Let me break down my weekend before I get into the full portion of my blog. First I almost drove my car off a bridge listening to the Flames lose to the Bruins 5-0 on Saturday morning. Spent the afternoon feeling like I was going to puke from that effort. Then Saturday night I enjoyed watching GSP slap the smirk off of Dan Hardy’s face, and damn near rip off all of his limbs.
Sunday morning I avoided writing a blog that would have me having to trade in my Calgary Flames secret decoder ring, as much as my colleague Jim Mulligan was anticipating it.. Sunday afternoon I watched the Flames snot bubble the Washington Capitals 5-3. Sunday evening as it’s crawling closer to midnight I am still trying to figure out what just happened this weekend so lets break it down.
First the Boson massacre. After coming off of a heart wrenching loss to the bottom feeding Islanders, I really expected the Flames to come out flying, and Jim really hit the nail on the head when he said the Bruins dominated every aspect of the game. It was an embarrassing piss poor effort by a team that new it had to play it’s heart out and failed to show up with the possible exception of Mikael Backlund who from all accounts seemed to have a solid game.
I’ll be honest. After that game and the Saturday night results I pretty much figured the Flames were done for this season and they had decided to mail it in. I was surprised to listen to how many people are joining me on the ‘trade Jarome’ band wagon on the Flames call in show after the game.
So this morning I made some coffee, went down to the flea market to look for a spare player for one of my sons table hockey games, quite enjoying listening to some pre season baseball coverage on ESPN radio. I got home a few minutes before game time, sighed and marched down to my man cave to watch what was surely going to be a pummeling at the hands of the Capitals.
4-0 at the end of the first. I’m laughing as I walk over to my neighbors shop to let him know the score as I am in disbelief of what I just saw. And to be blunt the Calgary Flames came out and punched the Capitals in the mouth (In Cory Sarich’s case really) and made the Capitals look like a team that has the offensive skill but when playing a two way team gets exposed.
The Captials did make it 5-3 in the third period but the game was never really in doubt. Rene Bourque was an animal, Miikka was Miikka, and the defense core really did a good job containing the Caps firepower. I was in shock as to what I had just witnessed. I was still thinking well they are done and where was this effort the previous two games.
Then a flicker of hope Sunday night. As the San Jose Sharks beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 keeping the Flames within 4 points of a playoff spot, and the chance to play the Avs. Not only that but Colorado has just as tough a schedule as Calgary does. So the wheels start turning in my brain trying to figure out what needs to happen.
It comes down to this, while I don’t think the Flames need to win every game the rest of the way I think they need to get a minimum 10 of 12 points while beating the Avalanche in regulation, and they would still need some help. The good news for Flames fans is that Colorado is falling apart at just the right time, and you have to imagine the kids in Colorado are going to start gripping the sticks pretty tight if the Flames somehow manage to close the gap to two points.
By Friday night we will know if the Flames have a chance or if they are done as this week Calgary hosts Phoenix Wednesday night at the dome. Colorado hosts Anaheim Wednesday night. and finally Friday night the Calgary Flames travel to Denver to take on the Avalanche.
It’s pretty clear what the Calgary Flames must do to make the playoffs. Lets see how they respond to the challenge.
Also congrats to the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen for storming back from a 3-1 series deficit to tie the series at three and force game seven tomorrow night at the Saddledome.
Have a good one!
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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!