May 16 2015 01:29PM
The Nation Network isn't accustomed to playoff success. What else do you expect from a blog network based out of Edmonton?
We're experts in the draft lottery though, and we know a thing or two about playoff pools - particularly the Nation Drafts charity playoff pool that we run annually. With the second round of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs already in full swing, let's take a moment, look back at round one, and check out the progress that the Nation Network's poolies are making in the competition!
May 16 2015 01:00PM
Hop on the time machine and let’s go back. Let’s go back, oh, say to the start of when Flames fans really started to become tired of the mediocrity. Where calls for a full-on rebuild were heard loud and clear. How about 2010? A nice, solid 5 years ago.
We’re going to take a brief look at the Flames’ prospect depth at the centre position, which happened to be the most worrisome for everyone, including management, when talks of a rebuild started to pop up. Now, it could be argued the Flames have a log jam up the middle. How did it turn so damn quickly?
May 16 2015 11:00AM
In what is hopefully - but probably not - a harbinger of things to come, a Calgary Flames prospect is headed to the Memorial Cup while a prospective Edmonton Oilers first overall pick is headed home empty-handed.
Hunter Smith and the Oshawa Generals polished off their OHL Championship series last night, beating Connor McDavid's Erie Otters in five games.
The Generals join the WHL Champion Kelowna Rockets, the Quebec Remparts and the Rimouski Oceanic (Quebec's the host, so both QMJHL finalists get to go) in the Memorial Cup later this month.
May 15 2015 01:00PM
T.J. Brodie had two seasons.
The first was 61 games playing almost exclusively with Mark Giordano, Norris trophy front-runner. The second was 21 games, playing primarily in tandem with either Deryk Engelland or David Schlemko. He was downright fantastic with Giordano. He was pretty darn good otherwise, but he was less impressive with non-Giordano partners.
In other news: water is wet. And Brodie is a really good, rapidly improving defenseman.
May 15 2015 11:00AM
People have a tendency to get distracted and/or focused on shiny new toys. This can lead to older, less shiny toys being disregarded, cast away as "not as awesome" or something else silly, even though they're still friggin' great toys.
In this scenario, Sean Monahan and Sam Bennett are shiny new toys. The pair of extremely high draft picks and extremely young centres are expected to one day develop into elite talent and lead the Flames to the promised land.
Mikael Backlund is the less shiny toy, and not rightfully so. He's been around so long and never scored enough points to people's liking, so some find it easy to dismiss him (like that time Markus Granlund got nine points in 10 games, a thing that did not happen again).
They're wrong. Backlund is crucial to the Flames' success. With the team growing and young, high end talent stepping in, he's more important than ever.