Five things: Under the tree

Ryan Lambert
December 25 2014 10:00AM

1. Here's Johnny

Even before his hat trick on Monday night, I had been thinking a lot about Johnny Gaudreau.

That's because I had been doing a bit of work to determine era adjustments for goals and assists numbers in college hockey over the years (vis a vis Jack Eichel vs. Paul Kariya, the two best draft-eligible freshmen in a runaway since 1992-93). In his draft year, Kariya went 25-75-100 in 39 games for the University of Maine, and I wanted to see how Jack Eichel stacked up with his 8-19-27 in 16 games for Boston University so far this season.

I also compared them to the draft-year totals of Brian Gionta, Dany Heatley, and Zach Parise, who round out the top-five in terms of points per game among 18-year-old NCAA rookies. The results can be found here. I thought they were extremely interesting.

But given how far ahead of the pack Kariya was even after adjusting for the high-scoring era of the early 1990s (2.27 adjusted points per game, compared to Eichel's second-best 1.94 when accounting for today's far stingier defending), there was really only one other modern season to which he could hope to be compared:

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Merry Christmas from FlamesNation

December 24 2014 06:39PM

This is meant to be read to the tune of Christmas in Hollis by Run DMC and believed to be told from the perspective of Deryk Engelland, so right away...

Merry Christmas citizens, we promise to do better in the new year (and like most New Year's resolutions...uh, nope)


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One-On-One with Adirondack Head Coach Ryan Huska

Ryan Pike
December 24 2014 01:30PM

When the Calgary Flames relocated their American Hockey League affiliate to Glens Falls, New York, the club also went out and recruited a brand-new coach to lead the team.

Formerly a bench boss with the Kelowna Rockets - where Mikael Backlund was one of his charges for a season - Ryan Huska is in his first season as a professional-league coach. The Baby Flames started off slowly, but have really hit the ground running over the past eight weeks, and they enter the Christmas break with an 18-11-2 record (second in their division behind the Utica Comets).

Thanks to our friends at the Adirondack Flames PR office, we had a quick chat over the phone with Huska late last week.

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An Early Christmas Gift From Your Calgary Flames

December 24 2014 08:35AM

Happy Belated Festivus, Citizens, hopefully your various feats of strength did not include powerful muscle pulls. Mine most certainly did.

I want to talk about something that happened during the ho hum, run of the mill Flames victory over the Kings on Monday, something that many have been calling for since the days where we were making ebola jokes in place of mumps jokes, and nobody was talking about North Korea: your Calgary Flames finally, FINALLY put Sean Monahan on a line with Johnny Gaudreau and Jiri Hudler. 

And Johnny Hockey scored a hat trick, so...

You know as well as I do that sample size is everything, and that results are not typical, but I'm here to make the case that this is a line that would thrive with regular playing time, and if the Flames are serious about turning their season around after this MacTavishian slump, keeping this trio united would go a long way in doing that (as well as playing Gio and Brodie something to the tune of 60 minutes a game, but that's a story for another day)

We'll discuss this in greater detail in this here article today, but here's a spoiler alert for you tl;dr crowd out there: this is a good thing that needs to be more permanent. Like "never not doing this" permanent.

Here's why!

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A Flames Saving Grace: The Powerplay

Byron Bader
December 23 2014 09:00AM

The Flames currently find themselves in dire straits.  While starting the season off with a bang with 17 wins in their first 26 games, they’ve now come crashing back to earth and lost eight straight.  Was the hot string at the start of the season all luck?  Smokes and mirrors that have all evaporated into nothing?  Probably. But there is a consistent trend that has persisted for the majority of the season that might give a fan a little hope that they won't Oilers themselves off a cliff.  That being the powerplay.

Let me explain…

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