The Flames just aren’t having a whole lot of fun. You can tell it in the jump on the ice. You can tell it with the looks of the faces on the bench.
Losing sucks. So too does a death march surrounding your captain and franchise face as the trade deadline winds its way to within a week on the calendar.
The Flames were very much the distracted team again tonight, working hard but not working with focus in dropping a 2-0 contest to the Blackhawks.
7 more days!
On The Line
As mean as it sounds? Draft position. The Flames will need to win at a .700 clip to make the playoffs, a pace that the first place Hawks haven’t managed this season. I can’t cheer for losses, not built that way, but if you honestly want to know what’s on the line it’s draft position.
A decently plucky first period for the Flames. The Hawks came out strong, but the Flames did a decent job of weathering the storm and pushing back with the Iginla line getting some chances. 1-0 Chicago after one, on a weak shot actually.
The second? The only area of the ice that needed cleaning in the Hawks zone was that swooping arch that is required by defenders to go back and touch the puck on icing calls. All Chicago all the time, and the Flames are lucky to have their goaltender to stay in it. 2-0 Chicago.
Better jump for the Flames in the third as they push back, have a couple of scoring chances and certainly a harder compete level. The Hawks are a committed team, constantly blocking shots and protecting their goaltenders, turning potential scoring chances into shin pads. Not enough, the Flames drop their 10th straight on the road.
1. Patrick KaneNoticeable every time he was on the ice, the smooth stick handling winger picked up points on both Hawks goals.
2. Ray Emery:Wasn’t tested all that much but a shut out is a shut out, right?
3. Miikka Kiprusoff:B far the best Flame on the ice, gained the star for his second period performance alone.
Kiprusoff was amazing stacking the pads Billy Smith style to rob David Bolland in the second period.
Curtis Glencross caught Kreuger turning awkwardly in the Flames zone and deposited him into the boards, much to the distaste of other Hawks including Carcillo.
I’m going with Alex Tanguay. Not because he did anything particularly bad, but because he continues his Casper the Friendly Ghost impression on the ice. Invisible, and disinterested.
Easy for me in this one; T.J. Brodie. Lugged the puck up the ice, kept the puck in at the opposition blue line, got the puck to the net. The young blueliner looked great for most of the night. Honorable mention to Jarome Iginla who also stood out; auditioning?
Odds and Ends
Is there a better example of a Flame’s player not giving a rip than Alex Tanguay these days? Slowing up on icing calls, drifting into his point coverage without any tenacity. He’s mailing it in. … If Kiprusoff did tell the Flames he wouldn’t report if traded I’d be curious to hear what the response was. Ok? You’ll go where we send you? We understand your plight but that’s not how agreements work? Either way the stopper sure added to his market value again tonight. He looks to have found his game after the knee injury with some fits and starts over the past two weeks … It’s really interesting to see the Flames so listless on the road and with jump on home ice (not against St. Louis). We’ve seen 3 straight 90 point seasons from this team, so they’ve always been in it. This is uncharted territory in the past 10 years. … Jonathan Toews, love the player, but I just can’t get past the lockout and the stupid quotes he had week in and week out. Game changer for me. … . Just how did I miss that Mike Cammalleri is 18th in the league in face off winning percentage? Year after year of the Flames sucking in the faceoff circle has me just assuming I guess. I chalk it up to the curse of Joel Otto. … …
A very quick turnaround for the Flames as they jet home to take on the Avalanche on home ice on Wednesday at 8pm, Sportsnet.
Tanguay – Cammalleri – Iginla
Hudler – Backlund – Cervenka
Glencross – Stajan – Stempniak
Comeau – Begin – Jackman
Brodie – Bouwmeester
Giordano – Wideman
Butler – Sarich