That's one to forget!

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:19 AM ET

COLUMBUS -- Yes, the 5-0 lead the Calgary Flames blew Monday against the Chicago Blackhawks was the biggest letdown in franchise history.

The day after the Flames surrendered a five-goal, first-period lead to the Blackhawks and fell 6-5 in overtime, Elias Sports Bureau confirmed it was the biggest lead surrendered by the crew from Calgary in franchise history.

In fact, it's the first time the Flames did not win a game in which they had a lead of five or more goals.

"All of us were part of that game, we are responsible and let it get away," Jarome Iginla said. "You can talk about what Chicago did, but it was us. We can all take the blame for it."

The win is the biggest comeback in history for the Blackhawks, a team that's been in existence since the 1920s.

For the Flames, it turned into an ugly night, but certainly gave head coach Brent Sutter an opportunity to experiment.

Sutter admitted yesterday he considered making a change or two to his lineup against the Blue Jackets last night, but threw down the gauntlet instead.

"We're gonna see what we're about," he said. "I want to see the 20 guys that dressed (Monday) night, how they respond. Those guys were the ones responsible for what took place on the ice. I want to see how they respond to it."

On a team that boasts three defencemen in the mix for Canada's Olympic squad and a goalie expected to play for Finland -- not to mention some star forwards -- Monday's debacle seems unforgivable.

That said, the bench boss of last night's opponent -- Blue Jackets coach Ken Hitchcock -- said meltdowns aren't a surprise early in the season.

"You see the good and then you see the bad all in the same hockey game," he said. "It's natural for players to want to let the foot off the accelerator because keeping it on there is very difficult this early in the season.

"We took our foot off for four minutes in San Jose and allowed four goals. We got drilled. It seems as much as we want to talk about it, the players have to go hit their head against the brick wall before they do it the right way."

The Flames, however, aren't the first to team to blow a five-goal edge. Monday night's clash was the tenth time in NHL history a team won a game in which it trailed by five goals, according to Elias.

In seven of those games, the winning team was still trailing by five goals after the first period.

Curiously, Calgary is one of the teams to be on the other side of that statistic.

On Jan. 26, 1987, the Flames fell behind 5-0 to Toronto at 18:16 of the first period and won 6-5 in overtime.

Calgary actually trailed by five goals with less than 14 minutes remaining in the third period.

Maybe even more incredible is the Flames' famous comeback against the Quebec Nordiques Oct. 17, 1989. Calgary trailed 8-3 but scored five times in the final seven minutes and earned an 8-8 tie.

After Gary Roberts scored twice and Jim Peplinski added a single, the Flames comeback hopes appeared dashed when they were shorthanded in the final minute. But Doug Gilmour and Paul Ranheim scored four seconds apart, the tying goal with 11 seconds remaining.

However, the Flames yesterday had to go down a more painful memory lane, one that shouldn't happen.

RANDY.SPORTAK@SUNMEDIA.CA


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