It’s been a terrible start. Worst in franchise history in fact.
After a season of overachieving and then a summer of almost nothing but good news, the Flames stumble out of the gate is like a splash of cold water in the face of Flames Nation. This is the first legitimate bump in the road for the Treliving-era Calgary Flames. It’s essential that the organization’s neophyte GM doesn’t fold in the face of this initial spate of adversity.
Desperate times and desperate measures rarely make for wise decisions. For an object lesson, consider the Dion Phaneuf trade.
Right now it’s important to remember a couple of things.
First, that the Flames are still in the formative stages of a longterm rebuild. While their turn as Cinderella last season made it feel like Contenderhood was imminent, the truth is this team still has a significant distance to travel before they can be considered a Western Conference powerhouse.
Secondly, remember that development is rarely linear. Human performance being what it is, almost every player and team suffers through dry spells, setbacks and steps backwards.
That’s why the long view is the important perspective in these circumstances.
The Flames have definitely been terrible over first last six games – watching them recently, it’s almost impossible to understand how they won any games last year, let alone a first round playoff series – but it’s just six games. Things can change in a hurry in this league. It would be terribly short sighted to push the panic button over such a tiny sliver of tough sledding (however bad the performance of the team).
Many of the things the fanbase and decision makers were excited about in August are still true now. The club still has a lot of good, young forwards. Mark Giordano, TJ Brodie and Dougie Hamilton are still an enviable defense corps. There’s potential for a bright future.
That’s why Brad Treliving shouldn’t be considering any trades right now that he wouldn’t have considered in the middle of the summer. A knee jerk swap isn’t going to “fix” the Flames – their struggles relate to player execution and preparation, some systemic faults and plain old bad bounces. Most of the stars aren’t stars right now. The coaching staff has to figure out how to re-jig its strategy. The boys just gotta play through this, as they say.
Hunker down and weather the storm everyone. This too shall pass.