February 09 2012 06:50PM
The Flames first line has actually been generating chances at a decent rate these past few days. Some of that may be the ebb and flow of the game and natural human variance (I once saw Dustin Boyd dominate a game for the Flames, 7 shots, multiple take-aways and points. It didn't last), but I think one cause is they weren't hard matched against the big boys in either Anahim or San Jose.
At this point, we don't really know if this is Brent Sutter shift in strategy or if it's being dictated by the other coaches. In Anaheim, it's clear Boudreau has decided he's not going to bury the Ducks big line in order to float the rest of the roster. In San Jose, the Sharks got down early and their coach started doing things like moving Marleau up and targeting lesser lights to get the Sharks even.
So maybe Sutter has decided he wants to kick start the Flames anemic offense by giving the big guns the high ground a bit more. Or maybe it's just a quirk of the schedule. It will be tough to determine tonight since the Coyotes don't really have a clear cut "top line" of heavy hitters, but is worth watching for nonetheless.
February 09 2012 12:41PM
Andrew Walker's take on the Mikael Backlund situaiton has made the rounds recently. As one of those "advanced stats guys" who habitually defends the beleaguered sophomore, I'm obliged to offer my two cents.
Nation World HQ
February 09 2012 11:23AM
For the high end teams, this time of year is kind of when it's really tough to stay motivated for regular season games. The playoffs are around the corner, but they're not here yet, so maybe this is when things slip a little. Just ask Chicago and Boston. They'll tell you they call this the dog days for a reason. The Calgary Flames don't have that luxury, however, as they face some dogs of their own tonight, visiting the Phoenix Coyotes for the first time this season (7 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960).
February 09 2012 09:14AM
Mike Cammalleri is back! But he has just 2 points - both goals - and is -6 in 8 games. This doesn't seem like the only Flame to beat Jarome Iginla in the goal-scoring race since Valeri Bure in 1999-2000. What gives?
February 08 2012 11:54PM
A truly bizarre game through and through where the momentum switched back and forth like a California tide. In yet another must win game for the Flames, the luck needed, that was obviously missing in Anaheim two nights ago, was waiting for Calgary in San Jose. It was a familiar tale where yet again the Flames ventured to an unfriendly arena in California, having lost the last five at the HP Pavilion, only this time Calgary managed to write a different ending, capping off what ended up being a pretty big night for a number of reasons.
While Olli Jokinen carried the mail up front, Miikka Kiprusoff held down the fort on the back end. As for the rest of the team, it was an all around solid team effort. Everytime the Sharks looked to run the Flames down and take over the game, Calgary managed to stem the tide and generate a push-back of their own.