November 27 2015 10:00PM
November has been a roller coaster ride for Flames fans. After an abysmal opening month, the last four weeks have been a wild up-and-down ride featuring some of the team's best and worst performances this season.
After dominating the Chicago Blackhawks on home ice, the Flames took to the road and were promptly outclassed by the Ducks in California, a fitting example of the November pattern. And while playing well at least occasionally can be considered an improvement, taking a step forward and then step back is a bad way to get yourself back into the playoff picture.
Tonight the Flames tried to get back on track - hopefully permanently - against the Coyotes in Arizona. Did they succeed?
November 27 2015 09:23PM
Yesterday the Calgary Flames assigned Joni Ortio to the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League.
After posting a 4.27 goals against average and .868 save percentage in four games (and 141 minutes) of NHL action, the hope was Ortio would round into form by actually playing some hockey.
In his return to the American Hockey League, he couldn't even make it out of the first period against the Bakersfield Condors. He allowed four goals - three even-strength and one on the power-play - on 12 shots in 13:07 of action before getting pulled in favour of back-up Kent Simpson.
November 27 2015 03:15PM
Ladislav Smid is... back?
After assigning Smid to a conditioning stint mere days ago, it appears as though the little-used blueliner is already back with the big club, as the Flames have recalled him. Smid played one game for the Stockton Heat, a 2-1 loss in which he was on the ice for the opposition's first goal against. He had no shots or points, but that said, he is said to have played rather well in his game.
And now he's back already. Huh.
November 27 2015 02:30PM
1. What's the plan?
Earlier this week there were three stories in a row here on Flames Nation, after Joni Ortio was put on waivers, entitled, "Stockton's goalie situation is really unclear," "Jonio Ortio clears waivers, likely to be assigned to Stockton Heat," and finally, "What were the Flames thinking with three goalies?"
The latter of these was something fans should have been saying all year, because it was Calgary burning a roster spot on Ortio, who ended up getting into a whopping 140 minutes of action over four games, and being really bad (.868). There was no need for it, and it highlighted an area of organizational concern that's been lingering for at least the last several years.
November 27 2015 12:00PM
The Calgary Flames head to one of their favourite recent haunts, the desert, for the second game of their three-game Pacific Division road trip tonight. They're in Glendale, Arizona to tangle with the Arizona Coyotes and they're hoping to right the ship after a really disappointing result in Anaheim on Tuesday night.
The Flames are still close to the pack, entering Friday's ice hockey matches seven points back of Vancouver with a game-in-hand. Granted, the Flames are closer to the basement (two points up on Edmonton) than they are to the playoffs, but there is a lot of hockey left to play. But they need to get on track and rattle off some wins, particularly against divisional opponents like Arizona.
The puck drops tonight at 7pm MT on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.