November 11 2013 11:16AM
First off, everyone here at FlamesNation hopes that you all have an excellent Remembrance Day (or Veteran's Day for our American pals). As is the tradition, there was an awful lot of ice hockey played over the past three days as it was a long weekend throughout North America.
Let's get ready for the upcoming week of hockey with a look around at what transpired in the past seven days.
The Calgary Flames concluded their four-game road trip with three game over the past week. Things did not go amazingly well.
On Tuesday night, the game got away from them, and the Flames lost a 5-1 rout in St. Paul to the Minnesota Wild. Jiri Hudler had the lone goal for the Flames. Reto Berra got tagged with the loss. To add insult to injury, Curtis Glencross left the game with an MCL injury. [Post Game]
On Thursday, the Flames had a much better effort in St. Louis. After digging a 3-0 hole for themselves at one point, the team roared back and nearly tied things up. They ended up losing 3-2. Tim Jackman and Mike Cammalleri scored, while Berra started against the team that traded him. [Post Game]
On Friday, the Flames had another slow start in Denver against the red-hot Colorado Avalanche. Despite dominating play throughout the second and third periods, they ended up dropping a 4-2 decision. Mike Cammalleri had a pair of goals and Karri Ramo ended up with the loss. [Post Game]
Prior to Friday's game, the Flames made a rare trade with the hated Edmonton Oilers. Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit are off to the Oilers farm team in Oklahoma City, while goalie Olivier Roy is headed to the ECHL's Alaska Aces and Ladislav Smid is the newest Flame. He'll wear #3.
In other roster shuffling, Max Reinhart was recalled to the Flames to take Glencross' roster spot while Chad Billins was returned to the AHL on Saturday following Smid's acquisition.
- First off, if you haven't experienced the first podcast by Arik, Azevedo and Book of Loob, do so.
- Also, Azevedo, with the help of reader Byron Bader, has a detailed look at the relationship between size and NHL success.
- And, lest we beat around the proverbial bush, the Herald's Scott Cruickshank has the skinny on the criminal charges Brett Kulak faces. He'll be in court on November 20.
- The Flames have parked Sven Baertschi in the press box three times this year. Kristen Odland has the details on how Baertschi feels about the whole thing.
- A subject of much Twitter debate this weekend was the placement on the roster of Joe Colborne, especially when Mikael Backlund was centering Tim Jackman and Brian McGrattan. The Sun's Wes Gilbertson details how Colborne got himself nestled snugly in Calgary's line-up.
- Finally, the Flames made a trade with the Oilers this weekend. I took a look at what the Flames traded and what they got at The Hockey Writers, while the fine folks at Copper and Blue provided a different perspective.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames went winless, but Jiri Hudler continued to be awesome. Mike Cammalleri scored many goals and Mikael Backlund went from being on the fourth line to being a key player in that last game against Colorado.
In the AHL, the Abbotsford Heat continue to be really good. As in first in the AHL. They won all four games this week, despite the constant roster shuffling (Joey MacDonald in, Reto Berra out, Max Reinhart out, Chad Billins in, Roman Horak and Laurent Brossoit out). They beat San Antonio twice (2-1 and 3-2) and the Toronto Marlies twice (4-3 and 6-3). Ortio and MacDonald each got two starts and two wins. Markus Granlund scored three goals in four games, as did Michael Ferland. In related news, Abbotsford native (and former Edmonton Oiler) Dean Arsene was named team captain. In the ECHL, Alaska won two of three in Idaho and no Flames properties did anything of note.
Once again, my prospect Three Stars includes five players. Morgan Klimchuk had an excellent week, with a hat trick (featuring goals at even-strength, the power play and on the penalty kill) and six points overall.
He was outdone, however, by Johnny “Please Turn Pro Already” Gaudreau, who had seven points in two games, including game-winning goals in both games. Teammate Bill Arnold had “just” six points (slacker), while Emile Poirier had five points and Jon Gillies had a shutout and two wins. Johnny Gaudreau now has 18 points in just 9 games and is already a cealr front runner for the Hobey Baker award.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames play three times this week, all at home, against the Sharks (Tuesday), Stars (Thursday) and Oilers (Saturday). Both Lee Stempniak and Chris Breen skated with the main group on Sunday. Stempniak may be available for Tuesday's game. The roster is at 22 healthy bodies and four on the IR (Stempniak, Breen, Curtis Glencross and Mark Giordano), so Stempniak can be activated without making a roster move. If they need to do one, though, expect Max Reinhart to return to the Heat.
The Heat head way down south this week for three games. They play the Texas Stars in Cedar Park on Wednesday, then head to Oklahoma City to visit Roman Horak and the Barons on Friday and Saturday. That's right, folks, Saturday will feature both an NHL Battle of Alberta and the AHL Battle of Alberta Farm Teams. Elsewhere, the Alaska Aces host the Las Vegas Wranglers for three games in less than 72 hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, so expect Olivier Roy to get a start somewhere in there. The Aces continue to be a great ECHL team, despite losing a game this weekend.
And Coda Gordon's Swift Current Broncos head to the Saddledome to face the Hitmen on Friday night. Tickets are still available.