Is it just Christmas or are the Flames faltering?
At the beginnning of rhe year, after an incredible pre-season, the Flames faltered. It seemed Jarome Iginla wasn't able to get a puck in the net, and somehow, that affected the rest of the team. Although the fourth liners stepped up and played like the first liners weren't, for a short period early in the season, the Flames faltered and dropped several games, to teams like Dallas, Chicago and Columbus. October was an up and down month, with those losses, but just like that, they were able to rebound and come back, strong and fighting for every point. November opened with four wins in a row, before they again struggled, but against two of the strongest teams in the league, the Buffalo Sabres and the Colorado Avalanche. That loss was followed by another to the Chicago Blackhawks and yet another to the Anaheim Ducks, before the team managed to turn things around and start winning a bunch of games at the end of November.
So far December has been a mixed bag of wins and losses, losses that should have been wins and wins that seemed surprising. However, the last week or so has been, well, somewhat disasterous.
As I said above, the Flames have managed only three wins in the last ten games. The wins include Los Angeles, Atlanta and San Jose. The losses also include Los Angeles, plus two games lost to St Louis, although the last game, Wednesday, was a loss in the shoot out. Other teams that have defeated Calgary are Nashville, Colorado, Minnesota and Phoenix. Calgary hasn't been able to win against Colorado yet this year, but then, neither have many other teams. The Predators, as well, have been hot, and Phoenix has been surprising us all.
So, is this recent streak of losses something Calgary Flames's fans should be concerned about? Or is it really just a matter of playing strong teams, the kind of teams they are likely to meet in the playoffs? If the latter is the case, the Flames are going to have to figure out a way to get past those teams. We aren't yet halfway through the regular season, although we are pretty close. Not quite three months of play are done, and there are just over three months left before the playoffs begin. The Flames want to be in the playoffs and their fans want that as well.
What do they need to do? Does Coach Sutter have everything under control? Is he, and the rest of the team, depending on the stars, Iginla and Kiprusoff? do the rest of the players need to step their play up an extra notch? Or, is there really nothing to worry about?
What do you think?