March 03 2014 09:08PM
Tonight was basically what you'd expect on-paper from a match-up between the Calgary Flames and the Minnesota Wild. The Wild, with a talented club, home ice and some good play, pulled out a one-goal win at home. The Flames, full of piss and vinegar, got down twice and battled back before narrowly tasting defeat.
It was exactly what you would have expected, and that's just fine, because nights like this provide a road-map for what tinkering needs to be done to help this team become more competitive. And by sheer coincidence, this handy lesson comes about 42 hours before the trade deadline.
March 03 2014 12:26PM
GRANLUND Vs GRANLUND. PARISE Vs BRODIE. COOKE Vs THE FLAMES. MCGRATTAN Vs THE PUCK.
Yes, it will be another nostalgic Northwest division showdown in Minny tonight, with the Flames welcoming back some familiar faces and trying out some new lines against the Wild, who are firmly seated in the first wildcard position in the Western Conference.
Perhaps one of the most intriguing story lines is the fact that Markus Granlund will be taking on his older brother Mikael for the first time (hopefully of many) in the NHL. Mikael was a top-ten pick (Markus was taken 45th in 2011) for the Wild in the 2010 NHL draft and has had a difficult time adjusting to being a full-time NHLer. But after a strong Olympics he seems to be settling in and is having easily his best season as a pro in North America.
Have a look at the rosters after the jump
March 03 2014 11:00AM
Flashback to March 4th, 2009. Darryl Sutter ignites excitement to an immeasurable level in Calgary by acquiring then-star Olli Jokinen and defenseman Jordan Leopold at the trade deadline.
The Jokinen acquisition was of particular interest to fans, because it seemed Sutter had finally found a star center for Jarome Iginla. The return - a 1st round pick, Matt Lombardi and Brandon Prust - was inconsequential at time considering the hole the Flames had thought they had filled. The deal ended up yielding the Coyotes defenseman Brandon Gormley - via the 1st round pick - who is now a top prospect and looks to have a promising future, while Olli Jokinen helped the Flames slog through a few more years of mediocrity. In hindsight, not the greatest of moves. Now, the Flames have a similar bargaining chip that Phoenix had with Jokinen in Mike Cammalleri: a proven scorer that can push a team over the hump. Phoenix at the moment has stalled, right on top of that hump, and could reverse the roles they played with the Flames in 2009 and land the Flame sniper to nudge themselves over completely.
March 03 2014 08:53AM
Get set for perhaps the most tumultuous week of the year for the Calgary Flames. Or the least. There's really no middle ground. It's all dependent on how the trade market heats up.
If Brian Burke can start wheeling and dealing, except a radically different Flames team – and by extension probably a different Abbotsford Heat club – in the next 72 hours. If not? Well, maybe it'll be quite similar. We'll see what happens. For now, here's your weekly rundown of what's what.
March 02 2014 03:25PM
Folks, if there's one question I get asked the most in my travels nowadays - even moreso than "How majestic is Brian Burke's hair in-person?" or "Why aren't there more than two Pocket Dog stands in the 'Dome?" - is "When is Johnny Gaudreau going to sign?"
Thankfully, that question is replacing the panicked statement, usually involving a fan clutching my arm or shoulders, "He's going to sign, right?" After Al Morganti's recent reassurances that Gaudreau will most likely sign here, barring war or insurrection, the next question is timing.
The short answer is this - he'll sign when his college season is done, most likely.
The long answer is a bit more complex.