Frustrated Incorporated

Calgary Flames vs Vancouver Canucks

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.

  • Are fans of a last place team and a 9th place team really trash talking? Really?

    Let's be honest, Hall/Seguin is not Ovechkin/Malkin draft year, or even Tavares/Duschene draft year.

    Calgary's farm system is full of grinders. The only blue chipper (if he was that?) is up on the team where you want him, and looking pretty good there too. The funny thing about draft picks and prospects, is that it's kind of a crap-shoot. Nothing is gauranteed. Ask San Jose how Pat Falloon panned out when they could have had Neidermeyer, or Toronto how much better Pogge is than Rask?

    I'll take Iginla's $7million over Horcoff's.

  • Not really getting involved in the actual trash talk part of the Flames Oilers comparison, I'll frame it this way.

    What were expectations of Edmonton this year? And have we seen glimpes of the Oilers this season that make us believe they can be a playoff caliber team?

    On the Flames side…same questions.

    I'm not denying that Calgary's locker room dynamic seems to be messed, and the pipeline doesn't seem overly promising.

    But from a strictly THIS SEASON standpoint, I can completely understand why so many fans are frustrated because there WERE realistic expectations and we HAVE seen promising glimpses.

  • Bob Cobb

    Everytime I hear someone say "Elite" and "Flames" in the same sentence I have to laugh. This team is so much like the Oilers of the late 90's, when they played the Stars every year, that its funny. Hope to scratch and claw to get in the playoffs, only to lose in the first round, draft in the 10 to 20 range, and just keep going in the same circle year after year. The Flames are in trouble, an aging core, lots of cash owing to few players, and no players considered "blue chip" in the system. Sounds like the Oilers after the 06 run, but thanks for taking Staios and giving back an expiring contract.

  • stilldrinkingthekoolaid

    What do Oiler fans have to say about the Flames? The shackles that are on Tambellini isn't anything the owner has incorporated. The shackles are the contracts that Kevin Lowe has a number of players signed to. How Lowe still has a paycheck coming from the Oilers is beyond me.

    As far as the Flames go, let's see what the end of the season brings. If Flames' ownership brings back Darryl or not. I actually like the fact that he's willing to take risks and move salaries and players to find the right combination.

    I'm NOT one of those fans who is wanting to see another coaching/GM change. That would set the team back 3-4 years in my opinion and I'm not interested in following an Oiler example of how not to run a team. I think the team can be tweaked and continue to be successful/competitive. I don't think things are as dire as some fans are making it out to be.

  • That city does not understand hockey enough to handle a rebuild

    haha. I love baseless, sweeping generalizations.

    Here's a comment based on observation: apparently the Oilers management group doesn't understand hockey enough to handle a rebuild either, judging by the last 4 years of floundering.

    • stilldrinkingthekoolaid

      They do however know enough to dupe Sutter into taking Staios and his contract off their hands. As to the last 4 years too true, but let's see what happens once the shackles are off Tambo's hands.

  • A18

    Flames are in such a hurting place right now. That city does not understand hockey enough to handle a rebuild so enjoy the pain now because its about to get worse. I feel a touch of empathy living up here in Edmonoton but when im about to give up I just remember the 80s or look down the pipeline. Flamers cant do either………..