FGD #33: Welcoming the Rangers (7pm MT; SN Flames)

Ryan Pike
December 16 2014 12:49PM

The Flames return home after a disastrous - in the standings - road trip tonight as they host the New York Rangers for their 33rd game of the 2014-15 season.

Calgary (17-13-2) has lost five in a row, including all four games of their recent road swing. Despite that, the mood was somewhat upbeat at the rink yesterday. Why? The team recognizes that they've largely been playing well and it's been circumstances and some untimely gaffes on their part that has triggered this slide. The key to victory, for the home side, is paying attention to the little things in the game - especially consistency in defensive coverage.

New York (14-10-4) are headed in the opposite direction, having won three straight - including whuppin' the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night in Vancouver. They're hoping to keep their momentum going as they recover from a slow start that's put them a bit behind in the NHL's Metropolitan Division.

Puck drop is at 7pm and you can catch it on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.

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Random Thoughts - Poker and Lottery Tickets

Kent Wilson
December 16 2014 09:43AM

random thoughts


It's been a pendulum season for the Flames. At first, the club enjoyed some of the league's best goaltending. When that cooled off, they start winning with the league's best even strength shooting percentage. After a couple months of exceeding everyone's expectations, they've finally run head first into a five game losing streak, despite the fact the team has been playing fundamentally better hockey in December. 

Which is why I feel like this is a good time to talk about luck a bit more in depth. 

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Spending To The Cap: Some Scenarios

bookofloob
December 15 2014 08:35AM

monty-hall-problem


I know this all came down last week and MAYBE it's too late to talk about it, but by now you've all probably caught wind of Brian Burke, noted blatherer, mention in an interview that GM Brad Treliving has the autonomy to spend to the cap this season should he see fit.

But I'm a trend follower, and a late adopter (I didn't sign up for twitter until 2011, buddy), so guess what, we're talking about it.

Now, of course it goes without saying that it's entirely possible (and frankly, probable) that the Flames don't end up employing this course of action, whether they're authorized to or not. And that's a good thing, because the sheer logistics that go into spending that much money in one season is too overwhelming to try and grasp.

Which is why, naturally, I'm attempting to do it. Most people don't know this, but I'm an expert hobby capologist, and I've taken it upon myself to explore all the options available to the Flames.

I mean...they didn't ask me to. But I've been obsessed with the idea of just who (or what) the Flames would have to do to max out their ample cap flexibility, and I believe I've come away with a few tenable scenarios that perhaps the Flames should consider if they feel they are within shouting distance of a playoff spot. And while the Flames could trade for 2.36 Sidney Crosbys and stay cap compliant (Spoiler alert: this is not one of the options I explored, at least not until human cloning becomes far more reliable), I will attempt to address team needs and fix the current glaring holes in the lineup in order to create a more complete, competitive playoff hockey team.

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Post Game: Dive For Five

bookofloob
December 14 2014 10:12PM


So our good friend Mr. Pike wrote this, but the high pressure demands of the dreaded day job (personally, as a blogger, I've never had a job in my entire life) have put him in a position where he's unable to post it. I don't get it either because he was able to send me his words, so I don't know, but I digress. Without further adieu, here's Ryan's take on how the Flames have now lost 5 goddamn games in a row. -Floob 

Despite a pretty solid road effort against a strong team, the Calgary Flames' losing streak hit five games after a 2-1 loss at the United Center at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Flames' record is now 17-13-2 and they have lost every single game of their four-game road trip (as well as their final home game before that trip). This is a departure from their prior record, which involved going the first third of the regular season without losing back-to-back games in regulation.

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FGD: Grasping At Straws

bookofloob
December 14 2014 09:28AM


It's Game Day, citizens, and your Calgary Flames are mired in their worst losing skid in quite some time. There does not look to be an easy out o'er the horizon here either, as the Flames travel to the Windy City (why DO they call it that?) for an encounter with those damn Blackhawks, who apparently do not lose anymore.

On paper, things look bleak. The Hawks have won 8 of their last 9, typically do not lose at home, beat Calgary in their last meeting, and realistically should already have a 2-0 lead in the season series if not for some early season heroics by Jonas Hiller and Mikael Backlund (goddamn it we miss you Mickis).


And of course, the Flames have...regressed. We won't get into it, we don't do any told you so's, partly because you all already knew this was going to happen, and like the rest of us here at Flames Nation, you hate that the Flames have planted their faces firmly into the wall even though you saw it coming. No need to pile on, we all know what's up. We all want the fantasy to continue.

In an effort to swing the momentum around back to our heroes in white (as of course, the Hawks are wearing those beautiful yet racially insensitive red silks on this day), I'm willing to try just about anything within my control, which as we all know, is essentially zero, but that doesn't mean the effort isn't there. So I thought today, I'd have my wonderful friend stace, from the Battle of California (and some other blog that probably doesn't need much mention), come in and give the Flames a word of encouragement by talking pure trash about the Hawks. Stace has absolutely no connection to the Hawks, but she is my favourite person in the world and also happens to think Chicago is boring as hell. Obviously we're all going to want to lend an ear and hang on her every word, because that is terrific.

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