December 16 2015 07:00AM
We'd like to take a short break from the hockey talk for a moment.
FlamesNation has grown a lot over the last 12 months or so. We're having our best year ever by a wide margin, which is awesome. Thanks to everyone, from our long time readers to those of you who have recently joined up.
Of course, with more readers comes more comments. And sometimes with a lot of comments there comes, well... unpleasantness. This past fall we added a cadre of moderators to the site in the hopes of making this a site where people can feel safe to contribute and debate without fear of personal attacks or the need to wade through rampant trolling. As you all know, we want FN to be a place where you can argue and express your passion as a Flames fan.
That said, we'd like to announce a new rule: any user engaging in sexist, racist or homophobic language in the comments will now be instantly banned. This sort of conduct was never allowed here previously, but we never explicitly instituted a "one strike" rule to police it.
Well, we're stating it now. If you're caught using this sort of language, you'll be banned without recourse from FlamesNation.
Obviously this doesn't apply to a vast majority of our commenters. To you, we say "thank you" for coming by and sharing your thoughts with us every day. We'll continue to try to make this the best Flames site on the web.
Thank you. Now back to your regularly scheduled spreadsheets and animated gifs.
December 14 2015 08:00AM
Do you believe in miracles?
Because the Flames have suddenly won five in a row and are just two points back of the Vancouver Canucks for a playoff position in the Pacific Division (with two games in hand). Nothing is guaranteed, of course, and this a club that is still suffering from some glaring deficiencies, but it seems that this season might be a bit more interesting than October and November suggested.
Even with the improved results, trade talk is a big topic this week's mailbag. We look at Joe Colborne, David Jones, the trade deadline and how much the organization should prepare to pay Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan this summer.
December 07 2015 02:00PM
I've been openly skeptical about Markus Granlund as a prospect for a couple of seasons now. He's had superficially good runs in the show a couple of times, but they were often artificially goosed by transient percentages spikes. Otherwise, the kid has typically struggled at fundamental areas of the game (as kids are wont to do). There's no question Granlund has NHL-level hands and can think the game well, but his lacklustre speed and strength always seemed to be an impediment.
This year, though, Granlund looks like he may have taken a real step forward. We're only talking about a small handful of games, but he seems to be far better at keeping pace and executing all over the ice. He may only have one goal in five games, but there are indications that Granlund might be ready for full time duty.
December 07 2015 10:22AM
Whatever may be remembered about this era of the Flames down the road, at the very least we can say it was rarely boring.
A flash of the old 2014-15 magic returned this past week with thrilling come-from-behind victories over Dallas and Boston. Versus the Bruins, it was more of a case of losing the lead late before knotting things up in the dying seconds, but that's a quibble. Although the Flames still linger at the bottom of the league with just three regulation wins, at least they're giving the home crowd their money's worth recently.
In this mailbag we talk about goalies (of course), the trade deadline (naturally) and if Sean Monahan is starting to come around.
December 06 2015 04:17PM
The question of what the Flames can do about their goalie situation has come up a lot recently.
Not only has the team suffered through the worst netminding in the NHL so far this year, their options moving forward (at least in the medium term) seem grim. Both Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller will come off the books this summer and neither is a good bet to be retained by the team (barring some sort of miracle turn around).
The putative goalies of the future are still question marks. Joni Ortio only got a limited chance to show his wares this year and and unfortunately fell on his face. Jon Gillies' development has been set back by season ending hip surgery and Mason Mcdonald is years away from pressing for a job.
The organization has to find a bridge goalie (or two) to fill the gap between the end of the season and whenever a youngster manages to ascend to the starter's position (if ever).
The good news is, there are always goalies available in the NHL. Here are 10 netminders the Flames may target over the next eight months or so.