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Kris Russell: Canucks ‘embarrassed us in our home-opener’

It was just one game, but it was a pretty bad one.

The Calgary Flames’ quest to prove that their rise to the second round was something they can build off of began with a 5-1 loss to Vancouver.

“They out-executed us, outworked us. Truthfully, they embarrassed us in our home-opener,” Flames defenceman Kris Russell bluntly put it, per the Calgary Sun.

“We’ve gotta realize it was a bit of a joke the way we came out. If we want to be anywhere near the team we were last year, we can’t even be coming close to the effort we put in tonight. We were built on hard work. We were built on a committee effort.

“We didn’t have too many guys going, and we’re not a team built on one or two lines. We’ve got a few days to figure it out. Obviously, it’s one game but every game is important, especially against the division. To play like that it doesn’t feel too good.”

This loss could be shrugged off pretty quickly if Calgary comes out strong in its rematch against Vancouver on Saturday, but it does still speak to a larger narrative about the team. Calgary was one of the worst squads in the league last season in terms of Corsi and the steep disconnect between that puck possession indicator and the team’s record could suggest that the Flames overperformed and are due for a decline like the Colorado Avalanche suffered from 2013-14 to 2014-15.

That’s not to say that the Flames are destined to fall, only that there are potential warning signs. They can still go on to have a great season, but they’re going to want to use this defeat as a wake-up call.