The Barney Report: Flames lose to Hurricanes in shootout


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We were all hoping for it. We got one fist pump from Henrik Karlsson, but we needed 2 more for the win. Unfortunately for the Calgary Flames and their fans, that didn’t happen in Raleigh, North Carolina tonight as the Hurricanes survived a late rally from the Flames and won the game in the shootout.

After a game spent frustrating the Calgary Flames defencemen, Cory Sarich in particular, Carolina rookie Jeff Skinner scored the only goal of the shootout to give his team the win. It was a fitting cap to the game for the NHL’s leading rookie scorer. Though he only registered one assist in the game, Skinner was constantly in the middle of the play and contributed to several good scoring opportunities.

The shootout didn’t need to happen though. After storming back from a 5-2 deficit and tying the game with less than 13 minutes remaining in the third period, the Flames had a couple great chances to end the game. As has so often been the case in the past, the Flames couldn’t capitalize on their chances. The best chance to take the 6-5 lead came from Olli Jokinen who had a wide open net and shot the puck off the crossbar (again!). Jokinen seems to have some serious problems as a clutch performer, which might have something to do with all those years he spent watching the playoffs instead of playing in them. I was so amazed at Jokinen’s inability to score that I tweeted this:

… which was followed up shortly by this…

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… which lead to this…

Though we lost the game, we gained a nickname tonight: BARNEY. Whether you’re with me on this one or not, Jokinen will always be Barney to me . He’s had his fair share of nicknames from Flames fans in the past. There have been some classics, like “Chokinen,” “Plug,” and “The Finnish with no finish” but to me Jokinen will henceforth be Fred’s best friend, Barney.

The word Barney sums up this season for the Flames and describes Jokinen perfectly. No matter what the team thinks they can do, or what they’re supposed to do on paper, the Flames on-ice game is lacking some serious smarts and execution. The typical Barney Rubble phrase “Whatever you say, Fred” comes to mind when I think of one of Jokinen’s teammates or coaches telling Jokinen to shoot for the middle of the net when it’s wide open and he’s standing in front of it with the puck on his stick. No matter how many times they try to tell him, Barney will keep shooting for the posts or crossbar and his accuracy at hitting them is a major frustration to all, including Fred, who only has so much patience.

So Flames fans, we’re Fred and he’s Barney. Let’s all take some time and head down to the Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes lodge and toss back a few frosty beverages. It might be the only thing left that we can accomplish as a team this year.

In other news, Jarome Iginla notched his 500th career assist tonight after being selected to play in his 6th NHL All Star Game. I’m proud of you, Iggy. I just wish you had a little more support. And by that, I mean more support than the hundreds of thousands of adoring fans rocking their Iggy Shirts. I mean real, on-ice support.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

  • OldeBuffalo

    Although it wuold be nice to see Jokinen get over his hard luck streak around the net, I’m not sure we can hang this loss around the neck of Ollie.

    I’m getting a little tired it seeing Kipper give up easy goals that keep putting the whole team behind the eight ball.

    When he’s hot he’s very very hot, but when he’s not he’s TERRIBLE.

    If we need some trade bait, Kipper is looking like a very highly placed prospect.

    • Greg @ Red Mile Blog

      I’m definitely not trying to hang this loss around Olli’s neck, but his inability to score is getting a little old. He had 2 really good chances to put the puck in the net tonight and he should have. If he did, we would have had 2 points, instead of one from the shootout loss.

      Kipper definitely didn’t help the team tonight. Those goals were pretty weak and he needs to perform a little better in games like this, but I’m starting to wonder if he’s just getting frustrated with his team’s lack of production. He is really hot when we is hot, but when his heart isn’t in the game, there’s no extra effort and he’s just an average NHL goaltender. That’s what I saw today.

      • OldeBuffalo

        How long will it take for the Flames to recognize that their real problem lays in their style of play that is obviously frustrating the hell out of them as a team and that style of play is being dictated by their head coach.
        Are the Flames owners waiting to see if the Flames are going to make the playoffs this season before making a decision about Brent. If they think that’s going to happen without some changes, they’re living in a Fantasy World.
        Insanity is described as repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting a different result.
        The Flames are rapidly running out of time to salvage this season and some hard decisions need to be made NOW!

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