October 16 2014 10:09AM
1. Learning a lot, quickly
The thing that's struck me over the first four games of the season (I'm writing this ahead of what's sure to be an ugly game in Chicago) has very little to do with Joe Colborne's production or Jiri Hudler continuing to be very solid in his role, or Sean Monahan's notable improvement — even if he's still being sheltered. Rather, it has been the Flames' defense.
October 09 2014 10:03AM
1. Tough start
And so here we go, with the 2014-15 season now under way and the Flames off to a tougher start than literally anyone in the league. As though they needed the help. I can't actually believe how difficult the schedule is for a team that's going to get run over all season anyway.
October 02 2014 09:52AM
1. Raphael Diaz's impending contract
As I write this on late Wednesday afternoon, Nolan Yonkman and Sheldon Brookbank have been released from their tryouts with the Flames. Makes sense to me. They're the latest in a string of veterans league-wide who were on such deals and have since received their walking papers. "Thanks for playing in those exhibition games so we met the NHL veteran minimums, now go on ahead and have a good career, somewhere else, please and thanks.
September 25 2014 08:26AM
Yesterday there was an article about Brian Burke on Sportsnet, about how he really isn't doing much besides reporting to work every day and doing his job. And I hadn't really thought about that, but I guess it's true. Haven't seen much of Burke all summer, and even now you get the feeling that he wouldn't have come out and done any press or interviews unless Sportsnet hadn't specifically called and asked for him.
Which is interesting, really.
September 18 2014 08:30AM
1. This is an important conversation
Even if you search really hard, you will probably not be able to find someone as enthusiastic as me about the chances of Johnny Gaudreau making an impact in the NHL this season. I think he has an incredibly high ceiling and is — without equivocation — a player who's more NHL ready than most Flames prospects, regardless of how long they've been playing pro hockey.
Gaudreau has just one game under his belt as a professional player, and while he scored a goal in it, I don't think anyone would be too willing to say he was definitively a difference-maker in it. That goal he scored was, in reality, a kind of fluky deflection; it's not like he did what he usually does to opposing defenses and cut through his matchups like a white-hot knife through pre-softened butter.