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.
November 16 2014 10:07AM
As this weekend comes to a close, the Calgary Flames are doing pretty darn well.
They sit with a record of 11-6-2, and despite having a fairly tough stretch of games coming up - Anaheim, Chicago, New Jersey, Anaheim again and San Jose - even if (heaven forbid) they lose every single game, they'll be at the .500 mark after 24 games. That's a massive improvement, and it's been fueled by a combination of hard work and some nice puck luck - their PDO is 102.8, mostly fueled (still) by a high save percentage.
This turn of events has me nervous. And the nervousness is mostly because of the legacy of Jay Feaster.
November 15 2014 10:39PM
I wanted to find some appropriate music for Craig Anderson playing the puck, I have settled on this.
The Flames came alive in a five minute stretch to pull the Flames in front of the Senators. Oh, and Giordano was clipped with a stick in the first period and had to get four stitches on his eyelid. Did you hear me? HIS EYELID. Lordy, he is tough and good at hockey.
The Flames beat the Senators 4-2 tonight in a wild game in which every single player was hit in the face with a stick. Come read all about it after the jump!
November 15 2014 12:00PM
Tonight at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the Calgary Flames (10-6-2) host the visiting Ottawa Senators (8-4-4).
The Senators are a very similar team to Calgary right now. They have strong goaltending (from Craig Anderson) and a well-constructed team, anchored by some strong players on their back end (notably Norris contender and former winner Erik Karlsson). They're coming off an overtime win in Edmonton that saw them gain a 3-0 lead, nearly blow it entirely, and then win in overtime.
Calgary? Replace "Craig Anderson" with "Jonas Hiller" and "Erik Karlsson" with "T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano" and they're basically the same. Heck, both teams seem to really enjoy beating the Oilers in Edmonton to the point that the home side gets booed off the ice.
It should be quite the battle at the 'Dome tonight. Puck drops at 8pm MT on CBC and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. Per Sportsnet, Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Glenn Healy have the TV call.