November 28 2016 10:00AM
As Calgary slowly inches back towards the .500 mark, the team and its players are being frequently mentioned in trade rumours around the league. Which is not unnatural - when a club underperforms expectations this severely to start a season, a couple of things become more likely:
1.) A coach gets fired.
2.) A significant trade is made.
Option one isn't really available to Treilving given he just hired this entire bench crew.
And as we've mentioned a few times around here, the Flames need to be careful when it comes to investigating the trade market right now. Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make.
The club's recent modest upswing might deter any rash decisions on the part of the front office. Despite their considerable struggles, Calgary is just a couple of points out of the wild card spot in the West (at the time of writing). If they can continue to string together a few good stretches to end the calendar year, they will at least look competitive heading into 2017.
In the mailbag today we look at the Flames' progression, the impending expansion draft, and Mark Jankowski's potential role with the big club.
November 23 2016 10:30AM
For a brief stint after Johnny Gaudreau was hurt, it looked like Sean Monahan was finding his game on a new line with Sam Bennett and Troy Brouwer.
Last week in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks, Monahan played over 19 minutes, scored two points and was one of the Flames' better skaters on the night. Maybe the 22-year-old had finally shaken the malaise that had infected his play since the start of the season?
Unfortunately the young centre followed that performance with a pair of simply putrid games on the road against the Detroit Red Wings and Buffalo Sabres. His line was the worst for the Flames on both evenings. In fact, it's arguable Monahan and Troy Brouwer were two of the main reasons the Flames lost the game in Buffalo.
November 21 2016 10:00AM
The club has dug themselves a pretty deep hole and it's going to be very difficult to dig themselves out again this year, especially with Johnny Gaudreau laid up with a broke finger. Things can't really get much more bleak, can they?
However, there are rays of sunshine starting to poke through the clouds. The Flames are have begun to push the play at even strength, the goaltending has stabilized, the PP doesn't look totally lost and some of the stars are actually looking like themselves again.
On top of all that, the Pacific is terrible this year. Usually it would require a 92-95 point pace to make the playoffs in the West, but thanks to their lousy division, the Flames may only have to stretch to about 85 points to make the dance.
"Things are always darkest before the dawn," as they say. Maybe there's enough time left to turn this ship around.
Today we talk about who the starter is, the Flames' luck so far and whether we can chart their apparent improvement or not.
November 18 2016 08:00AM
It's been a bad start to the Flames 2016-17 season. Actually, that's an understatement - it's been a terrible, nightmarish start to the season. The special teams are still awful, the goaltending is still underwhelming and all the stars have struggled in unison. Calgary is only a few places out of last place because they've played more games than most everyone else.
So it's been rough.
But it hasn't been all bad. In fact, the terrible record is actually overshadowing some pleasant surprises and enduring bright spots that have managed pop up through the gloom so far.
So without further adieu here's the five best things about the Flames year so far.
November 16 2016 02:00PM
The Flames stumbling through the first six weeks of the season already has the fan base scrambling for answers. Everyone reasonably expected the club to take at least a modest step forward this season, but instead they are near-league worst in just about every aspect of the game.
A few weeks ago we talked about how long Glen Gulutzan has to turn things around. Things have since turned to hypothetical shake-up trades. Dougie Hamilton's name is already surfacing in trade rumours, while others are starting to wonder if the organization should flip Mark Giordano's deal before it becomes toxic.
When you get off to a 6-10-1 start, nothing is sacred.