It's tough to dictate a game when playing catch up.
For some reason, though, the Flames continue to keep trying.
A team that should by now be harder to contain than wild horses when the puck drops, continues to struggle in the opening period, falling behind.
They did it again in last night's 3-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings, leaving head coach Jim Playfair trying to explain the cause.
"There's just not enough urgency to compete and to win battles," Playfair said. "When you're not prepared to start the game and make a heavy push at the end, it's about deep-down commitment that you start with, and it's not there."
The numbers tell quite the tale for the floundering Flames.
Through their first 11 games, they have been sleeping in the opening periods, outscored by a stunning 13-6.
With offence at a premium for the club mired near last place in the Western Conference, surrendering early leads makes the fight all the harder.
"That's one fo the worst things about this, how much we've talked about our starts. Come out hard and push, it sets the tempo for the game," said defenceman Rhett Warrener.