Need I say more?
The Flames lost again. As if the Holiday season wasn't depressing enough already.
Kiprusoff's Toskala-esque gaffe was only part of the problem tonight as the Flames were the victims of a 5-1 spanking at home against the Canucks, a team that they are supposedly "competing" with for top spot in the Northwest division. Despite taking the lead seven minutes into the first period on a nifty tip-in by Jarome Iginla, the Flames failed to incur any further damage, surrendering four unanswered goals in the first period before Kiprusoff was mercifully yanked and Curtis McElhinney was summoned from the bench to stop the bleeding. McElhinney stopped fourteen of the fifteen shots he faced in two periods of play. The Flames' failure to get off to a good start at home and stay out of the penalty box cost them in a game where second place in the division was on the line, against a team playing its second game in as many nights.
Once again, the Flames succumbed to pitiful offensive production and abysmal play in their own zone, and have squandered a healthy nine-point division lead to Mason Raymond and those shifty bastards from the West Coast. Maybe they were all just as incensed as Mikael Samuelsson upon hearing the news that he didn't make the Swedish Olympic team; I can't think of much else that would have brought on such an inspired performance, with the exception of the opportunity to overtake a divisional rival in the standings. Perhaps it all has something to do with this (or nothing at all, I was just looking for an excuse to work this video into my post and avoid going into further detail about a game I didn't watch):
That's Dion Phaneuf drunkenly rocking out to Billy Joel's "Piano Man" at a piano bar, apparently in Vegas, courtesy of TMZ. The guy in the white shirt is totally digging it, and the "Merry fucking Christmas" at the end really adds a nice touch. Stay classy, Dion.
I'm not about to get all ethical and over-analytical on you and claim that a twenty-four-year-old hockey player utilizing his notoriety and having a good time in Vegas is detrimental to the team and at the root of their recent struggles, but it can't be beneficial; especially since this team appears to have the character and mental fortitude of a cardboard box right now.
The Flames stumble into Edmonton tomorrow with about as much dignity as that annihilated-drunk girl at the party who just lost her virginity on the living room couch and then proceeded to vomit profusely. I'm all about the analogies this week.
Pride and a much-needed two points are on the line tomorrow night; the Oilers have lost six straight games while the Flames have lost six of their last seven. It's not as if Flames fans have had to endure an agonizing fall from grace or a seemingly endless parade to IR, but it's enough to get us feeling sorry for ourselves. We're in quite the tough spot here; we don't have a good enough team to expect consistent dominance and too much talent to accept constant losing. It's hard to imagine that things could get much worse for a team that was once again expected to make some noise in the West this season, but as far as the pessimist in me is concerned, they very well could. Every pessimist is really an optimist at heart who tries to suppress her expectations for fear of disappointment. Even though I knew the Flames were down 4-1 when I left the hotel, part of me hoped I would return to news of a 5-4 overtime victory for the good guys.
Second rule of pessimism: Things can only get worse.
I threatened to become an L.A. Kings fan tonight. It might just happen if I stay in California any longer.
Game time is 7PM on Sportsnet West. Get drunk and cry for me.
I've essentially given up on all superstitions at this point, so what the hell:
Go Flames Go.
PS: Misery loves company, so check out my Q&A with Oilers blogger Jay from Low on Oil here.