Five things: Another NCAA prospects update

Ryan Lambert
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.

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On Enforcers, Depression and Risk Factors

Kent Wilson
January 28 2015 05:40PM

(This article was originally published at the Score's Backhand Shelf blog in 2011. I have re-published it here in the spirit of #BellLetsTalk, which aims to grow awareness of mental health issues.)

The NHL landscape has been marred by tragedy this offseason with the recent deaths of Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and now Wade Belak. It’s possible that their passing in such close proximity is entirely coincidental and a mere artifact of chance alone. Sometimes unlikely occurrences don’t necessarily carry graver implications.

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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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