FGD #21: Hosting the Hawks (7pm MT; Sportsnet Flames)

Ryan Pike
November 20 2014 01:05PM

After facing - and ultimately passing - a big test against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames hit the ice for the fourth game of their five game homestand when they host the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Flames are somehow 12-6-2 and sit 7th overall in the entire National Hockey League after the first quarter of the season. (I swear, I'll eventually preview games without writing "somehow" before the Flames record.) The Blackhawks are the Blackhawks - they're a strong, deep team who have some sure-fire NHL stars and some sure-fire NHL firepower. They sit 10-7-1, and are sub-.500 on the road so far this season.

The puck drops at 7pm MT and this clash of titans airs on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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Five things: They just keep winning

Ryan Lambert
November 20 2014 10:34AM

1. At the quarter pole

This is beginning to defy explanation, really. That's all you can say about it.

We're almost all the way through November and the Flames sit SIXTH in the National Hockey League, with 26 points from 20 games. They're only three points back of the league-leading Canadiens, who have played the same number of games against a much tougher schedule.

I am incredulous. Plus-10 goal differential, only six regulation losses, nearly unbeatable both home and away. They've taken points from eight of their last 10 games. It defies explanation.

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The Fantasy Minute

Nation World HQ
November 20 2014 08:37AM

Dailyfaceoff presents the Fantasy Minute. A quick run through the best Fantasy Hockey waiver adds, sleepers and buy low-sell high candidates for the week. (Based on 12 team leagues)

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Flames 20-Game WOWY Check-In: Centres

Ryan Pike
November 19 2014 01:21PM

The Calgary Flames have been ravaged by injuries this season. Both fortunately and unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the injuries have largely been concentrated to the forward ranks and to the centre position in particular.

As a result, the Flames have used seven different regular centres, as well as an eighth (Paul Byron) who's dabbled everywhere and isn't included because he was only really a center for a couple games. Given the importance of centres to the defensive game, arguably the centre's WOWY differentials (their teammates CorsiFor% with and without that player) are more important to the team's success in a two-way game than any other forward.

Here's a brief look at Calgary's seven pivots. (The cut-off for comparisons is 50 even-strength minutes together and given Max Reinhart hasn't played 50 minutes period, he's also not included. Sorry, Max.)

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Post-Game: Locals Win The Third, Win The Game

Ryan Pike
November 18 2014 11:23PM

The 2013-14 Calgary Flames were an entertaining, resilient bunch. They won a scant 35 games, but did so with guts, grit and determination.

The 2014-15 Calgary Flames, with 12 wins already - in just 20 games - look upon the 2013-14 edition of the club as a bunch of unlucky slobs. Needing just 23 wins (in the remaining 62 games) to hit their win total from last year, I think it's safe to say that this year's edition of the Flames won't be as bad (standings-wise) as last year's gang.

No Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel around here, folks.

The Flames completed the first quarter of their season with a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Despite getting out-shot and out-chanced through the first 40 minutes.

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