Being a Flames fan is kind of depressing these days. After Saturday's close call against the league's worst team in the Edmonton Oilers, the team has just five games remaining to right the ship, and barring a perfect record in those games, a playoff position is extremely unlikely. I think it would be less depressing if the team had remained in 14th place all season rather than doling out false hope for two months only to come crashing abruptly down to their rightful place in the standings as a perfectly mediocre hockey club.
As much as I'd like to fit in with the cool, level-headed analyst crowd by saying I'm not surprised by the Flames' fall to the position where everyone expected them to finish the season, the likelihood of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season still stings. As a fan, as much as you try and prepare yourself for failure, you just can't. Leafs fans have to go into every season hoping that the drought will end just like Boston Red Sox fans prior to 2004 had to believe the Curse of the Bambino would be lifted. Failure is part of sports and sports fandom, but expecting it shouldn't always be.
As much as you know that the product management is putting on the ice before your very eyes is inferior and not good enough to compete with eight other teams for a playoff spot, there's always that little part of you that hopes you're wrong, that they're all wrong. That something, anything will happen that will clear the path for your team to rise to the occasion and exceed expectations. And when it doesn't, and that little bit of hope is extinguished and the team crumbles, well, that 's the part that hurts the most; that's what it feels to be a Flames fan right now. For me anyways.
Links after the jump.
The Flames got some good news today as Brendan Morrison skated prior to practice this morning after sustaining a knee injury that looked to keep him out for the rest of the season, but there is still no timeline for his return because of swelling [NHLFlames]
AZR has some harsh words for Flames management, brought on by none other than...Eric Francis? [Dome Beers]
An assortment of musings on Miikka Kiprusoff, Jay Feaster, and the future [Flames Nation]
With multiple pending UFAs on their roster including forwards Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay and defenceman Anton Babchuk, the Flames' final five games could prove to be crucial to Feaster's off-season decision-making [The Hockey Writers]
Former Flame Theo Fleury managed to enrage some overly-sensitive Canucks fans via Twitter this weekend on the subject of the team's playoff chances, resulting in some highly insensitive responses to the retired star, whose struggles with addiction and abuse are well known [The Globe and Mail]
Lisa McRitchie recently scored an interview with top prospect Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, who could potentially be an Oiler come June [The Copper & Blue]
Comparing Jordan Eberle's 20-year old season to that of other present and past NHLers [Oilers Nation]
Canucks defencemen Dan Hamhuis is being forced to ponder his future in the NHL after leaving Sunday's game with the fourth concussion of his career [The Globe and Mail]
That's all for today, happy Monday everyone and as always, have a great week!