The Calgary Flames saw their playoff dreams go up in smoke last
night, as they watched Matt Duchene’s shootout goal seal their fate. It
was a fitting end to an incredibly frustrating season, one which started
with so much promise and then ended with a whimper.
Duhatschek of The Globe and Mail has some sobering thoughts from
long-time Flames center Craig Conroy:
“Duchene scores, they win and it’s over,” said
Conroy. “It’s as simple
as that. You can’t say much more than that. We were hoping for a miracle
and it didn’t happen.”
“When we were scoring three or four goals
at the start of the year, it
wasn’t even close. We were winning all the games. Then we just went dry.
There was a lot of pressure on Jarome. We just couldn’t find ways to
score. The power play wasn’t clicking like it was at the start of the
year. I don’t know why, it just didn’t happen.”
scoring was certainly the biggest issue, and none felt that pressure
more than Jarome Iginla. He was the leading scorer on the team, but with
just 32 goals and 69 points. Ironically, the last time Iginla scored so
low a point total the Flames finished with 103 points and entered the
playoffs in 3rd place in the West.
Calgary will have a lot of
roster adjustments to make, based on a wasted season and a team that
already has $53 million in payroll locked up for next season in 17
players. Many will want to blame Iginla for his disappointing season,
but the lack of scoring from anywhere on the roster hurt the most. Jaw
Bouwmeester, signed to be the catalyst for an explosive defensive corps,
might already be considered a bust.
It’s going to be a long
summer in Calgary.