POSTGAME: NEVER BRING A KNIFE TO A GUN FIGHT

 

 

Despite the two teams both coming into this game with .500 records, the Canucks showed that when they need to, they can bury a team with one foot in the grave. The Flames had put together some much needed wins. Even though they didn’t look all that convincing, they had been able to hold on and out last their opposition. That just wasn’t going to fly tonight however, and the Canucks made them pay by coming out strong and fast right from the get-go.

WHAT HAPPENED

It’s not like Vancouver came out and gave Calgary something they hadn’t seen before. It was business as usual and before the Flames knew it, they were already in chase mode. The decision to take Babchuk out of the line-up tonight was mostly in part to his ineffectiveness at ES. Instead, Matt Stajan was put in to provide further depth in the forward ranks. For the most part Calgary was in the game early, but you could see the play tip and once it started… it was a landslide. At 7:57, Chris Higgins was sprung on a breakaway and made no mistake on the deke. The play would be indicative of the night, because the pass to Higgins was a bomb and the pass seemed to get through the entire Flames line, without even so much as a tip. At 13:42, Alex Burrows, on the PP, just bullied his way through the defense and put the puck passed Kiprusoff; 2-0. Vancouver rounded out the period making it 3-0 with another goal on the PP, from Daniel Sedin. The Flames special teams looked downright awful, and the Canucks made them pay. as Kent pointed out in scoring chances, Vancouver was all over Calgary 13-3.

The damage from the first carried right into the second period. At 3:47, Cody Hodgson made it 4-0, and you could put the Flames night to bed after that. The goal was just an all out brutal effort from the players on the ice. Lapierre worked his way out of a check that should have separated him from the puck, and to top it off threw a lateral pass right across to the crease that could have been stopped at three different points, right on the stick of Hodgson, and to the back of the net. it was cruise control after that for the Nucks, and they still managed to add another to make the total 5. Calgary managed to out chance Vancouver 6-5, but going 0 for 3 on the PP doesn’t help their cause, and it showed in the sloppy play.

Can the competition committee try to institute the "decline" option on the PP? In the third period the Flames again went 0 for 3, and that included a 4 min PP with Henrik Sedin in the box. It was a terrible effort and the Flames looked like they were just playing out the motions of the game. Calgary went 3 for 3 on the PK, but as mentioned before, Vancouver had already inflicted the damage, and was just skating a passing scrimmage for the rest of the game. Calgary again out chanced Vancouver, 5-2; which is a nothing stat, except for the fact that it showed just how ineptly the home team played.

ONE GOOD REASON

… why the Flames lost? Quite simply the Flames were not even close to being the better of these two teams. Despite the Canucks only being .500 at this point, they are still the best team in this division and they are a team that knows how to move in for the kill. Babchuk out of the line-up was not a solution for this defense, it was merely a way to limit the bleeding. The Flames have a slower defense core and when you put that against some very fast and talented opposition forwards, it’s not hard to guess who comes out on top. The Iginla line matching was a disaster all night. Even when the Captain showed some momentum, it was quickly quelled

RED WARRIOR

 

I really tried to find a silver lining in this game. I was half serious in the chat room when I said that if Karlsson didn’t allow a goal, I would choose him as the Red Warrior. In the end, the damage was done, so I can’t give it to Hank. I will give honorable mention to Alex Tanguay. he scored the goal to end Lu’s bid for the shutout, and he wasn’t on the ice for any of the Nucks goals. After all is said and done, the whole team failed tonight. no individual distinction.

SUM IT UP

The holes that are in the Flames game right now got exploited by Vancouver. They weren’t able to mask deficiencies in one area with the play of another. The next step is to take as much as you can from this game and learn from the mistakes; lord knows there were enough of them. Schools in boys…let’s move on. the Red Wings are next and are also struggling, having dropped 5 in a row. Flames need to regroup and right the ship.

  • Listening to the Fan this morning and they must’ve criticized 10 different players by name and blasted the ‘leadership.’ All except Iginla, once again let off the hook and given a free pass.

    Time to face reality, the Iginla era is dead. The Flames have gotten past the 1st round once since he’s been here and he’s become content in his position as King. He’s not going to do at 34 what he couldn’t do in his 20’s so now’s the time to get something for him while we still can.

    This team has been selling ‘hope’ for too long now and the fans are finally starting to revolt, realizing what a farce it’s all been. You can’t tread water forever. How long would a rebuild take? How long have we been treading water for? 22 years? A rebuild is inevitable so lets just get it done while we still have some marketable assets. And learn from the Young Guns era and go ‘all in’ this time.

    And as much as Sutter is not a great coach, how many times are we going to change that position and hope for different results? No coach in the world could come in here and make this team a contender.

    Much like the 2004 run, last year’s run in the second half is merely a mirage. We have some nice young pieces now, so lets add to them.

    Oh, and for all those who think Horak should be in the NHL, last night was a compelling reason why he shouldn’t be; because I don’t want the country club atmosphere in Calgary rubbing off on him. Keep him away from those losers before he gets sucked in to that culture too.

    New president, new GM, new head scout, new coach, new leadership, new captain, new players, new system, new style, new direction, new everything. Burn it to the ground.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    @Kent

    I can understand to some extent your take on the vitriol here. I’m sure many didn’t expect the Flames to take it to Vancouver offensively – however, I can also understand the vitriol. The Nucks made us look silly on our own barn. If I had paid money to see that game I would’ve been cheesed.

    I thought we had a chance to win if we put in a gritty effort to keep Vancouver to the outside. If Kipper was stopping pucks from afar & outplaying Luongo, it was at least do-able.

    What kind of scares me now, is that with losing guys like Regeher/Phaneuf & veterans getting older, that “gritty” Flames identity from years past no longer applies to the 2011/2012 iteration of the Flames. I can’t honestly answer Shredder’s question, because I don’t know what the identity of this team is, or even should be.

  • Derzie

    This road trip will be road kill. Kool Aid aside, Calgary is the 2nd worst team in the west. The talk of x points out of a playoff spot is moot. The loser point has seen to that. Climbing is a monumental task. Heard a stat today from Maher that the playoff slate on American Thanksgiving is 85%+ accurate as to how the season will finish. I am firmly in the ‘this team can’t win the way it is’ camp. No more Kool Aid for me. The hated Canucks batted us around like a toy last night night and they are not even firing on all cylinders yet. It’s over boys (sigh).

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Case in point – I nearly had one of those “swear at the TV” moments Kent mentioned in one of his articles when I saw (I think it was) Bieksa walk in from the point when a Vancouver player was behind the net with the puck.

    There were 4 Flame players standing there in a box, not one of them moving their feet. I could see Bieksa coming from a mile away and thought to myself “they’re going to let him walk right in there”, – they all just stared at the guy with the puck, frozen, as if not knowing where they should go. Sure enough, Bieksa walked in, the puckholder fed it to him & he got a shot on goal in tight to Kipper. Keep that friggin guy to the OUTSIDE! Bieksa wasn’t even barrelling in. He was coasting from the red line. UGGH.

  • xis10ce

    It’s done boys. What really stuck it to the Oilers was denial. Get the injured players back, one slick trade and an off season FA signing and we are ready for another run at the cup. Three years of sucking till reality set in and only then a rebuild started. Flames are on the same road, getting tired and old with no heart left.

    Blow it up this season and and plan to suck for two years and trade for lots of picks.

  • the forgotten man

    My great fear is that 1-2 months prior to the deadline the Flames will get hot and go a streak and once again we’ll all “owe it to them” to see what they can do and no significant moves will be made.

  • Agreed, at the time I was all for striking while the iron was hot and trading from a position of strength. I think the team may have gotten away with no moves then and in some ways a guy like Tanguay might be worth more now that he’s signed. But I’m not convinced Iginla can have another 43 goal season.

    Depending on who you want to trade that is, I’m obviously in the start from scratch or close to it camp. Gio and Glencross might be the only 2 I’d spare.

  • RexLibris

    I was watching last night and wondering if the Flames were going to get to the same benchmark as my Oilers did in 2009 against Buffalo when the home crowd started chanting “We Want 10!”.

    I totally understand why this blowout hurts. Part of the pain is on the scoreboard but the majority of it lies in the action (or inaction as the case may be). Your team looked awful last night and they were exploited by what I would characterize as a Canucks team that is still trading on what they were last year. The Canucks are good, but they were still taking bad penalties and missing some passes because the opportunities were there for this game to have been much, much worse.

    So is this appetite for a rebuild actually there amongst the fans? If it meant seeing Iginla in a Toronto sweater? Or a Bruins jersey? Would the fanbase actually support a systematic dismantling of the roster? I ask because it has always seemed to me that Calgary would want to build a team a different way, avoiding a full-demolition and preferring for a renovation rather than a rebuild.

    If the Flames do decide to do a rebuild then the one area that should receive the most attention and scrutiny from the fanbase and bloggers is the scouting dept. Getting the 1st overall pick right is the easy part, picking right at 31, 61, etc is what will make a rebuild successful.

    If I were a Flames fan I would also live in terror of the dreaded “run to mediocrity” that always seems to happen to the Flames and Leafs each year. It papers over the flaws in the team and buys time for the management to keep the status quo.

    • SmellOfVictory

      There are some teams I wouldn’t mind seeing Iginla on if it meant a good return for the Flames and an opportunity for him to win the cup. Pittsburg and LA would be two, and weirdly enough I’d enjoy him in SJ or Chicago – two teams I used to hate until I started conversing with some of the fans and watched them play more regularly.

      That said, it’s highly unlikely he’d go to a contender until next season’s trade deadline, when his contract wouldn’t be a concern in terms of cap space.

  • RexLibris

    Everyone isnt too confident we can draft our way out of a paper bag. But in Reality, I think Feaster did OK on short notice while still dealing with a DSutter dogs breakfast. That is changing & Rex yes we think we can deal with a wave of prime draft picks next year & pick some pretty solid players. What we have the Oiulers didnt seem to have is more assets to get not only the prime draft picks but also NHL top prospects. Done right wwill be huge, just look at your Penner rape & pillage. Once we re establish our young core, seasoned veterans are a dime a dpzen to fill in the blanks later. So I dont think this will happen Oiler style but it wont be Philly style.

  • OilFan

    ” the Oilers have some of the worst underlying numbers in the West”.It is obvious that the Oilers season won’t last as it has started,just wondering what those numbers are ? 1st in blocked shots in the NHL, least goal against, top 3 PK,top 3 faceoff %, most blocked shots seem to be helping.

  • Emir

    3 points regarding Feaster and big reasons why I am frightened to let him be the guy to retool.rebuilt this team:

    1-He is the guy who resigned Babchuk to a 2 YEAR deal! What the hell, does he talk to his coach, it was obvious last year that Sutter does not like the guy so the GM signs him to a new deal.

    2-How stupid did Feaster think we are when he crowed that the Flames came in second in the Brad Richards sweepstakes. WE ALL KNEW THAT THERE WASN’T A HOPE IN HELL HE WAS COMING TO CALGARY!! Unbelieveable

    3. He trades Regehr and makes a big point of how much he had to have Byron as part of the trade. My god, the Sabres have at least 6 guys in the minors who are demonstrably better forwards than Byron. So where is Byron now-Abbotsford!

    I know I could add to this ranr but it is very scary to think what Feaster (and of course the probable actual GM Ken KIng) are going to do this once proud franchise

    • everton fc

      Good points, especially on Byron. To me, he has not proven he’s nothing more than a smallish, career minor-leaguer. He’s 5’9″. Smallish. Not many of these types make the big time. What kind of impact were they expecting?

      I guess we all seem to think Feaster was the one who forced the signing of Babchuk on Brent. If so… An obvious blunder, as he rides the pines, paid way too much for his role…

      Back the the Regher deal – Kotalik is waived, no one picks him up, so he goes home. Could we not have done this? The return in Regher was horrific. As far as the salary dump… That, too, is getting old.

      We are a rudderless ship. You can even see it on the ice. Top down, things have to change.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Ok, before I start my rant I have to say: LETHBRIDGE WON!!!!! The Lethbridge Hurricanes have snapped a 13 game losing streak!!!

    Anyways, now for my rant, people are panicking way, way, way too early. I understand, it was a bad game, they played terrible, and played with 0 effort after the Higgins goal. That being said, it is 1 game! 1! Against an elite team like Vancouver! This is exactly what the people here at FlamesNation have been saying for a while now, the Flames are a middle of the road team who can’t really compete with the elite teams. I don’t understand all the negativity. We knew this could very well happen! For people to say, we’re done after 1 game is ludicrous! Hell, we lost 6-0 at home to Minnesota last year! The f-ing Minnesota Wild. And what did the team do? Move on, forget about it, and they went on a 6 game winning streak after it. If you look at the bigger picture, the Flames have 4 points out of a possible 6, won 2 out of their last 3 games. Do that for the rest of the year and they’ll be fine. If it’s like this in December/January, fine, panic, say the season’s over, whatever. But to say that after 10 games, and more specifically after this one game, it is ridiculous. Maybe cause I live in Lethbridge, I don’t know, but I’m not panicking.

    • jeremywilhelm

      Congrats on the win down there Shevvy! Agree, Babchuk was probably a bad signing, we’ve seen worse signings eh? Feaster has this year for me. If we suck & he does nothing this trade deadline & shows no direction other than we think we have a good team, I’ll be joining the masses. But you know, I went to some other sites & read the dialogue of fans in Buffalo & Detroit. Holy smokes, Red Wing fans are getting worse than here. Difference is, they have high expectations & they’ve lost 5 in a row!! We only lost 1. Go read the Buffalo comments after tonights game. They are ready to give Miller away!!! You suddenly realize we are not the only suffering hockey fans in the universe. What it also told me is stay the course, if we can just get our heads around the fact that this is going to be a huge transition year on contracts & quit thinking this team should be regularly winning. .500 hockey is not a playoff bound team, it will be a top 10 picking team next June. We are at best a .500 hockey team. We have some very very good assets and we can get top dollar come January/Feb. I have faith this team can be young and exciting and competitive in two years. Unless Feaster screws it up :):):)

  • RexLibris

    I found this on a link from Puckdaddy comparing NHL teams to bands:

    Calgary Flames are ‘N SYNC
    They’re one man shows, and everyone knows it. It’s the star that receives all the accolades and has driven their success. Without them, they would be nothing. The supporting cast are a group of professional journeymen living off the scraps handed down to them by their famous leader. The leader will continue to achieve individual success on the international stage but will never achieve anything with the group again. To be fair, their fan base is inclined to show support to the team by sexual displays of flashing or garment tossing.

    The link is here http://www.bloguin.com/puckdrunklove/2011-articles/november/around-the-league-in-33-bands.html

    I agree with Kevin R. If you guys win or lose against Detroit 3-2 and show better I think you’ll all move past this. And yeah, think about how the sky is falling for fans in Detroit, Boston, Vancouver, etc. The league looks upside down right now and whenever that happens, when the perceived status quo turns over, there is panic from those accustomed to a certain place.

    From where I sit though, you guys are a whole lot farther away from restocking than just a top-10 pick this year. Any serious talk of a rebuild in Calgary should start with aiming for a top 3 pick this year and the year after. Otherwise you risk becoming like the Columbus Blue Jackets, forever fluctuating between average and awful. But if Feaster targets a retool then I really have no idea where he starts, because the UFAs coming available are going to be so hotly contested I highly doubt enough of them land in Calgary to really make a difference.

    Then again, I’m not a GM, so we’ll see what Feaster can accomplish.

  • RexLibris

    Here’s Vancouver’s band comparison in case you were wondering:

    Vancouver Canucks are Metallica
    They’re sore losers who cry about being victims of their own shortcomings and failure to adapt to a changing landscape when it really mattered. It’s almost impossible to have a conversation with one of their fans since they’re so consumed with their heroes they are unable to see reality clearly. Also have a female fan base than enjoys taking off their shirts much to the chagrin of men everywhere. (Did you see that swamp donkey in the Stanley Cup finals? I’d riot too if that was the best my city had to offer.)

  • RexLibris

    Flames projected lines tonight:

    Glencross- Jokinen- Igjnla
    Tanguay- Morrison- Stempniak
    Bourque- Horak- Moss
    Kostopoulous- Stajan- Jackman

    What the hell are those top two lines?? Iggy’s in a slump, so Sutter’s gonna put him with someone who has zero, zero, zero chemistry with him in Jokinen? Ludicrous! Second line looks bad too. Why aren’t Glencross, Moss snd Jokinen together? Wow Brent, I sure hope these don’t happen.

    • RexLibris

      It hasn’t worked in the past, but in fairness Jokinen has made significant strides in how he plays. They still have a very good playmaker in Tanguay, and there’s a chance that Iginla will score on some of Jokinen’s post rebounds. The only other not-injured player I’d rather see centering Tanguay and Iginla is Horak.

  • RexLibris

    Holy shite! Nashville signed Rinne to 7 year @ 49mill!!!! What message does that send? Suter/Weber, stick around, we’re committed to winning or unless they just got some fresh stimulus money from Obama, it’s sorry guys you need to take 4.0Mill cause weez broke now!

  • RKD

    Holy shite! Nashville signed Rinne to 7 year @ 49mill!!!! What message does that send? Suter/Weber, stick around, we’re committed to winning or unless they just got some fresh stimulus money from Obama, it’s sorry guys you need to take 4.0Mill cause weez broke now!

  • Kevin R

    Holy shite! Nashville signed Rinne to 7 year @ 49mill!!!! What message does that send? Suter/Weber, stick around, we’re committed to winning or unless they just got some fresh stimulus money from Obama, it’s sorry guys you need to take 4.0Mill cause weez broke now!

  • RKD

    Games like this make me lean towards a major rebuild. We need young, fast, talented players.

    First, I would replace Matt Stajan with Paul Bryon. Paul has speed, enthusiasm and drive. Sure Stajan is good on face-offs, but he’s not a fourth line checker. Stajan is the wrong spot on this team.

    Hopefully, the return of Backlund can spark the Flames. I would insert Backlund as the #1 center because Morrison isn’t doing anything right now. Moss has been up and down on the first line.

    If the Flames are in the sweepstakes for Turris, I say bring him on if the price isn’t too steep. He’s 22 years old, if he falters now he still has time to recover.

    Bring back Nigel Dawes, lots of speed and was able to score.

    Maybe the Flames will look like this in December:

    Tanguay-Backlund/Horak-Iginla
    Glencross-Jokinen/Turris-Moss
    Bourque-Turris/Jokinen-Hagman/Kostop
    Dawes-Horak-Jackman/Morrison

    No room for Stajan.