Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Slow starts?

So the Flames are back in action tonight against the also-winless Avs. Good news is, one of these teams will pick up two points. Bad news is, I'm not convinced that's us.

There are so many things we can blame our present performance on. Traditionally poor starts, new systems, new equipment, integrating new players into the team. And on, and on, and on. But the pure fact of the matter is that the perennial slow start creates wear and tear on the team later on in the year...like when we go into playoffs.

Last year (2007-8, for those of you counting on your fingers), we had an identical start in October, losing the opener and getting the loser point in the second game. The rest of October was great, but November was all sorts of abysmal. This is the first season in years where October didn't suck.

The year before (2006-7), we were horrid in October with only three wins, before settling into the Flames and the evil twins they sent on the road to play games.

The year before that (2005-6) we were terrible again in October, going 4-7-2, sucking equally as much at home as on the road.

In fact, you go back far enough, and you'll find that the last year in which we won a season opener was 2001-02.

That's unacceptable.

I'm reminded of when Sutter first took over the team, and faced what he called a culture of "that's ok," where winning didn't have to happen, so long as we put in a good effort, blah blah, blah. I think the same sort of change he put in waaaaay back has to come in now, to attack this problem of starting the season dead asleep. If it's not ok to lose games #5-82, neither should it be ok to lose games #1-5.

MG's got all sorts of reasons to be optimistic or pessimistic about this year's edition... but they gotta start winning (and consequently, showing me what they actually brought to the dance this year) before I come off the fence either way.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like we had the same idea for a post, and I managed to post mine second. Crap...

    I should have posted it last night when I started working on it... ; D