January 09 2015 11:30AM
After a tumultuous first 41 games to the season, featuring both crazy-long winning AND losing streaks, the Calgary Flames begin their back-half of the season tonight with the dream of a playoff berth swirling in their heads. The first step forwards the Flames (21-17-3) making that dream a reality is tonight against the visiting Florida Panthers (18-11-9).
The Flames and Panthers are both quite similar. Both seemingly bottomed-out last season and drafted really great hockey players - Florida got Aaron Ekblad, Calgary got Sam Bennett - and are now arguably over-achieving by virtue of good systems play and smart coaching. Both teams are presently their respective conference's best non-playoff team. Calgary's two points out of a playoff spot, Florida is three points back of one. Both teams are buoyed by the impressive play of a first-year player contending for the Calder (Florida's Ekblad and Calgary's Johnny Gaudreau).
The puck drops at 7pm MT tonight on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
Nation World HQ
January 09 2015 07:00AM
World Junior gold, Phil Kessel exchange with reporter, Leafs fire Carlyle, 5 coaching candidates, Todd Nelson needs to go, Flames at the halfway mark, catching up with former Canucks and more in this week's Roundup.
January 08 2015 01:00PM
According to several reports, there's a whole lotta movement going on in the American Hockey League, as the much-rumoured "West Division" moves from a mere notion towards becoming reality.
The AHL's Board of Governors are slated to meet at the end of the month for their regular meeting, coinciding with the league's All-Star festivities. At that point, we may get some details made official. For now, here's the gist of what we think we know about what's happening next season.
January 08 2015 11:52AM
There has been a lot of activity for the Flames over the last 24 to 36 hours, both in terms of recalls, demotions and injured players being activated or deactivated.
Here's the gist of it.
January 08 2015 08:30AM
1. Tough decisions
Trade rumors around the league are now officially starting to swirl, and some minor swaps have already been made as teams that don't think they can compete for a playoff spot sell off pieces. As the winter wears on, more teams are going have to seriously consider whether they're going to push for a playoff spot, solidify their status as a top team with a key addition, or sell off pieces that will position them better for the future.
The trade deadline (March 2) is now only seven weeks away, and while that obviously leaves a lot of time for evaluation, the smartest organizations will be the ones that know where they stand as early as possible. In this way, they can position themselves better for the final push ahead of that deadline.