The Calgary Flames hosted the Phoenix Coyotes tonight, and despite a solid first period, they couldn’t score often enough to win the game. Wojtek Wolski scored on a zero-angle shot at 7:13 of the 2nd period and Martin Hanzal added a powerplay goal 5 minutes later to give Phoenix a 2-0 lead. Rene Bourque scored late in the 3rd period to bring the Flames within one goal, but it was too little and too late.
The flames played hard tonight but they couldn’t hold the puck on their sticks long enough to create much offensive pressure. The Coyotes played solid defensively, backstopped by Ilya Bryzgalov, and didn’t give up many chances to the Flames. When they did get a good shot on goal, Bryzgalov was calm and cool in the Phoenix net and kept his team ahead.
Calgary’s woes are nothing new. In fact, Flames fans are now so used to losing that they are starting to look ahead to the NHL draft next summer to see what kind of young talent they can bring in. The ones that aren’t looking to the draft are talking of trading Iggy and/or firing Brent Sutter. While I think both options may be a bit too much, the Flames do need to turn around their season soon. The turnaround will be a mental one and will come when the team learns to have fun instead of playing with their sticks tight in their hands. Surely Iggy needs to start playing up to his salary, and he needs to find a way to lead this team, but he won’t be able to lead the Flames by stressing out as he always does. As the captain, and top-paid player, getting the Flames in the right mental state is one of his big responsibilities.
Do you think he can do it? Leave a comment below.