Flames vs. Bruins Game Thread

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TD Garden

11 AM MT


TV: PPV

I'm truncating this pre-game with two thoughts in minds. First, as of this morning, the Flames are dead as a doornail and everyone knows it, so there's no real reason to discuss what they need to do to make the post-season. It isn't happening. Second, there are only so many times I'm willing to attempt to set up a game when a team's best players leave me so little to work with, and Calgary's putative best haven't good enough, for any number of reasons that I suspect we'll beat the crap out of in the coming weeks. Absent a miracle, we'll be able to officially concentrate on the post-mortems in a week or so when the mathematical elimination occurs.


 

As for the present, I'm having a hard time understanding what went on Thursday, to be honest. The Islanders have some young guys that might be quite good in a couple of years, but really aren't as of yet, and the Flames were utterly unable to impose themselves on a team lacking in real difference makers and defensive depth. The Flames' top-six were dreadful, creating absolutely nothing at EV, and to have that sort of night against a team that might well draft second or third overall really sums up the season. They've been nowhere close to good enough, and irrespective of who his linemates are, a large measure of responsibility for that failure lies with number 12. Mike Keenan might have been on to something when he spent his two years running the show aggressively sheltering the captain, since this season's tougher ice time has found Jarome Iginla wanting, and the nadir was reached Thursday evening.  No EV chances with Iginla on the ice Thursday. None. 

 

The Flames' opponent this morning find themselves in a battle to stay in the final Eastern Conference playoff spot, and courtesy of Matt Cooke, they'll proceed from here without the useful Marc Savard. That noted, Patrice Bergeron is the guy that the Bruins have relied on to do the heavy lifting this season. He may not have seemed the most worthy Olympian, but he is a good young player who's having a terrific out-shooting year against the other teams' best. You might also note the gent immediately below him in that listing. Those numbers are good for a player of any age, with any line mates, let alone a pensioner like Mark Recchi. Maybe there's hope for Iggy yet ;-)

 

Gamewise, the Bruins didn't collapse with the loss of Savard, and despite their season-long scoring woes they still have enough good players that the Flames' top forwards will need to play well to compete. I don't see the Flames as any more than a spoiler team for the duration, but that doesn't mean that a good effort is irrelevant. Professionalism in the face of disappointment is still a worthy goal, so here's hoping the players are of that mindset.

Game time is 11 MT on PPV. With a number of regulars headed to Flames Central, a PPV telecast, and the corporate overlords requesting my presence at the old salt mine today, it may well be that there are only crickets in the comments for this one. If one were to suggest that sort of audience were appropriate given the circumstances, I'd have a hard time offering a worthy counter-argument. 

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