What should have been a lively affair filled with end-to-end action, was replaced with dour play, to say the least, through two periods. Flames center Matt Stajan was quoted after the game saying, “We can’t play 20 minutes and expect to win.” However, that is exactly what the Leafs did, ironically in the same third period Stajan was referencing, and it netted them the two points after their 3-2 victory over the Flames.
The Leafs were primed to be had. Having lost their previous eight games to fall out of a playoff spot, signs of life were and are few and far between for the Leafs and their fans. Calgary, in rebuild mode, yet still known for their all-out play, should have seized this opportunity. It is not every day that the team second-from-bottom in the Western Conference gets to play in “the center of the hockey universe” that is Toronto, especially under the current circumstances. This was a tremendous chance for the Flames to receive even more plaudits while adding to the misery of everyone’s favorite team to hate. But they didn’t.
Yes, the Flames played in their 46th one-goal game of the season, the most out of any team in the league. A stat normally reserved as a point of reference for competitiveness was actually misleading Tuesday night. The Flames weren’t competitive. For two-thirds of the game, the competitive drive, on both teams, was left in the dressing rooms.
Unfortunately for Flames fans, only one team got away with it.