May 21 2015 11:00AM
1. You know what the problem is
So the Calgary Flames enter the summer months by first turning their attentions to getting guys already under contract or on expiring deals re-signed, and that's the sort of due diligence any smart NHL team does well in advance of July 1. The sooner deals can be made, the easier it will be for Brad Treliving to determine what he has to do once unrestricted free agency begins.
The problem is that once all that work is done, there might not be a lot of room left.
May 14 2015 09:00AM
1. Stating the obvious
It was no surprise — to anyone, you'd hope — that Brad Treliving said on pack-up day that his big job this summer was getting Mark Giordano re-signed. And that's smart and it makes sense because you don't want the pall of that contract situation looming over the entirety of next season.
Giordano would have won the Norris two years running if he hadn't gotten hurt, because he's been exceptional in all parts of the ice for about 120 games. That he got hurt has been extremely damaging to his club, and his ability to pile up awards that should by rights be his. There's no question that he's been one of the league's two or three best defensemen on the balance of these last two seasons, even having missed a quarter of that time.
But as I wrote in my big wrap-up of the Flames' season and what they're potentially going to do this summer, I'm not sure about extending him long-term.
May 07 2015 11:00AM
1. The comeback
The entire confluence of events that led to Calgary's comeback on Tuesday night encapsulated everything weird about this season for the Flames. Everything goes their way all the time, even when they don't deserve it.
And make no mistake, they didn't deserve to win on Tuesday. The confluence of circumstances that came together for the team's third and fourth goals were outlandish to say the least.
April 30 2015 11:00AM
1. A tall order
The Flames made it through to the second round.
Many had not counted on Eddie Lack and, later, Ryan Miller, being quite so bad as they were. Nor did they count on the Canucks' depth forwards getting so easily devoured by the bottom-nine guys on the Flames. As has been covered extensively, the Sedins flat-out gobbled up the Stajan line (Vancouver something in the neighorhood of 71 percent possession when they were on), but everyone else in a Vancouver sweater got pushed around pretty good. It was a trend we frankly didn't see much of in any games during the regular season — Calgary winning depth battles, that is — there basically weren't any full-time Flames this season who even approached 50 percent possession. Not that you didn't know that, but it highlights how unusual the Canucks series was in terms of what we'd seen previous to this.
April 23 2015 11:00AM
The big focus in the series to this point has been that everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Headshots aplenty, instigators rescinded, slashes and crosschecks and coaches fined. You get the idea.
Both teams are very guilty of playing this way; for every Hamhuis there's a Ferland, and for every Bieksa there's an Engelland. Maybe — maybe — you say the Canucks were the worse actors as the series wears on, because hey they're losing and they're frustrated. Remember, most of the bad stuff the Flames did also came in the game they lost.