February 13 2015 11:00AM
The Calgary Flames are back at home today after being out in sunny California for a week, going 1-1-0 in a short road trip. Now that the trip is over, it's onto the home stretch of the 2014-15 season.
Here's a brief primer for dates and figures to remember.
February 13 2015 01:19AM
We've written a lot on this website this year about the concept of regression. Basically, the idea is this: teams that get more pucks on net tend to score more and tend to win more. So, if your team gets consistently out-shot by the other team and you keep winning, eventually it'll swing the other way if you play enough games.
And if you're the Calgary Flames, one of the NHL's worst possession teams, playing against the Los Angeles Kings, one of the NHL's best possession teams, you'll have games like tonight.
God bless (apparently) flu-ridden, shot-riddled Jonas Hiller, because tonight's game could've been a lot worse than it was. The Flames dropped a 5-3 decision on the road to their divisional rival tonight, in a contest that was as important for L.A.'s relevance as a playoff club as it was for Calgary giving themselves breathing room.
As a result of tonight, the Pacific Division and wild-card races are getting pretty damn interesting.
February 12 2015 04:00PM
The Calgary Flames began their rebuild with two big problems. First, they weren't particularly good. Second, they were in the Pacific Division, a veritable murderer's row of hockey teams that didn't suck. In particular? They would have to face the three California teams a lot.
Me? I kind-of liked the realignment, because it repeatedly put the Flames face-to-face with the type of teams they'd need to regularly beat to get to that next level. I don't think anybody really anticipated how things would turn out this season.
February 12 2015 01:00PM
We're rapidly approaching the NHL's trade deadline - March 2 at 1pm MT - and one thing that's on everybody's mind is the salary cap. (And lunch.)
But mostly the cap. It's at $69 million US right now, and the escalation of the cap is dependent on where the Canadian dollar lands, or is expected to be, considering that a lot of league revenues are paid in Canadian dollars. At the All-Star Game, Gary Bettman indicated a general scale of escalation based on the Canadian dollar's value, and that places the cap at around $71.7 million US next season if there's an 80-cent dollar (and it moves up or down about a quarter-million with each cent).
I don't think the Flames are too worried about where the cap wiggles to for next season.
February 12 2015 11:00AM
In the second deal of the day for the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday, the Sabres sent goaltender Jhonas Enroth to the Dallas Stars in exchange for goalie Anders Lindback and a conditional third round selection in this year's draft.
The Enroth swap may indicate a general value for goaltenders that could provide an idea of what Karri Ramo could net, if traded.