November 08 2016 10:00AM
Morgan Klimchuk will always have big boots to fill. Being the guy who was traded for Jarome Iginla, he has most often been the butt of the joke that was post-apex Jay Feaster management.
While Sean Monahan dazzled in the NHL and Emile Poirier was lighting lamps in the Q, Klimchuk plodded along in the Dub. He probably was the least impressive of the 2013 first rounders, struggling to find his place among the WHL's best. At the same time, Monahan was scoring 60 in the NHL and Poirier was being named an AHL all-star in his first year of pro. His unimpressive WHL stint turned into a disappointing AHL stint, with nine points in 55 games during his first full try in the league. Many, probably everyone, thought he was done.
That's why it's such a shock to see people clammoring for him to be called up, or to have no choice but to acknowledge him as one of the best prospects in the organization right now. Morgan Klimchuk has broken last year's records for points and goals in 48 fewer games. How did he turn the corner?
November 08 2016 08:00AM
If the current state of Flames hockey has you in the dumps, we've got something to cheer you up.
November 07 2016 02:00PM
The Calgary Flames had a rough road trip in a couple ways. First, they lost three of the four games they played. Second, they lost both Kris Versteeg and Lance Bouma to injury. With the Flames only carrying 13 forwards to begin the season, that meant they had to recall Hunter Shinkaruk and throw him into the deep end right away. Due to their injuries they still only have a dozen forwards, giving them zero extras to work with.
Will the Flames call up a body from the American Hockey League's Stockton Heat to give themselves some flexibility or, better yet, a jolt of energy? If they do, who should come up?
Here are the contenders, and what their call ups would mean.
November 07 2016 12:00PM
Disclaimer: I have not been watching the Stockton Heat's games. I've been following them by following their Twitter, constantly refreshing box scores during games, and getting texts from my season ticket holder friend when there's a home game. (According to her Hunter Shinkaruk is too good for the AHL, and Oliver Kylington looks great out there, both offensively and defensively.)
(Side note on that: I am very seriously considering heading on down and watching them in person for a game or two, so that might be something neat to look forward to on this blog later.)
And while it's early in the season yet, there's plenty to like from afar about the Heat, and no doubt some of these numbers translate to on the ice - even if we are seeing some early season skewing effects. So to cheer ourselves up, let's see what's looking good numerically in the AHL.
November 07 2016 10:00AM
There was some optimism coming off a decent 3-2 win over the San Jose Sharks last week. That was immediately quashed by a humiliating 5-0 loss at the hands of Kings a couple of nights later. Los Angeles completely dominated play from start to finish despite half of their roster sitting in the infirmary. This article was written before Calgary's follow-up in Anaheim Sunday night, but we can usually predict how that's going to go... [ed. - How did he know?!]
Though the Flames had seemingly taken a few steps forward recently, their play in L.A. was reminiscent of their very worst performances to start the season. What's especially worrying is that none of the Flames' struggling stars have shows signs of sustained improvement - Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau, T.J. Brodie, Dougie Hamilton and Mark Giordano are more often liabilities than assets at the moment.
I've seen great players struggle for stretches during my time as a Flames fan, but I've never seen all of a team's stars stink collectively to this degree for this long ever before. The Flames are now bottom five in the league in almost every important measure you can name as a result.
As fans, it's waiting time. We have to wait to see if the stars pull out of this terrible dry spell. We have to wait to see if the coaching staff can salvage what will rapidly become a lost season if this level of play keeps up. Fingers crossed for now.
Today we talk about Monahan, defensive deployments and power play problems.