It is beyond the point of being comical and gotten to the point of being sad. I mean, I’m not sure there is anything to say about the Flames anymore that hasn’t been hashed and rehashed over the last 3 years. Coaches change, roster changes, and yet the same problems seem to be affecting the team year after year. The Flames didn’t show up again tonight and it was only a matter of time until Columbus started to run away with the game.
On The Line
The chance to end an 8 game road losing streak. At this point you have to figure pride and jobs for next season are on the line as well.
The first starts off pretty slow as both teams seem to be in a feeling out process. As the period wears on the Flames start to scramble in their own zone more and more. On a failed clearing attempt by T.J. Brodie the puck would bounce out to Jared Boll, wide open in the slot, who fires a one timer past a scrambling Kiprusoff. Calgary would get a late PP and get a couple of shots on net but nothing would come of it.
The beginning of the period was all Columbus. They were controlling the play and completely smothering the Flames, however, 5 minutes in the Stajan line would have a good shift and hem the Jackets in their own zone. Eventually the puck would come to Stajan in the slot, he would make a quick pass to Glencross who would deflect it into the wide open Columbus net. This would give Calgary some momentum, as the Flames would start to apply more pressure and finally start getting shots through to the net. Things would open up for both teams and Calgary’s 4th line would get a glorious opportunity off of the hard work of Brian McGrattan only to have the Steve Begin shot hit the post. Columbus would turn the puck up the ice and Nick Foligno would squeak the puck past Kiprusoff to give Columbus the 2-1 lead. Then the wheels would fall off for the Flames. Foligno would add another goal 50 seconds later and the Anisimov would make it 4-1 30 seconds after that. The Flames would up the physical play and the period would end without much else happening.
The third period was controlled by Columbus with little push back, if any, from the Flames. Towards the end of the period offensive juggernaut Colton Gillies would be left all alone in front of the Flames net and would make no mistake, getting his first goal of the season and putting the Blue Jackets up 5-1.
1.Nick Foligno2 goals in 50 seconds, including the GWG, and a big physical presence tonight for the Blue Jackets.
2.Artem Anisimov:Was extremely shifty and creative tonight and got himself a goal to boot.
3.Sergei Bobrovsky:Didn’t have a very busy second half but made some good saves to keep the game tied until Columbus could open the flood gates.
Bouwmeester is able to get open on the point, gets a cross ice feed, and fires a one timer which Bobrovsky snags with the glove while sliding cross crease to keep the game tied at 0’s part way through the first.
With the Flames down 4-1 and Brian McGrattan in the box, Blake Comeau would catch Artem Anisimov by surprise and staple him against the boards, trying to spark some sort of life in his team. It didn’t but it was still a good hit.
Basically everyone on the team who didn’t play on the Stajan line.
The Matt Stajan line was the only line that showed up tonight. On the Columbus side of things Nick Foligno was huge tonight.
Odds and Ends
Columbus does a very good job of collapsing around their crease. They were intercepting a lot of cross ice passes and clogging up the shooting lanes because of it…Too many individual efforts tonight on the Flames side. Instead of trying to work the puck up the ice as a team I saw 1 guy carry it in and a couple guys standing around waiting…3 goals in 1 minutes and 15 seconds? Sounds about right…I do not envy the decisions Flames management has to make over the next few weeks, although the team seems to be trying to make it as easy for them as possible…Calgary’s top players have probably been their worst players on this road trip. I would say Calgary needs more from them but at this point I’m not even positive it matters…One has to think that it won’t be long until the Flames make some sort of move to change up the roster…I feel really bad for Bob Hartley. It is plainly obvious by now that the problem with this team isn’t the coaching staff. Hartley was so positive and quick to give praise to his players for their effort, only to have the team seemingly give up on him. The man has been put in an impossible situation.
The Flames return home, looking to turn their fortunes around against the St. Louis Blues on Sunday at 6PM on Sportsnet.
Tanguay – Cammalleri – Comeau
Hudler – Cervenka – Iginla
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
McGratton – Begin – Jackman
Brodie – Bouwmeester
Giordano – Wideman
Smith – Sarich