The new look Calgary Flames looked a whole lot like the old Calgary Flames. The good news is there may be a silver lining.
Philadephia came in and handed the Flames a 3-0 loss in what was a sloppy game all around for the Flames. The Flyers kept it simple and did not take any chances, got a couple bounces and played a very good road game. Ray Emery was good when he needed to be but the Flames can hang this one on himself.
Time to be blunt. Daymond Langkow and Curtis Glencross played the first two periods like someone shot their dogs. Olli Jokinen played his worst game in months and you could really see that this trade talk bothered him. Cory Sarich looked incredibly slow. I don't want to pick on a new guy too much but Jamal Mayers took a stupid penalty mid way through the 3rd on an icing call he had no chance to get to, then lost the draw that led to the third goal. Jamie Lundmark also looked like a career minor leaguer tonight.
Now there are positives. First off I love Nik Hagman. He was clearly the best Flame on the ice and you could just see his skill and hustle all night. Fans buy your Hagman jerseys because he is a keeper. Matt Stajan had a good night in the face off circle and made a few slick passes and also caught Jarome sleeping on one set up that the captain should have buried. Ian White played well and is going to have the hardest transition to the Sutter style of play. You could see he was out of position a couple times and that will come with practice.
Miikka was good again tonight, can't blame him for any of the goals. Bouwmeester, Giordano, and Regher all had a decent night. Regher especially did a nice job of helping White out with positioning all night. This pair could work with more time together.
My biggest disappointment of the night though was the lack of energy and pure 'follow me' leadership displayed by the captain. He honestly looked like a passenger on the ship for most of the night.
The Flames have one more at home against Carolina on Wednesday, before heading out on a three game road trip. The trip should be good for the new guys and give them a chance to focus on learning the system and concentrating on hockey.
My personal message to Darryl Sutter is this… Either trade Jokinen or sit him down and tell him he is staying. Despite the fact that all the rumors likely came out of New York, he obviously was affected by them and you need to fix it now.
Bottom line for this team is the room for error is gone and you had sure as heck better beat Carolina on Wednesday.
Have a good one!
About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!