may be no cure-all trade or solution. It may really come down to the players assembled now to have to work themselves out of this funk, and there’s no guarantee that will happen. But trying to see if it WILL happen may be the only option left, or the most desirable one right now for the team.
Last night, I took 3 hours of calls from frustrated fans. And it seems the overwhelming sentiment is being resigned to the fact that this is becoming routine for the team. That’s a problem, but no one seems to really know what the fix to that problem is.