Has Derek Grant Made Markus Granlund Expendable?

Ryan Pike
November 08 2015 12:00PM

Last season, the Calgary Flames made Max Reinhart one of their first recalls from their American Hockey League affiliate in Adirondack. A third-year pro, Reinhart was coming up to the end of his entry-level deal and as a player drafted and signed by a previous regime, he was given a shot to prove himself.

He was fine in the NHL, but hardly made a case for future employment. He was soon dispatched back to the AHL, and other players got shots subsequently. Reinhart was traded in the off-season. Based upon the two recalls from the farm thus far this season, I suspect that Derek Grant's emergence as a useful bottom-six player may have turned Markus Granlund into this season's version of Max Reinhart.

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Post-Game: The Kids Ice The Penguins

Ryan Pike
November 07 2015 11:21PM

Tonight, the Calgary Flames hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins - a non-conference opponent, playing their second game in as many nights on the road.

It was as good a shot as the Flames were gonna get against a good club. And the Flames responded to this opportunity with easily their most complete game of the year, a 5-2 win driven by the strong play of their youngest (and most talented) players.

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FGD #15: Home Ice Advantage - Flames Host The Penguins

Ryan Pike
November 07 2015 12:00PM

(Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames played a smart game on Thursday night and got two points, albeit in overtime. Now the Flames are vying to do what they haven't done yet this season: win back-to-back games.

Standing in the way of the Flames (4-9-1) are the Pittsburgh Penguins (9-4-0), fresh off a game last night up Highway 2 against the Edmonton Oilers. The Penguins boast a scary, balanced attack and feature a ton of big-name talent who have quietly began to round into form. And they won last night and probably feel like a 2-1 win over the Oilers was too close for their liking.

The puck drops just after 8pm MT on CBC (with Dave Randorf and Garry Galley) and on Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).

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Keegan Kanzig and The Blueline Development Challenge

Ryan Pike
November 06 2015 01:15PM

Professional sports is a tough, demanding racket. And as fans, followers and folks covering a professional sports organization, the push is always for more, better and faster. If the Flames have a good game, the human thing to do is to want another one, or a better one, or to wonder why the Flames couldn't deliver in that manner faster or more often.

When it comes to building for the organization's future, the same instincts often apply. Yesterday, the Flames sent Keegan Kanzig back to major-junior. The instinct, under the "more, better faster" mindset, is to presume it's he's regressing, or at least not developing as fast as he could, or to compare him to other players the Flames could've taken and scoff. All of those perspectives have validity.

But it's important to note that developments like Kanzig's demotion don't occur in a vacuum and aren't merely a product of a single regime.

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Post-Game: Mission Accomplished

Ryan Pike
November 05 2015 11:17PM

(Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames came into tonight's game with a golden opportunity. They hosted the Philadelphia Flyers, a team that's not particularly deep or particularly good, and who were both (a) in the midst of a five-game skid and (b) forced to start their back-up due to an illness to Steve Mason.

Was there going to be a better time for the Flames to pick up two points? Nope.

And they did it, playing a poised, composed and strangely mature (for these guys) 2-1 overtime victory.

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