FGD #6: Home Ice Advantage - the Flames host Washington

Ryan Pike
October 20 2015 12:00PM


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(Sergei Belski-USA Today Sports)

It's probably premature to call the sixth game of the 2015-16 campaign a must-win for the Calgary Flames, but it's rapidly approaching that status.

After five games of uneven play and underachieving, the Calgary Flames (1-4-0) face a big challenge in the form of Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals (3-1-0). While the Flames have struggled, losing three straight (and all against conference rivals), the Capitals have won two in a row by identical 4-1 scores. Now, they hit the road for a three-game Western Canadian swing.

The Flames hope to give them an inhospitable welcome.

Puck drop is at 7pm MT and you can catch the action on Sportsnet 360 (with Rick Ball and Kelly Hrudey) or Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

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The Flames Are Heading Into Some Tough Sledding

Ryan Pike
October 20 2015 09:00AM

Remember in that episode of The Simpsons, when Homer joins the Stonecutters? Of course you do, it happened in the classic 1995 episode "Homer The Great." In that episode, Homer is initiated into the ancient organization through a series of paddles to the backside.

That's kind of how I picture the next 12 days going for the Calgary Flames. Because not only do they have a lot of games in rapid succession, but they're against a lot of good teams. And Edmonton.

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Goalie Rotation Has Produced More Questions Than Answers

Ryan Pike
October 19 2015 03:00PM

On October 6, the Calgary Flames raised a few eyebrows around the National Hockey League by announcing three netminders - Jonas Hiller, Karri Ramo and Joni Ortio - as part of their 23-man opening roster.

Here was sit, five games and almost two weeks later, and the goalie situation has arguably become more confusing and muddled. The two established NHL veterans have eaten up all the starts, with 24-year-old Joni Ortio sitting in the press box because he'd surely be claimed if put on waivers.

Let's examine Calgary's three-headed goalie monster, shall we?

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Calgary's Best Players Haven't Been Good So Far

Ryan Pike
October 19 2015 09:00AM

I don't understand how this team can be so bad.

That was my thought on Sunday morning, as I reflected back upon the first five games of the 2015-16 season. The Flames had added bodies over the summer, but otherwise it's the same team as last season. Seeking some understanding, I had some coffee and dug into the individual player underlying numbers, seeking a pattern.

Now I get it, somewhat.

The Calgary Flames are under-performing, to put it kindly, because their best players are playing very poorly right now.

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Should The Flames Panic Five Games In?

Ryan Pike
October 18 2015 10:00AM

So, the Calgary Flames played poorly last night and they lost. They lost 5-2 to the Edmonton Oilers, and now have just a pair of points through the first five games of the season.

Thus far, they've lost four times - once each to Vancouver, St. Louis, Winnipeg and Edmonton. And they've been out-played through the majority of those games.

To quote The Simpsons, "Would you say it's time to crack each others' heads open and feast on the goo inside?" (Is it time for them to panic?)

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