April 03 2016 08:00AM
The Flames lost their first ever Battle of Alberta in the very arena they dominated last night. If there is one distinct positive through the ups and downs of this rebuild it's pretty steady and fantastic goal-totals in Rexall for Battles of Alberta. Last night was no different.
And to cap it off: they did it by checking off all the pertinent boxes in what you do to a blood-rival.
It was a baptism in fire and now the fans in Edmonton are collectively losing their minds again.
April 02 2016 10:49PM
It's something we can't escape. For as long as the Oilers have been terrible, there's been a phrase repeated, non-stop: "The future is bright." And even as we watched the Oilers get throttled by the Flames one last time in Rexall Place, a building that has seen better days both in general and on the ice, the mantra still repeated: the future is bright.
Is it really that bright in Edmonton, though? The only thing either of these teams had left to play for was pride. And the Oilers came out and lost 5-0, ensuring they would finish below the Flames in the standings for the 11th time in 12 years.
The games between the two teams had been relatively close throughout the season. Except for this time, as Edmonton did as they are wont to do lately: get thoroughly embarrassed. Farewell, Rexall. This was a pleasant goodbye.
April 02 2016 12:00PM
Today doesn't just mark the final Battle of Alberta of the 2015-16 season: it marks the final time the Flames and Oilers will ever play in Rexall Place.
And honestly, it comes at a really bad time. The Flames and the Oilers have a storied rivalry with one another, one that's been exceptionally pathetic for the last... eh... 10 years or so, let's say. They used to meet in the playoffs; now, they're duking it out at the bottom of the standings.
April 02 2016 08:00AM
Earlier this week, Mark Jankowski signed his entry-level deal with the Calgary Flames and an ATO for the AHL Stockton Heat, fulfilling the wishes of both player and club to arrive at a deal before the end of the regular season.
This came just a few days after the end of Jankowski's college career, a double-overtime loss to Minnesota-Duluth in the NCAA tournament as his Providence College Friars pursued their second straight national title. It was not to be.
That, then wrapped up the frankly very odd career of Jankowski, who is already receiving considerable "Please ignore the draft position at which he was selected" talk from Flames brass. I think that's a reasonable position for the organization to take, given that it wasn't until this year that Jankowski really established himself as any sort of considerable force in most games he played, and even then, he was hardly as overwhelming as you'd like a first-round pick to be in his draft-year-plus-4.
April 01 2016 02:00PM
It's been an extremely eventful week for a lot of Calgary Flames. All three goalies saw playing time, to varying degrees of success (spoiler alert: the young one is the only one proving any real worth at the moment), while a handful of players bounced around due to injury and recall status.
Michael Frolik, Johnny Gaudreau, Josh Jooris, and Jyrki Jokipakka all spent a bit of time on the shelf this past week, paving the way for, deep breath: Garnet Hathaway, Freddie Hamilton, Derek Grant, Emile Poirier, Hunter Shinkaruk, and Brett Kulak.
Hathaway and Hamilton had some good showings of being a pest and combining on a brotherly goal, respectively, before being returned to the AHL to give a couple of other kids a chance. Grant's time back in the NHL was a long time coming, while Shinkaruk scored his first couple of NHL points. Poirier's recall was a little eyebrow-raising, considering his season in the minors this year, but he looked just fine out there as well. And for once, Tyler Wotherspoon was not brought back up - and Kulak made his first return to the NHL since October.
But then players got healthy again, and it's already resulted in Kulak's return to the AHL. Grant, Shinkaruk, and Poirier remain up, however: though there's no telling if both Shinkaruk and Poirier will be playing together in the remaining games.
There's just over a week to go. Let's grade 'em.