Bit of panic erupting in Flamesland after the loss last night. Not sure if it's because the Flames haven't played "meaningful" hockey in awhile or because the manner in which the Flames folded was so disappointing, but Im not as bothered by it myself.
Mainly because I think the team is still playing good hockey. They won the ES possession game again last night and were fudamentally sound for probably 55 of 60 minutes. Unfortunately, as it has been for most of March, St. Louis scored on just about any chance they got (and, heck, that 3rd goal wasn't even a scoring chance). Some issues that I noticed, however:
- The Flames first line is still suspect in it's own end of the rink. The tying goal came during a panic session with Jarome et al on the ice. They're fairly dangerous when they're in the offensive zone, but I'd prefer the first unit be capable at both ends.
- The Blues blocked 19 ES shots. The Flames blocked 6. I've been wrestling with the idea that blocking a lot of shots has value over the long term, but one has to wonder what would have happened last night if the Flames had blocked more and/or the Blues had blocked less.
- I dont know at this point if I'm just looking for it and my expectations are coloring my perceptions, but Phaneuf looks worse every game to me. He can still carry the puck into the zone with authority and create some chances, but he's a disaster everywhere else.
- If vancouver wins tonight, they'll be one point back of the division lead. That said, the Blackhawks are stumbling even more than the Flames and no longer look like an invicible opponent, so seeing them in the first round if worse comes to worst shouldn't be horrible.
- Calgary has allowed a league worst 15 SHG. That's amazing(ly bad).