December 10 2016 08:00AM
Dougie Hamilton scored his fourth goal of the season in dramatic fashion. The recipient of a fantastic pass from Johnny Gaudreau, he was able to then split two Coyotes en route to the net before deking out the goalie and scoring in overtime for the Flames.
All in all, it was an extremely cool goal: the Flames' 73rd of the season. Unfortunately, as it would so be right now, the Flames aren't a particularly high-scoring team; their 2.43 goals per game is only 20th in the NHL.
This is a team that, point blank, has to start scoring more. Gaudreau's return should help things, but Hamilton is probably going to be a massive part of any offensive resurgence, too.
December 09 2016 08:00AM
It doesn't matter how pretty a win is, all that matters is that it's a win.
Well, kind of. At this stage of the game, the Flames need to get wins any way they can. As long as those two points get added to their record, they should be good to go - at least for that one.
But that wasn't exactly a win that inspired confidence. Calgary showed up in the second period, but for the most part, they got ragdolled on the ice. They won because the Coyotes are literally the NHL's worst team, Chad Johnson held down the fort when he wasn't being tied up by his own teammates, and the powerplay didn't lose things for them as it has in the past.
Going by the standings, the Flames are now tied for first in the Pacific Division. Going by points percentage, they are still just on the outside looking in. They've played themselves back into the conversation, but they aren't there yet.
December 08 2016 10:00AM
Here's a fun stat: at present time, the Calgary Flames are in a playoff spot.
Here's another fun stat: they are just on the outside looking in regarding points percentage. If the playoffs started today, the Flames would be the team in the West closest to have, but ultimately failing, to make the dance.
That's much better than where they were before, as not too long ago, the Flames were right among the NHL's worst. But if history can tell us anything, it's that the odds are still stacked against the Flames when it comes to the playoffs this season. (Of course, there's that one team that might just get in anyway; and if they can keep up their current level of play - minding that that's a rather big "if"...)
So, what do you do when your team doesn't make the playoffs? You sell. This season, the NHL trade deadline should fall on Feb. 28, 2017.
December 08 2016 08:00AM
So. This season, eh?
In their first 10 games, the Flames were a 4-5-1 team. Not particularly good, as it was a brief three-game stretch that redeemed them for just a moment before they completely fell off the wagon once again. The season was effectively over; you can't be that bad to start and expect to really go anywhere.
In their most recent 10 games, the Flames are a 7-2-1 team. That's actually extremely good, and the majority of those games came on their longest, most gruelling road trip of the season. That's a playoff caliber team. That's a team that might actually be able to do some damage.
There are still 53 games to go in the season, though. That's a lot; almost anything can happen. The Flames could fall back in a hole, bottom out, and give us nothing but the draft to look forward to. Or they could play meaningful games in April and, dare I suggest it, beyond.
What's better for them?
December 07 2016 08:00AM
Remember Paul Byron? Of course you do, now that he always seems to be lighting it up for the Montreal Canadiens, his name keeps popping up and every single time it's like, hey, remember when the Flames waived him so they could keep a couple of players who are no longer anywhere near the NHL on their roster instead?
In his last season with the Flames, Byron was constantly finding himself on a breakaway... and constantly not scoring. It's one of those things that drew Montreal to claim him, because to go on so many breakaways he was obviously doing something right, and lo and behold, he's rewarded them.
The Flames had so many breakaways last night. But like with Byron in his final year in Calgary, at least they were rewarded on one of them.