April 23 2015 04:48PM
Throughout his hockey career, Johnny Gaudreau has turned heads and earned accolades. He amassed a stellar resume through his USHL and NCAA tenures.
Following a whirlwind first National Hockey League season, the Calgary Flames rookie has added to that resume, being named one of three finalists for the Calder Trophy. Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators are the other two finalists, as announced by the NHL earlier this evening.
April 23 2015 02:30PM
Earlier today, I felt the need to rain on the parade a bit. Historically, the Calgary Flames haven't been the best at closing out playoff series.
However, this season's edition of the Calgary Flames have shown a fairly well-established killer instinct. When they have had the opportunity to put a team away or to keep a team down, they have done so.
April 23 2015 01:00PM
So, the Calgary Flames can advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs tonight.
Now, before everyone gets too excited - and if you've been following this group this year, it's worthwhile to get a little excited - let me throw some cold water on things and keep them in perspective.
The Flames have been bad in games where they can eliminate teams from the playoffs in recent years.
April 23 2015 11:00AM
The big focus in the series to this point has been that everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Headshots aplenty, instigators rescinded, slashes and crosschecks and coaches fined. You get the idea.
Both teams are very guilty of playing this way; for every Hamhuis there's a Ferland, and for every Bieksa there's an Engelland. Maybe — maybe — you say the Canucks were the worse actors as the series wears on, because hey they're losing and they're frustrated. Remember, most of the bad stuff the Flames did also came in the game they lost.
April 23 2015 09:00AM
The last time the Calgary Flames won a playoff round, Paul Martin ran Canada and George W. Bush ran the United States. It was the (magical) spring of 2004, and the Flames shocked the world by beating the division-leading Vancouver Canucks in the first round. Now, here we are 11 years (and 10 seasons) later, and the Flames are in the midst of another magical spring, and they can finish off the Vancouver Canucks tonight.
But don't count on it being easy.
Vancouver's best game of the series - by far - was Game 2, where after losing Game 1 at home, the Canucks came out and played a structured, poised and aggressive 60 minutes of hockey. Calgary also played on their heels the entire time, and struggled to adjust.
Now the shoe is on the other foot. Vancouver has played two okay games in Calgary, but the Flames responded to their Game 2 setback with two strong games at home. One more strong effort stands between them and a second round date with the Anaheim Ducks. In hockey, as in life, nothing is given to you; it's up to the Calgary Flames to take this opportunity tonight, or risk Vancouver getting back into the series.
The puck drops after 8pm MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!