December 17 2014 02:55PM
The National Hockey League is abuzz with coaching news nowadays, mostly firings, so for once, here's some good news.
The Flames signed Bob Hartley to a "multi-year" extension, the club announced today. There's a presser later this afternoon on the subject.
December 17 2014 12:00PM
Ladislav Smid is painfully slow on his skates. He wasn't always, but he has been the last couple of seasons. Every stride he takes on the ice looks painful. It seems like, every game, there's at least one hit that he barely manages to get up from. When he does get up, he often limps to the bench as though he were a hundred years old. He grimaces. He bleeds. We can only watch, sharing his pain. Ladislav Smid should not be a NHL player, but he is, seemingly by force of will alone. One gets the sense that Smid would gladly trade a kidney (or other vital organ) for a win, and that's even before the playoffs start! Is such primal will, even when accompanied by a total lack of competence, worth $3.5M a season? Craig MacTavish answered that the season before last. His answer was, "No.". Meanwhile, Taylor Hall is making $6M per season and, rumour has it, he's being shopped around for a king's ransom. Should the Flames be interested?
December 16 2014 10:57PM
The downward slide in the standings continues for the Calgary Flames, as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers tonight.
The Flames now have a record of 17-14-2 after 33 games. They're back in action on Friday night when they host the Dallas Stars in another crucial Western Conference game.
December 16 2014 12:49PM
The Flames return home after a disastrous - in the standings - road trip tonight as they host the New York Rangers for their 33rd game of the 2014-15 season.
Calgary (17-13-2) has lost five in a row, including all four games of their recent road swing. Despite that, the mood was somewhat upbeat at the rink yesterday. Why? The team recognizes that they've largely been playing well and it's been circumstances and some untimely gaffes on their part that has triggered this slide. The key to victory, for the home side, is paying attention to the little things in the game - especially consistency in defensive coverage.
New York (14-10-4) are headed in the opposite direction, having won three straight - including whuppin' the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night in Vancouver. They're hoping to keep their momentum going as they recover from a slow start that's put them a bit behind in the NHL's Metropolitan Division.
Puck drop is at 7pm and you can catch it on Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960 The Fan.
December 16 2014 09:43AM
It's been a pendulum season for the Flames. At first, the club enjoyed some of the league's best goaltending. When that cooled off, they start winning with the league's best even strength shooting percentage. After a couple months of exceeding everyone's expectations, they've finally run head first into a five game losing streak, despite the fact the team has been playing fundamentally better hockey in December.
Which is why I feel like this is a good time to talk about luck a bit more in depth.