March 28 2015 11:00AM
The Calgary Flames lost last night.
They have seven games remaining. They have to win a good chunk of them to have a realistic chance at the post-season.
No, they didn't look particularly good last night. No, it probably isn't an encouraging sign to kick off a road trip.
But everybody take a look at the following numbers and calm down a bit. Nothing's over. Not yet.
Nation World HQ
March 28 2015 07:30AM
In an effort to keep fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the
Smythe Pacific Division… The fine folks at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room!
March 27 2015 08:55PM
The Flames began their final big road trip of the season with a dull thud, losing 4-2 on the road to the Minnesota Wild. They kept the game relatively close through the first two periods by hook or crook - and via some epic goaltending from Karri Ramo. And Paul Byron returned from injury after missing 17 games, giving the Flames some new depth on the forward ranks.
But it just wasn't enough, and the Wild pulled away in the final period.
March 27 2015 02:30PM
It's an exciting time to follow the Calgary Flames.
With eight games left in the 2014-15 season, they're in a fevered battle with a bunch of other teams for the final playoff berths in the Western Conference. They open tonight on the outside looking in. But a win will propel them back into the final eight spots, as well as trim their magic number versus their conference rivals.
Tonight's game? A big test against a fellow playoff bubble team, Devan Dubnyk's resurgent Minnesota Wild. The Wild are one of the hottest teams in the game right now, buoyed by Dubnyk's strong play. But everything has to end eventually, and after two recent battles with the Wild produced just a single point (a regulation loss on January 29 and an overtime loss on February 18), the Flames may think they've figured him out.
The game kicks off at 6pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
March 27 2015 01:00PM
Joe Colborne didn't make his NHL debut with the Calgary Flames, but he may as well have. His 16 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs - where he was traded in exchange for the services of one Tomas Kaberle - were unremarkable, resulting in one goal, six points, and an average of 12:34 in ice time. It got to the point he had to be traded again, if only so the Leafs could continue to dress two goons in the lineup every night (a practice the Flames also followed in Colborne's first season with them, and not a good look for either team).
Colborne has two problems, though. First: he found his way onto his third NHL organization before he started regularly playing, never really getting a chance with the Leafs or Boston Bruins, who drafted him in the middle of the first round. He didn't play regularly until his hometown team and former general manager picked him up.
Second: he ended up being ninth in Flames scoring in his rookie season - although the next four guys had higher point per game averages than he did - which is respectable enough, except for the fact that his most common linemates that year were Sean Monahan (fellow rookie, fifth in scoring) and Mike Cammalleri (third).
Cammalleri's gone now, replaced by the inferior Mason Raymond, and Colborne doesn't really get to play with Monahan anymore. So what's his role on the team now?