DENVER, CO - MARCH 20: Gabriel Landeskog #92 of the Colorado Avalanche puts a hit on Blake Comeau #10 of the Calgary Flames at Pepsi Center on March 20, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Let's not pretend we're all surprised that the Calgary Flames are experiencing yet a third late-season collapse - or fourth if you consider the huge, 11-point NW division lead squandered in 08-09. The more important the game the more we hear about how bad they want it, yet, the more important the game, seemingly, the less they go out and get it. I don't mean not to give the Colorado Avalanche their due, they fought hard - maybe harder - and got a fortunate bounce to win it in extra time. A fortunate bounce allowed by a team coasting in the neutral and defensive zone that entire shift. The Avs earned the extra point on a night when the Flames best player had multiple chances to give his team the lead in regulation.
As if we need to see any more of this to prove why the team is as close as they are, but Miikka Kiprusoff lets in a soft deflection under his pad and then fails to hug the post in OT allowing the puck to bounce off his skate and in. Two human goals against is the only way to describe it. But you can't fault Kipper for losing a game where he gives up only a single regulation goal.
Make that three straight incredibly winnable games that the "stars" haven't shown up for. Hard to win those. The team needed 4 of 6 points against the lesser lights of the West and failed miserably.
Fortunately, they're still alive, but the easiest stretch of the schedule is over.
-Blake Comeau has shown extra jump since his return from injury, almost as if it gave him the much-needed time to rest his body and fill up the tank. Unfortunately, it hasn't led to results as the man either misses the net, hits the goalie in the crest or fumbles the puck on a 10-bell chance. I do think there's a consistent 15-20 goal guy in there somewhere, but I doubt he's found in Calgary.
-What a sorry excuse for a power-play. Its all on the outside. I've honestly seen teams of 12-year old's operate a PP with more movement and efficiency. The Flames don't take advantage of having an extra man on the ice, rather they play along the boards where its easier to flub or bounce passes off sticks. But, hey, it's much easier that way. Less skating.
1. Alex Tanguay - He continues to make things happen on a nightly basis.
2. Matt Stajan - Speaking of production.
3. Mark Giordano/Jay Bouwmeester - It's hard to pick just one... and there's really no one else deserving outside of maybe Kipper... Without these two the Flames would be completely lost. They're the only two NHL-calibre defensemen on the team and the organization should pursue the off-season as such. 25:17 and 26:03 respectively.
Another opportunity gone.