Flames delaying the inevitable?

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:42 PM ET

For 60 minutes, the Flames had many in the stands asking why.

Why would someone subject themselves to a Monday evening tilt between two of the more boring clubs the NHL has to offer?

Outside of Rick Nash, the only thing exciting about Columbus is Boomer the mascot, aptly described as a phallic cannon in a wheelchair.

Go ahead, Google it. I’ll wait.

Waiting is exactly what the Flames did for 60 minutes before demonstrating the type of urgency and tenacity required for the Flames to start digging out of the hole only mathematicians believe can be overcome.

After staking themselves to an early 2-0 lead, the Flames then sat back as they’ve been known to do throughout this sorry season.

With a host of scribes in the press box resorting to Angry Birds to stay awake, Joffrey Lupul livened the place by suggesting via twitter Paul Bissonnette’s underwear has the longest active streak now that Brett Favre is injured.

For those in the stands, the most excitement in periods two and three came courtesy of Big Chief’s bloopers once again, only to have the embarrassingly popular Cotton Eyed Joe ruin the moment.

With the Flames on their heels, the Blue Jackets did even more damage to the locals’ psyche when they inevitably tied things late in the third, setting up a surprisingly impressive Flames flurry in overtime.

First it was Niklas Hagman livening things up with a brilliant offensive foray before Olli Jokinen drew the familiar Olli Groan with a missed opportunity. However, after sustaining pressure for several minutes, Jarome Iginla finally gave the fans something to get excited about, potting the game winner.

“Well, that was never in doubt,” joked assistant GM Jay Feaster as he left the press box.

And so, the powers that be live to see another day. But what’s the point of that?

Despite the less-than inspiring effort and the one point they handed the Jackets, the Flames did the only thing they can to stave off the endless rumours that, after more than a year of pressure to have heads roll, she’s finally gonna blow.

But are they really doing themselves any favours?

There’s an overwhelming feeling with every win — as rare as they are — the Flames are just prolonging the inevitable. Eventually this club is going to have to admit it’s time to alter the course, thus saving future fans from efforts like the one they witnessed last night for the first three periods.

By winning the odd game — or every second game as has generally been the trend of late — the Flames are doing themselves a disservice.

Sure, those 19,000 who wondered all night why they showed up got the finish they wanted: A finish they deserve more often than they’ve seen it. But in the big picture, does it really help?

Or is it just threatening to muddy the dire situation here and potentially cost the club the type of lottery pick this city craves? This team is neither entertaining, nor inspiring and there’s little hope any of that will change anytime soon.

With a few minutes left and the Jackets charging after the inevitable tying goal, the Flames tried holding on, failing to realize that when you’re in last place in the west there’s no victory in allowing a visitor you’re chasing to gain a point.

Those in the stands who endured left with a bounce in their step thanks to Iggy’s dramatic winner. But those who tuned out much earlier for obvious reasons heard the final score this morning and no doubt wondered just how hollow a victory it was.

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/ericfrancis

Eric Francis appears regularly as a panelist on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada


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