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Calgary Flames

Flames Fans Boo Team Off Ice After Fifth Straight Loss

The Calgary Flames looked flat in a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, a far cry from the desperation they’ve promised with less than a quarter of the season to play and a challenging gap to bridge in the NHL playoff race.



Booing at the Saddledome is usually reserved for players that piss off Calgary Flames fans. 

On Saturday night, those players were the Calgary Flames. 

It was a loud voicing of their displeasure for another inexplicably flat effort in a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild that put the Flames six points behind the Colorado Avalanche for the second wildcard spot in the Western Conference. They’re now seven behind the Winnipeg Jets, and nine behind the Seattle Kraken and Edmonton Oilers in the race for third spot in the Pacific Division. 

Things are looking worse by the day. That’s five straight losses at a time of the year when you can’t afford five straight losses.

The Wild scored once in the opening period, and then twice more in the third when you’d expect to see a desperate Flames group fighting for their playoff lives. 

There was no fight to be seen. 

“It was kind of flat on our end from start to finish. That’s on us as individuals; that’s on us as a team. It’s a big part of our preparation,” a confounded Milan Lucic told reporters after the game. 

He was asked if he blamed the fans for booing. 

“No,” he said quickly. “They probably felt the same lack of energy that we played with. We can be better.”

We’ve heard that before. 

If this is a team that is underperforming — which is a fair assessment given the assembly of individuals who have made significant impact in recent years — we’re still waiting for that breakout performance in which they play to their potential and put together a winning streak. 

“We’ve gotta find a push, we’ve gotta find some energy,” said an equally puzzled Rasmus Andersson, who was on the bench as the boos rained down before the buzzer. 

“You understand it. It’s a passionate fan base. It’s tough for us. We understand that we haven’t been very good lately. 

“Everyone in here has to look at ourselves in the mirror.”

The way this Calgary Flames season has gone, someone in that dressing room must have broken a mirror. 

Goaltending has been an issue all season long, apart from a couple of hot streaks, but now that Jacob Markstrom has put together a pair of strong performances, the team has had nothing to offer in terms of goal support. 

One goal in second or third period before the Wild piled on and the game could have had a very different result. But the Flames are still the only team in the NHL yet to win a game by coming from behind in the third. 

“Two games in a row where we’ve got really good goaltending. Goaltending gives us a chance to win, but very little run support for him,” said Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter. “Especially from our top guys. 

“When you lose, I’d boo, too. I don’t think they’re booing the team.”

Not booing the team? Then who were they booing? 

“As I said, our top players gotta be better players,” Sutter suggested. “That’s for sure.”