January 17 2012 07:51PM
San Jose is a club that should truly scare any Flames fan. They have an abundance of what Calgary lacks - tried and true heavy hitters at even strength. This is because they are exceptional at drafting and developing quality hockey players and their management team is relatively savvy. It's a bit of a crime that Doug Wilson has yet to bring a cup to Northern California, but one would think it's only a matter of time.
Oh yeah - they have also handed Calgary some it's most embarrassing losses over the least few years.
The Sharks control the puck pretty well at ES, but they are also the best team in the league at generating shots on the PP. For the second straight season, the Sharks are leading the league by that measure by a wide margin (69.6 shots/60). Only Vancouver is close and they aren't really (59.3). The Flames, in contrast, are one of the worst at 44.6.
San Jose hasn't scored as much as was expected through the first half, but that's mostly because their PP is only clicking on about 9% of their shots. The league average is around 12% and the Flames are actually humming along at 14%, which is why their overall success rate isn't too bad. You can be certain, though, the Sharks won't be snake-bitten on the man advantage forever. It wouldn't surprise me if they almost double their PP output from the first half. The Flames, on the other hand, will fall off unless they can start shooting a lot more.
Nation World HQ
January 17 2012 11:26AM
By the time we get to mid-February, the Calgary Flames will have played three games against the Sharks, seen the Kings one more time, and fought it out with other high end teams like the Red Wings, Blackhawks, and Canucks. Mix in a little Phoenix, Edmonton, and Anaheim for good measure and you've got a ten game stretch that really could make or break Calgary's season. That stretch starts tonight in San Jose (8:30 pm, Sportsnet West and Sportsnet 960).
January 17 2012 10:14AM
It has been quite the exciting week for the Calgary Flames. After an embarrassing 9-0 loss to the Bruins, the Flames started a four game home stand that was going to define who they were as a team and how far they were willing to go for each other. Were they going to just play out the season, or make a serious run at the playoffs? Were they going to play for their Captain, who was one goal away from his 500th? Or, were some, playing out their days until the season was over and they hit free agency?
As is usually the case with this team, questions surface faster than they can be answered. This past week defined that trend, at least temporarily. Instead of the typically expected rollercoaster of emotions, the fan base was treated to something they needed, and frankly, something the Flames really needed, if they are serious about what direction they want to pursue in the second half.
January 17 2012 10:11AM
As the NHL moves past the midway mark of the season, it’s time to look back at which players deserve hardware, based on their performance over the first half. To answer that question, we polled writers from across the Nation Network, talking to writers at every site.
This morning, we unveil the first of our midseason awards: our picks for the winners of the Hart and Vezina Trophies.
January 16 2012 04:49PM
The deal that sent Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland and a 2nd pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft to the Habs has already been called the ‘Cammie deal’. It looks like it may have something else in store for the Flames, though.