Ottawa…wa…wa

The Calgary Flames had some decent chances on Tuesday night at home to the Ottawa Senators, but alas, were unable to cash in while running into their old nemesis Craig Anderson in the process.  In the end, the Flames fell 3-1 at the hands of the Sens and fell back to two games below .500 in the process.  There were some strong elements on the night, but that likely doesn’t up the spirits of Flames fans right now when mistakes hurt the team the way they did.

What Happened

A fairly free flowing first period didn’t result in any scoring, but resulted in some scoring chances both ways 5-on-5.  Craig Anderson was very strong, starting a trend that would continue throughout the night while Miikka Kiprusoff made some strong stops at the same time.  The other trend that started surrounded Ottawa’s ability to limit the damage created on Calgaryscoring chances, which the Flames would generate nine of to their opponent’s six.

The second period was very much the same, except the Flames started to take things over a little bit at even strength.  Calgary also racked up their opportunities on the powerplay where they had more than a full minute of 5-on-3 time but once again were unable to make good.  Late in the period, it was Ottawa opening the scoring on a Flames neutral zone turnover.  A Nick Foligno pass would eventually find it’s way to Daniel Alfredsson who went snipe show on Kiprusoff for his fifth of the season at 18:44.  Just 62 seconds later, Calgary evened the affair on a Sens giveaway thanks to their goaltender; as Anderson tried to play the puck, he gave it right to Matt Stajan making it easy for the centre to find Tom Kostopoulos in front of the net for his second of the season making sure we had a tie game after 40.

The third period was fairly controlled on both sides with neither allowing a ton of scoring opportunities thanks to the nature of the game.  Calgary had more unsuccessful powerplay time and yielded the winning goal midway through the frame.  On a great individiual effort, Bobby Butler took a Sergei Gonchar pass off the boards at centre ice; after beating Jay Bouwmeester there, he’d beat Mark Giordano inside the blueline before beating Kiprusoff on the shot for his first of the season.  Butler’s second of the season came off another Calgary turnover, this time at the offensive blueline leading to a 3-on-2 rush.  Instead of passing, Butler took a shot from the right side and at 16:12 the Sens sealed their 3-1 win.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  On this night, it was mistakes plain and simple.  They generated a good deal more when it came to scoring chances, but sometimes that happens.  The fact is, the game was tied at one after two periods and Calgary still had an opportunity to win this game.  In a tightly contested final frame, Calgary made two crucial mistakes which resulted in pucks in the back of their net.

Red Warrior

Gotta give it to Mr. Popular.  Rene Bourque was on the ice for seven even strength scoring chances and played one of his best games this season.  While I thought Olli Jokinen was the best player on the ice, knowing the past few days surrounding Bourque and his rather uninspired play for much of this season, it was good to see #17 have an impact on a hockey game in a positive way.

Sum It Up

Overall it wasn’t a terrible outing for the home side.  The problem is, decent outings that result in losses thanks to mistakes just aren’t going to cut it.  I know frustration is setting in, and it would for any human in a similar situation, but the third period mistakes really hurt the Flames on a night where they were a tad unlucky around the net.  With two days off prior to Friday’s game against Chicago, it may be an interesting next 48 hours.

  • David McConner

    Yep. The guys wanted to play for Joe. If its true that a team takes its identity from the Cap and Coach its no surprise we get to watch a bunch of players pushing wheelbarrows up and down the ice.

  • “He’s tried to do it by setting an example – you know, the lunch-bucket image.

    Would trade him out of respect for the quality worker he is.”

    I couldn’t possibly disagree more. Iginla’s refusal to buy into any coach’s system, his refusal to show up and play consistently and his refusal to play defense are the reasons he’s the most overrated leader in sports and why this team stinks so much.

    When the rest of the team has just finished hearing Brent’s message and then sees Iginla cherry-picking all game and banging his stick on the ice for the old one-timer and not playing anything close to a 200′ game it has effects.

    After all, this a guy who scored in bushels when it meant making the Olympic team, but did nothing prior to the announcement that the roster was not set and past accomplishments would not be enough and then did nothing after the roster was set. You know, before wowing us all against Norway and Germany.

    Lots of leaders are quiet – Sakic and Yzerman spring to mind as very quiet guys who actually played hard every shift of every period of every game, weren’t coach-killers and led by example. They supported the coach’s system, not had total contempt for it. And how many coaches are we talking aout now, anyways? This isn’t the first coach that Iginla hasn’t bought into (or the 2nd, or the 3rd).

    IMO, the team comes first. It’s the flaming ‘C’ stitched into the dressing room carpet, not Iginla’s face. Allowing the player to be bigger than the team has been disastrous for Calgary. The only guy that could put Iginla in his place was traded (Regehr) and now we see the results.

    It’s utter nonsense that Iginla “deserves” to go somewhere so he can win because he’s somehow earned it. Bull! The team shouldn’t move Iginla out of some supposed debt of gratitude to him (once past the firrst round and he’s a god), but because at this stage it’s the best thing for the team to finally move on and into a new era. Iginla is an asset, nothing more, and needs to be treated like one.

    He’s not Sakic, Bourque or Yzerman – not even close. He’s a one-dimensional offensive player and if he had a European last name he’d be more closely compared to guys like Kovalchuk.

    • supra steve

      While I try to be a bit more diplomatic about Iggy, and his influence on this team (AKA leadership), I cannot say that I disagee with a lot of what you have written.

      But for “the masses” of Flames fans I will still sugar coat it as…”trade him so that he can win his cup” elsewhere. Cause he aint gonna win it here!

  • David McConner

    the-wolf:

    Like your directness. Love the last line of your post. You might be 100% right. We agree that this is a big part of what the f*** has been wrong with the Flames?

  • Super_Gio

    Some people honestly think its Sutter’s fault? Really? This team is freaking un-coachable. I mean if they string together a hefty loosing streak here then obviously something needs to change. But I would start from the top and get rid of that King fella. Seriously…why have we changed almost every management position except his?

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    I have a suspicion that Brent is not a huge Iggy fan, but there’s no way the owners would let him sit him. His hands are kind of tied.

    I happened to run into a Sutter brother (not Dutter or Butter) in a small store about a year ago. I spoke to him for about 15 minutes & he really opened up to me, as there were only 3 people in the whole store.

    The main thing I took away was that he didn’t have much good to say about Iggy. Used words like ‘lazy’ & ‘spoiled’. He even talked about Iggy’s up-bringing as part of the issue. I won’t get into specifics of what he said there, but he did not hold back at all.

    At the time the Schenn/Iggy rumour was floating around & I asked him what he thought of it – he said he sure hoped they would do that trade, but said they probably wouldn’t.

    I took it a bit hard, as I was a fan of Iggy before I was a Flames fan – when he played so well in the ’02 Olympics.

    I used to be in the “don’t trade Iggy” portion of the fan base, but have since changed my stance. It pains me to say it, but I think Iggy is the coach killer on the team. Everyone follows him & there are too many nights where he doesn’t show up or buy in.

  • David McConner

    Funny thing just happened. I gave my season tix
    (til after xmas) to a friend who just called and asked if I would mind if -right after the Chicago game – he could give them to somebody else. Funny in a perverted sort of way. Laughing so hard I’m cryin.

  • David McConner

    I think Iggy is minus 10.That puts him in the bottom ten in the league.This is with a goalie that saves his butt constantly.The only time he scores is when the other team turns the puck over and guess what he is the last guy to backcheck.Cherrypicker! Fire KIng. And go Coyotes.

  • Derzie

    And out come the Iggy bashers. Jarome is a player who has done more in this league that almost all of his peers. Because he is in the twilight of his career, his game shrinks to that which he can still excel at with age. The plugger team that has been assembled here in Calgary is nowhere near a good fit for an aging superstar. He’s too old and too skilled to be a plugger. Nor is it fit for up and coming prospects to be forced into plugger roles. It remains a plugger team shooting for the middle of the pack to keep the seats warm with income and Flames sweaters ($$)at the dome. It’s sad how our perspective is so tainted now that we call Olli the best player on most nights. He is defensively responsible and skates hard but he plays like the man with no common sense. An out of control droid. A prototypical plugger. We’ve fallen hard (by aging without new blood) but bashing Iggy is of no merit. This is an organizational failure. The solution lies there.

    • icedawg_42

      I’ve always been Iggy’s biggest fan, and Im a proponent of him retiring a Calgary Flame. I must say though that he is yet another victim of a bad contract. His ELITE cap hit out lasts his ELITE calibre by about 2 seasons (and most would argue longer than that)

  • Big Cap

    Stay the course boys! Another year with no playoffs is a sure thing.

    In fact, why don’t you hire another Sutter? There’s gotta one of them working on the farm.

  • Derzie

    good afternoon sports fans. there seems to be alot of iggy bashing, or butta bashing. well rightfully so, both parties are not performing to expectations. iggy floats and is a defensive liability, not exactly leading by example. i watched last nights game on sportsnet east, man did potvin ever slam jbow. i recommendend all to accessing the transcripts, its akin to kelly slaming rainy.

  • Michael

    Maybe this team needs a bottom 5 finish to force the ownership group to take a long hard look at the role being played by Ken King.

    King’s long standing mantra of keeping the club competitive without going through a rebuilding cycle has basically failed. All King has achieved is to keep the Flames a middling to poor non contender.

    A bigger picture solution is needed to solve the Flames various problems, one that starts with new direction. That direction should come from a new President, one with a mandate to flush the rot out of the entire organization. Dare to dream, challenge management, think and do what was previously unthinkable, start the rebuild.

  • Michael

    At the start of the year my friend from Edmonton bet me $100 Smyth would have more of an impact on the Oilers than Iginla would in terms of points.

    I can safely say at this point they are both having a huge impact on their teams. Smyth is leading the team and in top 10 in goals in the league while Iginla is a team (and almost NHL) worst -10.

    I guess I would have never seen this coming… is this the moment that Oilers fan start being able to beak again. We were pretty darn loud at beaking for a decade now… damn… here is comes already.

  • Michael

    What is firing the coach going to do? We still have the same players. The problem is that this team just isn’t good. JBo/Giord are great dmen on any team. Kipper is an elite goalie on any team. Then what? Iggy was elite but is declining with each passing day. Tanguay is a great secondary scorer but is also getting older. Oli is… sigh…Oli. Who knows but he is declining as well.

    We are using Glencross in a primary offence role. On a Vancouver/Chicago team he’d be 3rd line at best.

    Bourque is probably a solid 2nd liner on any team.

    You could fire the coach 10 times over and it won’t fix the fact that we have a very weak team with very little elite talent. We are asking secondary scorers to be top line guys, and mucking grinder support players (Glencross) to be key cogs in an offence.

    Does anyone really wonder why this team can’t score? Its cause its just not good.

    I see no solution but to start dumping and tearing this down. Hagman was good, next up Stajan. Trade Iggy for a 1st rounder this year, Kipper as well. We will suck worse than the Oilers for 2-3 years but we won’t be a perpetual MIDDLING team.

    Middling is the worst….. I’d rather be 30th than middling, at least 30th gets you an elite player for the next 10 years.

    • Michael

      Naw, it’s because that Gremlin behind the bench (the same one that stared as a goblin in lord of the rings) is trying to play a defensive minded game.

      Only problem with his theory is that the team is allowing too many goals and CANNOT keep a lead. Sorry – the coach is garbage and he’s one ugly mo fo too… eewww

      • icedawg_42

        Adam,
        For a long time I wondered where I had seen the Flames Coach before, It haunted me, somewhere
        deep in the recesses of my mind I could see him
        yelling out “HEY YOUUU GUYSSS!!!”
        Just a few months ago i was watching a movie on basic cable and in a flash it all came back to me…. I was watching Goonies.

  • Harry Patrick

    Our Flames defiantly have to get younger. The views Kelly Hrudey expressed on HNIC regarding Rene Bourque, I’ve been sharing the same concerns about him for 2 years now! Bourque will not go into corners he never goes all out!’m not saying he has to be a Tough Guy or anything like that! Show some cumption and go into corners and get the puck yourself and attempt some forechecking. Roman Horak & Paul Byron, Have played great! And, I believe they will continue to get better and be effective. Bourque should be traded. THe Blackhawks didn’t trade him to us for nothing. I’m sure Joel Quennville, Noticed his lack of intensity and selfish play.

    Harry Patrick, I love the C of Red.

  • Harry Patrick

    Our Flames defiantly have to get younger. The views Kelly Hrudey expressed on HNIC regarding Rene Bourque, I’ve been sharing the same concerns about him for 2 years now! Bourque will not go into corners he never goes all out!’m not saying he has to be a Tough Guy or anything like that! Show some cumption and go into corners and get the puck yourself and attempt some forechecking. Roman Horak & Paul Byron, Have played great! And, I believe they will continue to get better and be effective. Bourque should be traded. THe Blackhawks didn’t trade him to us for nothing. I’m sure Joel Quennville, Noticed his lack of intensity and selfish play.

    Harry Patrick, I love the C of Red.