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.
November 14 2016 08:00AM
The Flames are almost a quarter of the way through the 2016-17 season and you might be feeling a sense of deja vu. Right now they have the exact same record through 16 games as they did last year: 5-10-1.
Brad Treliving overhauled his coaching staff in the offseason, took a sledgehammer to his right wing and re-signed two of his cornerstone player to expensive, long-term contracts. Things were supposed to be different this year. They were supposed to be better.
Unfortunately right now, we don't know if this is some sort of aberrant run as the roster acclimates to the new coach or if the new bench boss and crew are hopelessly out of their depth. What we do know is that this spate of incompetence has likely sunk another season, dooming the Flames to another year of trade deadline selling and draft watching.
The question is what happens in the interim? Do the decision makers ride this out and re-evaluate in the summer or will they be prodded to make some sort of drastic move in the short term?
In the mailbag today we talk about special teams, goaltending and potential shake-up trades.
November 09 2016 12:00PM
This isn't the start to the season anyone expected.
Even if you assumed the Flames would get off to a rocky start for whatever reason, no one would have guessed it would be the Flames' established stars and young core players that would fail the team so completely.
November 07 2016 10:00AM
There was some optimism coming off a decent 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks last week. That was immediately quashed by a humiliating 5-0 loss at the hands of Kings a couple of nights later. Los Angeles completely dominated play from start to finish despite half of their roster sitting in the infirmary. This article was written before Calgary's follow-up in Anaheim Sunday night, but we can usually predict how that's going to go... [ed. - How did he know?!]
Though the Flames had seemingly taken a few steps forward recently, their play in L.A. was reminiscent of their very worst performances to start the season. What's especially worrying is that none of the Flames' struggling stars have shows signs of sustained improvement - Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano are more often liabilities than assets at the moment.
I've seen great players struggle for stretches during my time as a Flames fan, but I've never seen all of a team's stars stink collectively to this degree for this long ever before. The Flames are now bottom five in the league in almost every important measure you can name as a result.
As fans, it's waiting time. We have to wait to see if the stars pull out of this terrible dry spell. We have to wait to see if the coaching staff can salvage what will rapidly become a lost season if this level of play keeps up. Fingers crossed for now.
Today we talk about Monahan, defensive deployments and power play problems.