Post-Game: Here's Johnny

Ryan Pike
January 27 2015 09:59PM

Tonight's Calgary Flames game was a bit sloppy and the team looked decent in fits and starts, but hardly a world-beater. They exchanged power-play goals in the first with the Buffalo Sabres. Neither team looked amazing.

Then the third period came and the Flames realized it was a tie game against the worst team in the league. Three goals later, the Flames skated away with a 4-1 victory and a much-needed two points in the standings.

Here's how it broke down.

Read Article | 17 Comments

FGD #48: Buffalo Visits the 'Dome (7pm MT, SN West)

Ryan Pike
January 27 2015 11:38AM

After five days without meaningful hockey, the Calgary Flames are back in action tonight as they begin their pursuit of their five playoff berth since 2009.

The back-half of their schedule begins with the Flames (25-19-3; 53 points) hosting the NHL's worst team, the Buffalo Sabres (14-30-3; 31 points) at the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames are rested and coming off a very successful road trip that saw them win four of five, all against divisional opponents. They cannot afford to take the Sabres lightly, nor can they afford to let any points slip away against an opponent they should be able to beat.

Long story short: the Flames better win this one, because after a short stretch of "easier" games (including visits from Minnesota and Edmonton later this week), the competition amps back up. If they can bank some points in the front end of this homestand, then they can give themselves a bit of breathing room in the Western Conference playoff race.

The puck drops tonight at 7pm MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

Read Article | 87 Comments

Report: Flames Kicked Tires On Mike Richards

Ryan Pike
January 26 2015 03:15PM

The biggest news of the day throughout the hockey world was the Los Angeles Kings placing forward Mike Richards (and his $5.75 million cap hit) on waivers, presumably for the purpose of ridding themselves of his contract or burying it in the minors.

TSN's Bob McKenzie had an interesting bit of background on the Kings' move:

Read Article | 46 Comments

Let's Talk About Centers

Ryan Pike
January 26 2015 01:30PM

After 47 games, the Calgary Flames are in both an unfamiliar spot and a familiar one. They reached the All-Star Break in a playoff spot, somewhere they haven't ended a season in the last five years.

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 10.35.49 PM

The other place they're in is near the bottom of the NHL's face-off rankings, where they've been for the last few seasons. And given the importance of winning key draws plays in winning key games - and making the playoffs - let's have a chat about face-offs. While the Flames aren't all that good, I think it's one area where coaching has actually done the most with what they've been given.

Read Article | 9 Comments

All-Star Game-Day: Team Toews (Giordano, Gaudreau) vs. Team Foligno (3pm MT, CBC)

Ryan Pike
January 25 2015 10:00AM

It's a special Sunday in the National Hockey League, as it's time for the (somewhat-)annual NHL All-Star Game!

This year's edition takes place in Columbus, Ohio at Nationwide Arena, and pits two arbitrarily selected teams of All-Stars against one another. Tonight's game is notable for two reasons. First: a bazillion NHL superstars are absent - including Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Second: two Calgary Flames players are represented at the All-Star Game, and both conveniently on the same team.

The puck drops at 3pm MT and you can catch the game on CBC (with Dave Randorf and Garry Galley on the call).

Read Article | 13 Comments