February 01 2016 12:00PM
Is this the face of a future 50 goal scorer? Given the recent sample of games, I can only conclude that yes. I've checked the math, it's a near statistical certainty. Only a fool would bet against this.
The Heat had another successful couple of games last week, defeating the Pacific Division-leading Ontario Reign and the farm team of the NHL's living monument to hockey ineptitude, the Bakersfield Condors. The two games featured great goaltending, strong defense, and opportunistic scoring. Come see how it all went down after the jump!
February 01 2016 10:00AM
We're now 48 games into the season, and with the All-Star Break over, just starting to round the corner on the final stretch. This is when we may see line shuffling come to an end, and we're far enough into the season to know just who works together and how well.
For example, it was about this time last year Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Jiri Hudler became a regular trio; the same can be said for Lance Bouma, Mikael Backlund, and David Jones on a line of their own.
Granted, injuries play a role in this, such as Backlund missing out on two months of the 2014-15 season due to an abdominal strain. And this season, the Flames have yet to be fully healthy, with players consistently getting injured throughout the year - a major factor in Head Coach Bob Hartley being unable to maintain definitive lines.
But now, with no new injuries before the All-Star Break, and with Micheal Ferland's anticipated return right after, the Flames may finally be healthy: and they may finally be able to put together a consistent lineup.
Here's how what we've had this season looks so far.
February 01 2016 08:00AM
There's about a month left to the trade deadline. That means the Flames have a month, or 13 games, to do one of two things: put themselves firmly back into the playoff race or drum up as much interest as possible in their key UFA assets.
The former goal is a long shot. Unless Calgary becomes the hottest team in the league over the next dozen or so matches, their dreams of repeating last year's unlikely playoff berth are done.
The second objective will depend on how a handful of players perform - in particular Jiri Hudler, who has the next 30 days to make himself into a hot rental commodity and potentially revive his value as an unrestricted free agent to boot.
The deadline and the draft dominate this week's edition of the mailbag. We'll talk about the draft lottery, potential trade partners and the potential for moving some of the Flames' less notable trade pieces.
January 31 2016 06:50PM
You know what?
The NHL All-Star Game was fun this year. It was worth watching. With the NHL's introduction of 3-on-3 overtime, introducing a mini-tournament was the perfect way to shake things up, and it ended up actually being a genuinely entertaining product.
Of course, the 3-on-3 aspect was only half the story. If it continues, that'll be great; however, what really made this weekend was John Scott.
He, along with teammates Johnny Gaudreau and Mark Giordano, led the way to Pacific Division glory, and wrapped up a storybook weekend in perfect fashion.
January 31 2016 12:00PM
Mark Giordano wants a puppy. pic.twitter.com/49j0SSdilF— Sean Leahy (@Sean_Leahy) January 31, 2016
At long last, the NHL All-Star Weekend is just about over. The skills competition provided a few highlights, although none really involving the Flames; more of the John Scott and P.K. Subban/Jaromir Jagr and Brent Burns variety (with a little bit of Vancouver Canucks goaltending controversy thrown in there for good measure). Johnny Gaudreau excelled at the puck control portion of the Skills Challenge Relay, while Mark Giordano went two-for-two on the one-timer, but neither were able to score during the Shootout.
But now it's time for the main event: the actual game itself. Or rather, games, as the new format this year is a 3-on-3 mini tournament. Here's a watch-along post, if you're so inclined!