entering the bottom half of the playoffs Something to be saved in the NBA Given that it rarely goes anywhere, it still has an assumption NHL All you have to do is “go in.” The NHL has fed on the idea for decades that the playoffs redefine everything, and that a hot goalie can add up to six months of evidence of what teams really are. This is not necessary, although it rarely happens. But you have to go back to 2017 to find a proper Stanley Cup Finals (get 2020 and 2021 out of here) to find a team that actually came from the clouds (the Predators, who were then put in their place). -Regal Penguin). Yes, the expansion Vegas Golden Knights reached the finals in 2018, and by definition an expansion team comes from the clouds, but they also won their division that year. It doesn’t happen in the NHL as much as they want you to believe. Fuck you, the standings are jerry-rigged with three-point games and shootouts and overtime losses in order to live the false dream of keeping as many teams near those bottom playoff spots as possible.
What could make the NHL more exciting?
That doesn’t mean teams still don’t live by that credo, especially as they try to claw down a wildcard spot, which brings us to the Calgary Flames. At the beginning of last week, they probably thought they were in a good spot to land the final wildcard. They were one point behind the Jets, but had the perfect schedule to end the season. three shutouts against the Hawks, Canucks and Sharks, and two games against their direct competitors, the Jets and Predators. You really can’t ask for more.
Instead, the Flames wobbled and bumbled their way through a home game against the Hawks like a freshman looking for the bathroom, well exhausted over a 4-3 scoreline. They then pulled it together to defeat the Jets 3-1 in Winnipeg to at least keep their playoff hopes alive, perhaps in shame. Then again, they really needed to beat the Vancouver Canucks, the most wayward organization in the league. They were defeated in a shootout (this is an ongoing theme, and we’ll come back to it). With their playoff dreams now on life support, last night gave them at least one last gasp until the end of the regular season. They could also eliminate another creep among the hunters. And he showed some grit, coming back twice against Zeus Saros to send the game to overtime at 2-2… only to lose in a shootout. And now they’re toast.
Could it be Coach?
The easy narratives are, one, that this team is tired of playing for their coach, Daryl Sutter. And perhaps there is some truth in this, as the Flames showed no interest in a lot of games this season, and Sutter quickly overwhelmed his players with his direct and sharp nature. Dost won two cups with the Kings, and the following season the players were shutting him down Dressing room. He hasn’t had success overstaying his welcome with his charges in Calgary, and that’s what you get.
Could it be the loss of its stars?
The other low-hanging fruit is that the Flames could not overcome the loss of Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Goudreau, even as Jonathan Huberdeau and Nazeem Kadri were brought in as replacements. And then, there’s something in it. The Flames have currently scored 36 fewer goals than last term, as Huberdeau and Kadri have come nowhere near the production of their predecessors. The Flames have had far more trouble this season creating chances and goals from around the crease, an area that Tkachuk especially made his very disorganized office,
But Qadri was never going to do such a thing, after all he is a centre, and indeed a probe-plus centre. While he exploded for 87 points last year for the nitrogen-infused Avalanche, the 55 or so points he is currently on will last him for the rest of his career. Huberdeau certainly isn’t the 115-point review he was last year, and he’s seen his production on the power play crater (38 points last year versus 15 this year). Sutter didn’t use Huberdeau on PP as much as the Panthers did last year (2:55 per game as opposed to 3:41 last season), and the Flames couldn’t sear it anyway when a The man was upstairs.
Or it could be that pills suck…
The other simple explanation is that the flames sucked, which they did. Neither starter Jakob Markstrom nor backup Dan Vlader managed a save percentage higher than .900 and both were underwater when it came to goals saved more than expected. kept the flamesKrusty is coming!The whole season with Markstrom considering how good he was last year, or maybe because of how much they’re paying him. Flames fans are not going to be able to imagine what would have happened if the team had called up Dustin Wolf, the AHL’s best goaltender this season, by some distance. But Sutter would rather eat his own face than start a rookie goaltender most of the time, which he’s already doing.
bitter a minute, the problem is with your statement
But this isn’t so easy. By metrics, the Flames were still one of the better possession teams around, as Sutter teams always are (second in Corsi-percentage, third in expected-goal share). NaturalStatTrick.com) Yes, their goaltenders let them down, but even with that they shouldn’t have been completely knocked out of the playoffs considering how strong they were with and without the puck.
No, the Flames came undone whenever a game went over 60 minutes, and they suddenly turned into confused sluggers. The Flames lost 17 games this season that went to overtime or shootouts. The only other team over 14 was San Jose. He won seven games. Only these numbers are out, and an additional five digits would comfortably propel them to the wildcard spots.
It would be easy to point to Markstrom and Vlader’s struggles as the Flames continued to suck the scum of the pond in overtime and shootouts. You could point to the less lethal finishing because they can’t win as much, or the fact that they avoid overtime altogether by winning more games in regulation. These aren’t necessarily wrong, but they do contain moderate levels of horseshit.
The 3-on-3 and Shootout are just gimmicks to entertain the Braves fan, and have no bearing on the way the team is built, run and played. They are a coin flip, a random chance the NHL is basing playoff spots and seedings on. Thanks to the cap, little if any team is that much more talented than the rest, and injuries flatten it even more. The Flames were undone as a couple rebuffs from their own Odd-Man Rush led to the Odd-Man Rush going the other way, or by some trick an opponent was able to pull off an exhibition they could never use. Will get A real hockey game. This is black magic.
The Flames will likely look to make serious changes in the offseason, and that could include punting Sutter back down the field. They must find a way to bring Wolf to the crease, even if it means trying to find a home for Markstrom’s salary. How many of these decisions will they be making if only a few random bounces go their way?