February 05 2016 10:10PM
The Calgary Flames entered tonight with an opportunity to beat the National Hockey League's worst team, the Columbus Blue Jackets, and bump themselves somewhat closer to the slim hope of a playoff spot.
Instead, they played 60 minutes of inconsistent hockey along the perimeter (for the most part), made iffy decisions with the puck all game and gave up a couple goals on odd-man rushes caused by defenders pinching too deep. As a result? They lost 2-1 to the NHL's worst team and have placed themselves in a six-way tie for dead-last in the NHL.
It was a loss that they totally earned by playing down to their opposition; the NHL's worst team, who had played a night before in a different city.
February 05 2016 04:00PM
You may have seen Report Cards around other Nation Network sites; now, we've got them here, too. Every Friday, we'll have a list of Flames players up for you to give thumbs up or thumbs down to whoever you see fit, however see fit. The top guys will go to the top, while the other guys, well, they'll sink lower and lower.
Basically, you're giving props or trashes to players. Fun, right? It's just clicking buttons to give your opinion, so yes - fun!
Right now we're keeping it simple and sticking to just Flames players - so no Mason Raymond, because technically, that's not what he is now; but yes to Dennis Wideman, because even though he's a non-roster player, well, it wouldn't be fair to not judge him at all after this week, eh? - but as time goes on, we'll probably get more creative with the list.
In the meantime, take it away, denizens of FlamesNation!
February 05 2016 02:00PM
With the news that T.J. Brodie is good to go, the Flames still have a fully healthy roster: something they've only had since just after the All-Star Break. Brodie is probably the most important player to this team, so his not being injured is an extremely good thing.
That leaves the Flames still with 23 healthy and not-suspended bodies. Considering how overly expensive some of them are, there's little room for any roster maneuvering. Normally, that isn't a problem - except when the waiver wire, on occasion, provides a gift.
The Vancouver Canucks have waived Yannick Weber, and as a 27-year-old upcoming UFA with a $1.5 million cap hit now available for free, he could potentially be such a gift.
February 05 2016 12:02PM
(Candice Ward / USA Today Sports)
After kicking off the homestretch of the 2015-16 season with a win over Carolina on Wednesday night, the Calgary Flames are back in action at the Saddledome tonight in the first half of a back-to-back that concludes tomorrow night in Vancouver. But before the big Pacific Division tilt at Rogers Arena tomorrow night, the Flames face off against the National Hockey League's worst team - the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Before the Carolina game, I suggested that the Flames need to pick a direction - either winning a lot or losing a lot - and stick to it for the remainder of the season. Since they won on Wednesday and they're facing the horrid Blue Jackets tonight, perhaps they may be able to claw their way back into the playoff picture after all.
Then again, there's a lot of hockey left to be played.
The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. And for those going down to the building, it's Western Night (the theme night that's nowhere as good as Retro Night).
February 05 2016 10:37AM
When T.J. Brodie went down to the ice after blocking a shot and didn't get back up, the entire season flashed by Flames' fans eyes. We'd already seen this story: a broken hand early in the pre-season led to nine Brodie-less games to kick off the start of the season, and with that, the Flames were already starting from the bottom.
When you can only win two games without your best defenceman - and when those two wins come in overtime, no less - it's kind of an indication you need your best defenceman. That's easy to say for any team, but the Flames really, really need Brodie.
Fortunately, it appears his injury may not be as bad as initially feared, as Brodie took part in the morning skate - and, according to Bob Hartley, will play tonight.