Seriously, how many times can this happen?
Aside from a ten-minute lapse which saw the Avs score twice to tie the game at two in the second period, the Flames dominated this game. They fired fourty-six shots at Craig Anderson and were gifted with a powerplay in the dying minutes of regulation, which carried over into an eventual two-man advantage in overtime, on which they failed to score.
As per usual in games against the Avs, the end result left me with a hoarse voice and the desire to chuck my BlackBerry at the nearest wall, like I did after the loss to Columbus on Friday. I know the Flames aren't exactly stacked offensively, but how can any team accumulate fourty-six shots on goal and only score twice? Yes, Anderson was good. He definitely stole the game for the Avs, but he is beatable, as the Flames proved earlier in the game. He also got plenty of help from the team in front of him, who blocked twenty-seven shots, and the Flames also missed the net on eleven attempts.
They weren't all top-quality shots, and the Flames sometimes appeared as if they were trying for the perfect play or the perfect shot, but at the end of the day, Anderson stopped all but two.
Which brings me to this conclusion:
I want Craig Anderson dead. I'll hire Keith Ballard if I have to.
He looks like a mouse and is too much of a goody-two-shoes to say "ass" on TSN (around the 1:25 mark).
Watching this team try to set up a play or a shot is sometimes painful. Watching the game at home, you can see that shooting or passing lanes are opening up, but the players don't take advantage. They pass when they should have shot and shoot when they should have passed. They wait too long and fire the puck into an opposing player's shinpads, often resulting in an odd-man rush against. Obviously, this is most evident on the powerplay, which the Flames haven't scored on for five straight games and have scored just three powerplay goals in their past eleven games. They had three prime opportunities to end the game with the man advantage and were unable to capitalize on them, which cost them the extra point.
Again, we all went into the season knowing that this team wasn't outrageously talented, but the inability to finish, with the man advantage when a point and sole possession of first place in the division is on the line, is unacceptable and needs to be rectified. Jarome Iginla is in the midst of a four-game pointless streak, and the Flames' secondary scoring has all but disappeared, with players like Dawes, Sjostrom, and Boyd (until tonight) experiencing lengthy droughts. I don't know if it's going to require something as simple as switching up the players on the first and second powerplay units, changing the strategy with the extra man, or acquiring a more creative forward, but it has to get better, especially with games against teams like the Penguins, Hawks, and Sharks coming up. This team's inability to finish is costing them points and wins, which become even more crucial as the season wears on and the division and conference standings become more highly contested.
I've said it before when this team has been struggling offensively, but that Ray Whitney deal which was supposedly close to fruition earlier this season may not be such a bad idea after all, especially if he scores goals like this, against Colorado to boot:
Think about it Darryl; for the sake of my (questionable) sanity.
I hate Alex Burrows as much as the next Flames fan, but his shocking testimony of referee Stephane Auger's
pre-game threats and sub-sequent exaction (is that a word?) of revenge for previous grievances is a huge blow
to what little credibility NHL officials have left.
Up Next: The defending Stanley Cup champions are in town on Wednesday (7:30PM, TSN) for a game
which I have been begging for tickets to since before the Flames' schedule was announced. I will be living
vicariously through those of you in attendance.
Go Flames Go.