In light of a less-than-stellar season, it could have been easy to give in to Tank Mode. I could have given up all hope for the season and started cheering against the Calgary Flames in hopes that they'd end up in last place in the NHL standings so that they could have a chance at the first pick in the draft.
But does that guarantee that the Flames would be better next year? Could I really bring myself to cheer against the team that I've been cheering on since 1988? Would it be worth it to sell my soul?
With the likes of Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie, Mikael Backlund, Sam Bennett, Michael Frolik, and the up-and-comers Derek Grant, Joni Ortio, Oliver Kylington, Keegan Kanzig, Garnet Hathaway, and others on the Stockton Heat AHL team, I can not give in to Tank Mode. There's too much potential in this organization for me to throw in the proverbial towel already.
Even through the ten years of torture from 1996 to 2006, I did not cheer against them. TEN YEARS. I couldn't do it. It's not my style. I don't believe that a losing attitude is worth any possible benefit in the end. In my opinion, nothing good can come from a negative attitude. Maybe it's the hockey mom in me, but remaining positive through a negative situation will give you peace of mind in the end like a negative attitude cannot. I have and will continue to cheer on the Flames with everything I have inside me.
That's not to say that I don't get frustrated. I've muttered bad words all season long through the bad stretch-passes, the awful line-changes, and some of the questionable lineups. But I'm not the coach. And, considering Bob Hartley won Coach of the Year last season, sometimes you just have sit back and trust that Coach of the Year will make the right decisions for the team.
As well, there's no proof that a first pick in the draft will make the Flames better. The Edmonton Oilers are poster boys for the justification that a first pick doesn't guarantee success. In 2010, the Oilers acquired Taylor Hall. In 2011, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. 2012, Nail Yakupov. In 2014, even a third pick, Leon Draisaitl didn't help the team. And again in 2015, with Connor McDavid joining the Oilers, they saw a bit of improvement, only to be shut down again this year in playoffs. 4 years of a first pick and the Oilers weren't guaranteed success even though, logically, they should be one of the best teams in the league considering how much talent is on that team. Individually, ever single one of those players has amazing potential, but collectively, they're still the modern-day Oilers.
So, for the remaining 2 games against the Vancouver Canucks and the final game against the Minnesota Wild, I will cheer my butt off, I will wear my jersey with pride, and I will keep hoping that the Flames can end the season on a good note while I look forward to next season and the possible changes that could occur.
Go Flames Go!