Flames manhandled by Bruins

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff clears the puck from the net after being scored on by the Bruins...

Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff clears the puck from the net after being scored on by the Bruins at TD Garden in Boston, Mass., Jan. 5, 2012. (ADAM HUNGER/Reuters)

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

BOSTON - Anybody wondering how far away the Calgary Flames are from a Stanley Cup right now has their answer.

The Boston Bruins provided it in living colour.

With a beatdown akin to the 1770 Boston Massacre, the defending Stanley Cup-champion Bruins manhandled the Flames in a 9-0 crushing Thursday before a sold-out TD Garden crowd of 17,565.

And just like that precursor to the Revolutionary War more than 240 years ago, it appeared the Flames were armed with snowballs just like the Colonists killed in that skirmish while the Bruins were playing the part of the well-armed British Army.

"Everybody had better look in the mirror, take a long, hard look, and have a little gut-check time," said Flames winger Curtis Glencross in a dead-quiet dressing room.

"We looked like a bunch of minor leaguers out there. It looked like an NHL team playing a bunch of midget players. Soft, turnovers, we might have had a few finished checks all night.

"Brutal."

The Flames ended their road swing with five straight losses to fall to 18-19-5.

It's not the worst loss in Flames history -- that would be the 11-0 defeat at the hands of the Vancouver Canucks March 1, 1992 -- but only time will tell whether this is rock bottom for this crew.

"There's no excuse for the display we just put on," captain Jarome Iginla said.

"They're a very good team, but we didn't even push them off of one puck. None of us. They pretty much just grabbed every puck and they were skating. We gave them part-the-seas down the middle of our goalies."

Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron each scored twice in three-point games, while Tyler Seguin and David Krejci both had a goal and two assists.

Milan Lucic, Chris Kelly and Daniel Paille also scored for the Bruins, whose fans chanted "We want 10!" all the way until the end to add further insult.

"Whether you lose 2-0, 8-0, 20-0, especially the way we played, it's just awful and unacceptable. I'm at a bit of a loss for words for how disappointing it is," defenceman Chris Butler said.

Butler finished the night minus-7, the first player to have that bad of a night since Doug Wilson went minus-7 for the San Jose Sharks in a 13-1 loss to the Flames on Feb. 10, 1993.

"Any negative adjective you could think of would probably describe how I personally played. I let a lot of my teammates down," Butler said.

"I was part of digging ourselves a hole early and I take responsibility for that."

Jay Bouwmeester was minus-5 on the night and minus-13 over the past five losses.

It was an awful night for everybody, even rookie T.J. Brodie, who sported an even rating despite playing a game-high 24:57.

Rookie goalie Leland Irving surrendered six goals on 21 shots before being mercifully pulled in favour of Miikka Kiprusoff against the Bruins (26-10-1), who didn't let up against a Flames team with showed very little resistance.

All that remained to be seen was whether Iginla would score his 500th career goal and Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask would record the shutout.

One happened and, fortunately, one didn't, so Iginla may actually have reason to celebrate his milestone tally, with the next chance in Saturday's home clash with the Minnesota Wild.

To add more to their troubles, the Flames lost defenceman Scott Hannan to injury in the second period, further depleting a crew which already is without Mark Giordano and Derek Smith.

As upset as head coach Brent Sutter was, especially after having an inkling his team wasn't preparing properly in the morning skate, he remained remarkably calm.

"It's tough on every one of those guys to go through that. I've been in their shoes," he said. "It's not something you're very proud of. I don't think much has to be said. These guys understand and move on. We've got a game in 48 hours, and my job is to get everybody regrouped."

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

On Twitter: @SUNRandySportak


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