This is our view, in a nutshell.
First, you need to decide if that game last night was an accurate reflection of the team. Is this team really 5 goals (or 4 goals for the keeners) worse than the Vancouver Canucks?
If it is, then there is no point in continuing the exercise. The team needs to be deconstructed, blown up, the parts sold for scraps and draft picks, and we need to start again.
If we don't believe the team to be 5 goals, or 4 goals, worse than the Canucks, we need to ask ourselves how is it they (the Flames) lost by that margin.
Personally, we think the team is badly constructed, but we also don't think that the team is 5 goals worse than the Canucks. So we are going to take a stab at answering how it is they lost by that margin.
Now obviously we are not talking stats here. If you were constructing the argument that the team is shit and needs to be blown up, that's what you would use stats for. But what are stats going to tell us about why the team didn't show up against the team that represented the Western Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals? Stats will tell us the what: Jarome Iginla managed two shots on goal in a big game at home against a division rival. They won't tell us why.
See what we did there? We are not blaming the performance on coaching utilization, on match-ups, on systems of play. We are beyond that. They are factors for sure, but they are factors only to a point. We are blaming the lack of performance of the players on the players.
Ultimately, that is what we are left with. Again, the last game of a home stand, against a division rival, against a team the fanbase hates, against a team that represented the West in the Finals (or if you don't speak sports, that is to say a team you are to use as a measuring stick), and the Flames came out and let the Canucks ravish them.
There was no fight, no spark, no push-back, no nothing. We hate to say it, but it looked like the team came out, saw Vancouver was very good, and then the team, the Flames, decided they didn't want to get embarrassed by playing hard against them only to lose. So they decided to half ass the effort so they could look in the mirror at the end of the day and say "We lost to the Canucks but we weren't really trying so it doesn't mean we aren't any good."
They shut it down. At least, that's how we view it, you may disagree. You may be right to disagree; the Canucks may be worlds better. But in salary capped NHL, teams are rarely magnitudes better than the rest of the league. Vancouver almost lost in the playoffs to a Chicago team that had two lines and three defencemen last year. In other words, Vancouver almost lost to a flawed team, which indicates to us that they are not immortal herculean hockey players who are head and shoulders better than everyone else.
The Flames quit. We think they quit to preserve their pride, in some perverse way. But regardless of why, what does that tell us? More importantly, what does that tell us about the leadership of this team?
Quite honestly, does Jarome Iginla care about winning? If he doesn't, why is he on this team?
This may sound insane, Jarome is a Hall-Of-Famer, of course he cares. Meh, we don't know...
Jettisoned from the locker room in recent years: Dion Phaneuf, Robyn Regehr, Daymond Langkow. Guys who were known to be leaders, and guys who it has been speculated Jarome developed rifts with. And why would rifts develop between players who want to win, like Regehr, and Jarome? Could it be the rifts developed over commitment to winning? Could it be these rifts developed because Jarome is a bad captain?
The Calgary Flames have an identity, despite what you hear in the sports media. Their identity is the Country Club. Jarome is a great player; it would be a shame if he let complacency tarnish his legacy as he winds down his career.
Furthermore, I think
ps: If you want to argue that Jarome shouldn't be held accountable for managements inability to put talent around him we will listen to that to a point; However, Jarome Iginla is involved in player personnel decisions. Which makes Jarome, if we wanted to be very severe in our judgements, culpable in the poor roster decisions as well.
pps: On Talent: