If there was ever a glimmer of hope that this team could make the playoffs it was certainly squashed last night at the Dome. The past three games against Phoenix and Vancouver have been (wait for it) the most important games of the season. We all know that, and the players know that. However, for certain players to not step up when absolutely necessary (hairy eyeball at Bouwmeester, Regehr and Iginla) is – as Sutter put it – completely unacceptable.
It was so frustrating to see what was supposed to be our best defencive pairing be -6 collectively in such an important game. It was equaly frustrating to see the Captain not be able to lift this team onto his shoulders like he was once able. It’s frustrating that we look to guys like Jokinen and Jackman to save the team when it’s struggling.
But the worst of it all is that the Flames could have very well destroyed all chance of a postseason appearance, something they struggled over 3 months to build up, in three games. The odds for Calgary dropped from nearly 80% to less than 40%. From being in control of your own destiny to relying on other teams to lose. From being able to play 500 hockey and make it, to having to play 700 hockey (7-3) to make it. From being in 4th place in the West and having home-ice advantage, to 8th in the West. By the time the Flames play again they will be in 10th, mark my words.
Sunday’s game becomes the most important game of the year. And who do we have to rely on? With David Moss and Brendan Morrison out for the year, we have Ales Kotalik. We have Lance Bouma. We have Brett Carson. Crap.