November 22 2015 11:46AM
Well at least not all of last year's magic has gone away.
Although much of what made the Flames a Cinderella sensation last season hasn't carried over, at least they are still deadly in extra time. Or, should I say, at least Johnny Gaudreau is deadly. The Flames' pint-sized sophomore is a 3-on-3 assassin and the primary reason Calgary is currently 5-0 when it comes to OT this year. The latest win over the Blackhawks probably should have ended in regulation - it was the Flames' best overall game this season - but Gaudreau's single-handed effort to win it in the final five minutes was worth the price of admission. He's Calgary's best forward and it's not much of a contest right now.
This mailbag session isn't about Gaudreau - he's the one element on this team about whom no questions need to be asked - but we talk a bit about his line mates, the health of the Flames rebuild, CalgaryNext and the Travis Hamonic thing, of course.
November 22 2015 12:07AM
When it comes to Calgary Flames goaltending, this is the darkest timeline.
In a season in which absolutely nothing has gone right, with goalies putting up career-worst performances and getting injured alike, the Flames have had to bring new bodies into the fold. In part doomed due to the threat of the waiver wire, they have too many goalies in the NHL - and now, maybe not enough in the AHL.
Now, Poulin appears to be injured as well.
November 21 2015 07:34PM
Photo Credit: Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports
New York Islanders defenseman Travis Hamonic is a big name top-of-the-roster defenseman on the trade market. The 25-year-old logs major minutes in all situations and has a consistent (and positive) two-way impact at even strength. He's hoping for a trade that would send him from Brooklyn, NY to Western Canada (or somewhere with direct flights to and from Winnipeg).
When a player like Hamonic is on the trade block, you'd be more surprised to find out that a team run by Brian Burke and Brad Treliving weren't involved in trying to make a deal, than you would be to find out that they're pursuing the possibility aggressively.
According to a report on Saturday from Sportsnet's Damien Cox, it would seem that the Flames are indeed very interested in adding Hamonic to their roster. There's a massive fly in the ointment though, and that's the Islanders' asking price. Islanders general manager Garth Snow reportedly would want T.J. Brodie back in return for Hamonic, which is a nonstarter for the Flames. As well it should be.
November 21 2015 04:15PM
Karri Ramo played his 10th consecutive game last night, which represented a couple milestones.
First of all, it's the most starts he's had consecutively in his National Hockey League career. That in itself is ironic considering that a month ago, Ramo went through waivers and was assigned to the American Hockey League. Much like the proverbial last slice of pizza, Ramo wasn't considered good enough for anybody to want him (even without giving up an asset to get him) and, thus, was thrown into the scrap heap.
And last night, he beat the Stanley Cup champions and became waiver eligible again in one fell swoop. Given how his season began, both are pretty impressive accomplishments.
November 21 2015 02:15PM
With 21 games played, the Flames are now just over a quarter of the way through the season. They have a 8-12-1 record to show for it, with five of those victories coming in overtime, and the one loser point thanks to failing to win in the one shootout they've played thus far.
They're also sixth in the Pacific division, but only four points out of a playoff spot, still with a ton of divisional games to go. They've scored 50 goals - 20th in the NHL - but have given up 75 - dead last, by a fair margin (the next worst team is the Columbus Blue Jackets, and they've only surrendered 66 goals).
So this hasn't been the best start to a season. In fact, it's been one of the worst in franchise history. This is a team that can't keep the puck out of their net, and can't win in regulation. This is still a rebuilding team.