FGD: Doing It Wrong

Ryan Pike
April 15 2013 01:50PM

 

 

On trade deadline day, April 3, the Calgary Flames basically threw in the towel. And yes, by that I mean the trade that sent Blake Comeau to the Blue Jackets was meant to be a watershed moment for the franchise. Combined with the deals that shipped out higher-paid, higher-skilled players named Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester, those moves were the beginning of the Flames' long-delayed rebuild and a sign to fans to prepare for some losses.

Since the trade deadline, the Calgary Flames have somehow won half of their games. Exempting their deadline day 8-2 spanking at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers, the team has played six competent, fairly consistent contests. They lost to San Jose and Vancouver (twice). They beat Edmonton, Phoenix and Colorado. They've missed the veteran presences of Matt Stajan, Curtis Glencross and Alex Tanguay, and it has not mattered one bit.

In other words, in terms of selling off their high-end players and trying to tank for a Nathan MacKinnon or Seth Jones at the NHL Draft in June – they're doing it wrong, but they're showing the kind of resilience and consistency that Flames fans are probably really conflicted about the whole thing.

Brace yourselves, fans, because the Flames are threatening to actually move up in the standings when they host the Minnesota Wild tonight at the 'Dome. Puck drop is at 7pm on your friendly neighbourhood Sportsnet communications venues.

OH CRAP, CAN THEY MOVE UP TONIGHT?

The Flames had fun on the weekend, edging out Phoenix in overtime and embarrassing an Edmonton team all the way out of playoff contention, all without moving up in the NHL's overall standings. It was the very definition of having your cake and eating it too. But Calgary (16-21-4) can leap from their cozy perch and overtake Carolina, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia and Nashville with a win and some help tonight. That would put them as high as 24th overall, which would just screw with any dreams of Drouin or MacKinnon.

So who's to blame for the resurgence?

Well, maybe Jay Feaster. After being told for so many years that Calgary's prospects are lousy, he puts a bunch of them on the roster to tank the season...and they've actually scored goals and played well. Recent signee Ben Hanowski will get his shot to prove his worth tonight too, by the way.

Journeyman back-up goalie Joey MacDonald, hoped to be the latest in a long line of bad back-ups, has also been quite good. Truth be told, he's won half of his decisions as a Flame and is the only netminder with a goals against average south of 3 per game. He was a big reason the Flames escaped with 2 points against the Coyotes (someone knee cap him!).

The other problem is that the team is generally playing loose, relaxed, up-tempo hockey and getting contributions from everywhere. In the last six games, Mikael Backlund has two goals and two assists and has been excellent. Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak each also have four points. Roman Horak, Sven Baertschi and Max “Power” Reinhart are racking up points, as well.

It's just not fair.

WILL THEY LOSE TO MINNESOTA?

Well, it's possible. The Wild are 13th overall (7th in the West) with a 22-16-3 record, but they're under .500 on the road and have won just three times in their last ten games. It's possible that the Flames could beat them, particularly the way they're playing right now.

If the Wild play up to their talent level, the Flames should lose and creep back down towards the bottom of the standings. But there's no guarantees. If it helps, Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom is really good and always seems to frustrate the Flames. The key to beating this tanking team lately has been to throw a hot goalie at them (Niemi, Schneider, Luongo), so that may be a good omen for those hoping for a loss.

WHAT'S LEFT AFTER THIS?

After this game, the Flames play six more times – twice at home and four times on the road, where their horrible away record will drag them kicking and screaming towards a good draft pick. Their remaining opponents are Detroit (20-15-7, 8th in West), Anaheim (27-10-5, 2nd), Minnesota again, Nashville (15-20-8, 13th), St. Louis (23-16-2, 6th) and Chicago (32-5-4, 1st). There are at least three guaranteed losses right there. But will it be enough? Find out starting tonight.

 

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Ryan Pike is a Calgary native and FlamesNation's managing editor. He's covered the Flames and the NHL since 2010. His work can also be found at The Hockey Writers and The Wrestling Observer.
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#101 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 08:37PM
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@Monaertchi Gaudnett

Nope.. Pretty sure it was just CuJo

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#102 negrilcowboy
April 15 2013, 08:39PM
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boston marathon, unfortunately will never be the same 70 percent of the runners doin it for charity.

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#103 mattyc
April 15 2013, 08:39PM
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I don't mind MacDonald. He's pretty average, but isn't terrible anyways.

Unrelated: this game is painful to watch. Nothing. Happening.

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#104 Monaertchi Gaudnett
April 15 2013, 08:42PM
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Through the magic of DVR, Killer shown to have played 17 games, 4-5-6 record and 2.58 GAA in 10-11. Don't know if it is true, but SN says so.

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#105 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 08:43PM
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Chances were 5-2 MIN. Flames didn't get a chance at 5on5.

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#106 negrilcowboy
April 15 2013, 08:43PM
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ray emery picks up the win for the hawks runs his record to 16 and one.

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#107 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 08:45PM
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Avs Blue Jackets 1-1 end of the second.

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#108 mattyc
April 15 2013, 08:47PM
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also unrelated: I can't believe Lowe got so heated and said all that dumb stuff about "two-tier fans" and how many rings he has. Holy.

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#109 negrilcowboy
April 15 2013, 08:51PM
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mattyc wrote:

also unrelated: I can't believe Lowe got so heated and said all that dumb stuff about "two-tier fans" and how many rings he has. Holy.

flames gotta hire burkie so him and lowe can have the barn fight in red deer. lowe acted like a pompous ass today. problem with lowe is he thinks he is still playing. i am sure some old habs players have more cups and is still employed by the team.

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#110 SmellOfVictory
April 15 2013, 08:53PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Hano looks way out his depth to me, but the rest are playing well.

Not unexpected. We know he's not the best skater from scouting reports, and it's a sizeable jump from NCAA to NHL. He did show good instincts on that one chance he had with Cammalleri, though.

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#111 mattyc
April 15 2013, 08:53PM
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@negrilcowboy

haha maybe a timekeeper or goal judge who's been around since the '50s.

I'd be keen on Burke, except I'd end up having to listen to him spew old Winston Churchill quotes thinking he's so clever.

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#112 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:04PM
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@SmellOfVictory

Oh yeah, there's no surprise there at all.

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#113 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 09:06PM
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Sweet. Now stop scoring.

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#114 Brent G.
April 15 2013, 09:06PM
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Great goal!

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#115 Monaertchi Gaudnett
April 15 2013, 09:07PM
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Well, that is how you run that play.

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#116 mk
April 15 2013, 09:07PM
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Hudler! The triple-Czech line!

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#117 yomamen
April 15 2013, 09:08PM
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Czech line!

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#118 Slash
April 15 2013, 09:08PM
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Czechmates

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#119 thymebalm
April 15 2013, 09:09PM
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Nice, I can celebrate without fear of us tying it.

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#120 mattyc
April 15 2013, 09:09PM
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Czech mate! har har har... nice passing play. Aaaan they get it right back.

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#121 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:09PM
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Quite the pass by Horak on the Hudler goal.

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#122 yomamen
April 15 2013, 09:09PM
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Every time MIN scores, its good because we can score another goal and dont spoil our draft position :o)

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#123 Baalzamon
April 15 2013, 09:10PM
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A goal for the Czeching line!!!

Also, Pierre-Marc Bouchard is a jerk.

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#124 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 09:18PM
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We having fun yet???

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#125 Brent G.
April 15 2013, 09:20PM
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You could feel that coming. Good for him.

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#126 mk
April 15 2013, 09:20PM
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HANOWSKI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

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#127 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:20PM
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Haha Hanowski has the same amount of goals as Jarome since the trade.

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#128 ChinookArch
April 15 2013, 09:21PM
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Nice work Hanno!

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#129 clyde
April 15 2013, 09:21PM
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Will Taylor Hall dress tomorrow or will he get the Minny flu again? If he dresses, will he man up if challenged?

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#130 Colin S
April 15 2013, 09:22PM
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Woooooooooooooo!

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#131 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 09:22PM
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Good instincts. He's showing he knows where to go to score.

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#132 Slash
April 15 2013, 09:22PM
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Nice Hands owski

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#133 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:23PM
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hahaha...that's awesome for Hanowski.

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#134 Jeff Lebowski
April 15 2013, 09:24PM
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Shoot the puck!

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#135 Chris Fairfield
April 15 2013, 09:25PM
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2 goals in 1:13 for the Mild.

Yeah, I know it's 4-2, but damn, that Hudler goal gets a Czechmark!

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#136 maimster
April 15 2013, 09:25PM
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Normally I hate the 3-point games, but the underdog-fan in me wants Columbus to keep winning and the Flame fan in me wants Colorado to keep getting points - I guess OT in that game is just fine!

Damn, this end of season is confusing...

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#137 Kent Wilson
April 15 2013, 09:26PM
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Shoot the puck Dennis.

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#138 maimster
April 15 2013, 09:26PM
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Annnnnddddd....Colorado scores...

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#139 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 09:27PM
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@maimster

Yippee!!!

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#140 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:27PM
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Kent Wilson wrote:

Shoot the puck Dennis.

He got the memo

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#141 Slash
April 15 2013, 09:27PM
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Go Avs

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#142 Baalzamon
April 15 2013, 09:28PM
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I'm not even joking, I was saying Hanowski should score today literally seconds before it happened. Funny when you can just feel these things coming.

Interesting Flames trivia: the last Flame to score a goal in his first NHL game (I think) was Brett Sutter--also against the Wild.

Before Sutter, it was David Moss scoring goals in his first 3 games.

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#143 Vintage Flame
April 15 2013, 09:29PM
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Max Power!

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#144 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:29PM
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CBJ tied it.

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#145 clyde
April 15 2013, 09:30PM
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Umberger you dick

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#146 maimster
April 15 2013, 09:30PM
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annnndddd....there's one for the Jackets

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#147 Monaertchi Gaudnett
April 15 2013, 09:31PM
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schevvy wrote:

CBJ tied it.

And on the PP going into OT

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#148 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:32PM
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Well at least the Avs got a point. This is so confusing. I want CBJ to make the playoffs, but I want the Avs to win. Screw you, draft lottery system.

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#149 Scary Gary
April 15 2013, 09:32PM
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@Scary Gary

Yeehaww

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#150 schevvy
April 15 2013, 09:33PM
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Can't wait for Iggy to re-sign this off-season...

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