January 19 2015 12:32PM
We're 45 games into the 2014-15 season and the Calgary Flames enter tonight's game in possession of a playoff spot. The Flames' rebuild is what it is at this point, and the team's positives - their ability to hang in games, to make comebacks and to not let the air entirely out of the proverbial balloon when they get down in games - have out-weighed their negatives.
Are they the NHL's best team? Heck no. They still allow a lot of scoring chances and shots and shot attempts. They're not a fantastic possession team. But roughly (checks calendar) 15 months into the team's reclaimation project, they have an identity, their young players are improving and this is a team that has hung around long enough in the standings to be dangerous.
Tonight, it's the fourth game of their five-game road trip. The road trip began with a 1-0 shutout win over the Vancouver Canucks, and has since featured victories in Glendale, Arizona and San Jose, California. The Flames now face a MASSIVELY IMPORTANT, MEASURING-STICK GAME tonight against the Los Angeles Kings.
January 18 2015 01:30PM
We don't need a silly All-Star game to know who are the REAL stars of the hockey world. All we need is the power of prayer and First Star, Worst Star!
January 18 2015 10:15AM
We're on an off day as the Calgary Flames, on the road, prepare for one of the biggest games of the season tomorrow night in Los Angeles.
The anticipation for tomorrow leads to this week's Open question: What are your game-day rituals?
January 18 2015 01:18AM
In what was a trend throughout the Pacific Division tonight, the Calgary Flames edged the San Jose Sharks in an overtime match that featured many goals, a few lead changes and the Flames creeping into a tie for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
After spotting themselves a 2-0 lead early, the Flames let the Sharks take the game over in the second but didn't let the game get away from them. After Joni Ortio kept the visitors in the game in the third period, Sean Monahan scored a quick one in overtime to give the Flames a crucial 4-3 overtime victory.
Here's how it broke down at the Shark Tank tonight.
January 17 2015 02:23PM
Tonight! Live from the HP Pavilion in downtown San Jose, California! It's the 45th game of the 2014-15 Calgary Flames season, as they take on divisional rival (and my cousin's favourite team), the San Jose Sharks!
The Flames (23-18-3) enter the evening in a place that even the most optimistic person wouldn't have projected they'd be in mid-January: a single point outside of a playoff spot. But between some hot streaks and never really getting blown out of any games they lost, the Flames are a confident bunch that honestly believes that they can win any game they're in. And as we delve deeper into the schedule and the Flames attempt to actually make the playoffs for the first time since 2009, having that kind of confidence could mean the difference between winning and not.
The Sharks (24-16-5) may be the NHL franchise that most exemplifies missed opportunities. The Sharks have been a damn good hockey club since, well, a decade, but every single season they make the playoffs and something gets in their way. Last season? It was blowing a 3-0 series lead to the eventual Stanley Cup champions. They seem well-positioned to once again make a run at the playoffs, but this remains a mentally fragile group until they finally prove to themselves - and the entire hockey world - that they can finish the job.
It's the third of five meetings between these two teams. Each side has won a game so far. After tonight, each team gets a home date with the other side.
The puck drops tonight at 8pm MT. The game is on CBC (with Dave Randorf and Garry Galley) and Sportsnet 960 The Fan (with Derek Wills and Peter Loubardias).