It’s hard to be too hard on the Calgary Flames after their last unbalanced loss, as players have long faced the disappointment of ending another season with an unfulfilled promise.
Wednesday it showed.
Hammering how bad one of the North’s preseason favorites has been, know that minutes before the Flames faced off against the Winnipeg Jets, the Ottawa Senators jumped for a tied fifth place finish. with Calgary.
Yes, the same Senators who opened the season with two wins in their first 15 outings.
The same club under reconstruction which has the youngest formation in the league.
The same team that was, in fact, the division’s vacant spot on the bingo card until the Calgary Flames started playing them.
That’s when the upstart Senators used the Flames to change their fortunes.
Winnipeg did the same on Wednesday, breaking a losing seven-game skid with a 4-0 giveaway from a Flames club that was too generous with the puck, when it lacked commitment.
“Each of their four goals, we had the assist,” said coach Darryl Sutter, laughing a few times after the game as he spoke of the blatant turnovers that called off his club that night, and so many others. this season.
“I don’t know if emotion has something to do with returning the puck. We passed them the puck. Three were defenders with very little experience. I guess that’s how they learn. I think there are players who are holding back our team. “
Another day, another blow to blue liners Nikita Nesterov and Juuso Valimaki, who really struggled to live up to the standards Sutter imposes on his backs.
“At the end of the day, this team wasn’t desperate enough tonight and that was reflected in their performance,” he added.
Adam Lowry’s first of two goals came a minute into the night, followed by his recall thanks to an ill-advised Nesterov passing his guts on a power play that gave the Jets a rare shorthanded two-man breakaway. .
What Nesterov does on the power play is a discussion for another day.
“Yeah, that wasn’t the game we wanted,” said Mikael Backlund.
“I don’t think we were desperate enough to win tonight. We have five games left and we have to leave everything there.
Jets have not finished proving their worth after historic win over Flames
On Wednesday they didn’t, allowing the Jets to secure their playoff ticket on a milestone night that saw Blake Wheeler’s second of two goals double the veteran’s 800th point and Mark’s 500th. Scheifele.
Who will keep that souvenir puck is a more intriguing mystery than when the Flames are officially eliminated by a ten-point Montreal Canadiens team with five Flames games to play.
“We come into this game with a must-have mentality,” said captain Mark Giordano, wearing this season’s disappointment on his face.
“You can’t give up these quality chances and hope to win. They scored two 5-on-5s, a shorthanded goal and a power-play goal – every time that happens, you’re really unlucky.
Embarrassed by the number of times they’ve let Jacob Markstrom dry, the Flames players stood up and patted their sticks on the boards after the goalie stopped Andrew Copp on a last-minute penalty shot attempt.
The goalkeeper, like the fans, deserves better