FGD #35: Home Ice Advantage - the 223rd Battle of Alberta

Ryan Pike
December 27 2015 01:32PM

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(Candice Ward/USA Today Sports)

The Christmas break is over and it's time to get back down to business.

Tonight is the 35th game of the Calgary Flames 2015-16 season. After an abysmal month of October, and despite playing a fairly flawed style of hockey for the past 34 games, the Flames head into the meat of their schedule with a .500 record (16-16-2) and a ton of momentum at home. In fact, the Flames hit the ice a point out of a playoff spot and if somehow the rest of the team can figure out how to play hockey the way that Johnny Gaudreau and T.J. Brodie do, maybe they can shock the world again and make the playoffs again.

Needless to say, it's going to be an interesting ride the rest of the way, and the Flames kick off a crucial three-game Pacific Division home-stand tonight against their old friends from up the road, the Edmonton Oilers.

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

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FN's Holiday Week Hockey Guide

Ryan Pike
December 26 2015 06:00AM

The holiday season is a magic one for many reasons. In addition to being able to have time to spend with our loved ones, there happens to be an absolute ton of ice hockey to watch during the period between Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

To provide a glimpse at the riches provided by the hockey world at the holiday season, here is a brief rundown of what's happening around town (and elsewhere) on the ice.

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The Flames at the Christmas break

Ryan Pike
December 25 2015 09:00AM

The Calgary Flames are off until Sunday night, having beaten the Winnipeg Jets to cap off their pre-Christmas schedule.

The holiday season is often a time for solemn reflection and goal-setting for the following year. And we quite often hear about the importance of being in a playoff spot at American Thanksgiving, but considering how little of the schedule remains after Christmas, I think that benchmark is a better one for judging a team's performance.

So how do the Flames stack up this season, and historically?

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Will Brandon Hickey leave college for Red Deer?

Ryan Pike
December 24 2015 11:00AM

Way back in August, the Red Deer Rebels made a minor transaction that could have big ramifications in two leagues: they traded for the rights to Calgary Flames prospect Brandon Hickey.

You see, the Rebels are hosting the Mastercard Memorial Cup next May and are guaranteed an automatic berth in that tournament. But no host team wants to be the weak link competing against the champions from the Ontario, Quebec and Western Hockey Leagues, so you often see host teams going all-out.

With the eyes of the hockey-playing world about to be fixated on the World Junior Championship in Helsinki and the college season (and semester) in its winter break, the question remains: Will Brandon Hickey leave Boston University for the Red Deer Rebels?

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A recent history of the Flames at the World Juniors

Ryan Pike
December 24 2015 08:00AM

The World Junior Championship is right around the corner, and the announcement that two Calgary Flames prospects (Mason McDonald and Brandon Hickey) will be suiting up for Team Canada is a pretty significant feather in the cap of those players and Calgary's drafting and development team. Add in the towering Swedish blueliner Adam Ollas Mattsson who will be representing the Tre Kronor in Finland and suddenly there's more Flames representation than in many years.

For a bit of historical context, here are the past five World Junior Championships and the Flames that suited up in them.

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