CALGARY - Not quick enough out of the gates at the drop of the puck.
Too much Quick when they actually had some spark.
And now the Calgary Flames are quickly on their way to missing the Stanley Cup playoffs for a third consecutive season.
Sure, the Flames can talk about still having a mathematical chance of reaching the NHL post-season and crow on about having faith ó cue the insipid Journey classic rock staple Donít Stop Believiní for added effect ó but Wednesdayís 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Kings all but sealed their fate.
No matter what anyone thinks, itíll take a million-to-one-odds miracle finish for the Flames to get into the second season. Not only will they need to run the table from Game 79 through 82, but they need help at every possible turn.
Sure, itís not impossible to think the Flames can somehow win their final four games, but itís bordering on the absurd.
Letís get realistic here.
Two of those tilts are against a Vancouver Canucks team which not only has attainable championship aspirations in the long-term but something to push hard for down the stretch.
Last yearís Stanley Cup runners-up can still reel in the St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers for top spot in the league and home-ice advantage in the playoff tournament.
Plus, you bet the West Coasters would love nothing more than to put the final nail in the coffin of their Northwest Division rivals.
Until then, the Flames can lament the railway spike slammed into their proverbial wooden overcoat by the Kings.
And the Flames did far too little about it at the Saddledome.
They talked a good game leading into their clash against a Kings squad coached by former GM Darryl Sutter ó man, talk about adding salt to a wound, eh? ó but did absolutely nothing to back those words when it mattered most.
At least they didnít wait until the second period to lack jump.
It happened right from the drop of the puck, and the visiting Kings provided a perfect example of how to come out of the gates.
The first goal surrendered by Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff in the sixth minute wasnít the kind his team needed, Willie Mitchellís long slapper from the point went five-hole, but the netminder had been in a shooting gallery from the drop of the puck.
On the opening shift, the visitors fired three shots on net and recorded their seventh a mere 127 seconds into the affair.
Shot No. 8 was the critical tally which put the Flames on the canvas about as fast as Mike Tysonís first dozen or so opponents.
From there, it pretty much went downhill for the hosts.
They had a chance to make a game of it when it was just that one-goal deficit, but Kings goalie Jonathan Quick came up with a pair of sparkling saves on Alex Tanguay and Jay Bouwmeester before the first intermission, but there was no real threat of a comeback amidst all the poorly executed ďlittle thingsĒ such as making a tape-to-tape pass, a breakout from their own zone and generating an actual scoring chance.
Things became so bad, with five minutes remaining in the third period, the sellout crowd of 19,289 fans ó hard to imagine every game will have that number next season ó gave their team a Bronx Cheer when David Moss sent an 85-foot shot on net.
So for the next couple of days, weíll hear all about a Flames team which still believes in itself, but donít buy it for a second.
Their fate is sealed.
All thatís left is an autopsy and the much-needed rebuilding plan.
This team has fooled everyone twice.
Itís time for the Flames to take the new direction.
And do it quickly.
On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak