It’s bad, it’s good, it’s Owen Nolan, it’s time to win tonight

Game 16
Canucks 3 Flames 2
Record: 6-7-2-1

Four-game losing streaks suck. I have a serious problem with a losing streak once it hits four games … the way I see it, three is a slide and four is a slump.  Thursday’s loss was especially galling, because the inconsistency that has plagued this club all season was encapsulated into one game so well. Yeah, the Flames played an incredible third period. But why not play like that in the first and second? You would have won the game.

Still — still — when the Flames ARE good this year, they’re a better good than they have been in three years. That third period, for example. And I maintain they are capable of a three-period, multiple-game effort like that. They can learn how. Are they still a fifth defenceman and one or two more complimentary forwards away from learning? Yeah, probably.  But this is still basically a .500 team not in any major danger of missing the playoffs, so now’s not the time to make the move. If they’re still “hovering around the .500 mark” (one of my favourite hockey cliches), in 15 or 20 games, it’s time for a Darryl deal (or two).

Even with the loss, it was good to see Owen Nolan get a goal on Thursday. I think he’s capable of more, and haven’t been as disappointed with his presence in the lineup as some others. He doesn’t make nearly as many mistakes as his aging-offensively-oriented-veteran predecessor Tony Amonte, and is a physical presence. The one thing I haven’t understood about Nolan all year: What’s with the A on the uniform? I know he’s a veteran leader and stuff, but there’s no relationship with the players there and he’s on a one-year deal. Wouldn’t be better to have Conroy or Langkow wear the letter? Or give it to a Lombardi or Phaneuf to get ’em used to being leaders?

Now the best news anywhere is that  the Flames get to go with our friends to the north tonight, a game they will win, even with Anders Eriksson in the lineup. (Speaking of which, let’s look on the bright side of all of this: A couple of months ago, who would have thought we’d all be pining for the return of Rhett Warrener to the lineup?) I like watching these games not just because of the likely victory, but because those plucky Oilers are some kinda fun to watch right now. I’m pretty sure that’s of little consolation to Edmonton fans, but I’d love to have Sam Gagner and Andrew Cogliano as the rooks in the Flames’ lineup right now instead of David Moss and Eric Nystrom.

But then, that just wouldn’t be fair.

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~ by duncan on November 10, 2007.

2 Responses to “It’s bad, it’s good, it’s Owen Nolan, it’s time to win tonight”

  1. Flames lose and give up two SH goals to the worst PP in the league. I think that says just about all you need to know about how bad both teams are.

  2. Yep.

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