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Flames blow the opportunity to get ahead

08 Jan

I guess that’s not really news, but the Flames could have moved into sole possession of second place in the worst division in hockey. How sad is that? Actually I guess what’s more sad is that they lost, so they didn’t.

And on top of it all, John Scott was a healthy scratch and we didn’t get to see our All Star Team Captain in the flesh.

Arizona Coyotes 2, Calgary Flames 1

Johnny Gaudreau scored in the first period, and Karri Ramo made 31 saves for Calgary (19-19-2). The Flames have lost three of the past four games at home since winning 11 straight, the longest streak in their history.

“Whenever you score only one goal and he makes over 30 saves, you feel like you let your goalie down, for sure,” Stajan said. “That was a big game for us, and we know that. We needed more energy than we had. No excuses. He was great for us. He has been the last few months, so we’ve got to take advantage of that.”

Louis Domingue made 25 saves to help the Arizona Coyotes to a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

 

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Only one more day until John Scott is in Calgary!

06 Jan

Who’s excited? This guy! I’m thinking about making a sign for the All-Star captain. Although he might be a healthy scratch so he may not see it.

And the Flames are in a playoff spot! Holy moly! Although they are also 3 points out of last place in the conference. That’s three points, six teams, one playoff spot.

On a sadder note, can we please remove Colborne from the Monahan/Gaudreau line? He’s all but killed their production.

Now down to serious business…

Calgary Flames 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 1

Ramo was 90 seconds away from his second shutout of the year, spoiled by a 6-on-5 Lighting effort to get back into the game late. Ramo has started 10 consecutive games for the Flames, won nine of his past 13 starts, and allowed two or fewer goals in seven of his past 11 games.

Karri Ramo made 30 saves, and Mark Giordano had two assists to help the Calgary Flames to a 3-1 win against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday.

Matt Stajan, David Jones and Lance Bouma scored for the Flames (19-18-2), who have won two in a row. Calgary is in third place in the Pacific Division after it started the season with two wins in its first 11 games and five in its first 17.

 

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I’ve been away for the holidays, what have I missed?

04 Jan

Basically this. The franchise record of wins at home ended at 11, thanks to a 1-0 loss to the Ducks at the Saddledome. The year ended with a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of the Kings, who showed why they are far-and-away the best team in the Pacific Division. And finally the Flames ruined Jarome Iginla’s bid for his 600th NHL goal by shutting out his avalanche 4-0 in Denver.

Summaries of each game are below.

Anaheim Ducks 1, Calgary Flames 0

Shawn Horcoff scored, and John Gibson made 14 saves to help the Anaheim Ducks to a 1-0 win against the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome, ending Calgary’s franchise-record home winning streak at 11.

“It was really good,” Gibson said. “We had a game plan to try to clog up the neutral zone, try to slow them down. We did a pretty good job of it tonight.”

Los Angeles Kings 4, Calgary Flames 1

Milan Lucic scored, and Jonathan Quick made 23 saves to help the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Calgary Flames 4-1 at Scotiabank Saddledome on Thursday.

Marian Gaborik, Andy Andreoff and Tanner Pearson also had goals for the Kings (24-11-2), who swept a four-game road trip against Pacific Division opponents. Los Angeles plays five of its next six games at home.

“You look at this road trip being a tough road trip,” Lucic said. “It’s all divisional teams. Now with the way the standings go, the divisional games, there’s a lot more emphasis on them in getting those two points. To be able to come out this with eight out of eight points is something that we really needed to do to keep moving ourselves up the standings and pushing the teams down below us.”

Calgary Flames 4, Colorado Avalanche 0

Of note, that’s the first shutout Calgary has had all year.

Karri Ramo made 26 saves for his first shutout of the season in the Calgary Flames‘ 4-0 win against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center on Saturday.

“[Shutouts] are always nice, but it’s something that shows your team played really well,” said Ramo, who has five in his NHL career. “We played the full 60 minutes really well. Main thing is always to win the game, but these are nice, and it’s good to get the one out of the way.”

Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla is concerned that his bid for his 600th NHL goal has become a distraction. He’s gone three games without one since scoring his 599th on Dec. 27 against the Arizona Coyotes, and there have been times when teammates have passed up good chances to feed him.

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Why don’t we hire Adam Oates?

28 Dec

I don’t think it’s much of a stretch to say that if the Calgary Flames’ powerplay (and penalty killing for that matter) was not last in the league, we’d legitimately be in the running for a playoff spot right now.

That’s why we need someone like Adam Oates. After being fired as a full-time journeyman of a head coach, Oates has travelled around working as a consultant on two different fronts. One, as a skills coach, for players like Steven Stamkos and Alex Ovechkin. The other front is as a powerplay specialist.

Since bringing in a consultant doesn’t threaten the jobs of the current coaching staff, and it doesn’t affect the salary cap at all, I can’t see any reason why we wouldn’t do this. And I say ‘we’ like I have some ownership here, which of course I don’t — although that doesn’t stop me from spending ‘their’ money!

Calgary Flames 5, Edmonton Oilers 3

Edmonton got out to a pretty good start, leading 2-0 after one period and 3-1 at one point in the second. However a 20-shot Flames second period meant four goals (including a short-handed goal!). On the backs of Giordano and Gaudreau – each with two goals – the Flames were able to set a new franchise record for wins at home, 11 straight.

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…and Johnny Gaudreau with the hat trick

23 Dec

Calgary Flames 4, Winnipeg Jets 1

The Calgary Flames were able to take advantage of a struggling Jets team, a solid Karri Ramo and a hot Johnny Gaudreau to win their franchise-tying 10th straight home win just before the Christmas break.

Johnny Gaudreau had a hat trick to help the Calgary Flames to a 4-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Scotiabank Saddledome on Tuesday in each team’s final game before the NHL Christmas break.

Joe Colborne scored and Karri Ramo made 19 saves for the Flames (16-16-2), who have won 10 consecutive home games to tie a franchise record set from Nov. 7-Dec. 12, 2006. Calgary has not lost at home since Oct. 30 against the Montreal Canadiens.

Eight of the Flames’ next nine games are at home. Calgary is one point behind Vancouver for the final Western conference playoff spot.

Detroit Red Wings 4, Calgary Flames 2

The Detroit Red Wings used a three-goal second period to defeat the Calgary Flames 4-2 at Joe Louis Arena on Sunday.

“A few turnovers and they made us pay. They’re a good skating hockey club and they capitalized on their pressure,” Flames coach Bob Hartley said. “Turnovers flip the momentum and you can’t find your way out of your own zone.”

It was Calgary’s second consecutive loss after a seven-game winning streak.

 

St. Louis Blues 3, Calgary Flames 2

Vladimir Tarasenko scored his 21st goal and had three points to help the St. Louis Blues end the Calgary Flames‘ seven-game winning streak with a 3-2 victory at Scottrade Center on Saturday.

The Blues started fast, scoring twice in a 2:24 span early in the first period. The Flames, who got third-period goals from Sean Monahanand Mark Giordano to make the game close, haven’t been able to solve the Blues.

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Calgary Flames 3 – Dallas Stars 1

18 Dec

Karri Ramo made 35 saves for the Calgary Flames, who won their seventh consecutive game by defeating the Dallas Stars 3-1 on Thursday at American Airlines Center.

Sean Monahan , Dougie Hamilton and Mason Raymond had goals for Calgary (15-14-2), which has won 11 straight games in December, dating back to last year. The Flames have won consecutive road games for the first time this season.

The win actually moves the Flames into sole possession of the last playoff position in the Western Conference.

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Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars

16 Dec

Calgary Flames at Dallas Stars Thursday Night

The Flames visit the Dallas Stars on Thursday in the second game of a four-game road trip. The Stars are the best in the NHL at 23-6-2. Meanwhile, our Calgary Flames are 14-14-2 (yay 500!) and have won six in a row and are a League-best 8-1 in games decided during 3-on-3 overtime.

I don’t think it’s going out on a limb here in saying that Calgary is probably due for a loss. Having won 6 games in a row, and one of those games was already against these NHL-best Dallas Stars, the Flames will be forgiven if they can’t win #7.

That said, winning one more game not only gets you on the good side of 500 for the first time this year, it will also (can you believe this?) move you into a playoff spot – albeit probably for a very short time.

Calgary currently has 30 points which puts them in a 4-way tie for third place in the Pacific Division, and 3rd place makes the playoffs.

Calgary Flames 2, Nashville Predators 1 (OT)

Well the road trip started out not as all as expected, with a win! Kris Russell scored in overtime to give the Calgary Flames a 2-1 win against theNashville Predators.

Johnny Gaudreau led a 2-on-1 rush and fed a pass to Russell, who was able to get to the puck and beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne for his second goal of the year.

Calgary was seriously outplayed in the first period, registering a season-low 5 shots. Cody Hodgson gave the Predators a 1-0 lead in the first period when he scored on a penalty shot, hooked by Flames defenseman T.J Brodie on a breakaway.

Brodie tied the game 1-1 at 12:28 of the second period. Nashville lost Brodie in coverage, and he took a pass from forward Sam Bennett and fired a wrist shot past Rinne for his fourth goal.

Flames forward Michael Frolik left the game early in the third period with an upper-body injury and didn’t return. Hartley said after the game that Frolik was being evaluated but that the injury “didn’t look good.”

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Calgary Flames vs. Nashville Predators preview

13 Dec

Game Time – Tuesday night at 6:00 MST

Calgary is one game under .500 for the first time since the beginning of the season. Even though they are just two points out of last in the Western Conference, they are also two points out of the playoffs. They problem with that is there are 9 teams in that same bracket. Nine teams, three playoff spots. How come we’re talking about this in December? I guess that’s parity for you.

Nashville on the other hand is 5 games above .500 and holds the second wild card spot. That’s saying something about the disparity of the divisions, if the Central owns both wild card spots (Chicago, Nashville) and the Pacific has four teams out of the playoffs as of today.

Calgary starts a four-game road trip against the Nashville Predators on Tuesday. The Flames are 3-9-2 on the road.

Previous game – Calgary Flames 5, New York Rangers 4 (OT)

Calgary had a three goal lead in the third period and blew it. Perhaps the Flames just wanted to make things dramatic?

TJ Brodie scored 2:09 into overtime and Johnny Gaudreau had two goals to help the Calgary Flames to a 5-4 win against the New York Rangers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday.

Calgary has won five straight games (sweeping their home stand) and nine straight at home.

Luckily the Rangers are out of conference so that extra point didn’t matter.

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Game day – Flames vs. Rangers

12 Dec

New York Rangers at the Calgary Flames

Calgary has won 4 in a row and 8 games in a row at home. Conventional thinking would be that the Flames have the advantage, but this is no conventional team. Plus the Rangers are a good hockey club and Calgary can’t win them all. Although it’d be nice if they did.

The Rangers are coming off a 7-5 loss against the Oilers on Friday night. So the positive thing is that the Rangers are at the end of a Western Canada road trip, it’s their second game of a back-to-back, and the goalie that was supposed to be starting against Calgary — Antti Rannta — ending up playing last night as the Oil chased Henrik Lundqvist.

The negative thing is that New York will be looking to redeem themselves. They’ve lost 2 games in a row and will not want to lose all three in this road trip. I guess we’ll see which Ranger team shows up, maybe the Flames can score quick to get them to doubt themselves. Calgary’s been pretty good at quick starts as of late.

Calgary Flames 4, Buffalo Sabres 3

What an exciting game to watch, but only because the Flames came out on top. Calgary blew a 2-0 third-period lead, and then another 3-2 third-period lead, as Rasmus Ristolainen had a hat trick for Buffalo in the final frame. Impressive.

Johnny Gaudreau scored the game-winner with 4:50 remaining in the game, and Jonas Hiller made 27 saves in a surprise start as he was sick with the flu. Sean Monahan had two goals, and Markus Granlund scored late in the second period for the Flames.

Here is the quote of the day:

“It might not have been a perfect game, but you should’ve been in the locker room around 5:30, quarter to six when the medical staff runs in the coach’s office saying, ‘Guys are puking everywhere,'” Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. “You have Karri Ramo in the laundry room and you have Jiri Hudler in the doctor’s room, and they’re throwing up and they’re white like ghosts, and suddenly you look at Jonas Hiller and he’s coming in, and he’s whiter than a snowman. You’re thinking, ‘Gosh, I might have to put (Flames associate coach) Jacques Cloutier in to play goal.”

The win means Calgary is just 3 points out of the final playoff spot, although there are 4 other teams closer to it than they are.

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Calgary Flames win at home… again

09 Dec

Calgary Flames 4, San Jose Sharks 2

Calgary looked really good against an excellent road team at the Saddledome on Tuesday night. Mikael Backlund had a goal and an assist, and Karri Ramo made 31 saves to help the Flames to a 4-2 victory against the San Jose Sharks. This was the first time this season that Calgary has won three games in a row.

Markus Granlund, Sean Monahan and Michael Frolik scored for the Flames, who have won seven in a row at home. It’s Calgary’s longest home winning streak since winning eight straight in 2013.

Also of note was that the Flames finally scored a powerplay goal. It must be said though, that Calgary had 8 powerplays on the night. Even thought the last two were meaningless, scoring once in eight chances is still a very cruddy powerplay.

Martin Jones, who allowed three goals on 11 shots, was replaced by Alex Stalock after San Jose coach Peter DeBoer successfully challenged what would have been Monahan’s second of the night.

Wait a second, are we really in last place?

Yup, if you were watching the game last night you heard Rick and Kelly mention that at game time, Calgary was in 30th place in the NHL. Behind Edmonton, behind Toronto, behind Columbus, behind Buffalo. So even though they’ve been playing better of late, they are still in last. Ouch.

With the win, Calgary is still in last, but tied with three other teams with 24 points. And because the Pacific division is so bad this year (except for L.A.) the Flames are really only 4 points out of a playoff spot. I know it’s too early to talk that way, but if you can beat San Jose, Vancouver, Arizona, Anaheim and Edmonton – you’re in the playoffs. No matter how good the rest of the league is.

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