December 20 2011 06:27PM
The Wild remain on top of things for the moment, but it looks like the inevitable deflation is beginning. Injuries are starting to hit and they're still getting grossly outshot (-70 shots at ES during December alone so far). Minny goalies still sport amazing save rates, but it remains a morbid waiting game to see when the floor will fall out from under them. Not to say Harding and BAckstrom aren't rpetty good goalies - only that they aren't .945 at ES good.
Minnesota is likely to make the playoffs this year by virtue of their hot start, much like Colorado did in 2009-10. Flames fans may be tempted to feel some envy towards this outcome, but the truth is it's kind of good news: it just means a rival mediocre (or worse) club won't be getting a high draft pick this June. Silver linings folks!
December 20 2011 02:38PM
The last several years have seen strong Canadian entries at the World Juniors. When it comes to the talent of their forwards and defensemen, Team Canada has access to riches unparalleled in any other country in the world.
The situation is a little different in net, where the uncertain tandem of Mark Visentin and Scott Wedgewood will backstop this year’s team.
Nation World HQ
December 20 2011 11:34AM
Both the Minnesota Wild and Calgary Flames are riding season-high four game winless streaks heading into action tonight as the two teams meet for the third time this season (7 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960). The Flames lost all four games on their road trip and now start a three game, pre-Christmas stretch against opponents with impressive point totals. Funny enough, even though the Wild have the most points of that trio, they may be the most beatable opponent.
December 20 2011 08:34AM
Needless to say it wasn’t a very productive or fortunate week for the Flames, and once again they find themselves a game under the .500 mark. After starting a gruelling December off with an impressive 4-2 record, Calgary then proceeded to lose the next four straight. Is this a surprise to the fans or even to the team for that matter? In a way it shouldn’t be; injuries have made the club’s depth at forward a lot shallower and it just might be that the expected grind is catching up with the players.
That or the club is merely reverting back to the one thing it does consistently; inconsistency.
December 19 2011 05:28PM
Some quick hits today as news has been popping up on twitter this afternoon.
Firstly, Rene Bourque has been suspended for two games after his hit from behind on Seabrook. The obligatory Shanaban video: