The Flames were burned in a 5-2 loss in front of 19,289 disappointed fans on Monday, as the visiting Islanders ended Calgary’s four-game winning streak.
The game was a bitter pill to swallow as Flames fans got a taste of hope for this season as of late; Calgary was able to pull off a four-game victory tear against formidable opponents such as Dallas and Colorado prior to Monday’s debacle.
Michael Grabner scored the empty netter that ultimately solidified the Islanders’ win, and the entire play leading up to it is a true testament to the Flames’ ongoing problem—power play and passing. A sloppy Flames turnover and inaccurate passing led Grabner to the perfect capitalization opportunity, and the unfortunate end to an even worse game.
Calgary’s power play is a proven failed system, one that coach Brent Sutter doesn’t seem to want to alter. Game after game it’s the same story, inaccurate shots from the point, and that’s assuming the puck even leaves the passing lane between defenders. They take minimal shots on the PP, and when they’re constantly leaving it up to defenseman like Mark Giordano to finish, Calgary’s in trouble. His inaccuracy one one-timers from the point reminds me of Dion Phaneuf in his latter years with Calgary, not a time many Flames fans are eager to repeat.
As far as passing goes, the urgency and accuracy just hasn’t been present in the last several games. Even in their moments of greatness, when Calgary finally made it to a winning streak, its passing has been lacking—allowing for easy turnovers. Calgary’s style of play is what I can only describe as consistently inconsistent.
Not even their ‘top line’ can be counted on from game to game. Strangely enough, the heroic efforts of Calgary’s fourth line of Tom Kostopolous, Tim Jackman and David Moss has been the highlight in the last few games. Moss scored the Flames’ only two goals on Monday night.
The Flames made goaltender Nathan Lawson look like an All-Star, granting him his first win with the Islanders, after Rick DiPietro left early in the second period with a lower-body injury.
Of course, it didn’t help matters that John Tavares was right in his element, scoring two goals and one assist, bringing his record to eight points in the last five games for the Islanders. Matt Moulson scored two goals as well.
And although the loss was rough and well-deserved, Flames fans will still be glued to their televisions on Wednesday night, full of determination and hope for redemption. The Flames will take on the Canucks at 8 p.m. (MST).