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.
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.)
Waivers: JONI ORTIO CGY— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) November 25, 2015
November 24 2015 11:03PM
The past few games have seemingly given everyone a bit of optimism regarding the Calgary Flames. They were good against New Jersey. They were really good against Chicago. They hit the road tonight in Anaheim looking at a three-game trip that could put them smack-dab back in the playoff hunt, despite their back start.
Well, just when you think they're back to their old (2014-15 season) ways, they slip back into their old (October 2015) habits and rather than an up-tempo, aggressive game, the Flames were disjointed and on their heels all night in a 5-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks. Given how much of the time they spent in their own end, it's like they never really showed up at all. (But hey, there's their steaming cup of coffee...)
These Flames once again snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and now sit with a disappointing 8-13-1 record through 22 regular season contests.
November 24 2015 02:32PM
The nice people at Forbes have put together their annual National Hockey League franchise valuations, using a series of mechanisms, levers and pulleys to approximate the value of the league's clubs. The Calgary Flames were given an approximate valuation of $435 million by Forbes, down slightly from 2014 and good for 15th - right in the middle - for the league as a whole.
November 24 2015 12:00PM
After winning both games on their short two-game homestand, the Calgary Flames have quietly put together a respectable month of November. After going 3-8-1 in October, the Flames have gone 5-4-0 in November. It's hardly world-beating, but they're clawing back towards respectability.
This upcoming road trip is potentially big for the Flames; they have three games this week against Pacific Division opponents, beginning with the Anaheim Ducks. Much has been made about how awful the Pacific teams have been this year, to the point where the Flames hit the road just five points back of Vancouver for the final Pacific playoff spot. Hopefully the Flames have worked the kinks out of their game, because they could get themselves back into the playoff picture with good performances against Anaheim, Arizona and San Jose this week.
Who'd have thought that a few weeks ago?
The puck drops tonight at 8pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!