Markstrom magic runs out, mistakes pile up as Flames embarrassed by Oilers

Matthew Tkachuk took a long, deep breath before delivering his assessment of Saturday’s Slaughter of Alberta.

“That sucked,” said Tkachuk before repeating it.

“Let’s call a spade a spade here. That was probably one of the toughest moments since I’ve been here. The way things are going, it snowballed. It got out of hand pretty quickly.”

He was referring to the team’s 7-1 loss to the Oilers, but he may as well have been talking about the turn his team’s season has taken.

“My one thought is I feel terrible for our goalies,” he added. “They come in and they battle every practice and every game and if it wasn’t for them who knows where we’d be. Pretty close to the bottom.”

No argument here.

After a month of masking the significant flaws in the Flames’ games, Jacob Markstrom was pulled after allowing five goals for the second game in a row.

He fell victim to the obvious storyline of that night, which revolved around the brilliance of Connor McDavid.

When Tkachuk made his impassioned pledge to take centre stage in the Battle of Alberta Saturday morning, he apparently forgot who he was playing against.

Eight hours after Tkachuk’s lunchtime vow to do whatever he could to turn the Flames fortunes around, McDavid single-handedly stifled any hopes of a Flames rising.

In the midst of a spirited, emotional start by the Flames, the game’s best player had three goals and…

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