But give Lee Stempniak and Alex Tanguay credit for a beautiful play Monday night.
The road-ravaged, rebuilding Flames are the second-worst NHL team both overall (32 points in 38 games) and on the road (4-13-2), yet they got up for a tilt against the bottom-dwelling Avalanche in Denver.
Leading the Avs 2-1 with about three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the third period — but killing off a crucial power play — Stempniak hustles to pick up a loose puck and rushes into the Avs’ zone.
With three Colorado defenders back, a harmless two-on-three turns deadly when Stempniak spins to feed Tanguay with a silky no-look pass.
Tanguay then has the patience to wait out goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, one Avalanche player who apparently does care, and goes top shelf for a game-sealing shorthanded goal.
Stempniak gets the lone assist on Tanguay’s short-handed tally! #CGYCOL
Thirty-year-old journeyman Stempniak is quietly enjoying a fantastic year, having scored 26 points in 38 games. Projected over a full 82-game schedule, this would be the veteran’s most productive campaign in the NHL.