POSTGAME – PLAYING FOR PRIDE?


 

Another loss for the Flames that really no one is surprised by. Going into the game, Calgary had 0.2% of still making the playoffs which realistically meant they had no chance. Even gaining the point in overtime, with the Phoenix win and some games that will al put the math into place, the Flames have officially been eliminated from the playoffs. I won’t even give the Canucks the benefit of being the team that eliminated Calgary either, that distinction solely hangs around the neck of each Flames player and coach. Wear it well boys.

THE RECAP

The Flames came out in the first period and actually showed some jump. Playing like they still had something to prove, be it to the fans, or to themselves, they looked to make a statement  early. Applying pressure in the Vancouver zone didn’t mean to much though when what has been the case far to often over the last eight games, they had no finish. Then at the 5:08 mark Henrik Sedin carried the puck from the neutral zone all the way into the Flames zone. Half way through the right face off circle, Sedin would saucer pass a back hand over to Maxim Lapierre, that he would in turn push underneath Karlsson’s pad, that wasn’t even along the ice. Despite Karlsson not playing an NHL game since December, it was a terrible goal and another example as to why Hank won’t be with the Flames next season. Shots were 12-7 in favour of the Flames, but the goal took the wind out of their sales and by the end of the period, Vancouver had taken over the scoring chances 7-5.

In the second period, Vancouver completely took over this game. They dominated Calgary in shots, 11-8; and completely decimated them 6-1 in scoring chances. At the 5:20 mark, while on the power play, Olli Jokinen would cough up the puck to Yannick Hansen, and he would be off to the races with the short handed breakaway. At about 5:27, Mark Giordano makes an incredible play, coming all the way back to not only catch hansen, but disrupt the play and knock the puck into the corner. Iginla picks up the puck at his own blueline and goes kitty-corner to the Canucks blueline, stops and feeds Olli Jokinen the one timer for the power play goal. The goal came on their only power play and only scoring chance of the period.

The third period started well for the boys. At just :51 seconds into the frame, Mike Cammalleri unleashed a rocket that Luongo didn’t see but I’m sure he heard go passed him and into the net. Great pass from Moss from the left boards and despite all logic, Calgary lead Vancouver 2-1. The Canucks didn’t dominate the Flames too much in the third, holding small margins in shots (12-10) and scoring chances (6-4) as well.  At 11:45, Sedin and Burrows would play keep away from Calgary and then dish the puck off to  Marc-Andre Gragnani who would put the slap shot through Karlsson to tie the game at two. Despite Hank feeling he was interfered with by Lapierre, he whiffed on the shot and let another soft goal go in between his arm and his body. Strike two Tower.

Given Calgary’s record in overtime, when the clock hit zeros, fans everywhere must have felt like the game was lost. Despite the record, they played overtime anyways, but at 3:52, Karlsson would cap the night off, letting the recently returned Andrew Ebbett score the winner. And that was the ball game.

 THE STARS

1. Maxim Lapierre

2. Mike Cammalleri

3. Andrew Ebbett

THE FINAL

Fans had to know that as soon as they saw Karlsson in net, that the Flames had surrendered to their fate. They can say all they want to the media that they are playing for pride, because what else are they supposed to say? As always actions speak louder than words and if you didn’t hear the message tonight, Henrik Karlsson put three exclamation marks on it over a span of sixty-five minutes.

It’s not mathematical, but it is official now that they will not be going to the playoffs. With a maximum of 90 possible points, they’re done. All that’s left now is to sit back and play for fun in the last two games; the party starts on Thursday when they get to play these same Vancouver Canucks. Bring your party favorites, puck drop is at 7 pm on Sportsnet and the Fan 960.

  • everton fc

    Some of you are really delusional about certain UFA’s coming here. Or getting a 1st, roster player AND a prospect for Iggy and Kipper. The most youre getting for them is a First OR a prospect.
    Sutter still a good coach? His brother, Playfair and Keenan all made the playoffs. Brent with basically same team took them down to out for 3 years. I dont know about u but if an NFL team made the playoffs for 5 years then a new coach came in and for 3 years didnt make it, he’d be gone regardless. Good coaches use the strengths of the players. Bad coaches coach the only way they know how and force players to play that way. Brent didnt coach with what he had. He tried to take the team and have him play his way. Didnt work all the time. Who would have thought that Ottawa or St. Louis would be where they are? Are Maclean and Hitch lucky coaches? No they’re good coaches.
    Lastly, i watched the game on CBC’s website today (was out all saturday) and wow, no push back , just bad plays. Real amateur.

  • everton fc

    Everyone’s posting an opinion. Might as well join the fray!

    Nolan’s post is a fair one. But I think the obvious is that are players are not good enough. Some will cry, “Injuries killed us.” Perhaps. But we seemed to get worse when all the players we thought would get us into the playoffs came back from injury. When we used the scrubs… We seemed to get some energy. Some results.

    To me, the only solution to the organizations woes is to take an absoltue new approach… which means letting both GM and coach go down the road. That’s the start. Bring in a better duo, and have them assess the players… Including Iggy… Kipper… They’ll do a better job than the current tandem, me thinks…

    I’d say dump King, too, but it seems he’s untouchable. So why even discuss it?

    I think Boumweester, like Jokinen, as re-invented his game. It’s been effective most nights. But the price tag remains outrageous. If you can move him, I think you do.

    As for Iggy… A more limited role on the 2nd line makes sense, with Tanguay and Cammy. Cammy centres that line… though I think we are paying too much for the smallish Cammy, and would consider moving him, as well, to a contender, if at all possible.

    We could go on and on… All of us… We’ll find out soon enough who stays, and who’s going. I still think you start w/the GM who promised a lot, and didn’t deliver.

    Then the coach… some staff…

    A complete rebuild. Top down. Fans will be patient if we bring in the right GM & coach. Check out what Jon Cooper and John Hynes are doing in the AHL. Amongst others. And check out all the qualified Asst GMs… And I’m not including Nill in this one.

    All better than Feaster, in my opinion. All looking for a shot to run their own team.

    • icedawg_42

      “As for Iggy… A more limited role on the 2nd line makes sense, with Tanguay and Cammy. Cammy centres that line… though I think we are paying too much for the smallish Cammy, and would consider moving him, as well, to a contender, if at all possible”

      While I agree in principle with this sentiment at a pure hockey level, keep in mind that would be 15.5 million cap bucks getting ‘limited’ ice on your second line? Who is your first line then? I cant agree more with everyone who says this team needs to look drastically different before we’ll see some success. I may be pessimistic but I don’t see how they are going to get any returns or win any deals with the pieces they have to move. Honestly I see this trending even further down. The Flames could well be a lottery team in the next couple years. The term on Cammi (and Tanguay – as I said at the time) is a big mistake and a big step backwards. I like them both as players, but seriously this is a repeat of the problems that have plagued the Flames for the last 3 years.

      Oh – and I don’t care how bad it gets around here I will NEVER cheer for the Vancouver CaSUCKS!!! In fact I think i’ll jump back on the Bruins bandwagon – though I could see the Penguins going all the way now.

      • everton fc

        We are bascially on the same page, Icedawg.

        I know we had to move Bourque. But for the smallish Cammy, whose no youngster… and simply not worh $6mill/season… Seems to be the same old same old…

        Not sure who’d be on a first line here. I would take a first line of Baertschi/Statnsy/Iginla… See how that owkrs for one season, as Iggy will be UFA after next season.

        We need guys with character who come to play every night, who have some spunk, not to mention good hands, and who are willing to go to the difficult spots for scoring opportunities. This is one reason Moss is valuable, if he’s healthy – he’ll go places his teammates won’t. Something to consider…

        Where we need to look drastically different is with our GM and head coach. It starts there. King seems untouchable. This is one of the main problems here. But a new GM… A new, progressive coach who can earn buy-in from the players, and who will also jettison those who won’t buy in… with the GM’s support…

        That’s the drastic change we need.

        Iggy will be 36 when his contract runs out. If they can move him… They probably should. But we lack scoring. Iggy can score, but is streaky, and has been plagued w/slow starts. Can we replace Iggy with some 20-25 goal scorers, some depth? Look at the Predators… No 30 goal scorer… But a lot of 20-plus guys…

        Kipper can probably be Kipper for a few more years. If other organizations see Kipper this way, you may have to move him, too. I like Irving. None of us know abour Ramo, other than he didn’t do so well in the NHL his first go-round. But moving Kipper and Iggy may bring back some depth.

        I’m rambling here. We’ll know the direction of the club by the draft. If Feaster remains, I fear more moves like Tanguay’s contract, like brining in Cammy’s contract, like signing Babchuk… Like the insane offer for Richards… And so forth. For two seasons Feaster has said publically he likes this team, and thinks they can make the playoffs. They haven’t, and the team’s point and win totals have sunk. He should be held accountable. As should Sutter. And some of the players…

  • everton fc

    What a difference it makes being viewed as 33 and scoring 43 goals vs. being viewed as a 30 goal scorer turning 35.

    This is exactly why I advocated striking while the iron was hot last year. Good trades are as much about timing as anything. I truly believe that LA would’ve parted with Schenn for Iggy a year ago. How good would Voynov have looked here? Now, with Richards and Carter there, a team once desperate for proven offense and rich in prospects is off the table.

    Still, there are always clubs that will pay a premium to get a proven goal scorer vs the potential risk of a draft pick or even a lower level prospect. They will also pay to keep that player away from other teams.

    So to say that that there wouldn’t be a lot of interest in Iginla is pure folly. That said, his value over the course of 1 year has dropped considerably.

    IMO, he’s worth a ‘B-level’ prospect and a 1st round pick in the 11-20 range.

    In other words, the risk in moving Iginla has gone up, but I’d rather gamble on a pick and the best prospect the team can get their hands on then have a player here that will probably score 30 goals again on a team that will probably miss the playoffs again. Iginla is not a mentor or role model type, so there’s no value in keeping him.

    If we can have Ramo come over (though I’ve heard he wants to finish next year there) and Irving split duties with him, then move Kipper too. The team will drop several places in the standings and we will secure a higher draft pick for the summer of 2013.

    This has been a sharp lesson in why you don’t run a hockey club based on nostalgia or delusions of grandeur. Running a club based on the idea that you can scratch into 8th and then “anything can happen, (ie. ‘hope’)” because it did once, is stupid.

    • I think George Johnson is saying what we’ve been preaching in the Herald today. We dont owe Iggy anything, he has been handsomely rewarded & we have been rewarded with a great future hall of famer back. But its time to do what’s best for the organization. Many here are really undervaluing him but you are right, we could have gotten an insane package for him a few years ago. As much as we all like to bash Daryl Sutter, myself included, I was talking with an alumni a last year & the word was that Daryl wanted to trade Iggy after crapping the bed in 2010 but many were terrified he would have gotten fleeced like he did with Phaneuf. Feaster was brought in that summer.

  • These boys are playing like they have no pride.

    Vintage, if the comments are moderated and we have to act as though our mother is watching does that not also apply to the banner pic? Incidentally, I love it.

  • icedawg_42

    The thing I don’t really understand is vehement opposition to a proper rebuild. I get it from an emotional fan perspective because it sucks. The thought of it pains me to consider…. Penguins got 30th-30th-29th or something like that before they became an elite team. But how else do you get Crosby, Fleury and Malkin? Not by trading 35 year old Iggy thats for sure….

    This city is loyal, and I see no reason why ownership wouldn’t be able to admit its time to reboot. Top to bottom, sell off every moving part (Iggy, Jbo, Kipper, Gio) and start building towards Baertschi’s team in 2016 or 2017. It would be ugly for a few years… But the dome will be sold out 100% of the games, so the bottom line won’t be impacted. And if anything they’d sell more jersey’s if they brought in some exciting kids that we could get behind and dream about instead of being upset with Iggy for not being able to become 25 again.

    Take for example the last 3 years. We’ve sold out every game, never made the playoffs, and have nothing to show for it except frustration and a lucky pick (and still not proven) on Baertchi.

    The Oilers have also missed the playoffs the past 3 years, but have completely reorganized and now have Taylor Hall, Nugent Hopkins, Eberle AND another top 3 pick this year….

    Both teams have sold out 100% of their games, neither have 1 single playoff game to show.

    Of course hindsight is 20-20 but wouldn’t we have been better off to reboot as well? Ownership would likely make more money by being well under the cap for a few years, but still selling out. The fans COULD be sold on it if it was communicated properly as a real plan for the future. And in 3-4 years we might not be perpetually fighting for 8th with no hope of becoming an elite playoff team.

    I’ve been advocating since Sept to blow it up and face reality. Now we are just 1 year older but no further ahead.

    The Leafs tried to do a “mini” rebuild, or a rapid rebuild or whatever you want to call it. And look where they are now… Starting back at ground zero after 7 yeras out of the playoffs. If this team doesn’t face reality we’ll be the Leafs just starting our rebuild in 2016.

    I really hoped my kids could see a proud Flames team one day, and they just might, I just might not be alive to enjoy it with them at this rate.

  • Vintage Flame

    It’s been interesting watching the news lately and various comments from the players.

    I’m beginning to wonder if it might not be a case of playing out the string and then the possibility of moving Iggy might just show a bit more promise. Just a feeling I have gotten, but we’ll see.