January 01 2012 03:37PM
The Flames have been getting by in recent weeks in a kind of Nashvillian fashion - mostly getting outshot at ES, but garnering points thanks to a mix of opportunistic scoring and above average netminding. Of course, the Preds win games like that by design/necessity while Calgary has kind fallen into the habit.
It's not an ideal path to success in the NHL, but it's the best way for a club like Nashville to stay competitive given some of their challenges. As they are currently built - with a concentration on high-end goaltending and defenders and not much up front - the Predators will never ascend beyond the NHL's middle class, but they aren't likely to fall into the basement as well.
That's been the Flames challenge since about 2005-06 too. The blueprint has chnaged numerous times and the challenges the Flames face now aren't the ones they were seeking to overcome six years ago, but the results are more or less the same.
With a bevy of injuries both up front and on the back-end, Calgary has gone from decent outshooting team to a bottom-barrel club. It's a solid step back. If it persists, the hopes of one last playoff appearance before hard decisions are made this offseason will rapidly fade in the new year. That is, unless Kipper and backup (Irving?) can continue to stop 94%+ of the shots they see at ES indefinitely, of course.
January 01 2012 01:48PM
Just a quick edition of FGD today with New Years festivities kind of getting all in the way. The Calgary Flames play their final game of the season against the Nashville Predators today, hoping to even the season series with them (4 pm, Sportsnet Flames and Sportsnet 960). The Flames are hoping to snap a two game skid and a three game period of fairly uninspired play.
December 31 2011 01:44PM
Well it’s the game we’ve all been waiting for, the showdown for top spot in Group B and the bye in the medal round. Or at least it was supposed to be. Canada held up their part of the rivalry agreement, but apparently someone forgot to deliver the memo to the U.S.
Instead, the New Years Eve game will mean nothing to the Canadians and has the makings of about as much excitement as Canada’s previous three games. That’s right; instead of the mighty obstacle the U.S. was pegged to be from the start, they are now nothing more than a stepping stone. Game time is 8:00 pm EST / 6:00 MST
Nation World HQ
December 30 2011 08:42PM
For a third straight game, the Calgary Flames were noticeably controlled by an opponent with an inferior record. On Friday night in Ottawa, they staked themselves to a 3-0 first period lead that was not in line with the way they played. Even with that lead, nothing changed, and that allowed the Senators to claw back and force overtime, eventually using career goal #400 from Daniel Alfredsson to skate to a well earned 4-3 victory.
December 30 2011 08:29PM
Final Score - 4-3 OTL