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)


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.


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.

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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.


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.

  • prendrefeu

    I… I am going to hit the panic button.

    It just seems – eye test – that the team is playing really differently since the ‘vets’ came back from injury. I miss the ‘old’ young Flames. 🙁

    Also: please, please, please play the kids.
    Poirier, Bennett, Wolf, Ferland. Bring them up.
    Wotherspoon too.

    Might as well, non?

    • beloch

      Hell yes. This is retarded. I want Poirier Ferland Wotherspoon and Wolf ASAP

      Wolf with a goal, 2 shots a scrap and +2 last night. Dump mcgrattan bollig stajan glencross for whatever you can get. Mix in a prospect and package some of them off. This is ludicrous

  • prendrefeu

    Don Cherry say we need more Goons. Love it!

    Advanced statistics may prove that fighting doesn’t help a team win, but I don’t really care. I ENJOY THE CHAOS.

    Though I really love winning.

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    Wolf with a goal again tonight to go with 4 shots and a scrappy boarding and roughing penalty

    Seriously this guy will give us a spark and the fans will love him. Am I the president of the david wolf fan club?

    You’re damn right I am

  • redricardo

    I would like to apologize to every Flames fan right now.

    I had to choose between dressing Vrbata or Hossa on RW tonight on my fantasy team. I took Hossa.

    This is most likely the best way to ensure that Vrbata will get at least 5 points. Ugh.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • 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.

  • 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.

  • beloch

    For those thinking about the difficulty of interpreting stats, that goal has no associated shot or scoring chance and Hiller’s sv% is still a sterling 1.00.

  • RKD

    I’m really stating to get mad. Wtf are they doing!!! Vets get healthy and we can’t even manage a measly overtime loss since. 7 games worth! Soon to be 8!! What is going on!! Trade some of this deadweight! Who are we the Oilers South? Do SOME THING! WHAT HAPPENED To nothing given everything earned. #[email protected]@$×!

  • Bean-counting cowboy

    My patience with Glencross and Stajan is waning. Both need a change of scenary. Colborne has lost a step and doesn’t look good at all. But having said that, who has looked good in this game. They’re even struggling with line changes. Get ‘er going boys.

  • RedMan

    Oiler trolls sure do expose their deepest feelings here w/o even knowing it.

    all the “haha you talked how you were going all the wY this year”. I dont remember anyone ever saying anything bout going all the way, most actually expressed that they prefer to not even make the playoffs to avoid mgt thinking they need to go for it with rental players and also the desire to get a decent draft pick.

    Losingg streak? more like a bump in the winning streak, i.e. we are winning cause the youth are developing in a healthy environment, are fun to watch, and lifes good for flames fans.

  • prendrefeu

    Getting real sick of the Flames shooting from the blue line on every. single. shot. How about generating some scoring chances oh I don’t know… closer to the front of the net? Duhhhhh so painful.

  • prendrefeu

    Kids these days, eh?

    Speaking of which – bring up the kids from Addy, trade the vets for D and/or D prospects.

    Either way, it’s a year of development in our rebuild, we need a deeper set of pairs on the Defensive side of things, and it’s clear that the team was running ablaze by the way the new(er) players played.