January 12 2012 07:29PM
A lot of folks in the MSM are confused by the Ducks fall from grace. They shouldn't be.
"Every year, there's a team that gets all the breaks...Two years ago it was the Colorado Avalanche, and last year it was Anaheim Ducks...Since this may sound like sour grapes, we'll deomnstrate how the Ducks are like M&M's - their candy coating is undeniably fantastic, but thin. They have no depth and were absolutely dominated ayt even strength...Despite their talented first line and exceptionally good fortune, the Ducks were and remain a bottom-third, non-playoff team."
That's our own Rob Vollman from the most recent Hockey Prospectus annual. As mentioned by Pat in the FGD, Anaheim's goaltending has fallen on hard times this season which is bad news for a team who gets so handily outshot.
Bob Murray has tried to firm up the bottom end a bit. He claimed Nik Hagman off waivers from Calgary and added Devils fourth liner Rod Pelley (incidentally, Hagman has a team best .537 corsi rate since Boudreau took over the Ducks). Jason Blake also returned from injury and Andrew Cogliano was added during the offseason. Those are exceedingly small band-aids for a very big wound, but the longest journey begins with a single step blah blah blah.
The reason to truly fear the Ducks, of course, is the big three - Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan. The ANA stars have suffered through some tough luck this season but they remain far and away the best players on the club and can completely outclass anything the Flames can currently put on the ice. Getzlaff and Perry are also in the black in terms of possession under BB, something they weren't to start the season with Carlyle. It could be that Boudreau isn't burying them quite as much, but whatever the case the Flames one and only path to victory tonight is suppressing the Ducks few big guns as much as possible.
Nation World HQ
January 12 2012 11:56AM
In honor of VF's below post about Calgary's current goal song, I thought today's title was perfectly fitting for their opponent tonight. More than three months into the season, the Flames will play a Pacific Division team for the first time, starting a string of four straight against the NHL's western-most grouping. Tonight, they play the weak sister of the five, hosting the Anaheim Ducks for the first time this season (7:30 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960).
January 12 2012 10:33AM
Previously we looked at on-ice shooting percentage, and learned why Rene Bourque’s 3 assists are different than Blake Comeau’s (and Mikael Backlund’s 1 at the time), and also why Olli Jokinen is leading the way in scoring while other veterans like Alex Tanguay and Jarome Iginla are falling behind.
January 12 2012 10:27AM
While I'm sure would rather talk about the Flames long term plans, the truth is the club is no doubt going to continue to push for the postseason this year as long as that goal is reasonably within reach. As such, it makes sense to consider the Flames chances of climbing up to 8th by the end of the year.
January 11 2012 11:24AM
Your Calgary Flames are currently mired in a battle with mediocrity, and the experts are suggesting that The Flaming C needs to win at least 27 of their remaining 39 games to qualify for a playoff berth. No easy feat, but I’m here to tell you, chums, that the picture isn’t as bleak as it seems. Thanks to the extended road trip forced upon the team due to the lending out our fabled Saddledome to Hockey Canada and the World Juniors, the Flames will rock the Dome for 23 of those aforementioned 39 games. Couple that with the 11-5-2 record the team has compiled here in CGY, an impossible task now seems…well, very implausible, but hey…never tell me the odds