Ducks 4, Flames 1 post-game embers: Hey they weren’t shut out this time

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Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

This was a genuine improvement from the game against Los Angeles. The same number of goals were scored, but this time, at least the Flames got one of them.

They also looked more put together. That isn’t to say they were particularly great, but they were better than they were the night before. These are very low standards, here, but we’re at the point where we need to take the lowest standards, go a little lower, and then maybe, just maybe, find a silver lining somewhere in the hole this team has dug itself into.

The Flames have played more games than anyone else in the NHL. They are 28th in points percentage. So, when do you guys want us to start draft coverage?

What’s a goal?

Not too long ago, the Flames were scoring an average of three goals a game. Over the course of this four-game road trip, they scored five goals, three of which came in their one win. Let’s see how the Flames are doing now…

So, they’re now at 2.50 goals per game. They were from on the cusp of being a top 10 team in scoring and now they’re 22nd in the NHL. That seems unideal. If you want to win a hockey game, it helps if you can score goals, after all.

The Flames handily won the possession battle. They looked slightly more alive out there. So that was cool.

You know what’s not cool? They have a goal differential of -15 now, the worst in the entire NHL. They couldn’t have asked for a better goaltending tandem than Brian Elliott and Chad Johnson this past offseason. Neither have been perfect, but no goalie is. The problems run far, far deeper than who’s in net.

Their powerplay is the third worst in the NHL. Their penalty kill is the second worst, and they’re the most penalized team in the league. Combine that with the scoring going down, and there you have it: they suck as a collective whole.

How do you fix this?

Well, you can’t fire an entire roster. You can wait for the bad contracts to clear out, but that’s not a quick fix; that’s a purgatory answer for what has increasingly approached being a waste of a season.

After this year, the entire trainwreck that is the bottom half of the defence will be cleared out. (This assumes there aren’t any more surprise Nicklas Grossmann signings, which I’m not entirely sure we can trust management on at this point.) The forwards will stay the same, though, maybe minus an Alex Chiasson and a Kris Versteeg. You figure Sam Bennett and Matthew Tkachuk will continue to improve; you remember Lance Bouma continues to take up too much cap space as an overpaid fourth liner.

It’s very easy to point fingers at the new coaching staff, and it’s very much deserved at this point. (We’re now 14 games into the season, the correct defence combinations are only just now being played, and I still don’t trust them to actually be put out there for the next game.) They’re also a prominent common denominator behind seemingly every single star player on the Flames completely forgetting how to play hockey.

Anyway, here’s a list of NHL coaches by games coached. If you need a moment of reactionary catharsis, you can sort it from least to most you can play a fun game in guessing where Glen Gulutzan ends up! He is actually at 144 now because of his time with the Dallas Stars earlier, but he’s at 14 on this current tenure. I’m a young’un, so I don’t recognize most of the names on the list, but Pierre McGuire lasted 67 games. Though I guess at that point, you’ve already lasted pretty much a full season…

And no, people, the answer is not Bob Hartley. He led the team to a 26th place finish last year. I guess that’s technically better than what the Flames are at right now, but not really. Or did you think coming from behind every third period 82 nights a year was a good strategy? The 2014-15 season was fun, and a hell of an anomaly.

This is inconceivable to me

You remember what the last training camp battle was? It was between Brett Kulak and Grossmann. The Flames decided to keep both, if the latter only for cap purposes. (Someone did forget to inform the coach of that, though, apparently.)

Anyway, here’s the thing I don’t get: how on earth could anyone, at any point in time, watch Grossmann and then watch Kulak and think there was a competition there? Let alone professionals paid to decide the roster? How does that happen?

How was Kulak scratched for eight games? He looks amazing out there. He gets powerplay time now. With 17:28 played, he technically got top four minutes. He’s speedy and mobile and it’s fun to watch him jump up into the play and he doesn’t really get burned by his aggressiveness. He’s really, really fun to watch. He is literally everything Grossmann isn’t.

Which is unfortunate because of that whole expansion draft thing. It’s really early yet, but assuming this keeps up, and the Flames only protect three defencemen so they can protect more forwards, and those defencemen are Mark Giordano, T.J. Brodie, and Dougie Hamilton, then Kulak is my early pick to be going to Vegas. Kid is a delight to watch.

When will Micheal Ferland get the ice time he deserves?

This one is also inconceivable to me.

Micheal Ferland averages 11:08 a game. He played 10:33 last night. Everyone else, including perpetual scratch-slash-noted 13th forward Freddie Hamilton played more.

Ferland had four shots last night. The only other player who matched him in putting that many pucks on the net was Ryan Getzlaf, and he had an extra seven minutes to work with.

So, quite simply, what the hell? Putting Hunter Shinkaruk on Bennett’s line is a fine move, but Ferland is being completely wasted on fourth line minutes. He isn’t Bouma. He’s someone who’s tied with Tkachuk and Dougie Hamilton in scoring despite playing basically the least out of everybody. Tkachuk is starting to get his minutes – well he didn’t last night, but his first fight probably had a fair bit to do with that – and it’s time for Ferland to get the same.

If Ferland can’t play the right wing, then find another way to shift things around so he gets more ice time. He has more than earned it at this point. This is stupid.

Though I suppose, depending on which forwards are protected, Ferland could be a Vegas candidate, too.

Three days off

And so, we are freed from watching this team play for another three days. That’s three nights we all get to spend however the hell else we want, all of which should be less disappointing, ummm except maybe for Tuesday if you’re into that sort of thing.

Then the Flames will have a two-game homestand against the Dallas Stars, who are not doing super hot right now but are still performing much better, and the New York Rangers, who are doing very much super hot right now. I’m sure we’ll have all sorts of fun nonsense narratives for the Stars game, like how pissed off the Flames are and how they’re ready to buckle down and really work at it for real this time now, and how this was Gulutzan’s old team and he’ll probably be looking for redemption and some other stuff literally none of us care about at this point, and we’ll probably hear the phrase “compete level” at least 50 times, and Grossmann will be dressed for reasons none of us will ever comprehend.

Is anyone else tired of listening to broadcasters make excuses for this team? Yikes.

  • Stu Cazz

    I thought Brian Burke provided a nice summary of the Flames main issue this morning on Fan 960….the Flames 3rd and 4th liners are playing great but when the other teams top line players are playing well you will not win any games…..

  • everton fc

    Brodie admitted post-game vs. Kings the system was taking long to get used to. He’s also played soft, especially vs. the Sens. He is frustrated. Confused.

    Gio’s age is catching up with him. Perhaps.

    Burke’s assessment is correct. We are not scoring. I wonder how guys like Shiknaruk, Hathaway, Jankoswki, Klimchuk, Mangiapane, Vey (playing very well), Kylington, and even Poirier would do up here right now. Kylington is +10 (though they give up way too many goals down there, as Gillies is about to fall under .900 save percentage – not good) Challenge is where do they fit? Even next season??

    If they don’t protect Kulak… Maybe leave Gio unprotected, at this point. Kulak looks to me like he could wear a letter. And Backlund looks like our captain.

    Our goalies will be fine when our defencemen improve, and our forwards both improve defencively and begin to score.

    As for Ferland, he did have the most shots. And he also has no penalty minutes this season. He is absolutely disciplined. They better protect him, as well. Another guy who, down the road, could/should be wearing a letter. And a kid like Lomberg would certainly light a fire under some of these guys bums, as he wants to be here bad. I know he’s only on an “A” contract. He should be given a two-way next season, if he proves valuable on the farm.

    • trox

      I wonder if the part of the problem is that “the system” inhibits the creativity of our better players? What made me consider this is that Brodie said it was taking time for him to figure out when to jump into the rush in the new system. My thinking would be that Brodie should be free to jump into the rush whenever he thinks it is the right play–being able to make great reads is what makes great players.

    • FL@med

      Seems good to me. Doubt management will leave Gio unprotected though. He should be traded if he’s no longer required as there are teams out there (Toronto, Columbus, new jersey, Edmonton, Boston) who need dman and who would be willing to protect him

      • Jakethesnail

        Edmonton is gonna have to pay up on a couple guys next year named McDavid and Draisaitl.sorry but there is no room for an aging defenseman with a huge contract.
        Even if Edmonton wanted him the dollars would not add up.

    • Wheels

      Yeah Bennett and Hamilton should take notes on Ferland’s discipline. This is the best hockey he’s been playing in 2 years and it’s not costing the team any time on the PK. As for Stockton, I haven’t watched any of their games but I can expect that Gillies is just rusty after not playing pro hockey in a year. That team is gonna be really good this year.

      • everton fc

        At least Bennett’s trying. He’s working out there. Playing w/an edge.

        I’ve not been impressed w/Dougie. I’ll leave it at that. He’s a 3/4 d-man, at best.

        Trox:

        I think that’s the issue. Why wouldn’t you let Brodie jump into the rush and do what he wants? He’s proven he’s disciplined, doesn’t get beat much. Then again, Kulak seems to be doing fine. Hard to say.

        If trading the captain is what it takes to roll this bunch over, so be it. It frees up a ton of salary. Give Backlund the “C”. Take the “A” away from Monahan and give it to someone else. Then again, Gilbert tried that w/Lowry and it did nothing. The team continued to be also-ran.

        Tkachuk plays like Lomberg, in many ways… Thankfully he’s a skilled player! He’s dirty – Dale Hunter comes to mind, though he’ll never be that dirty! – and I wish he’d reel that in a bit. But he’s effective. And he knows it. Full of confidence. Unlike Gaudreau…. Monahan…

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          Why not judge Hamilton on his body of work with Jokipakka. The two of them at least are scoring some points.

          Tkachuk plays more like Perry than Lomberg. He’s more of a pest than dirty. Chicken wing, slew foot, bah!
          He plays on the edge, but hasn’t learned to reel it in at times. Also, since he is in the play all the time, he gets noticed by the refs. They will call Tkachuk much more than they will a cross check or trip from McDavid or Crosby.

        • MontanaMan

          The D are all jumping into the rush, no more evident that Engelland who has been part of many offensive rushes (which in itself is scary but that’s another point). Gio, Brodie, Kulak, Wideman, Hamilton are all joining the rush which makes things happen in the offensive zone. The issue is that the Flames are turning the puck over at inopportune times in the offensive zone when the D are joining the rush, leading to odd man chances heading back towards the Flames end. We discussed this last night with Gaudreau’s numerous turnovers. Brodie’s issues aren’t that he is being held back joining the rush – his issues (along with several others) is that he’s been weak in his own end of the ice, losing battles and coverage leading to pucks being deposited in the Flames net.

    • Kevin R

      Holy crap, I would trade Gio before letting him go for nothing. You don’t think there is any value in him??????? Yikes. We are overthinking this expansion draft crap. Why haven’t we put Smid on LTIR so we can bring up some new faces & have the cap room to do so??

          • DeadRedRedemption

            I’m not adverse to going that route, however, I don’t think the team should do anything until the coaching issues are addressed.

            Putting better tires on your car is not going make it perform better if the computer is tuned for a different make and model.

            It doesn’t make sense at the moment. See my previous comment about “players not playing up to expectations.”

            If we blowup the team now be cause the coaching is terrible and it’s reflected in the teams play, we’ll never get good value for our players. May as well go the oilers route and be in a perpetual rebuild until we land a guy in the draft who can win games on his own…

          • everton fc

            I agree, in a sense. “Blow up” was the wrong word. And as MontanaMan said, there have been turnovers and soft play, not just on “d”, but at most positions.

            Ultimately, I see it this way:

            Ken King is the problem. And Brian Burke. And maybe even “BT”.

            Again, since 1996-97, we have made the playoffs six times. That’s 19 years time. People rip the Poliers ineptitude here (hard not to, at times), but they’ve been as pathetic as us – actually, we are worse in the same time span – they’ve gone to the playoffs only seven times since 1997-98. Funny enough, MacT was the only coach who kept them over .500! He had one sub .500 season.

            Is there something wrong with our province?!

            The front office is the problem. Wrong people making bad moves. Losing Darryl behind the bench was a bad move. Hiring BB was a bad move. It looks like hiring GG and company will prove our version of Dallas Eakins. At least from this particular point in time.

            How do you fix a coaching mistake this early in the season, on a two year contract? Who hired him?? Who were these people??? There’s where I’d look for solutions.

            One has been here since 2001.

          • dontcryWOLF88

            People are saying we should have kept Daryll Sutter? Da÷% this is getting ugly.

            Go back and look at his drafting/ trades and have another think at that.

          • everton fc

            What I said was this:

            19 seasons. Since 1996-97. We’ve made the playoffs 6 times. 2 under Darryl. 2 under Keenan. One under Playfair. None prior to Darryl (back to 96-97). Once, since (Hartley).

            Whose to blame? I say the front office. Not good enough, for almost 20 years.

            At least w/Darryl, we won. We were a contender. People cleared bodies in front of the net. Under-achievers achieved. But I do agree with you in one sense – he didn’t draft so well and made some bad trades, though Brodie, Backlund, Ferland and Bouma are still here, and Gio was his “discovery” (Bouma should be moved, though).

    • everton fc

      I see no comments about bringing Hartley back… ??

      I did post this in the last thread. Hate to be a downer…

      We’ve only been to the playoffs six times in the last nineteen years. Six times since the 1996-97 season. We lost in the first round four out of those six years.

      Puts things into perspective. We are a joke, as a franchise, in many ways.

      We were successful w/Darryl behind the bench. We even had better results w/him as GM. Hartley’s winning percentage was third best in all those years.

      Personally, I always hoped we’d scoop Jason Botterill from the Pens. I think he’d be great here. Well see how BT handles all this. Hiring Burke made me as sick as when we hired Keenan.

      • trox

        I went to my first Flames game at the Corral when they used to turn out the lights and illuminate the ice surface. At age 9, I was selected from my team to join a practice for kids run by Jamie Hislop. He had to cancel and I was absolutely crushed.

        My point? I’ve now been a fan of this team for 36 years and aside from the Trader Cliff Golden Era and The Run, it has been one long string of misery. I had modest expectations heading into this season; all I had hoped for was that they’d progress and compete for a wild card spot. What little optimism I stupidly nurtured is very quickly evaporating.

        • everton fc

          I’m not from Calgary – didn’t grow up here. But the illumined ice surface was one of the things that turned me into a fan! Not to mention those old jerseys (please bury the 2003-04 jerseys and bring back the true Flames
          “kit”!) Remember ’86,,, thru the early 90’s… Almost an elite team. (I have to confess I liked the Nords, as well. More misery!)

          But I hear you. I remember listening to the earliest internet “streams” back in the mid-90’s, just shy of the Page/Sutter era, the beginning of the current slide into seasonal angst. Hnay DoSome real dark days! I carried on. Now live here (incredible irony!)

          I like Darryl. Behind the bench. A lot. I was gutted when they moved him “upstairs”. What could be, for our franchise, a historically stupid move.

  • Rock

    Good thing England wasn’t a -2 with a dumb pentaly that costed a goal. Kulak and England looked like a good pairing in that game bottom pairing needs to be fixed though

  • Albertabeef

    This team is clearly mismanaged on many levels. Appear entry no aft actually looked at Burke’s portfolio before hiring that abomination to hockey. The guy has done more damage to every team he’s been involved with than good. Although I still thank him for screwing Vancouver with [casual misogyny? lol don’t – Ari]. That was beautiful. However as much as I love it from an enemy standpoint I NEVER wanted that for my own team.

    I take this quote from an above comment: “the Flames 3rd and 4th liners are playing great but when the other teams top line players are playing well you will not win any games…..”

    Are you F’n kidding me? This is such a stupid comment. If your opponents top players are playing well, that means you need to rise above to be better. This by no accounts means games are unwinable(see D Sutter hockey manual lol). Dude knows nothing about putting together an actual winning team. I mean wow, just WOW!!! Burke and Tre need to be shipped back to Vancouver.

    • Deef

      I think you missed Burke’s point… he said that to call out OUR top line players moreso than giving props to the others.

      I would agree that Burke can be a dangerous influence on a team (some horrible Burke-laden draft picks), but I also think that the team itself, from management, to coaches, to players, is still on the rise. Mistakes will be made, but the quality is there… just have to give it time.

      The Flames are still a young club, with a young coach, and a young GM. Everyone has expectations of success this year, including the hockey club itself, which should be there more for motivation than expectation.

      I’ve been saying since day 1: We will be a bubble team this year. Give it one year for the club to really figure the system and the work ethic out, and another for the players to really hit their prime age wise, all the while bringing up the lookers from the AHL to fill out the non-core spaces (and compete/push for the core ones).

  • Ogie Oglethorp

    Brodie is good. Despite his struggles, does anyone here not think he is a star entering his prime? No worries there.

    Gio is likely to be a boat anchor of a Wideman type contract in a few years, but he should be better for at least 2-3 more years. No worries there for now.

    Goaltending should be good. Despite some bumps, they SHOULD be at least league average, likely top half. No worries.

    I’m starting to wonder if Boston didn’t mind losing Hamilton after all. I like the kid, he is a great add, but starting to wonder if close to $6 mil is an error given his consistent problems. Giveaways, penalties, inconsistency, soft plays. These aren’t the earmarks of a $6mil d man. BUT he is young, so defer worry for now.

    The concern is up front. A lot of guys are pegged as 1st liners who probably aren’t. The team appears to have a boat load of developing complimentary players and a lack of real depth threats up front. The team has drafted some gritty skill, but outside of JH don’t have any crazy speed, elite scoring or gamebreaking threats. Teams can shut Johnny down (they are) and then…. crickets. Nothing. We have Backland’s line to dominate the Corsi battle and take some muffin shots from the sideboards. But that doesn’t help when coming from behind.

    Tkachuk & Sammy are going to be a royal pain for the entire conference in a few years. But are they putting fear into the other team, down by a goal, with 1 minute left? Monny looks sluggish and average. Can any of these guys score in the clutch? I suggest not… This team needs a game breaker to compliment Johnny. AT his point its just too easy to shut him down as the lone threat.

    This team is always compared to the Blackhawks (a stretch at best), but if you go with that comparison, the Hawks have Hossa. A legit deadly threat from the 2 or even 3 hole. The Flames have… well… nobody remotely like that.

    So teams role their stud D against Johnny and it ends up 5-0, 4-1 night in, night out.

    Coaching is puzzling indeed, but Scotty Bowman couldn’t make this team have gamebreaking offensive depth.

    • everton fc

      Agree on Brodie. Completely. I think Kulak will have the same ceiling. One of my more optimistic feelings about this team. I’d take Kulak over Dougie. Thumbs down, if you wish. I’d take Dougie at $4mill/season.

      And yes, the concerns is up front. Monahan’s not a first line centre. Bennett might be someday, but we don’t have a first line. Would moving Tkachuk to the left-side of Bennett and Brouwer help? Tkachuk and Bennett both play w/an edge, albeit different. Worked well in pre-season. Keep Ferland w/Backlund and Frolik?? I wonder. Everyone, even Bouma, does well w/Backlund and Frolik.

      So who is that game breaker? He isn’t here. We have many holes on the offensive side of the puck.

  • DeadRedRedemption

    I was disappointed Hartley got dismissed last year. He should have been given a chance to play his run and gun system with good goaltending. I think we would have been successful… To a point. Round one or two exit, but fun to watch. I didn’t see him taking us to the cup, bar a miracle run.

    However, that ship has sailed. Hartley is not coming back and he shouldn’t.

    GG system is not meshing with the players we have, which is on Tre. Square peg for a round hole. Tre drilled the hole and picked the peg. We have a small, fast top 6 that needs to be creative and given some reign to be effective. But then GG is brought in and implements a system that would work well for a heavy team like LA.

    I wonder how much BB’s influence has been the down fall of the team this year. He wanted a big, truculent team but then his best player ends up being Johnny Hockey, 157 lbs.

    Heck, of our top 9 as of last night as listed in the game day thread, 6 players are under 200lb. 3 of those are less than 190.

    You can win with a smaller forward group, but you can’t if you expect them to play like they are 6’3″+ 210+lbs. Do that and you’ve taken away their advantages of speed and agility.

    If the coach can’t take advantage of his players greatest assets, then you have to wonder… Is the coach incapable? Or is he being pressured from above to implement a system that doesn’t work with the talent he has?

    1. This coaching staff needs to go. Wrong system for the players and an inability to recognize and use the talents of the players he’s got. Our defense has been experimented on enough. Our top scorers have been neutered.

    2. If the coaching is not changed out very quickly, I’m afraid us flames fans are in for a long few seasons as the problem is not necessarily only with the coaching but also with Tre and BB.

    3. If the problem is with Tre and BB we can look forward to some ass covering which usually means the GM will start trading away our assets because “the players aren’t playing up to expectations” and “we needed to shake things up”.

    So who should be the next coach? Maybe we could get Mark Crawford out of Ottawa?

  • Eggs Bennett

    Guys guys, let’s not be bandwagon fans here… sure, the team isn’t playing well and people are upset at underachieving expectations. One thing to keep in mind is that the Flames are 26th in PDO at 96.6, whereas the Oilers are 6th at 102.3. Regression to the norm is inevitable, whether later on this season or the next.

    Also, Monahan isn’t executing but has traditionally been a streaky player. I remember last year before his hot streak at the end when people were questioning his sophomore performance. Remember that aside from Scheifele, none of his peers are doing that we’ll (Barkov, Mackinnon). Those guys aren’t busts yet and neither is Monahan… be patient.

  • snotss

    wow what can you say about the last two games…this team is falling like a blind roofer…oh it’s going to a long year..where do you start with all this teams faults they are a joke right now….do you see any upside to there game right now???..it’s all bad..add some lost coaches and overall this team is done….no wait the flames will get there game going just long enough to move up the draft and take away a top 3 draft pick!!!! they have done just that in two of the last three drafts..luv the flames but year in and year out the organization does’nt hold out much hope that they will turn the corner

  • First Name Unidentified

    What’s funny among our fan-base is all the issues surrounding the Flames team point to poor coaching, yet we are such hypocrites that we won’t clearly say it!!

    PP is 3rd worst in the league – not the coaches’ fault

    PK is 2nd worst in the league – not the coaches’ fault

    “(We’re now 14 games into the season, the correct defence combinations are only just now being played, and I still don’t trust them to actually be put out there for the next game.)” – not the coaches’ fault

    Playing Grosmann over Kulak or Jokipaka – not the coaches’ fault

    “WHEN WILL MICHEAL FERLAND GET THE ICE TIME HE DESERVES?” – not the coaches’ fault

    And lastly, the biggest indicator of the crappy system being slapped on our players? Brodie says he hasn’t still figured out the new system yet and that he is still unsure of when to jump on the rush

    Bwaahaaaa …. Brodie is the best defenseman on this team and logic would suggest that he also has higher than avg IQ. He can’t understand the system. Is he dumb? Did he forget how to skate?

    Yeah, we do deserve a coach with ZERO credibility at the NHL level and no signs of that changing any time soon. So sad to see another couple of years go to waste of our young stars. Maybe we will have an NHL coach when Monahan turns 27? Or when Gaudreau is at the end of his contract, post-prime?

    Why not call a spade a spade?

    • everton fc

      Well said. Even if it was a bit of a rant! 😉

      But I’ll trump you one up; who hired the coaching staff? That may be where the issues really are.

      Alas… As I posted earlier… Another step up may be where the ultimate issues are. We’ve made the playoffs six times in the last nineteen seasons. Four of those visits to the playoffs lasted one round. Futility is built into the organization.

      May I now introduce Ken King…

    • DeadRedRedemption

      Some of us have been on the coaches since game 1 and calling for change since game 3. This has been an on going problem.

      Hell, WW saw this as a problem before game 1 was played.

      Others… Not so much.

  • Thatz Nuckin Futz

    Kulak was flying last nite, lots of good things to look forward in this kid. Actually I thought Moneyhands found an extra gear last nite although there was no payoff.

    Seems like we have a razor thin margin of error on this team. More than most.

    Luv Gio but if we could get a set of soft hands for the top six, let’s do it. Also, I’d like to see Gio have some career success with an Eastern squad. He deserves it.

    • Albertabeef

      Why would you trade one of our only usable D for a top 6 forward? You really want to start losing games by an 8-4 count every night? I’d think I’d rather see them lose 2-1 or 3-1. At least they could say they put in a decent defensive gave. The truth is we at best have 2 great D in Gio and Brods and Kulak is 3rd. The rest don’t belong in the league(Hamy should go to TO to replace Phanuef). Way too many bad quality contracts handed out by the GM, makes me wanna puke.

  • jakethesnail

    #23 First Name Unidentified:

    Exactly!

    Bob Hartley may not be the answer, but he is quite superior to dumb-dumb G-G. As for their finsh last year it was that awful start to the season that did the Flames in.

    Implementing a system that your skilled players can’t comprehend is simply assinine. They all look lost out there on most nights on the road and at home.

    But which coach is available this time of the year?

  • dontcryWOLF88

    Well, one things about the Flames community seems to be progressing with consistency. I would say the fans have finally started exiting the first few stages of greif; shock and denial/ pain. I think we are somewhere around steps 3 (anger and bargaining) , or 4 (depression and reflection) This is an elite level of advancement for this point in the season!

    I think im going to try to just look at the box score for the next 15 :/. …my wife is starting to think im a crazy person watching me go through this.

  • Not a First Tier Fan

    Oilers fan here (just so you know up front…) Hate to say it but there is nothing you Flames fans are going through that we up the QE-II haven’t been agonizing over ourselves for the last decade. We also ran through our fair share of coaches without result.

    What finally made the difference for us: changes at the general manager and president level. For sure we got lucky and won a generational level draft lottery – but does anyone honestly believe that McDavid’s career wouldn’t be going sideways right now if Lowe and MacTavish hadn’t been changed out up top?

    Calgary won’t go anywhere with your current management… And man – as much as our two towns clash with each other I think we all miss the old school Battle Of Alberta…

  • Danoilerfanincalgary

    Ken King needs to take some responsibility here too his influence has never been a benefit. He is a very charitable man in the community so I don’t want to be too harsh. The coaching staff shouldn’t even be mentioned here they are 13 games in for crying out loud. This team lacks chemistry and maybe they just don’t have the horses to compete, either way they are not good enough to fall too far behind they would never be able to catch up.