A day after Curtis Glencross remarked that the fans were too quiet during Monday night’s game at the ‘Dome, he gave them something to cheer about by notching his first career hat trick to lead the Flames to a 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flames, complete with their full roster of newcomers including Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins, put together a solid effort and got the important 2 points. Matt Stajan recorded his first goal as a Flame, scoring the eventual game winner at 16:43 of the 2nd period.
Glencross took a lot of heat for his comments on Twitter, blogs, etc., but there were also many fans who stood behind him and supported what he said. I was at the Philly game on Monday and was not really impressed with how quiet the crowd was. Sure, our team played like crap (and we all paid money to be there; it’s their job; yada yada yada), but you’re crazy if you think that 18,000 rowdy people couldn’t have turned that game around. We’re used to cheering when the Flames have a lead, but when they’re behind, or when the team is fragile and/or doubting itself, the fans need to step up and cheer – even if there’s nothing to cheer about. A noisy crowd can give its team energy, and it doesn’t necessarily need to come when our team scores first. I could really go on and on about this, but I’ll save it for another post on another day…
The 5 games before the Olympic Break will be key to the Flames success at the end of the season. Of course, we’ll all point to this 9-game losing streak as the source of the Flames poor standing when the season comes to an end, but maybe we’ll be able to look at these Phaneuf and Jokinen trades and say that it turned things around. The Flames are officially shaken up, but they seemed to have a bit of mojo going for them tonight. I hope this continues for at least the next 5 games.
The Flames now face the task of climbing back up the Western Conference standings to give themselves not only a chance to make the playoffs, but also a chance to not play San Jose or Chicago in the first round. The roster is settled for at least one more day, and now the team can look towards their 3-game road trip to Florida, Tampa Bay and Ottawa. I’m sure I’m not the only fan who is cautiously optimistic about this new Flames team after beating the 3rd worst team in the NHL. But I’m also realistic and know that they’ve got a long way to go. Oh, how I wish it was November all over again.