Chemistry Exam - The Flames Rebuild Begins off The Ice as Well

Kent Wilson
April 15 2013 11:23AM



(Steve MacFarlane is a veteran sports writer here in Calgary. Once upon a time he was a fixture at the Sun, but has since moved on to bigger and better things. We're trying to add Steve to the permanent roster here at FN. For now, we debut his first exclusive piece for us today. Enjoy!)

By Steve MacFarlane

The Youth Movement. It’s about time.

While covering the Flames on the newspaper beat for seven seasons — from lockout to lockout — the team’s biggest problem became more and more evident each year. Too many veterans playing the latter half of their careers. Not nearly enough kids hungry to prove deserving of a spot in the NHL. That much was obvious to everyone.

But it was a subtle side-effect of that lopsided mix of age and experience over youth and exuberance that I’ve always believed really caused the gradual disintegration of the team’s success on the ice: The players’ off-ice chemistry.

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Mikael Backlund is Good - I freaking told you so

Kent Wilson
April 15 2013 08:27AM



pic via Stephanie Vail

It isn't terribly noble to wag your finger and say "I told you so", but I think this is an article that needs to be written. I spent all of last season doing my damnedest to defend Mikael Backlund from a growing chorus of naysayers in the Flames media and fanbase. The team was going through another disappointing season and Backlund wasn't really contributing, at least in the most obvious ways. The 23 year old was hurt all the time and whenever he was in the line-up, the puck wasn't going in the net for him. People in this city are highly conditioned to expect draft picks to bust, so it seemed like another failure in a long line of wasted prospects.

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POST-GAME: #SpoilTheOil

Vintage Flame
April 14 2013 02:50AM


Today started off much the same as any day when it's the Battle of Alberta. A conversation with a few of my friends that just happen to be Oilers fans (What can I say, I'm a charitable guy). The conversation involved much of the same banter that inevitably comes when the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers square off.

What really stuck in mind this time was when it was made pefectly clear to me that, "After that 8-2 beatdown, Hell would freeze over before the Flames were going to win this game tonight." I didn't really know if I should get too in depth on this one, after all, Calgary was dressing six, yes SIX, AHL minor leaguers tonight, and the Oil was bringing the full measure of the "draft pack".

Well later that day the snow began to fall here in Cowtown; and it kept falling. Could it be? Could Hell actually be freezing over? Let's see how it played out...

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GSB 41.0: BOA

April 13 2013 03:23PM

It's that time again Calgary. You managed to get ahead of the Mighty Oil by a measly two goals last Battle of Alberta. Fortunately the good guys dug deep and managed to pump eight straight past your goaltending duo. Eight. Straight. Goals.

Let the soundtrack be the sequel to Gangham Style which dropped today. We have a few things to say.

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Post-Game: Coyotes Ugly

Ryan Pike
April 13 2013 10:30AM


The battle of #alberta tonight! #hnic #yyc #flames #oilers

pic via Chris Goulet

With just nine games left in the 2013 season, Friday night seemed like a prime time for the Calgary Flames to continue their trudge towards the draft lottery. Missing a handful of regulars and featuring a handful of AHL call-ups, including uber-prospects Max “Power” Reinhart and Sven Baertschi, the Flames are presently high on energy but a bit shy on NHL experience.

So the playoff-hungry Phoenix Coyotes would just run over this rag-tag bunch of local toughs, right?

Not quite.

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