I’ve been hating to read the #Flames hashtag for the last while.
Too many Suzie Sunshines have been talking about the team turning a corner when they post an occasional win.
Too many Cheery Charlies have been talking about how the team needs to keep Jarome Iginla for his heart and his leadership.
Too many Happy Harrys have been talking about ‘next game we’ll get ’em!’
A 3-1 loss is in the books after playing the Columbus Blue Jackets. That’s preceded by a pair of losses to the Minnesota Wild.
And a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Big fucking deal.
The Leafs have a 12-17-4 record in the East, only slightly worse than the Flames at 14-18-3.
So, no. It’s no big deal to beat the Leafs.
Nor would it have been a big deal to beat the Wild or the Blue Jackets.
It really isn’t a big deal to lose to them either.
Because, folks, this is not a good team.
No matter how you slice it and dice it, Brent Sutter is handcuffed by a roster of old and slow plugs in a game that’s speeding past with youth and flash and dash.
That defence we keep being told is one of the best in the league … on paper? The top four combined for a minus-6 rating tonight.
Strange decisions are being made. The one with the youth and flash? Mikael Backlund was a healthy scratch tonight, in favour of guys who aren’t lifting feathers let alone pulling their own weight.
In complete honesty, I didn’t watch until the last three minutes. I had better things to do, figuring the Flames would be putting in a tired, heartless effort after losing to the Wild last night.
I followed along on the Twitter stream while I was in the hairdresser’s chair and at the gym.
Fans are pissed.
“So happy the world juniors is starting. Watching the #flames is painfull (sic).”
“#flames some kind of failure tonight…again”
“Wow, the #flames continue to struggle, and yet do NOTHING to help themselves. How #pathetic AND #stupid can a professional #hockey team be?”
“The #Flames are just so bad. It hurts my soul.”
“3 in a row… NOW can we fire Sutter? Waiting for management/ownership to do something is as frustrating as watching this team play. #Flames”
“If DSutter isn’t fired by the time I get back from States, I’m gonna … I’m gonna … I’ll probably just swear and tweet about it. #Flames”
Oh wait … that last one was me.
So yeah, how much longer will this go on without someone, i.e. general manager Darryl Sutter, being held accountable for the dreary season we’re facing?
For the fact the Flames don’t have a complement of players who can score.
For the fact the Flames don’t have the stalwart defence we’ve been led to believe it is.
For the fact this team is pushing the salary cap this year and next and has no future.
Zero. Zip. Zilch.
Now that’s a big deal.