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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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Dennis Wideman, the All Star Break and another home loss

29 Jan

Wideman suspended

Dennis Wideman

I saw the hit, and yeah I think there was a bit of a cross-check there. But I do think it was unintentional and Wideman was probably not really thinking about what we was doing, I certainly don’t think it was malicious. That said, you have to always be aware of what you’re doing so I agree he should be punished.

Dennis Wideman has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing for checking and knocking down linesman Don Henderson on Wednesday night. Wideman will have a hearing Tuesday with the NHL’s department of hockey operations.

I can’t imagine there being more than a game or two suspension out of this.

Gaudreau and Giordano off to the All Star game

I’m not really a big fan of the All-Star game, but with Gaudreau in the 3-on-3 format I’ll probably tune in for a little bit. Lord knows I haven’t been able to watch any talented hockey players lately with only the Flames games on the tele.

Full schedule for the All Star Weekend

Captains make picks for All-Star Skills Competition

John Scott ready to have fun in All-Star Game

Nashville Predators 2, Calgary Flames 1

Oh goodie, we lost another 1-goal game.

And in the same fashion as all the others. The Flames got behind early, then tried to rally back in the third as seems to be their game-plan. Only this year it hasn’t been working for them.

Mark Giordano scored for the Flames (21-24-3), who lost the first of a three-game homestand split around the break after going 1-3-1 on a five-game road trip.

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Carolina Hurricanes 5, Calgary Flames 2

25 Jan

Well Calgary wasn’t in this one from the start. They were giving up pucks in their own zone, couldn’t enter the Hurricanes’ (almost wrote Panthers there) end and couldn’t make a pass through centre ice to save their lives. You know when Matt Stajan is one of your stand-out players, you’re in for a long night.

Once the Carolina Hurricanes jumped out to their 3-goal lead against the Calgary Flames on Sunday, it was just too much for the Flames to overcome. Even if the announcers had faith, you didn’t see Calgary making a game of this one. Although it almost seemed like they might, making in close at 3-2 and gaining some momentum. However that was squashed by the Canes.

Victor Rask, Elias Lindholm and Joakim Nordstrom scored and Eddie Lack made 33 saves for Carolina (22-20-8). Jiri Hudler and Joe Colborne scored for Calgary (21-22-3). Karri Ramo allowed three goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Jonas Hiller, who made 15 saves.

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Calgary Flames 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

23 Jan

Flames center Sam Bennett scored twice, and Calgary (21-21-3) avoided a third straight loss.

Bennett’s first goal 4:15 into the second period broke a 1-1 tie. His second goal with 5:32 remaining in the third period gave the Flames a two-goal lead after Johnny Gaudreau scored on a tough-angle shot that put Calgary ahead 3-2 at 1:28.

Bennett, a 19-year-old rookie who was the fourth pick in the 2014 NHL Draft, has 13 goals. He has eight goals in his past five games, including four against the Florida Panthers on Jan. 13.

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Calgary loses 2 in a row, now is 6 points out of the playoff race

20 Jan

Uh oh, losing two games in a row to start the longest road trip of the season is not how you want to start. Calgary has now slipped from being tied for the final playoff spot to being six points out, just like that.

New Jersey Devils 4, Calgary Flames 2

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Calgary Flames in 17 seconds. The Devils took a 3-1 lead early in the second period when Stempniak and Boucher scored 17 seconds apart and that was enough it seemed. Calgary battled back, but was unable to solve Cory Schneider.

Sean Monahan and Kris Russell scored, New Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau had two assists, and goaltender Jonas Hiller made 22 saves for Calgary (20-21-3), which has lost back-to-back games.

Edmonton Oilers 2, Calgary Flames 1 (Shootout)

Teddy Purcell scored the only goal in the shootout to give the Edmonton Oilers a 2-1 win against the Calgary Flames at Rexall Place on Saturday.

Calgary had their chances for sure, including a powerplay in overtime which translates to a goal 80% of the time. But they couldn’t solve Cam Talbot.

Defenseman Mark Fayne scored his first goal of the season and Cam Talbot made 31 saves to end a four-game losing streak for the Oilers (18-23-5), who have played eight consecutive one-goal games. Talbot was the main reason the Oilers were down only 1-0 after the first period. Calgary outshot Edmonton 14-8 in the period and had a number of excellent scoring opportunities, but Talbot was beaten only by Bennett, who scored his 11th of the season at 10:41.

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Sam Bennett scores four goals, Flames rout Panthers 6-0

14 Jan

Calgary Flames 6, Florida Panthers 0

Sam Bennett scored four goals, including three in the first period for his first hat trick in the League, to help the Calgary Flames to a 6-0 win against the Florida Panthers at Scotiabank Saddledome on Wednesday.

Bennett was definately the story of the night, overshadowing the shutout by Hiller or the performance by Brodie. Also, how good has Ferland looked on the top line?

Jonas Hiller, in his first start since Dec. 12, made 15 saves for his first shutout of the season. Calgary scored six goals, and Florida had 15 shots. I’d say that you’ll never win an NHL game with 15 shots, but Roberto Luongo allowed four goals on 15 shots in the first period.

Johnny Gaudreau and Mason Raymond also scored for Calgary. Bennett is the first Calgary player to score four goals in a game since Jarome Iginla against the Arizona Coyotes on Feb. 23, 2003, and the second rookie in Flames history to score four goals in a game; Nieuwendyk did it twice, and Jiri Hrdina once.

The Flames begin a five-game road trip Saturday at the Edmonton Oilers.

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Mayor Nenshi yells at Bettman, Regehr retires as a Flame and it was also a game night!

12 Jan

Wow, busy night last night. Let’s begin….

Nenshi yells at Bettman

Okay, maybe ‘yells at’ is a slight exaggeration. Based on Eric Francis’s comments on the Flames broadcast last night, you would have thought Nenshi was too busy hoping Calgary could film more westerns to make time for the commissioner. That seemed to be a strange comment to make, as I don’t think it’s up for debate which industry has boosted the local economy more – Hollywood vs. Hockey.

Since it didn’t pass the sniff test I figured I’d check out exactly what was said.

“I’m in council and I suggested that unless he’s got some new information that’s different than the last time we met him, it’s probably not worth his time,” said Nenshi.

I guess that makes sense to me, both as a Calgary Flames season ticket holder and as a tax-paying citizen. Maybe Eric Francis just missed this comment? Oh wait, he dictated that comment.

Francis then goes on to write that ‘speaking to the Calgary Chamber of Commerce on Monday, Bettman said Nenshi and the rest of city council need to embrace the CalgaryNEXT proposal for it to move forward.'”

Well I think we can all agree on that, that is literally one of those things that ‘goes without saying.’ Council doesn’t embrace paying for a huge chunk of the project, and the Flames refuse to embrace paying for it themselves, then I guess it doesn’t happen. Until perhaps some rich Flames owner dies. No, they know better than to leave their money to a depreciating facility – you don’t get to be rich by making bad decisions!

So as much as it pains me to say this, both Bettman and Nenshi are correct. Unless the league has more information to share with the City why bother meeting? Unless Council realized that they’ve been wrong this whole time and wants to now “embrace the CalgaryNEXT proposal.” But I doubt it, that could be a billion dollar mistake.

Conclusion?

Eric Francis continues to be a moron. None of this should have surprised anyone. If you want to read an article from an actual journalist, read Eric Duhatschek’s (aka The Smart Eric) take on the comments.

“If your attitude is this has to be all [privately financed], it’s not going to get done – because it’s not an investment that’s cost-justified,” said Bettman. “What you need is an understanding of how these projects can generate revenue that not only pay for themselves, but spur other economic activity that can make a city stronger.”

True that. If the economic activity it spurs in the city is more than then cost to the City, let’s do it. If it doesn’t, then the Flames are going to have to find some more money somewhere. If the projects will never recover the cost in revenue for the Flames or economic growth for the city, then don’t spend money you’ll never get back. No-brainer.

New headline: Francis yells at Nenshi

Robyn Regehr retires as a Flame

I don’t understand why teams do this. Maybe for a franchise player, actually no. Maybe for a Hall of Fame franchise player . But for someone who wasn’t (or isn’t)? I don’t get it. Same argument goes for retiring a number, or the lesser-accolade of being ‘Forever a Flame.’

Hey, I liked Regehr. I thought it was one of the best unnoticeable players to ever lace-up with the Flames. But why didn’t we do this for Gary Roberts? Why didn’t we do this for Al MacInnis? Is it because he had a better relationship with the Blues organization? (same goes for Joe Nieuwendyk and the Dallas Stars). Did we do this for Regehr because he didn’t get any recognition from the Kings? Only the Calgary Flames know for sure…

Anyway, the Flames are typically a classy organization and they treat their alumni well. So I’m going to give them kudos on this move even though I don’t understand it.

San Jose Shares 5, Calgary Flames 4

On top of it all, there was a game to be played.

This one got out of control rather early, but the Flames made a good game of it by the end. San Jose was up 2-0 before the first period was half over, and were up 3-1 by the half-way point of the game.

Then the Sharks got into some penalty trouble. A high-stick on Matt Stajan led to a 4-minute powerplay for the Flames on which the Sharks took another penalty, giving the Flames had a 5-on-3 for two full minutes. Calgary scored twice on that poweplay to tie the game.

However San Jose – being the great road team that they are – came out in the third and scored two more. The Flames were able to score another powerplay goal to draw within one goal (net empty and four minutes to go in the game), but the Sharks were able to kill off the remaining time.

The positives from last night is that Sam Bennett scored (finally) and Micheal Ferland looked great on the top line. I hope that sticks for some time.

A negative? Karri Ramo let in 5 goals on 18 shots. Absolutely atrocious.

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Micheal Ferland moves to the top line with Gaudreau and Monahan

11 Jan

I think this is long overdue. Ever since Jiri Hudler was hurt earlier in the year, coach Bob Harltey has been looking for someone who would fit with the top pairing of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan.

David Jones was there for a while, and he seemed to do okay for a brief period. However that eventually dried up and Jones was moved to the second line (then the third). After some more line juggling, Joe Colborne was put on the top line, and he just couldn’t do anything while there.

The current line combinations have been updated, now that Ferland moves to the top line against San Jose on Jan 11. Hopefully Hartley gives this experiment more time to mature than just one game.

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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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