November 25 2015 12:30PM
Last night, the Calgary Flames began a crucial three-game road trip with a game at the Honda Center in Anaheim.
Well, most of them did, as veteran winger Jiri Hudler didn't play. The reasons for his absence from the lineup are a bit murky, but through the haze of what the Flames hockey operations group has said publicly, one thing seems pretty apparent: Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch last night.
Here's why we think so.
November 25 2015 10:26AM
Remember the summer? Brad Treliving spoke often about the Calgary Flames' goalie depth. They felt they had three good goalies, to the point where they were terrified that Joni Ortio would be claimed off waivers if they tried to send him to the American Hockey League. So they carried three goalies, despite conventional wisdom saying that was a horrible idea.
Then the regular season began. All three main roster goalies underperformed. And after demotions, injuries and 22 games of underwhelming hockey, today the Flames finally threw in the towel on Joni Ortio, NHL goaltender for now. (And maybe forever in terms of him being a Calgary Flame.)
Waivers: JONI ORTIO CGY— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) November 25, 2015
November 25 2015 08:00AM
I believe that image speaks for itself.
November 24 2015 11:30PM
Moments following the Flames' 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks, the team made a quick move - to one of their healthy scratches.
Ladislav Smid, who has only appeared in four games this season - most recently on Nov. 12, when he only played 8:42 - has been sent to the Stockton Heat on a conditioning stint. The Heat play in Ontario on Nov. 25, and according to Google Maps, Ontario is a mere 35 minute or so drive away from Anaheim, so the location is convenient.
What about the timing, though?
November 24 2015 11:03PM
The past few games have seemingly given everyone a bit of optimism regarding the Calgary Flames. They were good against New Jersey. They were really good against Chicago. They hit the road tonight in Anaheim looking at a three-game trip that could put them smack-dab back in the playoff hunt, despite their back start.
Well, just when you think they're back to their old (2014-15 season) ways, they slip back into their old (October 2015) habits and rather than an up-tempo, aggressive game, the Flames were disjointed and on their heels all night in a 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Given how much of the time they spent in their own end, it's like they never really showed up at all. (But hey, there's their steaming cup of coffee...)
These Flames once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and now sit with a disappointing 8-13-1 record through 22 regular season contests.