Had to be the question coming out of everyone’s mouths in the Flames organization after getting embarrassed on home ice 7-2 by the Washington Capitals. Head Coach Brent Sutter after the 6-5 loss to the Avalanche had said “The top 6 forwards other than Olli Jokinen need to buy in to the system”
Message clearly not received. After getting out to an early 2-0 lead on goals from Jokinen and Curtis Glencross with the Capitals getting a goal from Nicklas Backstrom to end the period at 2-1. Then the Flames imploded. And I mean IMPLODED!! first a too many men on the ice penalty which was being killed rather well until Glencross takes a bone headed tripping penalty 180 feet from his own net to make it a five on three.
Some guy named Ovechkin then took over. (ya he’s pretty good) scoring a pair of power play goals 12 seconds apart! The Caps would go on to score four more times in the period including Cory Sarich ripping one by Miikka Kiprusoff glove side. (Yes Cory Sarich still plays for the Flames.) And to add a special whipped topping to the arse whooping a penalty shot goal by David Steckle, against Henrik Karlsson who came in to relive Kiprusoff after it was 6-2, though I don’t know if Sutter pulled Miikka or if Miikka pulled Miikka. Kiprusoff came back in at the start of the third but it was 7-2 and both teams mailed in the period and the game mercifully ended 7-2 Capitals.
Here is the biggest point every Flames fan needs to understand right now. This is not the system. This is not coaching. This is not the General Manager. This is not the President. This is not the Ownership. The sole responsibility of this slide belongs on the shoulders of the players. And more specifically the core players of this team. If they don’t start buying in to the system, I am going to end up writing a lot more blogs praising the third and fourth lines of the Flames and Olli Jokinen who seemingly has found his niche with Bourque and Hagman.
In the last week to week and a half the worst players for the Flames have been Jarome Iginla, Jay Bouwmeester, and Robyn Regher. There is more blame to be spread around than that. But what do those three players have in common? They are the three captains of the Calgary Flames. That fact scares me to death. If the leadership of your players is not buying in then a change has to be made. Calgary does not play again until Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. I would not be surprised if a personnel change is made before that game.
If you want my opinion I believe the time for Jarome Iginla to leave Calgary has come. He is the teams highest paid player and supposed leader. If he can not buy in to the system along with the fact he does not play to the value of his cap hit (bottom line that is all that matters) then his off the ice exploits (Jarome is a wonderful community leader) can no longer justify him remaining here as I believe Jarome has fallen to the level of a solid 30 goal guy. Not a star that earns the biggest cap hit on the team.
Of course this won’t be happening anytime soon, but it’s the move I’d make.
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!