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Calgary Flames fire Bob Hartley and Jacques Cloutier

03 May

Wow, that kinda came out of left field. It always seemed to me that Hartley got more out of this team than you would have expected. One year of over-performing which lead to a Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s coach of the year has so quickly been forgotten when the team has a year performing as the rest of us expected.

“This is not based on this season,” Treliving said. Oh no? Was it based on last year’s Coach of the Year season? I can’t see how this is based on on-ice performance of the team. It kind of makes you wonder if Bob has ‘lost the room’ as people say.  Or at the very least, lost the confidence of the ownership/management group.

Treliving certainly took a lot of responsibility for the on-ice performance, yet he remains employed by the Calgary Flames. Just sayin’

Treliving also mentioned that this decision is not based on Bruce Boudreau being available, although the coincidence around timing sure is head-scratch worthy.

Stay tuned for the Bruce Boudreau announcement 😉

 

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Calgary Flames will select 6th overall in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft

30 Apr

So Calgary dropped from 5th overall (based on points at the end of the season) to 6th overall because of the lottery.

And who’s fault is that? Winnipeg’s. The Jets moved from 6th overall to 2nd, darn Winnipeg. But what a great time to plug the Weakerthans.

Let’s have a look at the picks that Calgary will likely have a shot at now that they’re sitting 6th.

Pierre-Luc Dubois

Matthew Tkachuk

Jakob Chychrun

Mikhail Sergachev

I’m going to take the safe bet here and guess Calgary will likely select someone from the OHL.

 

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Farewell 2015/16 NHL Season, I hardly knew thee

11 Apr

It’s the end of the season and what have we learned?

The Flames can score

The most positive thing I’ve heard about this year’s Calgary Flames is that they have more scoring from players under 22 years old than any other team in the league. Calgary finished 10th in goals for per game (how does that work?). Johnny Gaudreau finished 7th as an individual.

The Flames cannot prevent others from scoring

The Calgary Flames were the worst team in the whole league in goals against. They allowed 3.13 goals/game. That’s awful, the league average is 2.56. Also, Calgary had the worst penalty kill in the NHL at 75.5%. So the secret is really no secret. If you get a goalie who is average, and clean up the penalty kill, you’ll be a playoff team next year.

Individual accomplishments do not equal team wins

Last season there were a lot of players with career years and that was often cited as the reason why Calgary did so well. However this season we had just as many players – if not more – that had career years and Calgary wasn’t even close to the playoffs. They were 10 points out of the playoffs and an amazing 20 points worse than they were last year. Ouch.

It’s fun to begin and end on a high note

The first game of the year and the last (home) game of the year were as good as it got. In the first year the team is undefeated and the fans are all on board. Throughout the season you could notice the bow of the boat getting higher and higher as more and more fans jumped ship. By the end of the year the community had accepted the dismal season as reality, and it was just enjoyable to see Backlund get rewarded with his first career hat trick in a 7-3 drubbing of the almost-as-awful Canucks.

Blog like a champain

The last thing I’ve learned that it was too much for me to update a blog about the Flames every other day during the month of March. You’d be surprised how difficult it was to find 5 minutes, 3 times per week. I think that had the Calgary Flames been destined for the playoffs this week rather than polishing up golf clubs, things may have been different.

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Calgary Flames and Sharks Preview, Road Trip Recap, Draft Pick Update

07 Mar

It’s been a few days since I’ve posted anything, I have no better excuse that it’s taken me a while to catch up with all the games I’ve PVR’d. What I can say overall is that the scenario of being in a came and losing it in the final 5 minutes, or being behind by one goal and not being able to score with the goalie pulled — and losing — is the best possible outcome for the Flames and our rebuild.

Race for the draft pick lottery

First of all, Sports Club Stats has the odds of the Flames making the playoffs this year at 0.8%. So let’s move right to the conversation on tanking.

Calgary is second last in the league, one point below both Edmonton and Winnipeg. However Calgary has three games in-hand on the Oilers, so unless they lose all three, chances are we’ll be ahead of Edmonton before too long.

Since last-place Toronto is six points below Calgary, there is little chance the Flames are going to ‘catch’ them for the best shot at the first overall pick. However even if you finish last, your odds of picking first are just 1-in-5. Then the odds for teams 29th through 20th overall begin at 13.5% and go down to 5%. So really your odds of getting that pick are similar if you finish in the bottom handful of teams.

If the season were to end today, Calgary has a 11.5% chance of winning the pick.

Here are the projected top-five picks, according to Sportsnet:

1. Auston Matthews, C, Zurich (Swiss) 6-2, 195 lb.
Passed on the NCAA and the WHL to go to Europe and has six goals in first eight games.

2. Jakob Chychrun, D, Sarnia (OHL) 6-2, 194 lb.
Has recovered from off-season shoulder surgery. Is a physically dominant player with offensive talent.

3. Matthew Tkachuk, LW, London (OHL) 6-1, 188 lb.
Just like his dad: A prototypical power left winger. Chose the Knights over the University of Notre Dame.

4. Patrik Laine, LW, Tampere (Finland) 6-4, 210 lb.
Has an NHL shot now and scouts are already talking about how he plays with an Esa Tikkanen-like edge.

5. Julien Gauthier, C, Val d’Or (QMJHL) 6-4, 221 lb.
Seven goals in 10 games to start his third campaign in the “Q”. Had 38 last season.

San Jose Sharks at Calgary Flames preview

The San Jose Sharks are 2-1-1 against the Calgary Flames this year, who won 6-5 in a shootout at SAP Center on Feb. 11 in their most recent game.

After a 4-2 home loss to the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday ended a three-game winning streak, coach Pete DeBoer is hoping the Sharks can bounce back against the two teams with the fewest points in the Western Conference – San Jose plays Edmonton afterwards.

Goaltender Joni Ortio is expected to start after he got his first NHL victory since Jan. 19, 2015, in a 4-2 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday. Ortio has allowed 13 goals and has a .914 save percentage in his past five games.

Let’s recap the trip

Calgary Flames 4 – Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Calgary ended a 7-game losing streak when they fought back from two one-goal deficits to defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-2 at Consol Energy Center on Saturday. Ortio finally won a game this year, Joni Ortio made 29 saves to earn his first win in 10 appearances this seasons (1-6-2).

Buffalo Sabres 6 – Calgary Flames 3

The Buffalo Sabres are 10-0-2 against the Flames since Calgary’s last win in Buffalo since 1996. Marcus Foligno had a goal and two assists and Jack Eichel scored his 18th goal of the season to help the Sabres to a 6-3 win against the Flames at First Niagara Center on Thursday.

Boston Bruins 2 – Calgary Flames 1

Patrice Bergeron scored a tie-breaking power-play goal with 3:24 remaining in the third period to give the Boston Bruins a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at TD Garden on Tuesday.

Calgary was assessed a bench minor for having too many men on the ice with 4:07 to play. The Bruins’ power play had been 0-for-4 and hadn’t scored in a goal in Boston’s previous four games. But Bergeron capitalized on Boston’s fifth chance of the night when he beat Joni Ortio with a one-timer.

Philadelphia Flyers 5 – Calgary Flames 3

Brayden Schenn got his first NHL hat trick, and Claude Giroux had four assists to lift the Philadelphia Flyers to a 5-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

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Calgary Flames win Trade Deadline 2016!

29 Feb

It’s a big day for the Flames. For a long time we’ve had trouble admitting we were sellers. Then for the first year after we formally admitted to rebuilding, Calgary made a miracle run with some kids and made it to the second round of the playoffs. However this year is different, we’re sellers, we’re out of the playoffs for sure, and we have some players that we’d love to part ways with (if we can find someone to take them).

Update: Treliving managed to get rid of Jones, Russell and Hudler and got a good return for all three. Also a pretty good prospect in Hunter Shinkaruk earlier in the week. Also got a goalie that used to be good, kind of like how Hiller once was.

Let’s recap.

Most likely to be moved

May be moved

  • BRANDON BOLLIG – Tough playoff-bred player who helped the Blackhawks win a Cup.
  • MATT STAJAN – At 33, this may be his last kick at the cat. I’m sure a team wouldn’t mind renting him for a few weeks, he’d likely come back to retire a Flame.
  • DERYK ENGELLAND – Good 5-6 defenceman, and you need depth at defense in the playoffs.
  • JONAS HILLER – Anyone need a backup goalie with playoff experience? We certainly do not.
  • MARKUS GRANLUND – Traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Hunter Shinkaruk.

Probably not going anywhere

  • LANCE BOUMA – Just 25 years old, he’ll likely not be moved.
  • JOE COLBORNE – Joe is finally coming into his own as a bottom 6 forward.
  • JOSH JOORIS – Has little value anyway, and could surprise you with a future you saw glimpses of last season.
  • JAKUB NAKLADAL – The 28-year-old rookie may be being showcased for trade deadline day.
  • TYLER WOTHERSPOON – We’re probably not trading any 22-year-olds during a rebuild.
  • JONI ORTIO – After sustaining a serious injury that will probably keep out until after camp next year, and he’s a UFA, way too much could happen between now and late 2016. No one will touch that.
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Calgary acquires Hunter Shinkaruk from the Canucks

23 Feb

Markus Granlund is no longer a Calgary Flame. Hunter Shinkaruk is — or a Stockton Heat anyway.

The Flames were able to swap the 22-year-old for a former 1st round pick in Hunter Shinkaruk. I’m not sure what Vancouver was thinking in this instance, since they are a year behind Calgary in their own rebuild. I guess they figured that they needed some depth at centre, and that they had enough prospects with scoring ability to trade one for a bottom six forward?

Obviously both players still have their careers ahead of them but at this point it seems like Granlund projects to be a middle-6/bottom-6 forward while Shinkaruk’s productions leaves reason to optimistic about his future as a top-6 guy at the NHL level.

It’s not all roses for the Calgary Flames though, at least one Vancouver blogger feels that Granlund may turn out to be a long-term NHLer where Shinkaruk will not. Even though he raises a couple good points, I still like our chances of winning this one long-term.

A Calgary native, Shinkaruk was drafted by the Canucks in the first round (24th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft. The 21-year-old has 21 goals and 18 assists in 45 games this season with the AHL’s Utica Comets. The winger made his NHL debut this season on Nov. 16 for Vancouver against Montreal.

Granlund is a 22-year-old forward who has gotten off to a respectable start to his NHL career tallying 14 goals and 28 points in his first 86 NHL games.

Anaheim Ducks 5, Calgary Flames 2

Hey guess what? The Flames lost a game in Anaheim! I know right? It’s shocking that the Flames — who haven’t won in Anaheim in more than a decade — lost another one on Sunday.

Ryan Kesler had two goals and an assist to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 5-2 win against the Calgary Flames. Patrick Maroon, Ryan Getzlaf and Kevin Bieksa scored for the Ducks (31-19-8).

The Flames (26-29-3), who got goals from Mark Giordano and Mikael Backlund, have lost 22 straight regular-season games in Anaheim. Their last win was Jan 19, 2004.

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Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames preview

17 Feb

I’ve been a little behind in updating the site. It’s really quite amazing how difficult it has become to find 5 free minutes to write down some grumblings on the Flames. Of course, since I PVR most of the games it sometimes takes me some time to catch up, but I did that last night. Watching most of the loss to the Ducks, at least the parts where we repeatedly gave up leads and Hiller let in soft goals.

Oh yeah, how bad has the penalty kill been as of late? It feels as though every game Calgary is giving up 2-3 powerplay goals, and you aren’t going to win much like that.

Minnesota Wild at Calgary Flames

Minnesota will try to win back-to-back games for the first time since December 31. The Wild ended an eight-game losing streak with a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday in John Torchetti’s debut as interim coach. Devan Dubnyk, who won for the first time in his past nine starts Monday, is the expected starter. He is 9-5-3 with a 2.23 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage in 18 career games against his hometown Flames.

Kris Russell will be further evaluated after a lower-body injury kept him out of the 6-4 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday. Russell, who is second in the NHL with 174 blocked shots, is considered day-to-day. Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik did not participate in practice Tuesday and are questionable. Goaltender Karri Ramo will undergo an MRI for a lower-body injury sustained against the San Jose Sharks on Thursday and is out indefinitely. Jonas Hiller will start in goal for the foreseeable future.

Anaheim Ducks 6, Calgary Flames 4

Considered longshots before the Christmas break, the Anaheim Ducks moved two points closer to first place in the Pacific Division with a 6-4 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Monday.

Jiri Hudler had two goals and an assist, and Johnny Gaudreau and Dougie Hamilton scored for the Flames (25-27-3). Calgary, sixth in the Pacific, has lost two straight games.

Mike Santorelli scored twice and Frederik Andersen made 33 saves for the Ducks, who remained in second place in the division but pulled to within five points of the first place Los Angeles Kings. The Ducks have gone 16-4-2 since the Christmas break.

Arizona Coyotes 4, Calgary Flames

In a game where the Flames needed a win, they instead really stunk up the joint.

Jonas Hiller made 32 saves for Calgary (25-26-3), which had its three-game winning streak ended. The Flames took 10 penalties and gave up three power-play goals for the second straight night.

Shane Doan had two goals and an assist to become the all-time points leader in franchise history, and Coyotes ended a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Gila River Arena on Friday.

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Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes preview

12 Feb

Calgary Flames 6, San Jose Sharks 5

What a wild game that was in San Jose. Here is a quick recap.

Calgary scored four goals in the first 20 minutes on just nine shots. Alex Stalock was absolutely terrible for the Sharks. San Jose scored a first-period goal of their own, but Calgary seemed to be in control… until they started taking penalties.

The Sharks scored three powerplay goals on nine attempts – including two full 2-minute 5-on-3 powerplays. The Flames did everything they could to hand this game back to the Sharks – and come back they did – scoring four unanswered goals to take the lead in the third by a 5-4 score.

Karri Ramo was injured with three minutes left in the third when Sharks forward Joonas Donskoi crashed into him. Backup Jonas Hiller made eight saves through overtime before denying three of four San Jose shooters in the shootout.

“We really needed these points, and I want nothing more than to help the team win,” Hiller said. Well you’re going to get that chance now, looks like Ramo might be out a while.

Don’t look now, but the Calgary Flames have won three games in a row. Effectively removing themselves from the 1st overall 2016 pick conversation for the time being.

Interesting fact, T. J. Brodie is the only Calgary Flames defenseman who is a plus player at +14. The other five combine for a -15.

Calgary Flames at Arizona Coyotes preview

This year the Arizona Coyotes have won the first two of five games against the Calgary Flames by a 2-1 score.

Hey Antoine Vermette, do you think this is going to be an easy win against the Flames?

“It goes without saying, there’s no easy game in this League, especially in the position we are. So, no, we are expecting a hard game,” Vermette said.

It saddens me that other NHLers even get asked that question.

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Is it time for the Calgary Flames to strive for the 1st overall pick?

08 Feb

Before the Vancouver Canucks game they showed a stat stating Calgary needs to have a .704 winning percentage for the remainder of the season if they expect to make the playoffs. That’s based on 94 points being the cutoff and even though you can say that the Pacific division is terrible this year, it still works out time and time again that 94 points gets you in, 93 leaves you out.

Sp what does a .704 winning percentage look like? Well, that’s winning (not shootout/OT losing) two out of every three games from here on out. AND… winning three out of four games at least a couple of times.

Only the Washington Capitals have a winning percentage that good this year, and their record is 38-9. Which is an incredible 29 games above .500. Even Chicago can’t maintain a .704 winning percentage – and they are 20 games above .500.

I say we start to tank, see if we can tear the 1st overall pick from the clutches of the lowly Edmonton Oilers. Lord knows they don’t know what to do with it.

Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Calgary Flames 1

William Karlsson scored two goals, and Joonas Korpisalo made 30 saves to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Friday.

Recap on NHL.com

Calgary Flames 4, Vancouver Canucks 1

Michael Frolik opened the scoring 6:25 into the second period and Hiller helped Calgary hold that 1-0 lead until Sean Monahan added an insurance goal with 4:53 left in the third.Mikael Backlund and Sam Bennett had empty-net goals as Calgary (23-25-3) bounced back from a 2-1 home loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday to get their second win in the past six games.

Recap on CalgaryFlames.com

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Wideman gets 20 games (seriously), Flames defeat Carolina 4-1

04 Feb

Dennis Wideman and the Players Association appeal the 20-game suspension

I understand that the NHL wants to make an example of Wideman. I understand that the referees and linesman are not to be touched, under any circumstances. I would be okay with Wideman getting fined, or possibly a game or two for running over linesman Don Henderson. You have to be in control of yourself on the ice, right?

But 20 games? For an inadvertent hit that had not intent or malice? Come one, that’s a little ridiculous. You’re talking about a player who’s played over 800 games in the NHL and has never been suspended for anything until now. I find it unfortunate that the media can make something out of nothing which leads to the NHL changing how they operate. This is the second time you’ve seen this happen this week, we all remember that John Scott character.

This is wishy-washy management of the league, with unclear operational processes that can be heavily influenced by social media. Pathetic. I can’t believe they extended Bettman for seven more years.

Calgary Flames 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1

After the rigmarole, the Flames had a game to play.

I don’t know if you can really make the Wideman thing into a motivator, but maybe it was something to rally around. Whatever it was, Calgary came out strong for the first time in a long time.

The biggest thing for me as I watched this game wasn’t Monahan’s four points, or Ramo’s 1-goal outing; it was T. J. Brodie’s knee. I’m going to have to go watch the replay, but I was there at the game sitting on the blue line and that play was offside. It should have been blown dead and we shouldn’t be talking about Brodie being injured while blocking a shot he shouldn’t have had to.

Recap of the game

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