I am starting to question the compete level of some of the Calgary Flames. Now don’t get me wrong they all want to win. Everybody does. But sometimes I question how badly some of the Flames truly want it more than the guy they are lining up against. The Calgary Flames this year have lost far more one on one battles than they have won. Especially when you discuss the top 6 forwards of the Flames.
Last night the Calgary Flames were not prepared to play and a hungry San Jose Sharks team who remembered the 4-0 thrashing that Calgary laid on them earlier this year came out firing. There were a lot of Flames players that were not ready to meet this challenge and San Jose took it to the Flames throughout the first period. Had Miikka Kiprusoff not been stellar this game could have been out of reach early.
The only positive I can draw out of last nights game was the reuniting of the “top line” of Iginla-Tanguay-Stajan. They put together a couple of very good shifts in the third period, and Jarome Iginla did score late in the game to get it to 4-3. But other than that there were too many times when Flames forwards were just plain and simply beaten to pucks in one on one battles.
There was one other thing that really bothered me about last nights game. Cory Sarich lays out a Shark with a clean hit, and gets jumped by Jamal Mayers. Mayers of course got the instigator, and the play was called properly by the officials. However no one on the Calgary Flames made Mayers pay a price for mugging one of their teammates. This is just my opinion but when this happens every player on the bench should be taking the number of the player who jumped their guy, and make him pay for it every chance they get. I don’t mean take a stupid penalty I mean every time he touches the puck someone should be doing their best to run him through the wall. The Flames didn’t do a damn thing.
The other thing I take away from this game is that it is time for Kiprusoff to snap on his team. Calgary just seems to not give a damn for periods of the game and Miikka pays the price for their lackadaisical play! I know that is not Miikka’s style but this may be a case where he needs to get out of his comfort zone and read the riot act to his team. The coaching staff can only say it so many times before the players stop listening. And I do think there are players on this team who have stopped listening.
some serious evaluation needs to take place with this team right now by the management. Calgary has a tough schedule in the month of November and as bad as things are now it could get a lot worse. The first evaluation has to be as to what this team truly is. Are they a playoff team or not? If you believe they are a playoff team then a change needs to be made to change the atmosphere in the locker room. If you no longer feel they are a playoff team with this group of players then the time is now to start shopping for bigger changes.
Have a good one!
Next up for the Flames is a home game against the Phoenix Coyotes Wednesday night. Next up for my blog is the Flames 20% of the season salary cap report card. At 7-9 you would be right in thinking it may not be pretty!
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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!