November 02 2016 12:00PM
It's no secret a big reason the Flames' lousy opening month of 2016-17 is due in no small part to the struggles of their young star forwards. Both Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau signed big, long-term deals in the offseason, driving their combined cap hit north of $13 million. Unfortunately, neither guy has been worth the money so far.
November 01 2016 10:00AM
For the past two years, the Calgary Flames were one of the least penalized teams in the league. In 2014-15, they were shorthanded a league low 186 times (one of the many reasons they were able to make the playoffs that year). Last year, they gave up just 233 power plays, good for fifth best in the NHL.
This season has not started off on the same foot, however. Calgary has already been shorthanded 43 times in just 10 games, the second most in the NHL. That rate comes out to over four PKs per game and projects to a total of 353 (!!) over the course of the season. To put that in perspective, the Arizona Coyotes gave up a league worst 304 PPs last year.
To understand what's going on I took a look at who is taking penalties and how it relates to the club's rates from last year.
October 31 2016 12:00PM
After two weeks of awful, disjointed play, the Flames have put together a few quality games and look to be back on track. Who knows what caused the opening jitters through the first six or so games, or what caused the course correction, but it's nice not to be mounting losses anymore.
Instead we can get back to the typical stuff - line combinations, individual player evaluations, special teams tweaks. You know, the good stuff. Today, we look at Bennett vs. Monahan, the Flames' PP and whether Matthew Tkachuk should stick around or not.
October 26 2016 12:00PM
It's almost decision time for Brad Treliving when it comes to Matthew Tkachuk.
The Flames' 18-year-old rookie has played in six games so far, scoring a goal and an assist. If he plays in 10 NHL games, the first year of his entry level deal will be triggered, starting the clock on his artificially capped contract.
Aside from cap concerns, there are two other considerations: can Tkachuk help the team win now and what is best for his development?
October 24 2016 08:00AM
Halloween is still a week away but things have already gotten scary in Calgary.
The Flames entered the year with a lot of optimism, but instead the team has kicked off 2016-17 with an almost historically bad start. They have the worst combined special teams in the league, have given up the most goals and have surrendered the most high danger scoring chances against. They look like a middling AHL club that awoke to find themselves inexplicably inserted into the NHL and they have no idea how to compete.
The bad news is, the Flames' schedule was incredibly soft to start they year, with lots of home games and lesser opponents. Things get much more difficult over the next few weeks, which means there's a chance this grim spectacle isn't the nadir of the season.
Now that's scary.