Edmonton Oilers 5, Calgary Flames 2

18 Oct

McDavid scores twice in Battle of Alberta


The Calgary Flames had beaten the Edmonton Oilers seven times in a row prior to Saturday night and it was one of those games that you expect to win. And I think that we could have won that game, if more guys than just David Jones showed up.

In Connor McDavid‘s debut on Hockey Night in Canada and the Battle of Alberta, be scored twice and assisted on another to lead the Oilers to a 5-2 drubbing of the hapless Flames. Interestingly enough all four first-overall picks of the Oilers scored Saturday night, McDavid, Nugent-Hopkins, Hall and Yakupov.

I don’t think either team looked very impressive through 40 minutes, and of the seven goals that were scored they were all ugly. That could be the sour grapes talking. I guess the positive thing to take from the game is that I got to see McDavid’s first multi-point game. Hopefully the Flames can get revenge next time up in Edmonton.

Dougie Hamilton

Dougie Hamilton

Sam Bennett out with shoulder injury

Calgary announced just before the game that Bennett would be a late scratch, out day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Of course after the shoulder surgery last year Flames fans were all abuzz last night speculating that it might be related. Typically upper-body means either head or shoulder, and since he didn’t hit his head in the game against St. Louis I’m going to speculate it’s shoulder-related. Luckily day-to-day means it’s not serious.

Markus Granlund got into the lineup because of the Bennett injury, and he played an okay game on a night where the rest of the team was also okay.

What’s up with the first D pairing?

What is starting to become a trend, Dougie Hamilton had two penalties and finished a -1 on the night. If the Flames are going to turn this around him and Mark Giordano are going to have to starting playing like the defencemen they are paid to be.

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Winnipeg Jets 2, Calgary Flames 1

17 Oct

Ramo’s stellar 58 minutes

What a disappointing finish to this game.

Calgary came out flying and really took it to the Jets for the first 20 minutes. Then, as has become a trend this year, they just couldn’t get anything going in the middle frame and Winnipeg was all over Calgary. The third period had a lot of back and forth, and even though the Jets seemed to be carrying the play most of the night Karri Ramo played great. Well actually, Ramo played great for 58 minutes before letting in a real soft goal with 90 seconds to go in the game.

And that’s how one shot can erase everything good you’ve done.

The Flames tried to tie up the game with Ramo pulled, but Ferland gave up the puck in the offensive zone and that led to an empty-net and game-sealing goal. Ferland has a lot of potential as we’ve seen, but it’s plays like this that show how much growing he has left to do.

Lance Bouma out with broken leg

Bouma broke his leg against the Blues, and is now out for 6 weeks. This means that the lineup has shifted around a bit, including a new second line centred by Mikael Backlund.

For the new, readjusted Calgary Flames line combinations, please go check out my page on lineups.

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St. Louis Blues 4, Calgary Flames 3

14 Oct

The Flames didn’t really have an excuse for coming out as flat as they did. They were rested, they were at home. They have a full complement of players, with the exception of T.J. Brodie. Even though Brodie would have helped, I’m not sure if he would have been enough.

Calgary had four powerplays in the first 20 minutes, and although they scored on one of them, they only managed four shots in the period. Luckily their first shot went in. Hiller was great because they were outshot 14-4 by the Blues and still managed to lead after 20 minutes, 2-to-1.

The second was a different story. St. Louis continued to dominate Calgary but this time Hiller wasn’t as great, and the shooting percentage of the Blues started to average out. St. Louis scored three unanswered goals in the second period to lead by two.

The third period started out just as the Flames hoped, with an early goal. However the Blues were able to hold on after a final push by Calgary – who certainly had their chances to tie it – to prevent the Flames from collecting their first home win of the season.

Who stood out?

Johnny Gaudreau continues to look good to start the season, as does his linemates Hudler and Monahan. Jonas Hiller was pretty solid as well, despite giving up four goals. Dennis Wideman surprisingly has picked up exactly where he left off last season, which was a career year for him. With another two assists Wideman is just behind Hudler and Gaudreau in points in this young season.

Dennis Wideman

Dennis Wideman is my pick of the night (Why is this the first photo I found?)

A couple guys who stood out for me for not standing out were Lance Bouma and Michael Ferland. Both these guys need to have the sort of on-ice presence that opponents are aware of. Outside of a few half-hits, neither were really noticeable until Bouma left the game in the second with an apparent ankle injury.

McDavid Night in Canada

Next up are the provincial rivals on Saturday, which includes the first appearance in Calgary for Connor McDavid. The Oiler fans are going to come out in droves for this game, so we’re going to have to be a little louder than usual to drown them out. This is one of those games where the most important part is to get a quick start to keep the Flames fans in the game and the Oiler fans quiet.

Connor McDavid

Rookie Phenom Connor McDavid



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Calgary Flames 3, Vancouver Canucks 2 (OT)

11 Oct

Calgary gets its revenge in game two

The second game of the Calgary/Vancouver home-and-home series to start the season goes to the Flames. Although it was a much closer game than the first one was.

Johnny Gaudreau led Calgary with a goal and two assists, which included the game-winner in overtime. I know it’s early, but Johnny Hockey is off to a pretty quick start. Actually the whole top line is, as Sean MonahanJiri HudlerJohnny Gaudreau have already accumulated nine points in the first two games. Even Brad Treliving had doubt at the beginning of last year as to where the scoring was coming from, but that’s been eradicated by what’s quickly becoming one of the top lines in the NHL.

Jonas Hiller got the start after Ramo let in five goals in the previous game, and he was solid with the exception of the Bo Horvat goal (below). I think there is little doubt that he’ll be starting on Tuesday against a tough St. Louis Blues team.

The good and the bad of week one

First the good. Remember when it would take Jarome Iginla ten games at the beginning of each season to get going? Well already two games in, the top line has started strong. The second line has shown potential, especially the play of Michael Frolik. He’s been all over the place, from leading the power play to defending on the penalty kill. He has been exactly what the Flames were looking for in a second line winger, but again, it’s early.

The third and fourth lines have been okay, not giving you more than you’d expect but also not causing more grief than they could. If the Flames are going to match their record from last year however, these two lines will need to exceed our expectations.

I also want to give credit to Mason Raymond, who after being put on waivers earlier in the week had a strong bounce-back game against the Canucks.

Now the bad.

The defence. For what could arguably be the best defence in the league — for the top four anyway — Calgary has done nothing but give up odd-man rushes through the first two games. The Sedins are not the players you want to give that kind of room to. Hamilton is looking like he is settling in, but Giordano has yet to find his game. It’ll come.


Calgary Flames stink up the Dome in their season opener

08 Oct

Vancouver Canucks 5, Calgary Flames 1

The Flames came out a-flyin’ and a-fightin’ and the energy they were able to get from the home crowd lasted all of 5 minutes. After that it was all Vancouver.

Kris Russell put it bluntly. “They embarrassed us in our home opener.”

Karri Ramo was just okay. He was solid most of the night and made one phenomenal save on the Sedins, but 3 of the 5 goals he let it were stoppable. I could the puck off the skate and the puck Sutter batted out of the air as unstoppable. I don’t think he did enough to earn the start in Vancouver on Saturday though, and the team needs a shake up just one game into the season. Look for Hiller to start. Maybe Harley will rotate three until one can find a groove?

Just because I love lasers, check out the Flames Season Opener introduction video and laser show. Apologies for the poor quality.

Sad to see Paul Byron go

Paul Byron was one of those players that was easy to root for. He was small, but played big. He was fast, but his hand could never keep up with his feet. Byron was placed on waivers earlier in the week and was claimed by the Montreal Canadiens. I wish him the best.

Mason Raymond was also put on waivers, but he cleared and was a healthy scratch for the Flames first game.

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Ramo to start the season for the Flames

05 Oct

Bob Hartley Barak Obama Poster HOPERamo to start on Wednesday

The Calgary Flames have chosen Karri Ramo to start their opening game Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks. I guess I’m surprised, but not shocked. I figured it would be Hiller and Ortio with Ramo watching from the press box, but instead it’s Ramo and Hiller with Ortio watching. I’m going to have to defer to Harley on this decision, as he knows a little more about coaching than I do.

Ramo showed during the preseason that he’s ready for the season, and I think that Hiller is a little more tradeable than Ramo is which may have had an unmentioned effect on this decision. I think it’s safe to say we’ll see the Flames rotate starting goalies for the first few games until someone gets hot.

Place your bets

Now I usually don’t pay any attention to odds, but has your Calgary Flames at 28-to-1 favourites to win Lord Stanley’s mug. That’s pretty exciting, especially since we’ve been in the 50-to-100 range the past couple years. Furthermore, (based on their odds) here is where Bodog is ranking the 2015/16 Western Conference teams.

    1. Chicago Blackhawks
    2. Los Angeles Kings
    3. Anaheim Ducks
    4. St. Louis Blues
    5. Nashville Predators
    6. Minnesota Wild
    7. Winnipeg Jets
    8. Calgary Flames
    9. San Jose Sharks
    10. Edmonton Oilers
    11. Dallas Stars
    12. Colorado Avalanche
    13. Vancouver Canucks
    14. Arizona Coyotes


I think they have L.A. way too high, as well as Minnesota and Edmonton. I think San Jose and Dallas should be higher. I think 8th place would suit the Flames just fine.

Are you ready?

I certainly am, even though that was a shorter-than-usual summer it felt like a lifetime. Partly because I’ve finally updated my Jarome Iginla jersey. It took a few years to get over that but I’m welcoming a new style of hockey player to Cow Town.

The Johnny Hockey Jersey

The Johnny Hockey Jersey

Since we’re on random topics, I thought this quote from GM Brad Treliving was pretty cool… Did you have any idea of what to expect from the fans during the playoffs last year?

Brad Treliving: No. No. No I didn’t. I watched TV years ago and you’d see games here but to live it – not just at the arena but around the city – it was excellent. We’ve got the best fans in hockey and it showed. What a great environment to play in. That’s what makes it fun and that’s why we want to get back there. We want to get this city juiced up again. It was a lot of fun.

See the full interview on

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Calgary Flames drop their last two preseason games against the Jets

04 Oct

Winnipeg Jets 3, Calgary Flames 1

I don’t have must to report on this particular game, I didn’t listen to it on the radio because I figured I was recording the game on TSN. Turns out it was blacked out in Calgary. Based on what I read, the Flames were simply out-played by a more veteran Winnipeg lineup. And Ortio was okay, but not great.

Winnipeg Jets 3, Calgary Flames 2

Calgary iced their opening night roster on Saturday yet it wasn’t enough.

The Flames came out flying in the first period, after giving up the first 2 shots they out-shot their opponent 15-3 through the first 20 minutes. However there were no goals to show for their effort.

After the Jets scored in the second the boys from Winterpeg seemed to gain a lot of momentum and really took over the game. That led to another goal in the second and it was looking pretty bleak until Bouma got a dirty goal with about 13 minutes remaining in the game. I’m fairly certain the puck should have been blown dead before he whacked it in.

The Flames pulled Ramo with 90 seconds to go, and the Jets were able to get an empty-netter. That goal ended up being the winner when David Jones scored with 16 seconds left in the game. Just enough to make it interesting, but still a long-shot. That long-shot didn’t lead to anything.

Jiri Hudler was hurt in the first, but Hartley says it is pretty minor and will be back for opening night.

What did preseason tell us?

The Flames came out of the preseason 4-4. They lost the two split-squad games to Edmonton and the home-and-home series to Winnipeg. Other than that they played pretty well.

They still have three goalies, it looks like all three will remain with the club until someone gets hurt – here or elsewhere that could open up a trade. Brett Kulak was the real story out of camp as injuries to Brodie and (still) Smid opened up a roster spot for a youngster. I guess Wilson is still on the books, but after the last game of the preseason I think it’s safe to say that Kulak is your #6 guy.

The last cuts were Shore, Hathaway, Sieloff, Wotherspoon, Nakladal and Morrison. They were all assigned to the Stockton Heat after the first Winnipeg game. That leaves us with an NHL-ready line-up, check it out on the Flames current line combinations page.

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Calgary Flames 2, Colorado Avalanche 0

30 Sep

aka Jiri Hudler 2, Karri Ramo / Jonas Hiller shutout

It started when Hudler scored 24 seconds into the game. Now I didn’t see it, but based on the radio play-by-play it must have been pretty. Hudler then added another early in the second and that was all the Flames would need.

An even first period and a boring third sandwiched a second dominated by the Flames. They drew a lot of penalties, and the Flames’ powerplay so far — yes it is preseason — is clicking. Having two powerplay units is something we haven’t had for a long time. When you combine that with the goaltending Calgary is getting from the three NHL goalies they’ve somehow ended up with I’m actually fairly optimistic for the year. And that’s new for me.

On a technical note, I tried to stream the second period but the feed kept freezing up on me. Plus since they were streaming from the Saddledome in real-time and using the audio feed from the Fan960, they were not synced. If anyone from the Flames organization is reading this right now, delay the video feed by one second. If you ever stream games that aren’t televised that is.

Jiri Hudler, serious face

How can you not love this guy?

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Calgary Flames training camp roster down to 32 after cuts

29 Sep

Cuts are upon us, and as Hartley alluded to last week there have been a lot of them. Twenty-one players have been assigned to the Stockton Heat over the past couple days:

Really no surprises here. Although I think that Poirier should have been kept over Garnet Hathaway. I also thought Rasmus Andersson had a great camp, but was returned to the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League. At 18 years old, he’ll still have plenty more chances to make this team.

Thirty-two players remain at camp: three goalies, 11 defencemen, and 18 forwards – a list of the all players is below. With T.J. Brodie and Ladislav Smid on the injured reserve, the Flames still have to cut seven players. Wilson is still with the team on a professional tryout, but Douglas Murray was released from his professional tryout contract earlier in the week.

So which D will be here on opening night?

Okay, Flames fans. Pick two of the following:

  • Jakub Nakladal — Czech newcomer, 27 and experienced, suffered a minor undisclosed upper-body injury, which left him skating in a yellow caution jersey on the weekend
  • Brett Kulak — 2012 fourth-rounder, 21, earned a shift in overtime at Rogers Arena and he helped set up Josh Jooris’s golden goal
  • Tyler Wotherspoon — 2011 second-rounder, 22, threw a plus-three rating on the board Saturday
  • Ryan Wilson — 28-year-old, here on a professional tryout offer, skated in only three contests last winter because of shoulder surgery

I’m going to say it’s Wotherspoon and Wilson, as the 6th and 7th guys. Probably trading games until Nakladal is ready to go. After that Brodie will be back and Wotherspoon will become our seventh defencemen.

*UPDATE* Jakub Nakladal says he’s good to go now, and will play against the Avs on Tuesday.

Flames remaining at camp

# Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
11 Mikael Backlund 6′ 0″ 198 17 Mar 1989 26 Vasteras, SWE
52 Brandon Bollig 6′ 2″ 223 31 Jan 1987 28 St. Charles, MO, USA
17 Lance Bouma 6′ 1″ 210 25 Mar 1990 25 Provost, AB, CAN
32 Paul Byron 5′ 7″ 153 27 Apr 1989 26 Ottawa, ON, CAN
8 Joe Colborne 6′ 5″ 213 30 Jan 1990 25 Calgary, AB, CAN
79 Micheal Ferland 6′ 2″ 215 20 Apr 1992 23 Swan River, MB, CAN
67 Michael Frolik 6′ 1″ 200 17 Feb 1988 27 Kladno, CZE
13 Johnny Gaudreau 5′ 9″ 150 13 Aug 1993 22 Salem, NJ, USA
60 Markus Granlund 5′ 11″ 185 16 Apr 1993 22 Oulu, FIN
64 Garnet Hathaway 6′ 2″ 210 23 Nov 1991 23 Kennebunkport, ME, USA
24 Jiri Hudler 5′ 10″ 186 4 Jan 1984 31 Olomouc, CZE
19 David Jones 6′ 2″ 210 10 Aug 1984 31 Guelph, ON, CAN
16 Josh Jooris 6′ 0″ 180 14 Jul 1990 25 Burlington, ON, CAN
23 Sean Monahan 6′ 2″ 185 12 Oct 1994 20 Brampton, ON, CAN
21 Mason Raymond 6′ 0″ 185 17 Sep 1985 30 Cochrane, AB, CAN
22 Drew Shore 6′ 3″ 205 29 Jan 1991 24 Denver, CO, USA
18 Matt Stajan 6′ 1″ 192 19 Dec 1983 31 Mississauga, ON, CAN
Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
7 TJ Brodie 6′ 1″ 182 7 Jun 1990 25 Chatham, ON, CAN
29 Deryk Engelland 6′ 2″ 215 3 Apr 1982 33 Edmonton, AB, CAN
5 Mark Giordano “C” 6′ 0″ 200 3 Oct 1983 31 Toronto, ON, CAN
27 Dougie Hamilton 6′ 5″ 212 17 Jun 1993 22 Toronto, ON, CAN
49 Jakub Nakladal 6′ 2″ 200 30 Dec 1987 27 Hradec Králové, CZE
4 Kris Russell 5′ 10″ 173 2 May 1987 28 Caroline, AB, CAN
15 Ladislav Smid   ** 6′ 3″ 209 1 Feb 1986 29 Frydlant, CZE
6 Dennis Wideman 6′ 0″ 200 20 Mar 1983 32 Kitchener, ON, CAN
26 Tyler Wotherspoon 6′ 2″ 210 12 Mar 1993 22 Burnaby, BC, CAN
Name Height Weight Date Of Birth Age Birth Place
1 Jonas Hiller 6′ 2″ 192 12 Feb 1982 33 Felben Wellhausen, CHE
31 Karri Ramo 6′ 2″ 206 1 Jul 1986 29 Asikkala, FIN

Of course Joni Ortio is still at camp, but for whatever reason is not on the website’s roster.


Calgary Flames 4, Vancouver Canucks 3 (OT)

29 Sep

Calgary rooks defeat Vancouver vets

Calgary sent all the rookies to Vancouver on Saturday, after beating the Canucks handily with an NHL-veteran team at the Saddledome on Friday. The thought was that Calgary would load-up their line-up Friday in front of their fans, and Vancouver would load-up their line-up Saturday in front of theirs. Everything went according to plan for the Flames on Friday, winning 4-1 at home. Not so much for the Canucks on Saturday, who lost 4-3 in 3-on-3 OT.

Calgary’s top line was Matt Stajan, Brendan Bollig and Blair Jones – typically the fourth line. Colbourne, Raymond and Jooris also played, but it was all newbies after that.


  1. Brandon Bollig-Matt Stajan-David Jones
  2. Mason Raymond-Joe Colborne-Emile Poirier
  3. Josh Jooris-Markus Granlund-Garnet Hathaway
  4. Morgan Klimchuk-Turner Elson-Blair Riley
  1. Ryan Wilson-Rasmus Andersson
  2. Oliver Kylington-Brett Kulak
  3. Tyler Wotherspoon-Kenney Morrison


Worth mentioning

Flames centre Matt Stajan. I give Stajan a lot of grief – mainly because he plays hockey like I do… not very well. But Matt had an excellent night in Vancouver, assisting on both of Bollig’s markers and then setting-up Josh Jooris for the winner after just 97 seconds of three-on-three overtime action.

Flames netminder Karri Ramo. Ramo had 40 saves in Vancouver, including a sprawling stop on Horvat on a breakaway in overtime. If it wasn’t for Ramo, this game would have gotten ugly quickly.

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