October 13 2016 08:00AM
Snow shower pics are cool.
As I watched the Oilers pull away from the Flames via a couple of Connor McDavid goals, the game kind of started reminding me of the first game of the 2010-11 season. In it, the Flames came out impressively flat and lost 4-0. There was even a defenceman on the team who very much proved he didn't belong in the NHL at that time.
Back then, that defenceman was T.J. Brodie. He was ready a year later. I'm... truly not sure what to say about Nicklas Grossmann.
October 13 2016 12:07AM
(Perry Nelson / USA Today Sports)
The Calgary Flames went into Edmonton this evening hoping to spoil the Oilers' big party on the first regular season National Hockey League contest at the shiny new Rogers Place. However, the visitors did more harm than good to their own hopes and via some wonky defense, shaky goaltending and general sloppiness dropped a disappointing 7-4 decision to their most hated rivals.
Here's how it happened.
October 12 2016 03:00PM
It's really easy to like Mikael Backlund as a hockey player.
The Calgary Flames drafted Backlund way back in 2007, and since then he's quietly become the gift that keeps on giving. He quietly developed into a reliable two-way player as a youngster, quickly adjusting to the North American pro game. Then he became a really good two-way player who could protect and elevate more limited players. More recently, he's added a bit of grit and offensive confidence – he scored 20 goals for the first time in his NHL career in 2015-16 – and become a fairly consistent difference-maker in his mid-20s.
What should we expect from Backlund this season?
October 12 2016 02:00PM
Well, it's finally Hockey Day. The Flames are heading north to Edmonton to remind the Oilers that their history is a flat circle. It's a new season, and there's plenty to be excited about.
For the Flames, the biggest story tonight and probably for the rest of the season will be Matthew Tkachuk. The sixth overall selection at the draft has turned many heads at the Young Stars classic and during the preseason. He'll make his big debut tonight.
October 12 2016 01:00PM
Lost in a lot of the discussion on the blueline is Jyrki Jokipakka, one of the pieces acquired in the Kris Russell deal with Dallas at the 2016 trade deadline. He's 25 - in the right age group - and that should put him in the discussion of players who should breathe optimism into the fanbase.
The biggest question in this is whether or not Jokipakka can produce results of a second pairing guy, or if he's destined for depth territory.