December 05 2016 02:00PM
Seemingly eons ago, Bob Hartley gained a lot of praise from fans and onlookers for his method of chopping the 82-game National Hockey League season into digestible seven-game chunks. The justification was that it approximated playoff series length, and if a team wins enough seven-game segments they'd be very likely to make the playoffs.
In the interest of taking a different look at the Flames' struggles thus far, we've done the same thing to this season. Hartley may be gone, but his legacy lives on. (But only in this one, specific way. Okay, this and the stretch pass...)
December 05 2016 12:30PM
Two more Calgary Flames prospects are in contention for roster spots at the upcoming World Junior Championship tournament, while another has not been invited to try out for his national team.
December 05 2016 11:53AM
Oh, Hunter, we hardly knew ye.
At least to start this season, that was especially true. When injuries hit the Flames, they recalled Hunter Shinkaruk. He played seven of a possible 16 games, averaging just 10:35 in ice time over their course. He scored one assist while he was up, and that was about it.
In short, he wasn't doing much in the NHL during this recall, not that he was given much of a chance to. That's probably why the Flames have returned Shinkaruk to the AHL's Stockton Heat.
December 05 2016 10:00AM
The holiday season is here and with it comes a faint glimmer of hope. The Flames have put together a respectable run recently, in no small part due to some heroic goaltending from Chad Johnson. That said, the skaters seem to be a bit less... chaotic in front him these days as well.
December has been something of a swing month for the Flames in the past. In 2007-08 under Mike Keenan, for instance, the Flames started the season poorly and were a handful of games under .500 heading into the final month of the calendar year. On top of that, they were scheduled for a killer Eastern road swing that promised to put them out of their misery.
But that didn't happen. In fact, the Flames won every game on the road trip, reeling off six victories in a row, including an astounding 9-6 victory over the Lightning in Tampa Bay. The outburst helped get them back in the playoff picture, where they stayed for the rest of the year.
The club experienced an even more dramatic turn around under Darryl Sutter in 2003-04, the year they went to the Cup final. Prior to December, it looked like it was going to be another disappointing season for the Flames franchise; they'd won nine of their first 20 games and seemed to be facing insurmountable odds as an underdog battling against big spenders in a pre-cap NHL.
Nevertheless, the D. Sutter Flames more than doubled their season's win totals that December, winning 10 of 13 en route to their Cinderella season.
So there's still a chance. Calgary likely can't recover from another bad or even mediocre month, but they can greatly improve their postseason probability with a few big win streaks.
With that in mind, we talk about the Flames' continued PP woes, the defense pairings and the expansion draft in the latest edition of the mailbag.
December 05 2016 08:00AM
Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
That was fun.