Outclassed on Eastern Roadie, Arena Deal is dead

Flames Weekly offers a sneak peek at the Calgary Flames’ performance the week before. Make sure to check back every Monday for my take on the week that unfolded and find out which screenplays and actors took center stage. Please feel free to use the comments section below to let me know how you think the team has performed or to post any ideas or questions about the Flames.

A measuring stick game assesses how a team compares to the best. Well, the Flames just had a WEEK of measuring stick, with an oriental swing that saw them take on the top three clubs in the conference; The results speak for themselves.

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Edged 16-6 by the Florida Panthers, Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, Calgary came home knowing they were not yet good enough to compete for the top level in the NHL. In three games, they led for just 15 minutes. Oh, and not to kick a team while they’re down, but the official deadline to resurrect the collapsed arena accord came and went. And now?

The flames lack the firepower to keep up with the beasts of the east

Before last week, the Flames were probably feeling pretty good about themselves after winning their first two games after a 19-day hiatus. While beating the lowly Seattle Kraken and Chicago Blackhawks put them back in the winning column, it didn’t prepare them for the offensive assault they faced when they arrived in the Sunshine State on Tuesday to face the Panthers.

For a team that prides itself on playing a solid, structured game, the Flames were caught in the run-and-gun style of the Panthers which saw them give up 45 shots as they dotted Florida player Sergei Bobrovsky with 49. While Calgary got off to a strong start and enjoyed a 2-1 advantage midway through the first period, the Panthers resumed the game soon after and buried the visitors 6-2, the most loss. unbalanced Flames of the season.

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Two nights later, the Flames faced the defending Stanley Cup champions, and it didn’t get any easier. After holding the Lightning to a 0-0 draw after a frame, Tampa Bay kicked the game into high gear. The Bolts scored four unanswered goals before Dillon Dube finally broke Andrei Vasilevskiy’s shutout attempt at the end of the third period with an insignificant goal to make it a convincing 4-1 loss. After the game, Matthew Tkachuk admitted they were upgraded:

“They were a lot faster than us and made a lot more plays.” Matthew Tkachuk reflects on tonight’s loss in Tampa. https://t.co/HYQxdWlOCn

The following night, the Flames were back, this time facing another elite team, the Hurricanes. The boys in red came out on fire in the first period, overtaking the home side 21-10, but Calgary seemed to lose momentum when the ‘Canes tied the game late in the period. Team coaches judged Jacob Markstrom “not 100%” for the competition, giving Dan Vladar his first consecutive start.

Tied 1-1 at the start of the second period, Calgary suffered a major defensive breakdown, leaving three quick passes that put the game out of reach. Goals from Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau kept the game interesting for a while, but Carolina pulled out and got a 6-3 victory. It was the third strike against the Flames. Although they have proven that they can be competitive at times, they haven’t been able to convert enough chances to stay in these games.

Sutter surprisingly optimistic after three straight losses

After the loss to the Panthers on Tuesday, head coach Darryl Sutter said he believed his team was not up to the task against a superior team: “It’s a different level of team… we had guys who didn’t take up the challenge in terms of face-to-face. Although Sutter failed to tear his team apart after their worst blow of the season, he seemed almost optimistic after suffering a three-goal loss two nights later at Tampa Bay.

“You have to finish your opportunities. #Flames head coach Darryl Sutter reviews tonight’s game in Tampa. https://t.co/sNp2gubICt

“There is nothing wrong with the way we play,” he told reporters. “We just played a better team, to be completely honest.” After losing 6-3 to the Hurricanes, Sutter was then asked if he was disappointed to lose 4-1 after a great first period, and his the response was just as positive: “I’m not at all disappointed with that. I think we fought back and made 4-3. It’s nice to see the Calgary bench chief trying to focus on the positives, but despite their strong play this season, this three-game game against the ‘Beasts of the East’ proved the team needs to do it. full of firepower at the trade deadline.

The Flames Arena deal isn’t just dead … it’s DEAD

While it has been a few weeks since Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek tweeted the bomb news As the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation (CSEC) “unplugged” the arena deal, there was still an outside chance that both sides would extend the deadline and work a miracle. This does not happen.

Calgary Events Center
Calgary Events Center (Calgary City Council)

Last-minute cost escalations and complications from the global pandemic derailed an event center deal that took years to negotiate. What is more frustrating, it is estimated that both sides spent around $ 20-25 million on the project without innovating. Unless they can somehow revive this situation, it will have been a huge waste of everyone’s time and money.

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So where do we go from here? The Flames have another 11-year lease at the Scotiabank Saddledome, and they say they will stay in the old barn for as long as possible. But with roof repairs and general maintenance of the Dome set to cost nearly $ 50 million in the coming years, playing in the NHL’s oldest building doesn’t make much sense either. Will both parties come to their senses soon? Your guess is as good as mine.

The winners and losers of the week

I’ve been calling it the Flames’ “strangest week of the season” for several weeks now. Well, the last seven days have been pretty normal by comparison. The boys in red played games last week, and here’s who made the biggest impressions, positive or negative.

  • Flames fans have heard a lot about their goalie hopeful Dustin Wolf. The Stockton Heat’s number one goalie lit him up in the American Hockey League (AHL), going 15-1-2 to start his first full professional season. The 20-year-old was honored with the goaltender of the month title after a 7-0-0 record in December, a 1.40 goals against average (GAA) and a .961 save percentage ( SV%). The question is, why wasn’t Wolf also the October and November Goalkeeper?
  • Adam Ruzicka is another highly prized prospect, who has played five times for the Flames but struggled to stay with the big club. The 22-year-old Slovakian has moved a lot since being called up on November 25 and scored his first NHL goal on December 8. 4, then returned to the active list on January 7, then returned to the taxi team on January 8. I would love to see the big center take a closer look with the Flames or be sent back to Stockton in the AHL. Keeping him in purgatory won’t do him any good.
  • In Thursday’s game, the Lighting honored Blake Coleman for his contribution to the Bolts’ back-to-back Stanley Cup victories. The Flames forward also received that second pre-game championship ring and told reporters the return to Tampa Bay brought home a flood of good memories. “It’s special, of course. I thought as I walked through the tunnel, I kind of remembered the last time I was on that ice cream, and I think it was 3am with a few bottles of champagne in me and my whole family there. ice cream. ”Congratulations Blake.
  • Last week, Gaudreau rose to seventh all-time scorers for franchises. This week, it was Tkachuk’s turn to move up the standings after scoring two points in Carolina. Although not (yet) near the top, the 24-year-old winger now ranks 22nd. He’s edged out Calgary assistant general manager Craig Conroy along the way, and if you think the young buck hasn’t touched him, then you don’t know ‘Chucky’ very well.

The coming week of flames

Last week has been the Flames’ busiest in ages, but due to COVID capacity restrictions in Canadian arenas, their upcoming schedule will be light. They were due to host the New York Islanders on Tuesday, but that has been postponed. The NHL has also postponed Saturday’s game against the Vegas Golden Knights to a later date. That means the only game left on the agenda is Thursday night’s home game against the Ottawa Senators. I guess the league decided it would be too hard to reprogram the entire Senators swing in the west, which also includes games against Seattle, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers and Winnipeg Jets.

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