December 23 2016 02:00PM
It's no secret that the Calgary Flames want a new building. The Scotiabank Saddledome is getting on in years and next season, when the Detroit Red Wings move into Little Caesars Arena, the 'Dome will be older than every National Hockey League barn aside from Madison Square Garden (which has been completely renovated several times).
In advance of some expected developments from City Council in the New Year regarding the proposed "Plan B," an article from Postmedia's Annalise Klingbeil dropped a rather interesting bombshell: the CalgaryNEXT mega-project is on hold.
December 23 2016 12:00PM
The holiday season is almost upon us and soon the 30 National Hockey League member clubs and their many fans will be snuggled by a roaring fire – or whatever they have in the sunbelt – to enjoy a brief reprieve from the torrid schedule. But before we can all relax, there's one final game for the Calgary Flames to play... and it's a doozy, as the Vancouver Canucks come to town for what should be a spirited tilt.
The puck drops just after 7 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan! If you're heading down, the Flames and Calgary CO-OP are collecting non-perishable food items.
December 23 2016 10:00AM
Back in mid-November, the Calgary Flames went back to basics. They began to play a tight-checking, road style of hockey even before Johnny Gaudreau was injured (but ironically really started to embrace that grinding style in the same game he broke a finger in on Nov. 15). That simplistic "box 'em out" style of play really helped them survive Gaudreau's absence.
When I looked at Calgary's underlying numbers since Nov. 15, two things jumped out at me:
- Man, their special teams are a lot better than they were (in terms of on-ice results).
- Holy cow, they're lucky their special teams are a lot better because they're not generating very much at all at even strength.
December 23 2016 08:00AM
If Seinfeld has taught us anything - and I have been led to believe it has - then today is a very important day.
Today is Festivus, and with it comes a key tradition: the airing of grievances.
What better a subject for that than a professional hockey team hoping to escape its rebuild?
When the season started, it was rife with grievances. The Flames were unwatchable, the entire season was lost because the new coach had no idea what he was doing, the abhorrent special teams only furthered that point, the kids that were just signed to big contracts turned out to be terrible after all, then the steady veterans we thought we could trust were also terrible, the new goaltending was bad, and we were going to have to start doing draft profiles in October.
But then the Flames started winning some games - some on a streak, even! - and things got less bad. Maybe the team started adjusting to that new coach, the special teams stopped being the worst ever, those kids started scoring and veterans started looking like their old selves, at least one goaltender rose from the ashes, and now, they're probably at least going to be playing meaningful games in March. At least. We hope.
There's still plenty to grieve about, though. Let's go for it!
Nation World HQ
December 23 2016 05:00AM
Is JVR on the move in Toronto, Brandon Sutter is the teams 4th best center in Van, Jets bracing for expansion, are the Flames really for real, it's time to breakup McDavid and Lucic, the NHL needs to wake up, travel fatigue is truly a thing, early 2017 draft rankings and more in this week's Nation Roundup brought to you by Violent Gentlemen.