You're laughing already, aren't you? They laughed at me when I blithely assured everyone that the Flames were going ALL THE WAY after eight years without making the playoffs.
I got the last laugh.
I've savoured the taste of my own bile once this year already and have no intention of doing so again, despite the steaming pool of vomit which was the game last night.
My first instinct is always to be a bit protective of the team after a stinker like that. After last night, I needed some cooling-off time for that particular instinct to set in, but it's woken up again.
I see that game as a wasted opportunity, not a pre-cursor to a blown playoff run. I still find it difficult to believe that they might be swept, simply because I don't believe the Evil Twins can stay out in the open four games in a row, especially with two at home. And if the Evil Twins wanted to come out and play, at least they did so in style. Go big or go home!
The near-total failure of the team yesterday I blame (as has pretty much everybody I've talked to who's seen more than five minutes of that game) on the coaching. There were just too many individual failures, unless perhaps Iggy's flu has moved onwards to the entire team. (If so, then our chances are pretty much shot, I'll admit that, but what are they doing on the plane? Playing Spin the Bottle?)
I'm not going to harp on it anymore. We've been talking about it for months on this blog, and elsewhere in the Flames blogosphere. However, at this point, we have to be realistic. Fatalistically, what we got is what we're stuck with, bad fashion and all. Sucks, but whatcha gonna do?
And I'm going to invoke the ghost of Flames coaches past (especially because of the high disdain with which we've held the current incumbent this year), specifically ol' Badger Bob (the only one of them who could be a ghost, really).
"We've got them where we want them!"
Anybody else remember that ol' chestnut?
You guys should really look that up.
And it could be very well true, too. Really, it's a small wonder so many of the Detroit press and blogosphere have quickly concluded it's gonna be real fast from here - recall that our last game there was a stinker too (one where they were recovering from a trade that shook us all, and where I was recovering from having puked repeatedly into a snowbank. Among other places. Sorry 'bout that, Dave.)
I've taken a certain amount of perverse pleasure in the unrelenting dismissal of Calgary as a contender as the aftermath of last night's game. I don't think it's a bad thing to have happened. With our expectations all a bit lower today than they were Thursday morning, the pressure really is off. At the beginning of yesterday's game, I wanted them to splatter Detroit like an octopus tossed on the ice... by the end of the second period I just wanted them to pot one goal.
And over the last day, I've fallen back into a frame of mind where I can just shrug and let it go, and think appallingly optimistic do-I-not-realize-what-just-went-down thoughts. Things like, So what? We just win four of the next six now. Meh. And Well, at least the guys are all rested! And They were stirring things up in the third...
Anyways, kids, happy thoughts! Lots of hockey left.
Also, can I point out the example of Calgary's other hockey team? They came home early this week down 0-2 in the second round of their playoffs. They evened things out with 8-1 and 5-1 victories, and just tonight, they took the lead in the series with a 5-4 win.
Playoffs, man. Anything can happen. And does.