Postgame: Sigh

A listless start and an uninspired finish bookended a 4-1 Calgary loss on Monday night, as the Flames fell in their first meeting this season with the NHL worst Columbus Blue Jackets.  Calgary allowed the Jackets to get off to a quick start but aside from a decent push in the middle stages of the game, they weren’t able to mount much of a comeback, especially in the third period.  It’s an unfortunate way for Calgary to open an important four game road trip.

What Happened

It took just 3:01 for Columbus to open the scoring, as Jeff Carter ripped a shot from the high left wing through the legs of Chris Butler for his second of the season.  It beat starting goaltender Henrik Karlsson up high, and while it is one you don’t necessarily want to see go in, it was also a heck of a shot from the Jackets sniper.  A few minutes later, a strong shift by the Columbus forward line finished with a goal, as Antoine Vermette showed some nice skill at the side of the net to put the puck between his legs on a scramble and find a way to slip it past Karlsson at 6:45.  A strong start for the Jackets was reeled in by the Flames as the period came to an end, as scoring chances finished 4-4 after one.

The second period saw Calgary get into some penalty trouble early on, with T.J. Brodie and Alex Tanguay taking minors 51 seconds apart.  On the 5-on-3 advantage, Carter was finally able to roof the puck after Karlsson had made a number of saves; his third gave Columbus a 3-0 lead at 5:28 of the second period.  A Marc Methot holding penalty at 7:58 gave Calgary their first powerplay of the night, and they’d make good use of it.  As the advantage entered it’s second minute, Mark Giordano was given a wide open look on the right point and was able to walk in and rifle it past Curtis Sanford for his third of the season.  The Flames put a decent push in the final ten minutes of the middle frame, but trailed by two after 40 minutes.

Then came the disappointing finish to the night, with Calgary unable to do much of anything in the third period.  Give the Blue Jackets credit, as they really made life difficult on the visitors, but this needed to be an urgent 20 minutes from the Flames, and it wasn’t.  Apart from a few odd shifts, Columbus spent far too much time in the offensive zone and far too much time with the puck; Rick Nash scored his fifth of the season into an empty net at 18:28 to get us to our final score.

One Good Reason…

…why the Flames lost?  Well, it’s two rolled into an ugly little ball: bad start, bad finish.  Calgary’s filling in the Oreo was just fine, but instead of delicious chocolate wafers they were replaced by gross dollar coins that had lingered in someone’s pocket for too long.  The book ends on this Calgary effort leave a sour, tinny taste in your mouth and are the only things you’ll remember about this game tonight.  The Flames weren’t ready to go and lost the first ten minutes of this one, allowing two goals in the process.  Needing a push in the third, the Flames didn’t do enough and ended up falling for the tenth time this season.

Red Warrior

I’ll go T.J. Brodie.  He saw a lot of ice time, finishing with 18:23 overall and was really the only guy involved in any chances of note in the third period.  He was confident in his own end, but for the first time this season, we really saw him involved in the attack offensively.  Brodie was active in joining the rush and did a good job of generating scoring opportunities when the team was trailing.

Sum It Up

Overall, a poor effort for the team.  We were hoping to see a strong start to the road trip, but on this night, they didn’t seem prepared to play and it ended up hurting them in the end.  Calgary is a better team than Columbus, so there really isn’t any excuse for this one.  Once again, the Flames are two games below .500, a mark they’ve yet to be above this season as they continue their trip Wednesday in Detroit.

  • Graham

    I don’t know why Sutter bothers to give a post game interview. He keeps talking about how the players have to buy in, that it has to come from the dressing room etc…. The players are obviously tuning him out, just like Keenan, Playfair all the way back to 2004.

    Its not all Sutters fault, but he is the easy scapegoat for Feaster. Sutter is a dead coach walking.

    Poor faceoff record (again), they played half a game, and deserved the loss.

  • febreze

    This is maybe redundant, but isn’t Iginla really bringing the rest of this club down with his lackluster play? I seen maybe one or two shifts that he was noticeable in a good way. He does not back check at all and seems to have no emotion until the Flames are down by two goals and then wants to fight the whole opposing team. As Brent Sutter said in the post game interview, it’s time that some of the veterans show a little leadership. Am I the only one that thinks if he was sat at the end of the bench, or maybe even shipped out of town, that it would be a good thing? Honestly, a younger, hungrier, up and comer, would be doing just as many good things, and likely be less of an anchor to the rest of the players on the team. Hell, it may give the team a real boost that the powers above, want to change the direction of the club. I know that the fans of the team sure would like to know which direction the club is heading.

    Last point of my rant, I got free tickets for the Dec. 1st game against the Jackets. I’m taking my 6 year old son who hopes to be a Flame someday. I don’t know what to tell him if they play their normal lackluster game. “Don’t play like these guys son, you may never play hockey at a very good level, even in minor hockey”. Oh well, it’s the only time we will ever watch a Flames game live in $162 dollar seats. I’ll just sit back and we will enjoy it as a father/son bonding experience.

  • SmellOfVictory

    My own notes:

    -The Brodie we knew and loved from last preseason has arrived.

    -I assume Sutter moved Backlund off the Iginla line to give him a break from lugging it around on his back.

    -I’d like Feaster to see if Buffalo will give the Flames their 2nd back for Byron.

  • Graham

    I just think this is what the Flames are this season. They will continue to flirt with .500 and that’s about it. They’ll have good games and then others just like we saw tonight.

    I go back to a couple of seasons ago when Darryl commented that this is not an easy team to coach. No one ever followed up as to why that was. Despite some of the changes, I think B. Sutter is not finding this an easy team to coach. The question that again I bring up,” Why is this team so friggin hard to coach!” I’d like a Sutter from the past or present to answer that.

    • Franko J

      Bob, the reason this team is so friggin hard to coach because internally this team has no leadership, no desire, no commitment to become better from the core group.
      Look at teams like Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and even Phoenix Coyotes, These teams draft,develop and mould players which fit into the organization and the coaches system. If they don’t buy in they don’t play. Each of these organizations go about building their teams differently, but the key is team. If you look how these teams play, no one player is bigger than the team. The message is clear for these teams from the top down to the players and is not tolerated or acceptable for anything less. Unfortunately, for the past 4 seasons, there are certain players on this team who think they are bigger than the team amd will never get the message.

  • Graham

    Fail for Nail! Fail for Nail!
    A David Bowie song comes to mind, putting out the fire with gasoline.
    You know, all I hear is that Management & Ownership doesnt want to trade Iggy, even though he is doing his best to push the issue. I think Murray needs to take Iggy & his wife for a great secluded dinner & discuss his future. Something has got to be done & personally, firing B Sutter is not the answer.
    Whats next? Here’s what will happen if we do the usual periphery deals, we trade headache for headache. When we are basically written off by the rest of the league, the fans, the media, these players will find some magical pride & urgency that will win enough games to get us a 10th overall pick.
    Anyone who wants to get sentimental about our players & let them play in Calgary for life are obviously not Season Ticket holders. Sentiment is great but when players start making 3.0, 4.0, 5.0, 6.0 7.0 million friggin dollars a year, this becomes less sentimental and more business. Mr Murray, how many more years do we have to go through the same rhetoric, year after year over these God awful starts that suck away any hope for fans by the end of November every year.
    There I’m done, not excuse me while I open another bottle of Amarone.

  • SickFloBro

    I’m not typically the kind of person that jumps to the conclusion that the coach is the problem…but if the mantra of the coach in post-game interviews continues to be that the players need to buy into the system, maybe they’re never going to. Granted, that’s a problem that STARTS with the players themselves…but until those problematic components can be turned over, the best thing to do might be to get rid of the coach. Sutter didn’t seem happy with Feaster’s assessment of the team a few interviews ago, so there could be a rift growing there too.

    On another note, Iginla is playing like absolute crap. Sure, he’s notorious for his slow starts, but he looks flat-out uninterested in what’s happening. Things are obviously not working, and we’re 1/4 through the season. 20-ish games is a good sample size, and I’m starting to think that something needs to be done to shake things up. Ship someone out. Switch the coach. Flip the captaincy. Something. After all, the definition of “insanity” is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Einstein through so, at least. 😛

    As a fan, I’m getting tired of management’s lukewarm approach to this team. With each passing game, the dream of the playoffs seems to move further and further away from our grasp. I hope that the team either does something to wipe the slate clean and keep our men in red competitive, or just blow the thing right up. For the first time, I truly feel like this team has come to a fork in the road, and it may be better to begin setting ourselves up for long-term success rather than trying to make a short-term gamble.

    At the same time, the optimistic view is that we are only 3 games behind in the race for a playoff spot. 😛

  • Captain Ron

    Its painfully obvious that Jarome no longer wants to lay it all out for this team. It doesn’t matter what the reason is anymore. What does matter is how the team owners and management handle the situation before it becomes unbearable. A sense of entitlement has set in with him and he clearly doesn’t want to play for this coach. His personal stats are a disgrace when you compare them to other, even average players around the league. Kris Versteeg for example has 25 points and is a plus 12 right now playing in Florida. If he doesn’t want to buy in to the program its time for him and anyone else in that group to go. I don’t know if Brent is the coach of our future team but right now I feel sorry for the man especially after listening to his post game comments tonight. There is clearly a disconnect in the dressing room and its time for a cleansing once and for all. Only then will this team be able to move on.

    No point in getting too excited about wins like the one over Chicago which had as much to do with the Hawks ineptitude as evidenced by their play against the Oilers the next night.

    Additionally it is quite possible that the Flames don’t win another game for the rest of the month. That would in all likelyhood be the beginning of the end of this edition of the team.

    • Franko J

      You got that right. So anyone think Detroit, Stl & Minni are going to be easier games coming up. If they dont want to play a system lets move them out, they play the system when the pressure is basically off & it becomes a pride thing. This is pure BS. 16 games in December, boy, that may be a month of revelation.

  • jeremywilhelm

    I dont think Iginla looks sluggish or lazy. He looks like he wants to do everything himself and he definitely can no longer do that. This is an ugly team with no chemistry being coached by a legit moron.

    In the end, we are getting exactly what the Flames were meant to be.

    • Captain Ron

      I respectfully disagree with you Jeremy. I think Jarome has lots left in the tank right now. I personally think he could perform at least as well as that fossil Teemu Selanne if he wanted too. The problems are in his head not his body. Its all talk and no action right now from him. I’m really begining to believe that he is a big reason for this teams lack of success.

      As far as B Sutter is concerned I’m on the fence a bit with him. What does make me wonder is that he did have a winning record in New Jersey when they lost Brodeur for most of a season. 50 wins I believe. On the other hand I can’t say I’m a big fan of this style of hockey either.

  • Franko J

    Family life is getting to these players! Its time for this players to focus on there career as hockey players! Stop pretending to be outstanding citizens! They should all go out cheat, drink like there all young rookies, and get on with the program of winning and getting into the playoffs

    • loudogYYC

      That’s probably the dumbest thing I’ve ever read on FlamesNation. Enough said.

      The problem is Iginla, no matter how you slice it.

      The teams performance goes as he goes and right now he’s not even half the player he can be. A lot of it can be the coach, as it can also be him not aging that well.

      Regardless, I seriously doubt the solution is in Calgary. He’ll be golden again if you put him on a team where he’s surrounded by players that are better than him and all he has to do is score goals as part of their top 6. So Pittsburgh, Detroit, maybe Philly or LA?

      Iggy’s no captain, he’s a high end athlete that can’t even push himself these days, let alone an entire team that’s known for under-performing.

      Feaster has an opportunity to really turn this franchise around fast. He’ll have to have the balls to do it without Iggy though.

  • Captain Ron

    A team that is “Easily Satisfied” is that not what every coach through here in the last few years has said….Too many high paid veterans at the ends of their careers playing out the string. Time to trade Iggy/Kipper etc while there is still value there.

  • Franko J

    As a long time fan of the Flames I’ve seen Calgary time and time again play to the level of the competition. Remember last season losing to NY Islanders at home. Ottawa this year. Or how about when San Jose Sharks inaugral season in the league was looking for their first win, who did they beat? Even Columbus Bluejackets, a team looking for their first road win in the NHL, where did it come? Or how about any other team in the league looking to bring a losing streak to an end, who do they play? I guess you can say Calgary is cursed by the Hockey Gods. On the other hand you make your own fate as well. If you take an in-depth look at the drafting record of this team since 2004 and the trades which have been made from management over the past five seasons, as well, futile player development there should be no surprise why the Flames are in their current position in the standings.

  • Captain Ron

    P-Stein has a love in with Brent. Guy is washed up. He says this team may be uncoachable, he cant get them to play “the system” consistently.
    Sometimes if a “system” isnt working a new system or a back up system is needed. A number of years ago heading to the National title, my college team, BYU, was known for passing, passing, passing (300-400 yds per game). One team decided to try to play against it, double teaming and putting in rushes. After the first few sets of downs the Y realized it wasnt working and changed to a running game. They finished with 400 yds running and less than 100 passing and won by 40 points. Maybe the Flames need to do that?

    • Captain Ron

      Yeah, Tangs could be the quarterback, Iggy the running back, Glennie and Borkie could go wide receiver. Joker’s the kicker and Stajan could hold etc etc. Might work.

  • febreze

    I think the comments that Iggy doesn’t care are uncalled for. This guy has been the heart and soul of the Flames for so many years, his desire to win is unquestioned IMO. He is always the fittest Flame at the start of the year testing and that is because he is a dedicated professional. However, he is really struggling this year and I think it maybe that he has slowed down a step and is trying to do the things he used to so when he was a dominant power forward. When he tries to handle the puck in traffic, most of the time he has a turnover. That is not from lack of desire but probably due to a declining skill set that superb fitness can’t overcome.

    It may be that Iggy is no longer a top line forward and is probably best used as a 2nd line winger with appropriate minutes.

  • jeremywilhelm

    Was Calgary that good against Chicago or was Chicago just that bad?

    After seeing what Edmonton did to them I think the answer is obvious.

    Fan960 after the game once again refered to the ‘leadership’ group 6 or 7 times. Sorry, who’s the leader again, I can’t quite remember who the Captain/face of the franchise is again…

    And on top of everything else we moved out Regeher and Phaneuf for magic beans instead of the best package of futures possible.

    My big worry now is the influence our ‘leadership group’ has on the young guys. Did anyone see that quote in the Herald a couple of days ago from Iginla where he told Backlund “don’t worry, we’re gonna score a bunch [paraphrased].” Exactly what’s wrong with the team right there.

  • icedawg_42

    blaming the coach, rightly or wrongly, is a far too easy sacrifice at this point. Whether or not he is a good coach is completely moot. Frankly this team has already cost the the organization too many coaches. It is time to blow it up – meaning EVERYONE should be actively shopped. I dont blame this fiasco on Butter (not completely anyway) – sure, there is enough blame to push his way, but frankly this roster has no f*cking pride. They have quit on the coach, which is one thing, but they have quit on each other as well and thats a much deeper problem.

  • loudogYYC

    The worst thing this club could possibly do is re-up Iginla for 3 more years to match Tanguay’s contract.

    Time for the coach-killer to go.

    Time for the media finds some large ones and start calling him out by name instead of constant reference to ‘leadership group.’ Why is the media so scard of Iginla anyways? One call to Ken King and one call from him and there goes their jobs or what?

    Tired of his ‘me’ attitude and dropping the gloves when the game is out of reach to try and show he cares. You want to show you care Iginla, try backchecking.

  • icedawg_42

    good morning flamesnation, wow what a disappointing effort by the flames last evening. sure the jackets might be the nhl whipping boys of late, however much of the blame lies on mason’s inability to play net. the flames without kipper between the pipes are perhaps a worse roster, at least the jackets have some skill upfront in carter and nash. the flames are led by an underacheiving selfish captain who floats and an over rated coach whos game plan is to bore the opposition to death. can someone please explain to me what and why sutter pigheadedly rolls with iggy. double shifts? well all is good post game with iggies colgate smile and “oh well we’ll get em next game” attitude. this team lacks motivation,pride and creativity. they say teams reflect the personality of the coach is this truely the case, or does jay buffet need to grow a set and make big changes.

  • Matty Franchise Jr

    @LoudogYYC

    I could not have said it better myself, including the reply to the sucka.

    @The-Wolf

    Bitter, jaded, and angry. That’s why you’re my favourite.

    It’s good to see people jumping on the athlete-not-leader band wagon. I really can’t wait until Iggy’s traded, or at the very least demoted from captaincy.