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.
December 22 2016 08:00AM
The Flames have been dressing rather consistent lineups as of late. Unfortunately, their ability to score at even strength seems to have dried up, while their powerplay - loading their top talent alongside one another - has been thriving.
It's only natural to question and propose new lineups in such a time. There are a number of key questions on what the lineup should look like, too, so let's tackle that.
December 21 2016 12:00PM
The Flames are facing a bit of a conundrum in net.
Chad Johnson has cooled down after setting a torrid pace through November and the start of December. In his last three appearances, he has posted a SV% of .882, .862 and .810. Brian Elliott's last three starts, in contrast, have been .926, .923 and .926.
Johnson still owns, by far, the better results for the season of course. On the other hand, up until this season Elliott was certainly the better puck stopper, which is why the Flames acquired him in the summer to be the club's new starter.
So who should Glen Gulutzan bet on moving forward?
December 21 2016 10:00AM
Assuming the Calgary Flames elect to protect one goalie, three defencemen, and seven forwards in June's expansion draft, the team is going to face one tough decision: who should that seventh protected forward be?
While I think there might be some debate among Flames fans, the decision is pretty clear to me. Of the possibilities, Micheal Ferland makes the most sense to be Calgary's final protected player.
December 21 2016 08:00AM
Strike one: the Flames were playing in the second game of a back-to-back. Calgary has played in six such situations this year. They have collected six of a possible 12 points, two being of the loser variety. They have had one convincing win in such scenarios. Back-to-backs are not typically a team's friend.
Strike two: they were playing a back-to-back game against an obviously superior opponent. The Flames defeated the Sharks earlier this season; this time, they lost. This is a team at the top of the Pacific Division - for real, not like when the Flames were with the benefit of having played way more games than everyone else - and a team that is a legitimate contender, made it to the Final last year.
It's fine. A win would have been nice. Taking it to at least overtime would have been, too. But sometimes factors pile up against you and you just lose. Onwards.