FGD #35: The Panic Button (8pm MT; CBC)

The Calgary Flames (17-15-2) have lost 7 games in a row. Their opponents tonight, the Vancouver Canucks (), have lost 5 games in a row.

A streak will end tonight.

I really hope it’s Calgary’s streak, because I am sick of writing the same “The Flames played well but something went bad and they lost!” game story. You can try and dress it up, but fundamentally we’re experiencing the exact opposite of October and November, and it’s just more fun to analyze wins than it is to dissect a string of very similar losses.

Is it time for us to crack each others’ heads open and feast on the goo inside? We’re not sure. We hope not. But with a loss against a reeling Vancouver Canucks team that is having a similarly tough go of it, it may be time to hit the proverbial panic button.

(For a view from the other side, visit our chums over at Canucks Army)

THE FLAMES

They’ve lost seven in a row. Likely we’ll see some line-up changes, but they’re not skating today. Keep an eye on Daily Faceoff, who have last night’s lines (seen below) and will have updated rosters as the day goes forward.

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The Flames were alright last night at home, but now they’re (a) tired, (b) dejected and (c) playing a Vancouver Canucks team that has had a lot of success against them at Rogers Arena AND will be desperate to get back in the win column. As for the Flames – they’re just desperate to get some points on the board and turn this streak around before it hits Oilers territory.

I’d expect Karri Ramo to start, but that’s just me guessing based upon back-to-back games.

THE CANUCKS

Vancouver has lost six straight and have arguably been worse than the Flames during that stretch. Here’s lines from their last game via Daily Faceoff.

Screen Shot 2014-12-20 at 10.19.02 AM

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I would expect Ryan Miller to start, but that’s a guess.

These teams last met in the season opener in Calgary, but this is their first meeting in Vancouver this season. On-paper, the Canucks are the superior team. However, the Flames have surprised them before.

SUM IT UP

Via Hockeyfights.com

Nobody wants to enter the Christmas Break on a losing streak, but it’s likely one of these teams will. Calgary has lost seven straight. Vancouver has lost five. This is the opposite of a clash of titans. This is two desperate teams clashing for points that they both really, really need.

I expect a tight-checking game, filled with two nervous groups desperately trying not to mess things up for themselves.

Care to see what those Canucks fans are saying about tonight, click here.

  • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

    I was seriously sick and disgusted the way the Flames hid in their own end for the last 15 seconds of the game, scared, crying, running down the clock to get to OT. I am beyond disappointed with this team, their sloppy efforts, defensive breakdowns, and did Hiller even TRY to stop that last goal? Going to go drink my sorrows away.

      • Burnward

        When you score on yourselves from 200 feet away on a delayed penalty, yeah, things start to get a little sour. Remember how I keep bringing up the constant passing back to the blue line, and how they should try to generate chances MAYBE CLOSER TO THE NET, maybe that stupid goal doesn’t happen, maybe we win a game before Christmas.

    • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

      Dude…. 20 seconds left on the road when you have gone over 2 weeks without a point and the other team is playing an 0-3-2?

      I agree it’s not how you generally want things to go down, but in that situation it’s the smart play.

      • Grant

        We really need to stop making excuses. The Flames don’t have it harder than any other team in the league; as a matter of fact, I’d say we have one of the easier schedules compared to a lot of teams. Too tired? These guys are professional athletes who get paid millions of dollars. They played at home last night, were at home for a few days before that, and it is literally a one hour flight from Calgary to Vancouver.. and with the time difference, they don’t even lose that hour. While watching the game, on a slow computer with crappy Internet Explorer in the lobby of a hotel in Salt Lake City, I didn’t think “Wow these guys are smart to run down the clock to get that point!”, I thought it was embarrassing and gave the other team the impression that we were SCARED. Say what you want about momentum; it all went out the door in those last few dying seconds. A lot can happen in that time. I shouldn’t have to cite the amount of times we came back when we thought the game was over. That is not Calgary Flames hockey, to play keep away while the clock winds down, that’s Edmonton Oiler hockey (which is why we Flames fans get upset, whereas you guys are used to it).

        Anyways, fact of the matter is they came across as scared, the Canucks picked up on the scent of blood in the water and finished us off like a fat kid does to cake.

  • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

    Man, that stings. I was on the edge of my seat. I thought we went into overtime with all the momentum and the first lazy shot we throw into their zone turns into a wide open shot in our slot for tanev….WHOSE FRICKEN BIRTHDAY’S TODAY!!!!!…….bad luck I geuss..or pdo, or whatever…..I don’t care anymore
    * storms into the basement that his mom still rents him even though he’s 34 and she’s like”Jesus Christ!!!”

  • Cool Story, Brodie!!!

    The Score is making fun of us. We had 6 men on the ice (which shouldn’t happen if anyone is even remotely paying attention, let alone twice a game) and still somehow gave up an odd man rush. PANIC PANIC PANIC

    • Kevin R

      Take a f@#*ing pill buddy. This team is 35 games into year 2 of a rebuild. You are acting like we have a maxed out payroll loaded with established vets who should be contending. We are actually enjoying meaningful games. Losing sucks but the team is competing. Trades won’t happen until Jan/Feb. Let’s see what happens until then.

  • Burnward

    I don’t understand why everyone thinks this is okay. At no point is it “okay” to lose 8 games in a row (7 in regulation, tied a record set back in 74/75) whether we’re in Year 2 of the rebuild or not. Something has to happen and if we continue to let it slide nothing will change.

    Hartley hasn’t done anything to spark the team. “We need to simplify our game” and “We’re gripping our sticks too tight” is clearly not the problem. How about putting Mony and Gaudreau together? Or *gasp* splitting up Brodano? Or seeing how Potter does instead of Engelland, who when possessing the puck in the attacking zone promptly puts it over the glass so the faceoff comes outside?

    I’m not expecting them to win the Cup or anything. But a little more effort and a little less “Oh, we played fine but because the advanced stats say so we are bound to start getting goals” to that I say YEAH! Into our own net!

    • Grant

      The fact is Calgary played over their heads for one third of the season . Now they are not sneaking up on anyone. Look at the first line and second line . Do you think these are legitimate first and second lines. Their corsi stats are near the bottom of the league and the goaltending is back where it should be. This is not a surprise that they have fallen . They may be a hard working team but not super talented.

  • KiLLKiND

    Guys calm down about losing everyone was fine and accepting of the fact that Calgary was going to be competing in the McDavid sweepstakes and right now that’s the team we have. Winning is nice but unless Calgary isn’t showing any heart and getting blown out I’m fine with losing these close games, where our rookies develop and learn how to win these games in the future.