An AHL West Update

Ryan Pike
January 28 2015 01:15PM

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The hockey world will likely be abuzz tomorrow regarding the formal announcement of the retirement of the legendary Martin Brodeur, but another impactful announcement may be occurring on another front.

San Jose Mercury News reporter Mark Purdy, discussing the planned move of the Sharks affiliate (more on that in a second), had a tidbit regarding timelines for the formal announcement of the much-rumoured AHL Pacific Division.

If all goes as planned, the AHL’s entire western strategy will then be officially announced at a Jan. 29 news conference inside SAP Center.

The announcement was likely pending a few things being approved at both the ECHL and American Hockey League's board of governors meetings over the weekend. (Mayor's Manor's John Hoven recently revisited this topic and re-confirmed that the announcement would be Thursday in San Jose.)

Here's how things stand heading into tomorrow, team by team.

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WWYDW: Fix the Defensive Depth

Ryan Pike
January 28 2015 11:15AM

Calgary has something on their roster that's both great and terrifying.

On one hand, Mark Giordano and T.J. Brodie are one of the National Hockey League's best defensive pairings. They're awesome and make everyone around them better.

Unfortunately, the Flames have very little on the blueline beyond their dynamic duo, and that's the subject of this week's What Would You Do? Wednesday topic.

How would you fix the Flames blueline?

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Powerplay Consistencies

Byron Bader
January 28 2015 09:00AM

About a month ago I wrote about the Flames' powerplay differential. In it, I spoke about how the Flames were excellent at drawing penalties while taking few on their own which was leading to them being up an advantaged player more often in games than their opponents.  At the time, the Flames were second to Chicago in terms of their penalty differential and they now find themselves in first. As well, at the time of the article, the Flames were clicking at above 20% on the PP and since have dropped off a cliff.  

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Post-Game: Here's Johnny

Ryan Pike
January 27 2015 09:59PM

Tonight's Calgary Flames game was a bit sloppy and the team looked decent in fits and starts, but hardly a world-beater. They exchanged power-play goals in the first with the Buffalo Sabres. Neither team looked amazing.

Then the third period came and the Flames realized it was a tie game against the worst team in the league. Three goals later, the Flames skated away with a 4-1 victory and a much-needed two points in the standings.

Here's how it broke down.

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FGD #48: Buffalo Visits the 'Dome (7pm MT, SN West)

Ryan Pike
January 27 2015 11:38AM

After five days without meaningful hockey, the Calgary Flames are back in action tonight as they begin their pursuit of their five playoff berth since 2009.

The back-half of their schedule begins with the Flames (25-19-3; 53 points) hosting the NHL's worst team, the Buffalo Sabres (14-30-3; 31 points) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames are rested and coming off a very successful road trip that saw them win four of five, all against divisional opponents. They cannot afford to take the Sabres lightly, nor can they afford to let any points slip away against an opponent they should be able to beat.

Long story short: the Flames better win this one, because after a short stretch of "easier" games (including visits from Minnesota and Edmonton later this week), the competition amps back up. If they can bank some points in the front end of this homestand, then they can give themselves a bit of breathing room in the Western Conference playoff race.

The puck drops tonight at 7pm MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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