FGD #23: Howling For A Win

Ryan Pike
November 27 2015 12:00PM

The Calgary Flames head to one of their favourite recent haunts, the desert, for the second game of their three-game Pacific Division road trip tonight. They're in Glendale, Arizona to tangle with the Arizona Coyotes and they're hoping to right the ship after a really disappointing result in Anaheim on Tuesday night.

The Flames are still close to the pack, entering Friday's ice hockey matches seven points back of Vancouver with a game-in-hand. Granted, the Flames are closer to the basement (two points up on Edmonton) than they are to the playoffs, but there is a lot of hockey left to play. But they need to get on track and rattle off some wins, particularly against divisional opponents like Arizona.

The puck drops tonight at 7pm MT on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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Are The Flames Becoming A Good Team?

Ryan Pike
November 26 2015 03:00PM

Four seasons ago, the Calgary Flames were in trouble.

They had an aging core, the majority of which had seen their best seasons already. Their key assets were depreciating in value rapidly, notably Jarome Iginla and Jay Bouwmeester. Miikka Kiprusoff had seen his best years and was readying for retirement. The bottom was about to fall out on the team's dreams of playoff contention.

Flames management finally threw in the towel and began their rebuild. Here we are, roughly 185 games into the rebuild, and Calgary's struggles (at times) this season have led to questions regarding the team's progression since hitting the magical reset button.

So where are the Flames relative to where they started in the rebuild, and relative to last season's season of wild bounces and magical comebacks and playoff games?

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Stockton's Goalie Situation Is Really Unclear

Ryan Pike
November 25 2015 05:21PM

The netminding situation in Calgary just got more clear, as veterans Karri Ramo and Jonas Hiller appear to have successfully defended their jobs by playing well (Ramo) and getting injured (Hiller). The waiving of third-stringer Joni Ortio has both clarified Calgary's situation and further muddled an already bizarre situation in Stockton, home of the Flames' American Hockey League affiliate.

Per the Calgary Sun's Randy Sportak:

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Jiri Hudler Was A Healthy Scratch Last Night

Ryan Pike
November 25 2015 12:30PM

Last night, the Calgary Flames began a crucial three-game road trip with a game at the Honda Center in Anaheim.

Well, most of them did, as veteran winger Jiri Hudler didn't play. The reasons for his absence from the lineup are a bit murky, but through the haze of what the Flames hockey operations group has said publicly, one thing seems pretty apparent: Jiri Hudler was a healthy scratch last night.

Here's why we think so.

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Flames Waive Joni Ortio

Ryan Pike
November 25 2015 10:26AM

Remember the summer? Brad Treliving spoke often about the Calgary Flames' goalie depth. They felt they had three good goalies, to the point where they were terrified that Joni Ortio would be claimed off waivers if they tried to send him to the American Hockey League. So they carried three goalies, despite conventional wisdom saying that was a horrible idea.

Then the regular season began. All three main roster goalies underperformed. And after demotions, injuries and 22 games of underwhelming hockey, today the Flames finally threw in the towel on Joni Ortio, NHL goaltender for now. (And maybe forever in terms of him being a Calgary Flame.)

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