The photo above is not a goal celebration. Let’s be clear about that.
Let’s also be honest with ourselves about this season. The fact that the Calgary Flames made it this far should make fans happy. In December the thought of the Flames making the playoffs was laughable. The only team that had fewer points was the Edmonton Oilers, and Calgary’s main goaltender looked like it really would be Henrik Karlsson. The 3-month comeback was something that we haven’t ever seen, and probably won’t ever see again in our lifetimes. So YAY! for the Flames effort this season. It’s just too bad it wasn’t enough.
Though the Flames are not mathematically eliminated from the post-season, tonight’s 4-2 loss to Anaheim is about as close as you can come without actually being “officially” knocked out of the playoffs. Their only true hope now is that they are able to scrape together some wins in their last 4 games while Dallas, Chicago and Nashville all somehow start to lose like a drunk gambler in Vegas. Really… what are the chances of two of the three teams stinking it up for their last 5, 6 or 7 games? Exactly.
The Flames came out strong in the first period tonight and Jarome Iginla put them on the board less than 3 minutes in with his 37th goal of the season. Unfortunately, the Flames failed to learn their lesson after the last couple games vs Anaheim and took 2 too many penalties in the first period. Bobby Ryan and Corey Perry both capitalized on the PP to give the Ducks the 2-1 lead by the end of the period.
The second period was a bit of back-and-forth, with a good segment of Flames domination from the 10-minute mark onwards. With about 5 minutes left in the 2nd period, the Flames finally managed to get the puck across the Anaheim goal line to tie the game. Or did they? Apparently the NHL video review team didn’t think so.
With 5:10 left in the 2nd period the Flames were robbed of a legitimate goal that would have been a game-changer. The goal would have tied the game at 2-2, and given the Flames (and their fans) a big mental boost. I don’t plan on dwelling on it too much more after this, but you should have a look at 2:35 of the video below to see it for yourself.
To add insult to injury, Lubomir Visnovsky scored with 1:09 left in the 2nd to put the Ducks up 3-1.
It appears as though the NHL realized how bad the call was, after the video was shown over and over during the intermission. The fact that @TSN showed Ryan Getzlaf putting his hand on the puck in the crease probably didn’t help either. The refs called 2 weak penalties on Anaheim early in the 3rd period, but the Flames could only capitalize on one opportunity. Mark Giordano scored a nice goal, but it was all they could muster. The Flames gave up an empty net goal to finish the game at 4-2.
Here’s the TSN look at it: