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.


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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Gaudreau with the hat trick in OT

05 Dec

Calgary Flames 5, Boston Bruins 4 (OT)

What a fun game that was to watch. Even if the Flames wouldn’t have come out on top, the game overall was one of those entertaining matches that keeps you watching.

Calgary went up quickly 2-0, with a start that got the building really into the game. However the Bruins were able to finish the first period with a goal and come out strong in the second period to tie the game 2-2. Then Boston scored, then Calgary scored, then Boston again – three goals in 46 seconds – and the game was tied 3-3.

There wasn’t any scoring in the final period, until Dougie Hamilton made a horrible error on the powerplay. Marchand was able to get by him and go in on a breakaway shorthanded. Hamilton took the penalty, which lead to a penalty shot, which lead to Marchand scoring to put Boston up 4-3 late in the third period. The Flames would not be denied however, when Jiri Hudler scored with just 1.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime.

Overtime is Johnny Hockey time

Gaudreau already had two goals on the night going into overtime. Calgary in overtime was 5-1, with Johnny either scoring or setting up 4 of those 5 game winners. Then with just under 2 minutes left in extra time, Gaudreau scored his hat trick goal, at home, in overtime. How cool was that?

You don’t get to see games that exciting too often, I hope you all had a chance to watch it. But if not, here’s a recap.

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Flames finally recall a third-period rally

02 Dec

Calgary Flames 4, Dallas Stars 3 (SO)

It didn’t start pretty, but it did end that way. It began in a similar fashion when Karri Ramo let in a real soft goal just two minutes into the game. Then Dougie Hamilton scored 10 minutes later (for Dallas mind you) to put the Stars up 2-0 after one period.

The Calgary Flames came out strong in the second period, but it was once again Ramo letting the team down by letting in a wraparound (really, who scores on a 1/1 wraparound?). The score was now 3-0 after twenty minutes on goals by Jason Spezza, Cody Eakin and Mattias Janmark. Dallas was 10-0-0 when leading after two periods and had won six consecutive road games. Things didn’t look promising.

Call in the comeback kids

To their credit, the Flames came off a strong second period with a dominating third period. Calgary was out-shooting Dallas 13-1 just five minutes into the final frame. Mikael Backlund scored first on his fourth rebound, then Johnny Gaudreau scored just a minute and a half later on the third rebound of the series. I’m not sure what Dallas’ defence was doing, but you just can’t let that many rebounds happen in front of your net. It wasn’t on Antti Niemi either, I thought he was solid.

Dougie Hamilton made up for his earlier gaff by scoring the tying goal to send the game to overtime. Ramo showed up for overtime, and he can be credited with getting that extra point. Especially in the final minute when Dallas had a 4-on-3 powerplay in extra time. All three shooters scored for Calgary in the shootout, and that’s all she wrote.

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Oh goodie, Jonas Hillar is back!

30 Nov

San Jose Sharks 5, Calgary Flames 2

Well that was bloody awful. Jonas Hiller gave up five goals on 29 shots in his first start since Oct. 28. That’s good for a .828 save percentage. Yes that’s even worse than he was before his injury, which was already horrendous to begin with.

The Flames as a team didn’t play too poorly. All four lines tried to contribute in the way they are supposed to and the defence didn’t play as bad as giving up 5 would have you believe. This one falls squarely on the shoulders of Jonas Hiller. Hiller and Ramo have been the polar opposite goaltenders of what they were last year. Although no one expected Calgary to be as good of a team as they were in the past season, we did (or at least I did) think the goaltending would be the consistent position this year. Boy was I ever wrong.

The two goals the Flames did score were with 10 minutes to go in the game, when San Jose was just riding out the remaining time. So the final score actually flatters the Flames. So very sad.

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