The Calgary Flames season has gone from bad to worse after a loss in Edmonton at the 2023 Heritage Classic. In yet another mediocre performance, the Flames never found themselves in the game, or the proverbial “battle” either.
There are still a lot of questions to be answered around who, or what, this team will be over the next few weeks, but the most recent episode of 32 Thoughts the Podcast had so much depressing Flames content that the timeline on the Flames acting could be much quicker.
Here is all that Elliotte Friedman had to say:
32 Thoughts tidbits on the Flames
When taking a look at the Heritage Classic game, Friedman was quick to highlight that the bigger story coming out of the game was the Flames losing rather than the Oilers victory:
I think the big concern to me in this one was it just took Calgary a long time to get going. Shots were 22–7 at one point… I’m sure there was a lot of talk internally with the Flames that they had to play better but if they would have come out and they would have lost a 4–3 game where it was even and back and forth, I think you’d say “alright they just got beat and that can happen.” The way that Edmonton came out, owned this game for about the first 30 minutes, if you are a Flames and you’re their fans you just don’t like that. It was a big game against your most hated rival and it took you a long time to get going.
In between there was some context around a Paul Coffey and Ken Holland player meeting with the Oilers and how that may have galvanized the team by saying: “Enough is enough.” So far it’s unknown if the Flames had a similar one.
Keeping on with the thread of not getting going, Friedman touched on Evander Kane’s hot mic moment:
That one line, the sound up with Evander Kane, where he’s basically saying: “What’s anybody going to do?” … That’s him basically challenging, not basically, that is challenging your manhood… The thing is that there are two ways I think you can respond to that. You can fight someone like Evander Kane or you can say: “That’s it, we are taking over this game.” To me either one of those things is a proper reaction…
The Flames of course did neither. This then transitioned into the Hanifin situation:
“I think there is just an overall feeling around the Flames right now that we have got to think about some big decisions here. You know one of the things that happened a couple weeks ago. I reported that Hanifin the talks were getting closer and then I talked on the pod last Monday how people would be surprised that it wouldn’t happen. Well I can tell you coming into this week is now are starting to get some “hang on here a second” feeling. Those were pretty far along. I just think everyone right now is taking a deep breath and taking a long look at what the start of this season could mean for the Calgary Flames… I thought it would be Hanifin signs and then wait and see, now I’m not even sure about that. Again it still could happen, but I just had some people say to me around this I just think that the way this season has started, I just think there is a little bit of uncertainty now.”
The other thing about the Flames was how the mood was so improved around the Flames entering this season, and Jeff Marek took the opportunity to ask Friedman about what the mood is now. Friedman touched on how important the environment and family skate on Saturday was for the team, especially coming off a week where they were both booed off the ice at home. He then dug a little deeper:
“The guy I really feel for is Markstrom. That is the guy I feel for. He is battling. He is holding up his end of the bargain. But you know around him it’s just not there and you know Ryan Huska was asked about his big line after the game that Huberdeau, Kadri, Coronato line. Basically, he said: “we didn’t get much from it.” I just think this Calgary team, they are second last in the west, we are coming up to November first, I think you have a chance to refresh yourself. It’s not easy, you don’t want to move on from good players, but if it’s not working it’s not working. The way this is going, might make the decisions for Calgary rather than Calgary making the decisions for itself.
That ominous ending to the Flames section leads many to believe that change is coming to the Flames, much sooner than they expected. I don’t think Friedman says that without having some knowledge of what is out there.
The season just got a whole lot more interesting.
Photo by @johnmackinnon24.