November 29 2016 12:00PM
We're now two months into the general hockey season, and clearer patterns have begun to emerge. The Flames haven't totally shaken off the early October struggles and are still, at their core, an inconsistent disaster that has been propped up by good goaltending (for once). We've all been waiting for the team to turn the mythical corner, and to their credit, they have. Their only problem is that time is a flat circle.
For the positive side of this intro, let's look to the prospects who, nearly a quarter into the season, have had very good performances. As previously mentioned, clearer patterns have emerged. Contenders have separated from pretenders, and there are more of the former than the latter. Let's dive in.
November 29 2016 10:22AM
This morning, Team Canada officially announced their selection roster for the 2017 World Junior Championship, including Kelowna Rocket and Flames prospect Dillon Dube. The 32 man roster currently contains 19 forwards including Dube, and will be cut to 22 players after selection camp, held from Dec. 11-14 in Broisband, Quebec.
November 29 2016 08:00AM
The Islanders are an unmitigated disaster right now. Their star players can't score, and not helping that fact is that they keep scratching key contributor Ryan Strome. They couldn't keep Kyle Okposo because they gave a shipload of money to Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and other fourth liners. They are second worst in score-adjusted 5v5 and have the least number of points in the NHL.
Those are just the on-ice problems. They play in an obviously converted basketball arena which includes an off-centre jumbotron, reduced seating capacity, terrible sightlines, and a Honda in the front row like we're watching the Spengler Cup. It's very symbolic that the outside of the arena is covered in rust. Every player on their roster will probably retire before they stop paying Rick DiPietro. Their coach allegedly lives in the general manager's basement. No matter how bad this season gets, Islanders fans are looking at us (well, at everyone) with envy in their eyes.
Yet the Flames had a tough time against the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked. You couldn't ask for an easier end to the most gruelling road trip of the season, a road trip that many thought the Flames could use to turn their season around, and they blew it. Against a bunch of chuckleheads.
November 23 2016 02:00PM
Here's a picture of Adam Fox playing international hockey. Yes, it counts.
The year 2016 is moving by ridiculously quickly (thank God for that, some would say). Today's date is Nov. 23. That means we're just a shade over a month away from World Juniors, and just a few weeks from camp rosters being announced. It's the most wonderful time of the year.
With a young and good prospect system, the Flames could see a handful of their own representing their countries. We're going to quickly break down some of the eligible players and their chances of making the tournament based on position battles and league performances.
November 22 2016 02:00PM
I occasionally think of this column as some kind of quality control report. Sometimes, the best news is no news. As I've seen over the past few weeks, folks have been scoring consistently, so there's nothing really important to report. The stats speak for themselves. I just point out worrisome/promising trends.
I am sorry to say that I have to report something this week. Of course, this is week-to-week so there's no need for panic yet, but there were some prospects who didn't have great weeks. We're going to talk about them.