January 07 2015 11:57AM
Last season, the Calgary Flames hit Game 41 with a rather unimpressive 14-20-6 record (and then they lost). This season, they hit tonight's game - representing that half the sands have passed through the hour-glass - with a pretty solid 21-16-3 record.
To say that the rebuild is progressing is probably a safe statement.
Game 41 this season pits the Flames against the visiting Detroit Red Wings (21-10-9), who are also hitting the half-way mark. Calgary enters the game two points out of a wildcard playoff spot in the West, while the Red Wings sit in third place in the Atlantic Division after their game in Edmonton last night. There are definitely playoff implications at the 'Dome tonight.
The puck drops at 7:30pm. You can catch it on both Sportsnet 360 and Sportsnet West, though it's after a Washington/Toronto game on the main network, so maybe stick with 360 if you don't want to risk any over-lap. (Sportsnet 960 The Fan has the game, as always).
January 07 2015 08:32AM
We're talking about Brian McGrattan today.
You may have read a piece in the Calgary Sun yesterday about the future of Flames tough guy Brian McGrattan, prompted by the impending return of center Mikael Backlund and a corresponding lack of breathing room on the roster. That piece - and the resulting discussion surrounding it - touched on more global themes that have entrenched themselves in the discussion on such matters, and tries to hit on a higher level. This is not what we're talking about today.
We're not jumping into a broader discussion on the purpose of fighting in hockey, or the role of enforcers in the game on a much more capacious level. There is a little bit of that to touch on just to generally frame the position of this piece, but that's it.
It's not even about the media's tawdry desire to establish McGrattan as a bigger cog in the Flames machine (which, come on).
Nope. All we're going to consider today is Brian McGrattan (BIG ERN!), and his role on the Calgary Flames. And that's it.
You are not going to like it. Here we go!
January 07 2015 08:30AM
We're about half-way through the 2014-15 season and I finished crunching some numbers for the games up to this point, so let's have some fun and dig into them a bit!
This season we've focused our efforts on two specific areas of data:
- Offensive Zone Entries
- Scoring Chances
Here's a glance at how these figures are settling out so far, as well as how they tie together.
January 06 2015 09:30AM
Incredibly the Calgary Flames find themselves within spitting distance of the post season as the half season mark approaches. The possibility of a post-season appearance in year two of a rebuild is tantalizing, but the true priority for this organization remains the long term. The challenge for Brad Treliving and the decision makers, then, will be to balance the two objectives as we move forward into 2015. As a result of the club's unexpected success they have some interesting upcoming decisions to make, ranging from who to send down when Backlund returns to what to do with some pending free agents.
January 05 2015 09:41PM
Canada. Russia. Whenever these two teams meet, magic seems to follow. And boy was tonight magical - a star-studded Canadian side facing off against a very underrated Russian group with a hot goalie.
A perfectly set stage.