Well, color me surprised. Although I really shouldn’t be.
Calgary Flames held a press conference today, and at a time when nearly
everyone in the media was expecting for general manager Darryl Sutter to
get the ax, team president Ken King stood by his man.
Apparently the competition was tough, luck wasn’t on their side and,
yes, the best players weren’t the best players and need to return to
previous scoring levels. If that happens, the team is poised for a
rebound, Sutter suggested.
Sutter revealed that the game plan was
to stay competitive, as opposed to adopting a rebuilding program. Nor
does Sutter intend to trade away another core player, for salary cap or
other reasons. The team’s primary failing, he said, was its poor home
record (20-17-4). Fix that and everything else will fall into place.
Let’s see here.
The Flames weren’t exactly horrible the first part of the season, and
were certainly competitive in the Western Conference. A couple of
trades backfired, and now the team is full of underachieving players
that wilted down the stretch when it matters most. Not to mention that
the Flames already have $53 million locked up in payroll for next
Darryl Sutter is saying his team is still competitive, because they
don’t have much choice in the matter. Either they’ll have to trade some
major pieces, or just go into next season hoping for a turnaround; he’s
already stated that we shouldn’t expect a big trade.
So the general manager makes a series of expensive moves in the
offseason and when those aren’t panning out takes the team in a
different direction midseason with a number of questionable trades, thus
leaving his team handcuffed for the near future. Sounds like a formula
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.