January 05 2017 02:16PM
We don't yet know who will be representing the Flames at the NHL All-Star Game at the end of January, but we know who will in the AHL.
Mark Jankowski is the lone member of the Stockton Heat who will be an AHL All-Star this season. They're one of 13 of the 30 AHL teams to have just one representative.
January 05 2017 08:00AM
Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
If you're going to do anything, you have to be able to beat the bad teams.
Some might consider the Flames a bad team. That would be a bit silly - they're not fantastic, but they are eighth in points percentage in the Western Conference, otherwise known as "looking pretty comfortable in a legitimate playoff spot," and bad teams generally aren't in such a position.
Of course, it's beating those truly bad teams that has helped get the Flames there. "Winners of 11 of their last 15" - their last 15 being all the games they've played since their lengthy eastern road trip - is all well and good; eight of those 11 wins have come against teams below them in points percentage. (The three that didn't? The Leafs, the Wild, and the Ducks that one game.)
The Flames are currently in the midst of a favourable schedule stretch for them. And that'll continue; of the 12 games they have left to play in January, six of their opponents are below them in points percentage, and the other six are probably beatable, too.
These are the games they have to win. It's good that they are.
January 04 2017 08:45PM
One of the best things about junior hockey - especially at high levels, like the World Juniors - is the pace. If both teams are really gunning for it, then what you'll be treated to is unrelenting back-and-forth action.
And with spots in the gold medal game on the line, four teams were really going at it. Canada, the United States, Sweden, and Russia are four of the top hockey nations in the world; it goes without saying that all four countries gave it their all against each other in these games.
It'll be Adam Fox, Tyler Parsons, and Team USA vs. Dillon Dube and Team Canada for the gold, with Pavel Karnaukhov and Team Russia vs. Oliver Kylington and Team Sweden for the bronze. They're not done yet - but everyone has had mostly good showings en route to four of them being guaranteed to win a medal.
January 03 2017 08:00AM
Part of being successful at international hockey simply comes down to luck.
Which country were you born in? Which countries are you eligible to play for? That's going to go a long way towards determining your success.
Take, for example, Nico Hischier. Phenomenal young player, likely with a very high draft spot a very bright future ahead of him. He gave the Americans fits in a game virtually everyone would have predicted them to win. But he's Swiss, his team doesn't have anywhere near as many players as capable as other teams do, and so, his chances of winning much internationally are pretty low.
As gimmicky as it was, that was the entire philosophy behind having a Team Europe at the World Cup of Hockey. Anze Kopitar and Mats Zuccarello are two amazing players, but the chances Slovenia or Norway ever actually wins anything...
So there's a certain level of luck that goes into this. Pavel Karnaukhov was eligible to represent both Belarus and Russia internationally; where is Belarus? He went with Russia. And so.
The five Flames prospects at this tournament play for Canada, the United States, Sweden, and Russia. Those are the final four teams of the 2017 World Juniors, and so, all five Flames prospects have advanced. All will play for a medal. At least three of them will win one.
January 01 2017 02:00PM
The 2017 World Juniors round robin is done, and all five of the Flames prospects playing have made it to the quarterfinals. Each played in all four of their teams' round robin games, with the exception of Tyler Parsons, who started two games for Team USA while Joseph Woll took the other two.
Four games is a tiny sample size. Then again this entire tournament is a tiny sample size, but it's a hell of a lot of fun regardless. So let's take this moment to sum up just how Dillon Dube, Adam Fox, Parsons, Oliver Kylington, and Pavel Karnaukhov have been used - and how well they've done in their roles, too.