Nation World HQ
January 30 2015 06:39AM
Trade speculation begins, Canucks better without Bieksa, Stamkos to Toronto, Ryan O'Reilly watch, Phaneuf an Oiler, size in the NHL matters, fantasy hockey and more in this week's Roundup.
January 30 2015 12:27AM
The Calgary Flames hoped to put some distance between themselves and the rest of the Western Conference's wild-card hopefuls tonight at Scotiabank Saddledome. At the end of a rather spirited goaltending duel, though, the pack may have gotten a break and caught up to them a bit.
Off a Zach Parise goal - hardly the best chance either team got on the night - which stood up as the only goal either team would score, the Flames dropped a 1-0 decision to the Minnesota Wild. It's their 20th loss of the season in their 49th game.
Here's how it happened.
January 29 2015 01:00PM
After a decisive win over the worst team in hockey, the Calgary Flames (26-19-3) return to action tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome! But instead of facing a team with zero playoff hopes, the Flames are instead hosting the Minnesota Wild (21-20-6), a team that still has playoff hopes.
Well, dimming hopes. The team from the State of Hockey is seven points back from Calgary for the final playoff spot in the West. A loss to the Flames would put them nine points back, really kicking their post-season dreams in the teeth.
The Flames are simultaneously the hunter - of a divisional playoff spot currently held by San Jose and Vancouver - and the hunted - with four teams chasing them from below. A win tonight would trim the list of pursuers to three.
The puck drops tonight at 7pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
January 29 2015 11:00AM
Even though Mike Richards has already cleared waivers,there are persistent rumours that the Calgary Flames are still in talks with the LA Kings to acquire the former Flyer captain and two-time Cup winner.
The hypothetical trade, of course, is complicated one because it's a salary dump rather than a pure hockey deal. Richards' contract is expensive and goes on forever. He's also 29 and has seen his play deteriorate rapidly over the last few seasons. Though he's still a functional (if grossly overpaid) NHLer, the Flames aren't calling the Kings because they want Mike Richards. They're calling them because they can make Mike Richards go away.
For a price.
January 29 2015 08:30AM
1. A quick intro
Last weekend I had the opportunity to see Providence College play one of the better teams in the NCAA on two consecutive nights, and this is, I think, a unique opportunity that few college teams afford a person covering a single NHL team.
The Friars, as you well know, have three Flames prospects of varying levels of notoriety: Jon Gillies, Mark Jankowski, and John Gilmour. Providence has been a very interesting team this season, one that seems more prone to ups and downs than most others in the country. They started the year 1-3-1, then won 13 of their next 16, then lost two straight heading into this weekend. The fifth-ranked UMass Lowell River Hawks were their opponents for this particular home-and-home, and seemed as though they would prove a tough test for the No. 18 Friars.