January 11 2017 02:00PM
If you're anything like me, you expected Sam Bennett to take a big step forward this year. I've said more than once that I think Bennett has a higher ceiling than Sean Monahan.
For justifiable reasons, I think: Bennett is a better skater, is more tenacious and is a better puck handler. The Flames' highest draft pick ever was dominant in junior (despite suffering through a shoulder problem in his draft year) and was considered by some as a talent potentially worthy of going first overall.
Unfortunately, like Monahan, Bennett has more or less run in place this year. He's on pace to score fewer points than he did as a rookie (34 vs. 36), has been permanently bumped from the Flames' powerplay, and currently centres a line that struggles at even strength. There's really nothing in his game to be excited about right now.
So what's to be done with Sam Bennett?
January 11 2017 12:00PM
On Monday, the Calgary Flames had a big game against a conference rival in the Winnipeg Jets. It didn't go well, with the Flames struggling against the size and structure of the Jets game...and seemingly forgetting how to connect on passes for roughly half the game. Well, things don't get much easier for them tonight as they host the Pacific Division leading San Jose Sharks.
Playing their second game in as many nights after a fairly entertaining tilt against the Edmonton Oilers last night, the Sharks are likely going to be a bit fatigued. In other words? This is the type of game that teams that make the playoffs find a way to win. If the Flames plan on being a playoff team, they're going to have to figure out how to beat the Sharks (and the Ducks, Kings, Blackhawks and Predators) in these types of situations.
The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan! (The game is joined-in-progress on Sportsnet West.)
January 11 2017 08:00AM
After a season spent outside of the playoffs, the Calgary Flames made a big splash on July 1 when they signed Troy Brouwer. His deal was hefty in a few key ways: it was for four years, a $4.5 million cap hit annually, and contained a no-trade clause. In other words, the Flames bet big on Brouwer.
At the time, we at FlamesNation were a tad skeptical. In retrospect, our skepticism seems warranted. So far, Brouwer hasn't been amazing for the Flames. He's basically been a third liner, albeit with significant power play and penalty kill time added on. His underlying numbers haven't been good. Even when you ignore his injury and focus on points per game, he's eighth on the team in scoring (and seventh among forwards). Thus far, the Brouwer bet doesn't look great.
With Brouwer holding his shiny no-trade deal, could the Flames attempt to wriggle free of his lengthy contract by exposing him in this summer's expansion draft? To put it concisely: they could, but I'm not certain that they will.
January 10 2017 02:00PM
New year, new look.
That was partially the case to start this season. The Calgary Flames ditched their old third jerseys - the ones with the wordmark awkwardly punctuated by their own logo (who uses a "C" as a period?) - in favour of returning to the jerseys that everybody loves: the retros.
Look at that uniform! Look. It's beautiful. It's by far the best jersey the Flames have to offer.
Now imagine it - and a matching away set - being what the Flames wear full time. For the entire season. It's certainly possible. As the NHL looks to switch over to Adidas jerseys, Adidas looks to nix alternate uniforms for the entire NHL. And that means teams had better get this right, or else we'll be seeing 82 games of ugly.
The Flames have the chance to get this right. They made a step in the right direction by bringing back the retros this season. Just one more step, guys.
January 10 2017 12:00PM