February 02 2017 12:00PM
Here's what we're reasonably sure of right now: the salary cap probably isn't budging next season. That means the Calgary Flames will have $73 million to spend on their roster for the 2017-18 season.
But, as always, there are some holes and some complications moving forward.
February 02 2017 10:00AM
So the Flames' goaltending has not been totally ideal this season. It currently sits at a .900 save percentage, tied for 24th in the NHL. (Not last!)
It wasn't ideal last season, either, and that was with a completely different cast. Then, however, it was .892, very much the worst in the league - and the only team below .900.
When's the last time the Flames had what could be considered ideal goaltending? Uh... 2014-15, probably, when every percentage went the Flames' way, and their .911 collective save percentage was tied for 15th in the league.
Except in 2014-15 and 2015-16, the Flames had the same goalies for the most part, give or take a stray Joni Ortio. Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo held down the fort one year - not masterfully, but well enough to give the rest of their team a chance night in and night out - and then had the fort cave in the very next season.
But both their contracts were up, and with a new cast, it should have been saved. And for some reason, it hasn't been.
February 02 2017 08:00AM
And so we bid farewell to the Minnesota Wild for the regular season. They were a team that couldn't handle a player scoring against them, and so their only recourse was to try to injure him.
For that, they got swept.
Good riddance, losers.
February 02 2017 07:00AM
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February 01 2017 11:28PM
The Minnesota Wild are a really good hockey club. Sure, they played last night in Edmonton, but the Calgary Flames have been beaten by teams on back-to-backs before. But tonight, the Flames did what they haven't done a lot of over the last little stretch: they battled and they got good goaltending when they needed it.
Let's be honest here: the Wild know they're going to the playoffs. They played last night. But the Flames played a hungry game and never trailed during this contest. The Flames began their stretch drive with a strong performance in a 5-1 victory over Minnesota.