January 19 2016 08:00AM
I've always found it a bit strange that the Calgary Flames share a building with the Calgary Hitmen yet so rarely draft players from that club. Then again, consider that the Flames' past experiences with Hitmen players as prospects were basically just 2000 picks Brent Krahn and Wade Davis, and minor-league free agent signing Brent Dodginghorse.
When the Flames selected Belarusian import forward Pavel Karnaukhov in the fifth round of the 2015 Draft, he was just the third Hitmen player they ever drafted. The bar is admittedly set pretty low, but the hope is that he'll be the best Hitmen player they've ever drafted, too.
January 18 2016 02:00PM
Since the Calgary Inferno had their last home game way back in early December, the CWHL standings have gotten a bit tighter. Calgary remains right at the top, having accrued a 14-2-2 record and 30 points over 18 games, but their standings lead is by no means comfortable.
It's a three-way race now, as Les Canadiennes have 28 points through 16 games, and the Brampton Thunder are up to 26 through 18 - including four points gained last week as the Thunder handed the Inferno overtime and shootout losses.
That doesn't mean any opponents can be taken for granted, as the Inferno found out this past weekend when they hosted the Toronto Furies in their penultimate home series of the season. The Furies only have four wins through 20 games, but they found a way to make things close.
January 18 2016 12:00PM
The Heat went 2-1 this past week, scoring 13 goals on the way and allowing nine against. That's pretty good!
Kevin Poulin played the first two, while Joni Ortio got a crack in the second of a back-to-back. Meanwhile, Derek Grant led the way offensively with two goals and four assists through the week, but Emile Poirier (one goal, four assists) was close behind him. Freddie Hamilton had a three-point game, and Turner Elson picked up three points over the week, as well as 13 shots on net.
Stockton is still at the bottom of the Pacific Division with a .470 points percentage, but they're no longer the only team below .500, as the San Antonio Rampage have now joined them in that prestigious honour. The Rampage only have two more wins than the Heat with seven more games played, so sixth place could be in sight! It's the little things. Also, it is only January.
January 18 2016 10:03AM
You know who scored six goals in the past week? Sam Bennett.
You know what that gets him? Second star of the week honours from the NHL.
January 18 2016 08:00AM
It's the middle of January and the Flames are currently 13th in the Western Conference, just two points up on basement dwelling Edmonton Oilers. The enduring low quality of the Pacific Division means Calgary still has a chance at the post-season, but hope dims a little after each divisional loss.
We're just over a month away from the trade deadline when Treliving and company will likely have to make a decision about whether the team will make a play for the stretch drive or sell assets and hope for a high draft pick.
For what it's worth, Sport Club Stats currently puts the Flames playoff probability at around 27%. So, absent another multi-game winning streak very soon, Calgary is probably going to be a seller at the deadline. Today's mailbag looks at what will happen to their three pending free agents, as well as Bennett's ceiling and Monahan's next deal.