Post-Game: Hard to watch

Ryan Pike
January 23 2017 09:10PM

(Tom Szczerbowski / USA Today Sports)

The Calgary Flames have not been great lately. Since January 1, they had given up the first goal in the game in each of their last seven games. Well, the Flames gave up the first goal to the Toronto Maple Leafs tonight. And then they allowed three more goals en route to a painfully dull 4-0 loss to their Canadian foes.

It was the worst of all possible outcomes. The Flames looked awful. The Leafs looked great.

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The Flames face an uphill battle for a playoff spot

Ryan Pike
January 23 2017 02:00PM

The Calgary Flames lost on Saturday at the hands of the Edmonton Oilers.

By the time you read this, there's a non-trivial chance that the Flames may have fallen out of a wildcard spot in the Western Conference. [ed. Still clinging to that second spot, but 10th in the West in points percentage - albeit .02 back of that last spot.] You see, the Flames have played more games than almost every other Western team – particularly the teams chasing them.

Not all is lost in terms of Calgary's playoff chances. But a glance at their remaining 33 games and the strength of the teams they're facing reveals very little margin for error from here on out.

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FGD 50: Return to the center of the universe (5:30pm MT, SN West)

Ryan Pike
January 23 2017 12:00PM

(Candice Ward / USA Today Sports)

We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.

Just two days after stinking one out against the Edmonton Oilers in the biggest game of their season to date on Saturday night, the Calgary Flames hit the road beginning tonight for a crucial three games (over four nights) that will see the club try to eke out points in three tough Canadian buildings. Their trek begins tonight in the center of the hockey universe, Toronto, as they face the (actually good) Maple Leafs.

The action gets started just after 5:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

For a view from the other side, check out The Leafs Nation!

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Nation World HQ
January 23 2017 10:00AM

Spy vs Spy

The Flames and Leafs face off for the second time this season and we've asked writers from both FlamesNation and LeafsNation to give us their take on tonight's matchup. As always, we've also put together a few quick stats to get you ready for the final meeting between this two teams.

Please note that this article was posted at both TLN and FlamesNation.

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FN Mailbag - January 23, 2017

Kent Wilson
January 23 2017 08:00AM

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Another rollercoaster ride this week in Flames Nation, though the lows outnumbered the highs. After a December that saw Calgary right the ship and get back into the playoff race, fresh leaks have sprung up everywhere in the new year.

For sanity's sake, it's best to remember that the Flames are likely a season or two away from really being a playoff contender. This year was always about development and assessment more than contention. The goal was to take a step forward in aggregate over the Hartley regime and see where the club would need support and improvement moving forward. 

That sort of perspective is hard to regain, however, after a series of frustrating losses, particularly the blowout against the Oilers. This iteration of the Flames has made strides but still suffers from fundamental flaws - some expected, some not. The coaching staff has the rest of the year to figure out how to solve some of them and the executive staff has the summer to try to fix the rest. 

Deep breath everyone. Development is rarely linear in the NHL. And just as the Flames probably aren't as good as they seemed last month, they probably aren't as bad as they seem right now. 

Today we talk about the Flames' depth at C, particularly what to do with Sam Bennett and how much Mikael Backlund might cost to re-sign.

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