Sunday, October 09, 2005


Phaneuf: +2 and 1 exploding hit

If Andrew Ference is going to defend his goal like Phil Housley, he's going to have to pass and skate like House League to compensate. This seems unlikely.

Today the Flames managed to lower their already league-worst PK% by allowing five (count 'em, 1-2-3-4-5) PPG against on 9 opportunities. That's a total of 8 goals against in 17 SH situations this year, or a PK% of 52.9%. Put another way, the Flames would need to kill the next 35 penalties in a row to get to last season's PK% of 84.7%, which was still an unspectacular 13th in the league.

Anyway, our friend Ference was on the ice for 3 of the 5 PPGA (so was my golden boy Lombardi), as well as the only even-strength goal against the team. (Incredibly for a 3-goal loss, Ference and Montador were the only Flames with a 'minus' rating on the day; there were ten Red Wings in the minus, including Lidstrom and two others who were -2).

At this point, if the Flames manage two points from Colorado tomorrow night, they will come home considering the 4-game roadie neither a success nor a failure, and move on to using their 4-game homestand to get their proverbial ship together.

If they get a regulation L, however, the jocks are going to fit a little tight on Thursday against Dallas, and the coaching staff is going to have some serious questions to answer. The biggest of these today, in my mind, is whether you can play with essentially four defensemen until Regehr returns in 10 games or so. Your third defense pair costing you a chance to win is not a situation that can be permitted on an ongoing basis -- is it?


They looked terrible this afternoon. This loss will be a tough pill to swallow.

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