March 10 2015 12:00PM
Sometimes, differentiating between good coaching and bad coaching can be difficult. How much of a teams success can be directly credited to its bench boss and how much of it comes as a result of the talent and ability of the players actually playing the game?
I’d reckon the latter weighs far more in the grand scheme of things than the former. However, in some cases, a coach can single-handedly be responsible for his players playing to the full of their abilities and thus be a major factor in their teams success.
That’s why coaches of surprise teams often win the Jack Adams trophy, and that’s why it’s simply ludicrous to even suggest Bob Hartley shouldn’t be a finalist for the this year's award.
March 10 2015 10:17AM
For a while, the Calgary Flames had their defensive core figured out. Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie handled the main duties on the top pairing and Dennis Wideman and Kris Russell provided support to round out the top four.
Then there was, well, the others: those deemed lucky enough to get maybe 10 minutes a game. They consisted of a rotation of Deryk Engelland, Ladislav Smid, and Raphael Diaz, until Smid got injured, apparently never to be seen again, and Engelland and Diaz took over full time.
It was their defence lineup. They found it all on their own. It was little and broken but still good. (Actually not really all that good, but they were winning games and scoring a lot so pretty okay. Gio and Brodie were the good ones, really.)
And then Giordano's season ended prematurely, and the Flames have had to figure out a new defensive lineup for the remaining 20-ish games, with the potential for an extra four or seven or maybe even more.
March 09 2015 03:56PM
Well, Citizens, the good news is that crazy things keep happening to the Flames on what has been truly a wild ride of a season, and that's helping me complete these power rankings, and that's good, because I'm certainly not creative enough to get through a week of rankings for, let's say Winnipeg, where generally nothing interesting ever seems to happen.
(I just recoiled at the thought of being a Jets fan. Oh gag)
Anyway, I think this week's piece will demonstrate both of these things: The Flames year is ridiculous and fun, and I am bad at this.
So read on, and remember, as always, the gravity and serious intent of this. It's kind of a big deal.
March 09 2015 11:30AM
In the afterglow of the Calgary Flames completing a 4-2-1 record on their epic seven-game road trip, there's a bit more good news.
Jiri Hudler was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for his work over the past seven days.
March 09 2015 11:00AM
The Calgary Flames are not the National Hockey League's greatest team. They often get out-shot. They usually get out-chanced. But despite all these faults, the Calgary Flames have consistently found their way back into games, and that's been the big difference-maker for them this season.
It's gotten to the point where we all expect comebacks. (The following tweet was when they were down 2-0 in Detroit this week.)
Now the flames have them right where they want them...— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) March 7, 2015
Last night, the Calgary Flames busted out perhaps their most impressive comeback. Down four goals, on the road, on the final night of the season's longest road trip, the Flames forced extra time and left our nation's capital with a point.