January 01 2017 08:00AM
Candice Ward/USA TODAY Sports
It took a little over 15 minutes for the Calgary Flames to break out a four-goal lead.
This is a story we've seen before. It's not a common one - the Flames' still-negative goal differential (-6 heading into the new year) would point to the fact that this is not a team that experiences many blowouts in their favour - but the Flames have started to really punch down other teams as of late.
That's four or five in the month of December. Well, almost; the Flames still have this pesky habit of not quite knowing what to do when they've got a big lead like that - though that third period was much better.
December 30 2016 08:00AM
The Flames had a big opportunity with this one. If they'd won in regulation, they would have been right up there with the Ducks in points percentage, and a real threat to get into the top three of the Pacific Division. And not by games played, as they were before - but for real.
Of course, that's a bit of a tall order. The Ducks are a team filled with talented players that have often had the Flames' number, that one 8-3 win aside. That order grew even taller when Calgary lost one of their best players to illness.
And still, they hanged in there for most of the game, at least in score. But only scoring one goal is going to hurt you more often than not, failing to capitalize on a two-on-zero is pretty awful, and your special teams simply can't be that bad.
But at least it wasn't a blowout.
December 29 2016 08:53PM
After a bit of a lighter schedule, it was another massive day at the World Juniors.
All five Flames prospects were in action, as first Adam Fox, Tyler Parsons, and Team USA faced a more difficult opponent in Pavel Karnaukhov and Team Russia, and won 3-2. Then, Oliver Kylington and Team Sweden helped put a dagger in Team Finland with a 3-1 win. And finally, Dillon Dube and Team Canada took down Team Latvia 10-2.
That's one goalie, two defencemen, and two forwards, all a part of the Flames system, that were in action. Let's take a look at how they did.
December 29 2016 08:00AM
Disclaimer: Matthew Tkachuk's chances of winning the Calder are probably about as likely as your chances of finding a picture of him with his mouthguard actually in his mouth. In other words, not likely.
He'll get some consideration, I'm sure. Maybe a particularly strong back half could see him end up a finalist, but aiming to be top five in voting may be more realistic.
Whether or not Tkachuk does get a trophy at the end of the year, though, keep in mind that approaching the 40-game mark of the season - the very one that will determine Tkachuk hitting unrestricted free agent status a year earlier - he is, without a doubt, one of the best rookies in the NHL this season.
I'm going to go so far as to say you could make a case he's actually the best one.
December 28 2016 08:10PM
With just two games in the World Juniors today, there were also just two Flames prospects in action. The prospective blue line looks to be a point of strength for Calgary these days, and Oliver Kylington and Adam Fox are big parts of that.
Kylington and Team Sweden were the first ones up, beating Team Switzerland 4-2. Then, it was Adam Fox and Team USA, who defeated Team Slovakia 5-2. Tyler Parsons had the day off as Joseph Woll got the start for the Americans.