February 06 2016 12:00PM
Today is Hockey Day in Canada throughout this great land and the National Hockey League has scheduled four games involving the seven Canadian teams (and Colorado) as part of the celebration. But when you look at the standings and see zero Canadian teams in a playoff spot - and most quietly creeping away from the playoff pictures in their respective conferences - it might not seem like a great time for celebration.
Case in point? The Calgary Flames, fresh off a 2-1 loss to the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday, travel to Vancouver to face the Canucks who are themselves fresh off a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jackets on Thursday. The Flames outwardly keep claiming that they're still in this thing, but they're three games below .500, 9 points out of a wild-card spot (and 10 out of a divisional spot), and part of a six-way tie for dead-last in the NHL.
They haven't waved the white flag just yet, but they're probably starting to unfurl it.
The puck drops tonight at 8pm MT on CBC (with Paul Romanuk and Mike Johnson) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).
February 06 2016 10:00AM
One of the things we've been looking at as an analytical tool over the past couple seasons here at FlamesNation is offensive zone entries. I've finally gotten caught up on tabulating data for the first half of the season - the first 43 games, in fact - and we figured now is about as good a time as any for a check-in on how the data looks, what trends have emerged, and how things have changed since our look at the numbers 19 games into the season.
February 06 2016 08:00AM
With that loss, the Calgary Flames stayed at 47 points on the season, while the Columbus Blue Jackets jumped up to 47 points.
The 30th place team in the entire NHL has 47 points. And there are six of them. In addition to Calgary and Columbus, the other teams in a six-way tie for the best odds in the Auston Matthews lottery are Edmonton (of course), Buffalo, Winnipeg, and Toronto.
Games played does play a role in this - and the Flames, with the Leafs, are sitting at the fewest with 50 each - but there are a lot of teams festering right at the bottom of the standings, and now, Calgary is officially one of them.
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!