It's only 15 games into a unique season, but already the Calgary Flames are getting that distressing "look" about them.
As in, it could be another year in which serious decisions need to be made come trade-deadline time, which in this case will be April 3.
The Flames have not made the playoffs since 2009, and depending on the roster turnover around the NHL on any given day, their average age ranks between third- and 10th-oldest in the league.
What's not for dispute is that Calgary (5-7-3) needs to get it into gear. They are in the midst of a seven-game stretch in which five are being played at the Saddledome, including Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada against Minnesota (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 8 p.m. MT).
A four-point swing against the Wild would be quite helpful, as the visitors currently occupy eighth place.
In recent years the Flames have been quite competent at home despite their overall struggles, but they currently own a league-worst 2-5-2 ledger in their own building.
Calgary followed a dreadful shutout loss Monday to Phoenix with a better effort at home on Wednesday, but were up against a Los Angeles Kings team beginning to more closely resemble the squad that won the Stanley Cup last season. The Kings scored midway through the third to help seal a 3-1 win.
With just seven goals scored by the team in its last four games, several Flames are looking to find the mark. Alex Tanguay still leads the team in scoring despite totalling just three assists in seven games, while Lee Stempniak has no goals and three helpers in his last six.
Captain Jarome Iginla has just one goal in 15 games so far, but buzzed around the Kings for nine shots on net.
As far as disturbing team trends, the list includes:
- 26th in face-off percentage
- 27th in 5-on-5 scoring percentage
- 28th with a 3.40 goals-against average
- 29th with a .878 save percentage
- 29th with a 73.5 per cent penalty-killing success rate.
What's the Flames' biggest issue? Sound off in the poll and the comments section.