Predators 4, Flames 3 post-game embers: You can't wait that long

Ari Yanover
January 20 2017 08:00AM

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Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Another game, another must-win for the Flames. That's going to be something to get used to, for as long as the Flames are a bubble team pretty much every game from here on out is going to be a must-win.

This one more than most, though. The Flames' lackadaisical efforts against the Jets and Devils also came in must-win games, but they weren't as important as this one was. They aren't competing with the Devils for a playoff spot. In all likelihood, they aren't competing with the Jets, either.

They are directly competing with the Predators. Going into this game, these two teams occupied the seventh and eighth spots in the West in points percentage, with the Kings right on their heels. They played against a team missing P.K. Subban and Roman Josi. And now they're ninth.

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The Alex Chiasson enigma

Ari Yanover
January 19 2017 02:00PM

Alex Chiasson is not a top six forward.

Over halfway through a season in his career as a Calgary Flame, I think that's a pretty fair statement to make. He has 14 points - seven goals and seven assists - through 47 games, which is 13th in team scoring, behind noted healthy scratch Sam Bennett. 

The clear difference here: more is expected from Bennett than from Chiasson, even though it's Chiasson seemingly being gifted into a top spot on the team.

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Flames 5, Panthers 2 post-game embers: Could've been 7-2

Ari Yanover
January 18 2017 08:00AM

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Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports

Good news! The Calgary Flames now have a goal differential of -3. That's fifth in the Pacific, and eighth in the West - which is certainly much better than when they were near last.

Unfortunate news! They still haven't had a positive goal differential all season. But their latest two games have left a lot to like, and against the Panthers, the dam broke and the goals finally came back.

If they can keep this up, they'll get there. There's reason to believe in them.

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It's time to play Brett Kulak - maybe even in the top four

Ari Yanover
January 16 2017 10:00AM

It has been one week since the Calgary Flames recalled Brett Kulak.

A part of that move probably had to do with demoting Tyler Wotherspoon, who was a day away from requiring waivers to be sent back down. And for all we know, that was the only reason - because it's been three games Kulak could have played in (not counting the Jets game on the day of his recall), and yet, three straight healthy scratches for him.

Before he was sent down back in December, he had been a healthy scratch five straight games. And so it continues.

But really, the Flames should probably be playing him.

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Oilers 2, Flames 1 (SO): Close, but no cigar

Ari Yanover
January 15 2017 08:00AM

It isn't this loss that stings - it's the other ones.

The Flames played well enough to win. They were the better team overall, even when they were the ones not rested. They responded from the pathetic failure that had been their game against the Devils, just as they responded against the Sharks after the Jets disaster.

And they got a point out of it. Which, fine, whatever; that's all well and good. Though they're ninth in the West in points percentage, which is just out of a playoff spot, and as things stand they may be the most likely ones in the conference to just miss the dance.

Which is why you show up for every game. And why those two losses earlier in the week sting more. Because if the Flames had played this well against them, they probably would have won.

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