Tough loss after All Star break, Flames breakdown in 3rd, lose 3-1 to Wings
With the game off to an emotional beginning (with a well-deserved Brad McCrimmon tribute), the Flames jump-start into the first period with a full tank of gas, ready to gain the 2 points they so desperately need.
Howard, a northwest division goalie we’ve always struggled to score against, was an absolute wall in the first. Any Flames offense that made it through the defence pairings were quickly denied by Howard.
Kipper, who managed a phenomenal grab-save midway through the first, stood on his toes for most of the evening (saving 25 of the 28 shots).
Detroit, with the strong defensive pairs of Lidstrom and former-Flame’ White, cut off most the Flames’ offensive lanes, and plugged the neutral zones while digging deep on the back-check all through out the first. The Flames were in trouble at this point.
Stempniak went down after a run in with former Flame Brad Stuart, and suffered a lower body injury. He did not return to the game. Minutes later, Emmerton scored off an large Abdelkader rebound, with minutes left in the first.
And with another solid break out into the second, the Flames looked good, they looked ready. A brutal fist fight between former Flame Commodore, and our McCrimmon-like beast Jackman, produced a rush in the Flames offense. On the second pp of the period, Cammalleri digs deep in the crease off a Tanguay shot for the equalizer. One-1 going into the third.
Battling into first few minutes of the period, the Flames started collapse and create holes for the Red Wings to capitalize on. A team, that will dominate on any opportunity you give them.
So, of course Hulder makes it 2-1 half way through the third. Minutes later, Miller with the nail to our coffin, and Flames lose 3-1.
“It’s Habit were going to have to break,” Cammalleri says to the Media scrum after the game. And the real question is: What IS the habit that the Flames need to break in order to consistently win points every game for a real chance at the playoffs?
The Flames need to score. It sounds self-explanatory right?
But when you have a group of desperate guys vying for a playoff spot (right around the looming trade deadline), you end up with a game like we had tonight.
It was like watching a pack of dogs try to scratch out of their dog run. It was sheer panic to produce, and when they’re not producing, well then it is even more of a panic. The only reason Cammalleri was entitled to say anything was because he was the lone goal-scorer of the evening. Are the lineups not working? Who isn’t playing the way we need them to? Does it scare anyone else that trade deadline is soon?
Players are dropping like flies, and will only continue to at the rate of play they are producing.
Flames host another tough western conference team, the Chicago Blackhawks on Feb. 3rd.