November 29 2016 10:00AM
The Calgary Flames just completed their longest road trip of the season, playing six games in nine nights in the Eastern Conference. With a record of 3-2-1, the Flames earned seven of a possible 12 points and return home one game closer to the .500 mark than when they left.
Three things jumped out at me during Calgary's excursion, two negative and one positive.
November 29 2016 08:00AM
The Islanders are an unmitigated disaster right now. Their star players can't score, and not helping that fact is that they keep scratching key contributor Ryan Strome. They couldn't keep Kyle Okposo because they gave a shipload of money to Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck, and other fourth liners. They are second worst in score-adjusted 5v5 and have the least number of points in the NHL.
Those are just the on-ice problems. They play in an obviously converted basketball arena which includes an off-centre jumbotron, reduced seating capacity, terrible sightlines, and a Honda in the front row like we're watching the Spengler Cup. It's very symbolic that the outside of the arena is covered in rust. Every player on their roster will probably retire before they stop paying Rick DiPietro. Their coach allegedly lives in the general manager's basement. No matter how bad this season gets, Islanders fans are looking at us (well, at everyone) with envy in their eyes.
Yet the Flames had a tough time against the suckiest bunch of sucks who ever sucked. You couldn't ask for an easier end to the most gruelling road trip of the season, a road trip that many thought the Flames could use to turn their season around, and they blew it. Against a bunch of chuckleheads.
November 28 2016 08:21PM
(Brad Penner / USA Today Sports)
The Calgary Flames ended their mega-trip in Brooklyn against the New York Islanders. The Islanders are probably a bit more skilled and definitely more rested than the Flames, who at times looked like a bunch of guys looking forward to a nap on the plane ride home.
That said, the Flames played a much more calm, structured and gaffe-less game than they did the night previous in Philadelphia. While the Flames did make some errors, and they did lose, they did so in overtime by a 2-1 score. They head home with seven of a possible 12 points on their road trip.
November 28 2016 02:30PM
I remember where I was when the Calgary Flames drafted Mark Jankowski: sitting somewhere in one of the 200 sections at the Consol Energy Center.
It was the second year a group of friends and I decided to meet up at the draft. We knew each other from an online hockey board; we'd congregate every year to watch the fates of 18-year-olds get decided. It was generally a good time, Pittsburgh no exception.
There was a Columbus fan in our group, so she got first dibs on being excited for a new prospect; a trio of Caps fans were after, and then a Sabres fan. Finally, at 14th overall, with names I half-assedly knew about like Cody Ceci, Teuvo Teravainen, and Olli Maatta still on the board--
Oh. They'd traded down. Alright then, at least they got a second round pick out of it. The Flames tend to never have those, so that was good, at least.
And then, at 21st overall, sitting there dumbfounded as I remembered rumours about some kid playing in a Quebec high school.
November 28 2016 12:00PM
(Brad Penner / USA Today Sports)
We love HOME games; have Liquor Depot deliver in under an hour. Click, pick, sit back and watch the game.
After nine days on the road – and five games – the Calgary Flames can finally put their longest road trip of the regular season firmly in their rear-view mirror after one last road game. Their final game of the trip is tonight at the Barclays Center in scenic Brooklyn, New York as they visit the New York Islanders. Best known for hipsters, beards and really good pizza, Brooklyn is now also home to some of the worst ice in the NHL and the inconsistent Islanders.
It will also be known as the place when Mark Jankowski made his NHL debut.
Tonight's game kicks off at 5 p.m. MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.