October 07 2015 11:21PM
Well, that was disappointing.
After months of anticipation, particularly after the summer acquisitions of Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik, Flames fans and media alike had tonight's season-opener circled on the calendar. Everyone wanted to see the new and improved Flames against the hated Vancouver Canucks.
Instead of looking new and improved, the Flames looked like they needed a few more days of practice. They skated to a lackllustre 5-1 loss at the Scotiabank Saddledome to kick off the 2015-16 regular season.
October 07 2015 04:00PM
The Calgary Flames have over four decades of franchise history, but this year's edition is a pretty young group - as you saw from the rundown of the roster last afternoon.
As such, there are a few milestones coming up this season for Flames players (and coaches), but don't expect too many of them to be amazingly lofty. For the most part, this is a group with a lot of tread left on the tires.
October 07 2015 02:00PM
It seems hard to believe but the regular season is here. Soon, we can discuss in great detail every single healthy scratch, every backup goalie decision, and Bob Hartley tie choice. But for this afternoon, I figured some more fun was in order before we dive right in to the nitty-gritty.
Last week, we chose six defenders and attempted to guess the over and under of certain totals tailored to their skill-set. Today, we are going to do the same with six forwards. I cannot offer you Flames Nation Bucks, nor back-rubs from Byron Bader but I can offer the person with the most correct a hearty congratulations and a firm handshake this time next year. Is that not reward enough? So, while you all are waiting nervously for puck drop, let's have a little bit of fun first.
October 07 2015 12:00PM
(Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports)
It's been a shorter summer than we're used to around here, but meaningful Calgary Flames hockey is finally back! Welcome to Game 1 of the 82-game 2015-16 regular season coverage here at FlamesNation!
Last season, the Flames did the unthinkable - winning enough games by hook or crook to make the playoffs for the first time since 2009 and beating the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs (in heart-breaking fashion) for the first time since 2004. Now, to kick off the new season, these two teams meet again. The Flames are basically the same bunch that went to the second round of the playoffs - albeit upgraded with Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik in the off-season. Vancouver? They're in the midst of a much-needed youth movement.
In other words: the 2015-16 Vancouver Canucks are the Flames of a couple of years ago. They might not be good this season, but they'll definitely be fun to watch - and they could be pretty damn good in a short while.
The puck drops on the 2015-16 season just after 8pm MT on Sportsnet's national feed (with Paul Romanuk and Mike Johnson on the call), while your radio pals at Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias) have the audio for your listening pleasure. If you don't have tickets to the game, there's a big FREE shindig being put on by the NHL at Fort Calgary.
October 07 2015 09:00AM
It wasn't supposed to be this way.
This season was supposed to be one of modest expectations. One where the Flames, having bottomed out in the race for McDavid, began to take a few shaky steps back up the Western Conference ladder. A year where the org would still be considered sellers at the deadline, where the management would still be sorting through hopefuls and fringe NHLers.
Instead, the cardiac kids defied prognosticators and analytics alike to emerge as the NHL's unlikeliest Cinderella story last year, held up by the magic of late period comebacks and OT heroics.
The incredible outburst of unexpected success revived a flagging fanbase and restored some luster to the Flames franchise. The question is, can the Flames manage to build on their 2014-15 and become legitimate contenders?