FGD #52: Home Ice Advantage - The Flames Meet The Maple Leafs

Ryan Pike
February 09 2016 12:00PM


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(Candice Ward / USA Today Sports)

After beating the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night, the Calgary Flames hope to keep their momentum going tonight in the confines of the Scotiabank Saddledome when they host Canada's Team, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It's always a little special when the Maple Leafs come to town, if only for the loud, voracious boos towards Dion Phaneuf. (Until now...) Oh, and I guess a good ol' fashioned Canadian team showdown. Neither team is amazing good this season; the Leafs are better fundamentally but the Flames have gotten slightly less bad goaltending and have the scoring machine known as Johnny Gaudreau to push them slightly over the top lately.

This is the last "easy" game for the Flames for awhile, as after this game they face San Jose, Arizona, Anaheim and Minnesota. (And then Vancouver again.) So if the Flames have any notions of making the playoffs, they need to grab these points and then go on a roll against some good teams.

The puck drops at 7pm MT on Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960 The Fan!

For a view from the other side, visit our pals at The Leafs Nation!

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Comparing Mark Giordano and Dustin Byfuglien's new contracts

Ari Yanover
February 09 2016 08:00AM

This past off-season, the Calgary Flames extended Mark Giordano to a six-year, $6.75 AAV contract. He'll be 33 years old when it kicks in, and will carry a relatively high cap hit - with the cap limit's future, tied to the Canadian dollar, uncertain - until he's 38.

Following suit, just weeks before the trade deadline the Winnipeg Jets extended Dustin Byfuglien to a five-year, $7.6 AAV contract. He'll be 31 years old when it kicks in, and it'll last until his 35-year-old season (he'll turn 36 at its end, though). 

These are two high-scoring All-Star defencemen on the wrong side of 30 signed to pretty big deals without even testing the open market. When Giordano was extended, there wasn't much to compare him to: it's not that often that truly elite defencemen break out as late as he did. His past cap hit was $4.02 million; Byfuglien's, $5.2 million: both over five years. 

How do their new contracts compare?

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PACIFIC WAR ROOM

Nation World HQ
February 09 2016 07:23AM

PacificWarRoom 

In an effort to keep fans aware of the comings and goings of the other teams in the Smythe Pacific Division… The fine folks at The Royal Half have created the Pacific War Room… a wrap-up of the past week in the Pacific from some of the best and brightest bloggers who cover Pacific Division teams. In order of the Pacific Division standings… we present the Pacific War Room!

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The Heat Index: Heat Wavering

Taylor McKee
February 08 2016 12:00PM


There was a lot of optimism surrounding this road trip after the Heat had strung together seven straight home wins, including a win against Pacific Division-leading Ontario. However, the Heat came out flat in both games this weekend, dropping a pair of games against teams near them in the standings. 

Again, the Heat struggled to generate offence with one exception: Derek Grant, who is almost certainly the greatest goal scorer since Mike Bossy. In both games this weekend, Grant scored flukey goals because he cannot stop scoring. It may be a medical condition...

Come and read about the weekend after the jump! 

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Trade Deadline Risk and Reward: Karri Ramo

Pat Steinberg
February 08 2016 10:00AM

With the trade deadline three weeks away, the Calgary Flames face four decisions with pending unrestricted free agent players. In each situation, the Flames need to decide whether to make a move prior to the deadline or to keep the player beyond February 29th with the eye to potentially re-signing him. Each case is different which is why we'll take a look at all four players. 

We'll start with Karri Ramo, because I think he presents the most interesting case. There are compelling cases on each side, so what makes the most sense for Ramo's future?

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