The Flames, well they phoned it in tonight. Given that they’ve shed nearly $14 million in salary in the past week and are poised to cast off even more, perhaps it’s understandable that the Flames never arrived tonight for their tilt with their provincial rivals up north. The end result is, uh, unflattering, as the Edmonton Oilers coasted to a 4-1 victory over our heroes, and somehow made DEVAN DUBNYK look like a capable goaltender, which we all know in our hearts that he isn’t.
Unfortunately for you, and with even less of an excuse for things being the way they are then youer Calgary Flames, we here at Flames Nation are also guilty of phoning it in, as we all fled from FN headquarters to witness the slaughter down at the Tilted Kilt tonight, and I’m the one who drew the short straw to recap a game we all only half paid attention to.
So this should go great.
We’re not even going to pretend this one was the least bit pretty.
The Oilers scored early and often, but if you were paying attention, you knew the game was likely over before it began. Literally an hour before the game it was reported that the Flames had shipped top linde defenseman Jay Bouwmeester out to St. Loo for their first round draft pick and a couple of warm bodies, and that news lingered over the atmosphere of the entire game.
Not to say that that had anything to do with the outcome on this one. Outshootinhg the Oil 34-20, a combination of some Dubnykesque goaltending on Calgary’s part, and really just an overall ugly effort by the Flaming C, it seems unlikely that Bouwmeester could have saved the Flames in this one.
Things looked bleak in what seemed like an impossibly long first period, as the Oilers spotted themself an early 3-0 lead, simultaneously depressing the Calgary faithful while fueling the naive dreams of Oilers fans everywhere who still laughably think they have a playoff team in front of them, though they quite obviously don’t.
Justin Schultz put the home team up almost immediately, sneaking into a wide open slot just 4 minutes in, as Mark Giordano temporarily forgot what defensive coverage was and Dennis Wideman decided he was a forward, leaving the rookie defenseman all the time in the world to bury one past starting goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff, who may have also played his last game in a Flames uniform, if you believe rumours.
By the end of the stanza, the Oilers had the game in hand and Kiprusoff on the bench, as Taylor Hall and somehow Ryan Jones each netted a G and forced Joey MacDonald into action, Kipper’s night over after surrendering three goals on six shots. Truly a luminescent performance by everyone involved in the Flames organization in this one.
The second period happened.
the Flames got a lot of shots. None of them went in.
the second period ended.
The third period began.
After any point where anyone could logically dictate the score was still in balance, the two Alberta rivals traded goals, basically for superficial reasons only. Nail Yakupov scored to make it 4-0, because why not, and also because you can never ensure that Joey MacDonald is going to stop everything. The Flames’ most consistent forward, Brian McGrattan, potted his second goal in as many games to make this one respectable, but let’s be honest, this one was over in the first period, and that sucks.
Why The Flames Lost
Take your pick.
- They put forth a lackluster effort.
- They ran into a hot goalie in Dubnyk
- They just lost their de-facto best player
- this after they just lost the face of their franchise
- Edmonton admittedly played well
- They’re not a very good team
- Nobody knows who’s getting traded next
- Did we mention the Iginla thing?
So, you know, you have options here. It doesn’t really matter in the end. It’s tough to criticize this roster right now, because it’s hard to envision that this is the same roster come Wednesday night for the rematch, as the trade deadline will have passed by that point, and who the hell knows who is still going to be a Flame by that point?
Regardless, this one was ugly, and mercifully, it’s over.
The Red Warrior
I’m going to give it to our own Justin Azevedo, as his sometimes off colour remarks about the state of this team, the performance of it’s General Manager, etc., etc., were far better and more concise and powerful than anything anyone on the Flames executed tonight, and that’s terribly sad.
This also guarantees that I don’t have to award this to Brian McGrattan, because, obviously, I just can’t do that without my head hurting.
Good work, vedo, and hang in there.
And, In The End
The events surrounding the Flames over the past week or so have completely underscored anything worth talking about in this game, which isn’t saying a lot given the outcome. You’ll forgive us if we’re more interested in the future of Miikka Kiprusoff at this point (who refused to talk to the media post game. I’ll let you pretend like that means something if you like)
The truth is the Flames did not have their best defenseman in the game, nor did they have their best player, as he now toils in Pittsburgh, so you’d have thought that maybe the Ewing Theory would’ve kicked in tonight, but it sure as hell didn’t, so we’re more inclined to talk about the future of this team, their lack of identity, their now $24 million in cap space for next season, and just what this all means anyway. Obviously this is not business as normal in Calgary, and trying to figure out just exactly what comes next seems to take precedence over what happens on the ice on any given night.
Plus, like I said, we were all at the Tilted Kilt tonight, and quite honestly, they treated us so well down there that I really don’t remember what I saw on the giant TV screen in front of me tonight.
Brace yourselves, friends, the next couple of days are going to be muey interesting.