Words can't describe how painful that was to watch. From a 2-0 lead and a 21-4 shot advantage in the first 30 minutes, to a 3-2 SO loss to the 27th place Minnesota Wild is completely embarrassing. The whole Flames organization better take a deep look in the mirror and make some tough decisions.
Ring... Ring... Pick up Jay Feaster, the Fat Lady is calling, your team just shot themselves in the foot... again.
After a dreadful weekend where the Flames lost to the 29th and 30th place teams, netting just one of a four possible points, the Flames season lays on the line tonight as they head into Colorado. The Flames are chasing the Avalanche for the elusive 8th and final playoff spot, trailing them by a measly two points with a game in hand. This will be the fifth of six meetings between the clubs as the Flames have dominated the Avalanche, not only this season with four victories, but since early in the 2010-11 season. The Avalanche hasn’t beaten the Flames since Oct. 28th, 2010 as the Flames look for the 10th consecutive victory. This is not just an important game for these teams but also in the West as two points also separate, 3rd, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th place. All six of those teams are in action tonight, so it should make an exciting night of hockey.
Injuries have been the big story for both teams all season long as the Flames head into Minnesota to face the Wild this afternoon. This will be the fifth of six meetings between the clubs as the Flames have taken three straight over the Wild. Minnesota has been on a downward spiral ever since they had a league best 20-7-3 record on Dec. 10th, now sitting in 13th spot in the Western Conference and 8 points out of the final playoff spot. The Flames on the other hand, while being inconsistent have gone on a nice run recently, going 3-1-1 in their past five games and now only sit 2 points back of the 8th seeded Colorado Avalanche with two games in hand.
The Flames and Blues head into the dome tonight for a game probably not many fans have had their mind on all day. Both the Flames and Blues decided to stay pat, as neither one made a single trade today. Regardless there is a game to be played and more importantly two points on the line. The Blues have been one of the surprises this season, not the fact that they are in the playoff race but more of the fact that the Blues are competing with the Red Wings for the Central Division crown as they sit just two points back. The Flames on the other hand are trying to just prove that they are a playoff team as they are currently on a 3 game skid and sit 3 points back of the 8th place Dallas Stars.
It should be a playoff type atmosphere in Phoenix tonight as the Flames head into the Desert to play the Coyotes. This is the first of four meetings between the clubs this season, with all of them coming in the next five weeks. The Flames come into Phoenix to play the back-end of a back-to-back after defeating the San Jose Sharks 4-3 last night in the Shark tank. The Coyotes on the other hand come in tonight red hot, defeating the Dallas Stars on Tuesday 4-1, for their 3rd win in a row. The two teams are neck and neck in the playoff race as the Coyotes sit 9th with 58 points and the Flames now sit in 10th with 57 points after their victory last night. Depending on how Minnesota does against Vancouver tonight, the winner of this game could find themselves in the final playoff spot for the time being.
The Flames have had a tough time with the Sharks this season which isn’t saying they haven’t played well or been dominated. Tonight will be the third of four games between the clubs as the Sharks have taken the first two meetings, both by 1 goal (Jan 17 @SJ 2-1 OT, Jan 24 @CGY 1-0). The tough time, just like the past month and a half, for the Flames against the Sharks has been scoring goals. Miikka Kiprusoff has kept the Flames in probably every game he has started this season and if the Flames don’t start helping him out offensively, the Flames will have a tough time jumping above the four teams ahead of them and into 8th spot.
Each and every game continues to get more and more important for the Flames as they head into Anaheim to face the Ducks tonight. This is the second of four meetings between the clubs, with the Flames winning the first game 1-0 in overtime. It’s easy to say tonight is a must win for the club but tonight is a MUST WIN. The Ducks have been playing much better hockey of late but any team that is lower in the standings, the Flames have to beat in order to give them any sort of chance erasing the 4 point gap between them and 8th place. Saying that tonight’s task won’t be easy as the Flames haven’t won in Anaheim in nearly 8 years. They have lost 13 straight games at the Honda Center with their last victory coming on January 19, 2004.
The Flames enter tonight’s game against the Blackhawks much like they did against the Red Wings. For the second straight game they host a team that will come into the Dome coming off an embarrassing loss. That is the case for the Blackhawks who surrendered a 2-0 lead to lose 8-4 to Sam Gagner and the Edmonton Oilers last night. The Flames will have to take advantage of the Hawks playing back-to-back games. This is the 4th and final meeting between the teams with Chicago leading the series 2-1. Both teams victories have come on home ice, so if that trend continues, the Flames are in good shape heading into tonight’s match-up.