November 17 2015 09:00AM
The Calgary Flames added goaltender Kevin Poulin late last week in a trade that saw precisely zero assets head the other way. This means that they've added a contract without divesting themselves of one, which complicates their ability potentially to do other things later on in the season.
This begs the question: how many active contracts do the Flames have right now?
November 16 2015 02:30PM
"Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain..."
- The prophet Axl Rose
The month of November has featured almost all of the Flames best performances this season. The problem is, there hasn't been enough of those yet. Even with the unexpected OT win over the Capitals recently, Calgary currently sits second last in the West, ahead of only the Edmonton Oilers (ha!). The Flames are third last in the entire league, with only the Columbus Blue Jackets trailing them from the East. Yes, even the Buffalo Sabres are ahead of the Flames right now (by four points. In two fewer games).
It's been rough sledding. The Flames magic from last year not only dissipated, but imploded inwards. Their league best shooting percentage cratered. Their three-headed goaltending monster turned out to be a paper tiger. The "league's best blueline" seems leakier than a roach motel sink.
All is not quite lost just yet, however. There are hints of improvement. The club's possession rate has been marginally better. Pucks are starting to go in again. The goaltending is starting to look at least average.
That said, the Flames have dug themselves a very deep hole. It will take an astonishing turn around to get them back into the playoff picture. So the question is...at what point should the team call it a day and start concentrating on next year?
We look at this (and related questions) in the mailbag, as well as the trade deadline, Mark Giordano and Sean Monahan.
November 16 2015 01:05PM
Since being recalled from the AHL in lieu of Micheal Ferland's injury, Derek Grant has played nine games for the Calgary Flames. As of late, he'd found himself a home in the lineup as a steady fourth line centre who tended to get a scoring chance or so every game.
Ten is the magic number, though. Should Grant have played his 10th game, he would have been subject to waivers. And as he'd been in the midst of establishing himself as perhaps a good fourth line option, maybe a team would have claimed him.
Furthermore, as the Flames get healthier, they may need a roster spot ready for a player coming off the injured reserve. Grant is the easiest to send down, and so, down he goes - not an indictment of his play, but of his waivers status.
November 16 2015 12:00PM
Coming into this past weekend, Calgary and Montreal's CWHL teams were at the top of the league. They were the only still undefeated teams; the Brampton Thunder, Toronto Furies, and Boston Blades already having suffered losses at their hands.
Over the weekend's two-game series, both fought to establish dominance, resulting in one close game - and one that left a bit more to be desired.
November 16 2015 10:00AM
When your team has lost six of its last seven and have only won three games on the season, it’s tough to find positives and remain optimistic.
Fortunately for Heat fans, Freddie Hamilton has provided a small glimmer of hope for a team waist deep in a bog of frustration and losing. He’s a glimmer of hope of what fans would like to see the Stockton Heat become when and if they figure out how to play a complete game – and that’s just what Hamilton provides, a complete game.