Although the Flames played well (or the Wild just played worse) a 1-3 road trip is simply not acceptable. The Flames reach the quarter-season mark 3 games under .500 and a whopping 8 points out of the final playoff spot. It’s time for some cut bait. What? (you say) Blake Comeau wasn’t a big enough fish?! I’m afraid so, I answer.
If I were Jay Feaster — and I clearly am — I would have set some goals for this season and shared them only with three people/groups. One would be ownership, as in ‘what are you willing to accept?’ Two would be Ken King and that would really be to say that the business side of hockey doesn’t concern me one bit. Three, of course, would be with Brent Sutter.
Of Brent I would have said this: ‘I wanted this team to be at least .500 at 20 games.’ Simple, attainable, neccessary. Last season the Flames were 12 games over .500 and missed the playoffs by three points. The year before that they were 8 points above .500 and missed by 5 points. Do you know how many points you likely need to make the playoffs in the West? About 95 (even though Dallas missed last year with 97 points). Do you know what the Flames must do to get to 95 points after a crappy first quarter? They need 76 points over 60 games, or go something like 32-12-12 for the remainder of the season. That, my friends, is not going to happen.
I agree that firing Sutter isn’t the solution. Just like having a fire sale isn’t the solution. However getting in a new coach with a new message and a new system is the first step towards a possible solution. I do not believe you have any other options at this point. If you can’t start your run now, then the season will be a write-off and you’ll be left with no choice but to dump your aging assets. So choose, fire the coach, have a fire sale, or tinker and be six games under .500 at the halfway mark. I’m really
hoping expecting the Flames make the move today, I’m not sure I can watch this team struggle with themselves anymore.
If the Caps can do it, so can we. Dig deep Feaster.