November 19 2014 01:21PM
The Calgary Flames have been ravaged by injuries this season. Both fortunately and unfortunately, depending on your perspective, the injuries have largely been concentrated to the forward ranks and to the centre position in particular.
As a result, the Flames have used seven different regular centres, as well as an eighth (Paul Byron) who's dabbled everywhere and isn't included because he was only really a center for a couple games. Given the importance of centres to the defensive game, arguably the centre's WOWY differentials (their teammates CorsiFor% with and without that player) are more important to the team's success in a two-way game than any other forward.
Here's a brief look at Calgary's seven pivots. (The cut-off for comparisons is 50 even-strength minutes together and given Max Reinhart hasn't played 50 minutes period, he's also not included. Sorry, Max.)
November 18 2014 11:23PM
The 2013-14 Calgary Flames were an entertaining, resilient bunch. They won a scant 35 games, but did so with guts, grit and determination.
The 2014-15 Calgary Flames, with 12 wins already - in just 20 games - look upon the 2013-14 edition of the club as a bunch of unlucky slobs. Needing just 23 wins (in the remaining 62 games) to hit their win total from last year, I think it's safe to say that this year's edition of the Flames won't be as bad (standings-wise) as last year's gang.
No Connor McDavid or Jack Eichel around here, folks.
The Flames completed the first quarter of their season with a 4-3 shootout win over the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Despite getting out-shot and out-chanced through the first 40 minutes.
November 18 2014 12:21PM
The first quarter of the regular season will be complete tonight with the 20th game of the Calgary Flames 2014-15 campaign. They host the Anaheim Ducks.
And first place in the Pacific Division will be up for grabs.
The Flames (11-6-2) host the Anaheim Ducks (11-4-4). Both teams are playing their 20th game. Anaheim has 26 points to Calgary's 24. If Calgary wins in regulation, they will be tied with Anaheim with 26 points and have more wins (12), which is the tie-breaker.
Meaningful hockey at the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight, and the game will be doubly meaningful because it's Peter Maher Night at the rink, honouring the long-time (and recently-retired) voice of the Calgary Flames.
If you're going to the game, BE ON TIME, as they have a tribute to the Hall of Famer to kick off at 7pm. Puck drop will be around 7:20ish, and you can catch all the action on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
November 18 2014 08:30AM
The Calgary Flames play their 20th game of the 2014-15 season tonight - preview coming later on today - and the hockey newswires are abuzz with discussion of the Flames red-hot start...and the inevitability of their collapse down the stretch due to one thing.
At the risk of sounding like an apologist for the team, let's talk about regression.
November 17 2014 09:20AM
The Flames near the 20-game mark in a position nobody could have anticipated heading into the season - firmly ensconced in the playoff picture near the top of the Western Conference. The Flames have scored a conference high 59 goals in 19 games and are ahead of heavy hitters like Los Angeles, San Jose and Chicago in the standings.
Will it last? And, if not, should the Flames results so far be completely dismissed as good fortune? No to both, I'd say.