When I looked at the last fifteen games of the season, I had banked on a split between the Flames and the Dallas Stars. Now with only five games remaining, that split carries a lot more negative connotations than before. There is no dispute that if Calgary was to pull out a miracle of an improbable last ditch effort to make the playoffs that last night’s win was a must. And to their credit, they got it. They also managed to score five goals, one shy of their previous cumulative five game total. They also managed to get three of those goals on the powerplay, and from players that had been in a drought at the worst possible time of the season.

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So what does this win mean for the team, when it was a night where the Flames needed everything to go their way and actually got it? It could mean extending the season if this team can replicate the result at least four more times… it could mean absolutely nothing.


While two points against the Stars in regulation is a big deal, grouped with regulation losses by the Kings and Avalanche, the Flames now need to bottle what they did right and forget about all the rest. there is still a lot of work to do, and they won’t get many breaks like they did last night. The next two games up are those same Kings and Avalanche, so what are they going to have to do?

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The Kings may be the second lowest scoring team in the league but they are second best in goals against. Calgary cannot rely on winning the game 1-0 like Vancouver did last night, they will have to capitalize on the chances they get; especially on the PP. They also can’t afford to have Kiprusoff let in any softies like his first to Benn only 26 seconds into the game. Some teams are able to recover from mishaps like that, but let’s all be honest, lightning doesn’t strike twice very often for Calgary.

They are fortunate that Mike Cammalleri has been able to make an immediate impact on the team: four points in two games may be just the spark this offense needs to get more of the top six going. Goals finally by Jokinen and Tanguay should be an indication of that beginning, now the Flames have to hope that this has a positive infection on guys like Iginla and Glencross as well.

This March has been the worst for Iginla since the 2010 season (the first time Stajan was his full time center). While I’m not here to vilify Iginla, the types of games that these last five represent should be what get your captain up in the morning. They should be the moments that set the captain apart from every other player on the team. They should be the reason why your captain is your captain! Not to add more pressure to the burden that Iginla already bears, but there is a sense that even the fan base is growing weary of Jarome and this would be a nice way to give the fans what they all want – namely to see Iggy lead this band of misfits into the playoffs. At this point in time, I doubt there are many fans who believe or even care that the Flames are unlikely to make any noise in the post season…just get there for God’s sake. After that, well, anything is possible.



"That being said, if the Flames win tonight, they will win 4 in a row, giving fans a hope and put them back on the bandwagon. Then they will lose their next two games in the shootout and finish on the outside because of the tiebreaker leaving them in 9th place in the West. I really hope this doesn’t happen.-schevvy

I’m sure there are a number of even the most devout fans that have this exact same fear causing them undue amounts of anxiety, but would anyone really be surprised if this actually happened? Because after what we have seen this season from our *cough* ‘beloved’ Flames, no one should be surprised by anything anymore. And that includes if they actually pull this circus show off without the big top collapsing around them and the fans that show relentless faith and support.

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It is going to take all kinds of luck, the planets all aligning at just the right time during game times, and even then Calgary will not be able to make any stupid costly mistakes to pull this off.

But hey, with a pretty face like this guy… who’s going to bet against them now? In all seriousness though, the luck is for the Flames is going to come if they can actually function together for sixty minutes in each of these last five games. No more, no less please. Sixty solid minutes for five more nights and they can forget about the previous five game devastation.

Calgary has trailed the opposition after the second period forty times this season. Of those forty games, they came back to win only four of them. They have proven that there is only one route to the top of the hill and they’re not very equipped for the journey. They need to find another way to get to where they need to be and that is a huge factor that works the odds against them.

There isn’t really any aspect of the game that they excel at right now. They struggle to score and struggle in preventing untimely goals. It’s part of the reason they crumble under the adversity of trailing after two periods. When they are given opportunities to bail themselves out with special teams, they are more likely to dig themselves a deeper grave. Well folks, the hole is dug and there is about enough room for only one more nail in the coffin.

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The bottom line is right now Calgary is fighting a bunch of shadows. What that means is the Flames seem to have more issues with battling themselves than they do with the opposition they face. If they can keep it together over the next week then they may be able to still leave their mark on this season. If they fail to make something of these last five games, it won’t be the reason they miss the playoffs… again. They will merely be the exclamation point at the end of every argument every fan has as to why this team is going nowhere and why everyone should be traded or fired.

No one will account for the injuries or the ups and downs of the year; it will be as if there was no mentionable trace of yet another mediocre team.  If, or even when, they miss the playoffs, Ryan Lambert may very well have the material to write the easiest installment of “Five Things” with five simple lines…

1. The Edmonton Oilers
2. The Columbus Blue Jackets
3. The Colorado Avalanche
4. The Minnesota Wild
5. The Dallas Stars

That about sums it up doesn’t it? If not, I’ll leave you with a little ode that I found here on the net. It seemed somewhat fitting and the first stanza seemed to reflect the “shadow”  that surrounds this team…

Sun rise.
My shadows running thin the other way.
Sun dies.
My shadows becoming dim.
Another day. Another night.
Another play. Another fight.
I’m feeling tired.

  • RexLibris

    Got a quote in the article! #winning

    The Flames are in tough, however interestingly enough as I was going through the out-of-town scoreboard and what lies ahead, I discovered something:

    A Flames regulation win tomorrow night combined with an Avalanche loss and a Stars regulation loss puts the Flames in a tie for 7th. Seriously. Based on tiebreakers they’d be in 9th but man, they’re closer than I originally thought.

    Oh, and VF, it’s Voice of…err nevermind. 🙂

  • RexLibris

    Congratulations Schevvy! You made the big-time.

    As for the Flames making the playoffs, I was expecting an image of “un-possible” or something to that effect. But Schevvy is right, they are dancing on the blade of a razor and who knows what will happen.

    At the start of the season I had predicted the Flames would finish 10th. Today they are 11th, and by Friday they could be anywhere from 12th to 9th.

    The problem appears to be that there is no room for error and yet the captain, from the comments I have read here and on chat, appears to be emotionally MIA.

    It’s usually at this point, when things look their most bleak and the home crowd is holding it’s breath for a break in their favour, that Iginla comes out and dominates a game again (fight, score, fight, score, assist) and the crowd goes nuts once again while a few who have seen this movie too many times then shake their head and say “here we go again, so close and yet so far”.

    I’d really like for the Flames to make a push here. The fans haven’t been given any indication by management that they can expect anything radically different for next season and so, for the sake of all those non-repulsive Flames fans that I love to talk with here on FN (relax, I’m kidding) I really hope these next few games give you guys something to cheer for.

    And now for something completely different: if the Leafs end up in the bottom five how much do you think Burke tries to offer Bettman as a bribe to have them “win” the lottery?

  • RexLibris

    On a positive note: SVEN the great had a 4 point game tonight (2G 2A) in a 6-3 win over Kelown. All his 4 points were on the non-empty-net goals (last two goals were empty-netters). It’s safe to say he is SVENsational!

    • RexLibris

      Yeah, he had to scratch Kevin Lowe and Communists off his “to blame” list.

      I actually agree with Burke (shudder) on his claim about the Leafs needing to employ players from Ontario. Cherry’s assertion that an Ontario team has a moral or cultural duty to employ local talent is pretty funny. The Leafs had that option years ago and chose not to. Now, for some reason, they are supposed to embrace the same parochialism that has made Montreal such a powerhouse and attraction for talent around the league?

  • everton fc

    Sorry flames fans but chances of making the playoffs are slim to none.4 of the 5 games left are against teams already in a playoff spot and 2 against Vancouver.I think the flames well win 1 of the next 5 games alright maybe 2 i’ll give you guys a extra pity win.Before you people bash me cause im on a flames site as an oiler fan I would rather see the flames finish 10th or 11th in the west and get a decent pick at the draft than making the playoffs in the 8th spot and getting knocked out in the first round and then picking up the left overs of the first round picks.Cause seriously outside of having a good goalie in Kipper the team is awful,to old,to slow,and can’t score, sorry flames fan time to start a rebuild, and because i’m going to get bashed i predict next year the OILERS well finish higher in the standings then flameless flames.

  • everton fc

    I see Sven playing someday on a line w/Ferland. Ferland can be protect him a bit, whilst providing some offence himself. I have this string feeling Ferland becomes a 20 goal scorer in this league.

    Here’s hoping my cranial crystal ball is not simply a daydream!

    • Vintage Flame

      Ferland and Bärtschi both play left wing, so I don’t know about that one, unless one is convertible. I could see Sven on the 3rd line with Backlund though and possibly Stempniak or Moss, if they re-sign either of them.

      As for Ferland making the team next year, I’m sure he will get some looks but as for sticking with the team, I think he would have to blow away the Flames with his impressions and supplant one of the youngsters. Personally I see him in Abby next year.

      • T&A4Flames

        Yea, one place we are organizationally lacking is RW. I think we definitly have options moving forward on the left side with Sven, Ferland & Gaudreau but everywhere else lacks. RW, though, in my opinion is the weakest area followed by ‘D’ & ‘C’. Goal is looking much better than at this time last year with the aquisitions of Brossoit & Ramo as well as the emergence of Irving. I still have hope in Ortio as well.

  • everton fc

    what is the tragic number? other than running the table and hoping for help, what exactly are the cold hard numbers. congrats schevvy,you hit celebrity status,maybe we can get you a bout with tanya harding.

    • This site: http://zorak.best.vwh.net/nhl/

      suggests it’s 9 for the Flames. So any combination of PHX/DAL gaining points or the Flames losing them adding up to 9 in the last five games means Flames are done.

      For instance, if the Coyotes win their next game and the Flames lose tonight, the number drops from 9 to 5.

      Because it’s such a tight race, Flames also have a magic number of 10 with COL and 8 with SJS.

  • Playoffs? Don’t worry about that fancy word that you don’t really understand anyways…Feasters’ measure of success is how the Flames do against the Oilers, and they’ve already mathmatically won that battle…even if the Oilers win every game remaining and the Flames lose the rest.

    So this season is a HUGE SUCCESS!!

  • MC Hockey

    Well thanks VF for being our own Mr.Doomy McGloomerton! But seriously, I cannot argue with much said on the negative side about the Flame as the facts are there…a five-game losing streak and not being ready to play Edm and Clb made a big difference to their current standing even if a few points were gathered in those games. Middle of the road is where Flames are so watch out for big trucks, cars, SUVs, and of course that darn chicken always crossing. And as much as some of the veteran forwards are OK players I think more youth should be rushed into the 2012-2013 lineup — so Flames must consider not re-signing Olli, Jones, Moss, Stempniak, Backlund, and others OR at least trade a few of them. I am glad the Flames magic number is not tiny right now as a season-ticket holder I have tonight as my last game to see before my partner has the rest except Apr 7 (sold) as starting Saturday I will be vacationing in Arizona hoping for the miracle! And I will have Internet so my wacky comments still may appear…

      • MC Hockey

        Yah I do consider those two as youth but Comeau has underwhelmed while Backlund is similar. Maybe sign them and trade for similar players (young but disappointing) from other teams!???

        • Vintage Flame

          I can see the Flames signing Backs and Jones, and I think it would be a good move considering they will be able to be had for good value.

          Justin and Kent have made mention as to how Jones has been slightly under-valued and has actually done a pretty good job for the Flames.

        • T&A4Flames

          I don’t disagree with Comeau and Jones has a role, yes. But to give up on Backlund at 22 would be ridiculous. Sure, offensively this year he has been a disappointment but there have been several articles here on FN showing that Backlund drives possession. His offense will come along but their is plenty of time. If you want to see youth on this team you can’t bail on them at 22; at the very least Backlund is good 3rd line option. Put he and Jones together with a skilled forward like, maybe Baertschi, and they may produce.

  • MC Hockey

    Oh to be more specific on free agents to NOT bring back I don’t think Comeau has impressed enough to warrant any contract offer and TK is replaceable while between Sarich and Hannan, I have a hard time knowing what to think as Sarich is tough on other teams when not making silly passes and Hannan has been somewhat solid.