Blackhawks vs Flames coverage
The Flames were clearly motivated to redeem themselves after the humiliation in San Jose. They charged out of the gate in the first period, frequently hemming the Hawks in their own zone and hitting everything that moved. Nary a Chicago player on the ice could skate five feet without having a Calgary player immediately in his face. Stars like Jarome Iginla and Robyn Regehr controlled the pace of the game, at times completely overpowering the opposition.
Or....not. After a lot of fiery talk about wanting to "turn things around" and "get back on the horse" the Flames came back home and (tentatively) laid another egg in front of a fairly anxious group of fans. The first period featured a lot of nothing in particular. The home team wasn't physical or frenetic and they spent most of the time in their own zone. Wash, rinse, repeat. They generated all of 20 shots on the evening, and that was with them chasing for most of the contest. Jarome Iginla, as is his custom against this team, got his head positively bashed in at even-strength. Perhaps the only non-non-factor up front was Olli Jokinen, and that's primarily because he was a $5M player playing against third liners. Also - I don't know whats happened to Glencross recently, but he looks like half the player he was to start the season. I know his circumstances have changed quite drastically, but...
Not much more to say at this point. The total lack of offense, in terms of volume of shots/chances and volume of actual goals, is depressingly familiar. The line combinations, already resembling a random grab-bag of NHLers, became even more ridiculous when Nigel Dawes went down with injury in the first period. Already featuring the likes of Eric Nystrom and Jamie Lundmark in their top 9, the Flames now face the unsavory possibility of having to promote one of Sjostrom (who was the lottery winner last night), Boyd or Prust.
Things are getting pretty ugly, folks. The Flames sank to 9th in the conference last night and one begins to wonder if a lone trade is enough to fix what's broken here. Granted, the bounces are not on the Flames side currently, but the truth of the matter is this team hasn't been good enough in the offensive zone since game 1. I can't imagine where the Flames would be in the standings had they not led the league in SH% for a few precious weeks.
Feel free to vent in the comments.