Shuffling Up Calgary's Tired Lines

Ryan Pike
December 01 2015 04:00PM

Given the Calgary Flames' struggles this season - as I write this, they're dead-last in the National Hockey League - many fans and pundits have been calling for Flames management to axe Bob Hartley as head coach. Granted, I'm not sure that would solve many of the team's problems, but one big axe I have to grind with Hartley is his lines.

To avoid beating around the bush, Hartley's relying far too much on the same few lines, even when they've failed to generate much offensively (or are getting stomped defensively). To see what I mean, let's look at the lines the Flames have largely been rolling with this season.

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FGD #25: Home Ice Advantage: The Flames Host Dallas

Ryan Pike
December 01 2015 02:00PM

(Candice Ward - USA Today Sports)

Thanks to Garret Sparks, the Calgary Flames aren't in sole possession of last place in the National Hockey League to kick off the month of December. That concludes the positives right now for the Flames.

After playing decently but gaining just a single point on their three-game road trip, the Flames limped home to prepare for tonight's kick-off to a massive five-game home-stand. With their season basically hanging on a precipice, the Flames (one of the NHL's worst teams) kick things off with a game against the Dallas Stars (one of the NHL's best teams). To say expectations aren't exactly high would be an understatement.

The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

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5 Prospects We Need To See In Calgary This Season

Ryan Pike
November 30 2015 02:00PM

The Calgary Flames are dead-last in the National Hockey League. At this point, it's probably time to start thinking about the future. In order to figure out the future, the Flames probably need to do what they have in previous years when the wheels fell off their season: bring some kids up and try them out.

With that in mind, here are five prospects that we need to see in a Flames jersey this season for evaluation purposes at the NHL level. (Or merely to keep the "always earned, never given" mantra alive in the organization.) The list is based on a combination of players that deserve to get a look and players that probably need to get a look.

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Post-Game: Tanked By Sharks

Ryan Pike
November 28 2015 11:07PM

The Calgary Flames began this road trip about a week ago. There was hope. They had played a bunch of good games in a row, and were coming off pretty strong home wins against New Jersey and Chicago. With three games ahead of them against Pacific Division opponents, the optimists were thinking "Hey, they might be able to close the gap between them and the playoff teams!"


The Flames closed out their road trip with a 5-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks tonight, concluding a road trip where they gave their opponents six of a possible six points and captured just one for themselves.

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FGD #24: The Shark Tank

Ryan Pike
November 28 2015 12:00PM

The Calgary Flames played the second of their three games on their road trip last night. The bad news is that for the second time in as many games, they lost. The good news is they took awhile to do so, so they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Artists Formerly Known As The Phoenix Coyotes. Tonight, they seek redemption - and a sorely needed two points - in Silicon Valley as they face the San Jose Sharks.

The Flames hit San Jose with a 8-13-2 record and 18 points, putting them 7 points back of the Coyotes for the last Pacific playoff spot and 8 points back of the 13-9-0 Sharks. They flat-out need to figure out ways to win games or to at least lose more often in overtime, like Vancouver (9-8-7) has been. Otherwise we might as well all start booking tee times.

The puck drops just after 8pm MT on CBC (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey, since there's a million national games tonight) and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

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