An interesting debate I’ve been watching over Twitter among Flames fans recently: "Is it okay to cheer for short term failure on your own team?"
There seem to be more and more fans who want the Flames to experience repeated losses and blowouts in order to get a change of management and finally make some seemingly necessary moves. On the other hand, there’s a lot of fans who are more than happy to keep cheering on the team to wins, despite the fact that the Flames are clearly not doing well on the whole and probably aren’t going to contend for anything in the short-term.
It’s a confusing arrangement. At which point do you value future returns over current success? Is it ever acceptable to cheer against your favorite team?
I find myself standing between the two views. I can’t bring myself to outright cheer against Calgary, even if it means positive change down the road. Neither can I sit down and think "Oh boy I really want the Flames to use what limited assets they have to acquire aging veterans at the trade deadline and lemme tell ya I really want Jay Feaster bumbling his way around the league for another year or two".
I think where this leaves me is wanting the Flames to simply play better.
This, admittedly, comes down to one of the oldest advanced stats vs. counting stats arguments. Are wins all that matter? As someone who’s used advanced stats for some time, it should hardly be a surprise that I think there’s a lot more than wins. Just because a team wins a lot in the short-term doesn’t mean they’re actually a good team. I want the Flames to win, but I want them to win because they’re a good team, meaning their succes will be lasting. If Calgary suddenly starts winning 3 out of 4 games and Iginla looks 5 years younger and Giordano isn’t a trainwreck on the ice and things come together magically – that’s fantastic.
That said, if the Flames start winning a ton of games despite being in the bottom third in possession and have a horribly unsustainable PDO, well, I won’t cheer against the team outright, but I’ll have a hard time enjoying the "success" nevertheless.
Calgary is currently a medicore team at best and with the trade deadline approaching each win seems a little more like a pyrrhic victory: success for the moment, but ultimately self-defeating.