January 19 2017 02:00PM
Alex Chiasson is not a top six forward.
Over halfway through a season in his career as a Calgary Flame, I think that's a pretty fair statement to make. He has 14 points - seven goals and seven assists - through 47 games, which is 13th in team scoring, behind noted healthy scratch Sam Bennett.
The clear difference here: more is expected from Bennett than from Chiasson, even though it's Chiasson seemingly being gifted into a top spot on the team.
January 19 2017 12:00PM
When it comes to the Western Conference playoff race, there's a quote that I like (attributed to author Jim Butcher) that seems to apply to this situation: "You don't have to run faster than the bear to get away. You just have to run faster than the guy next to you." The Calgary Flames don't have to be the best team in their conference to make the playoffs; they just have to be better than one or two teams. As our pal Pat Steinberg has noted on Sportsnet 960 The Fan in recent days: all they have to do is win more than the teams around them and they're in.
Tonight, the Flames have a golden opportunity to trip up a team between them and the proverbial bear (which represents a hockey-less spring) as they host the Nashville Predators. There are nine teams with a strong shot at a playoff spot, with Calgary and Nashville currently dueling for the final wildcard spot (when you factor in points percentages rather than pure points). A win tonight can trip up the Predators and give the Flames some breathing room.
The puck drops on this important game at 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!
January 19 2017 08:00AM
It's been a year of ups and downs for the Calgary Flames thus far; downs at the beginning of the season and more recently some successes. While everyone's been a bit preoccupied with Chad Johnson's heroics, Dougie Hamilton's resurgence, Mikael Backlund's consistency and Johnny Gaudreau's offensive wizardry, some history-making accomplishments have been set by the Flames' captain Mark Giordano.
These accomplishments by Giordano place him rather favourably in the annals of Flames history.
January 18 2017 02:00PM
Brad Treliving entered the season with a pretty clear plan in goal. Brian Elliott as the starter, Chad Johnson was the battle tested backup and David Rittich on the farm to support top prospect Jon Gillies.
Unfortunately, reality hasn't played along. Johnson has been the better of the two veterans in aggregate while Rittich has outplayed Gillies on the farm. To make things ever more complicated, Elliott has arguably been the better goalie recently, but he's also older and therefore closer to his expiration date.
Elliott, Johnson and Rittich are all free agents next year. Who do you re-sign?
January 18 2017 10:00AM
More than halfway through the season for Calgary, a convincing argument can be made that Mikael Backlund has been the team's MVP.
Because he's been so good all season, you can start to hear a little buzz linking Backlund to the Selke Trophy as the NHL's top two-way forward. I'm here to tell you that buzz should be a little louder because his case for the annual award is very, very strong.