March 25 2015 01:00PM
It's late March, spring is in the air and the Calgary Flames are in playoff contention.
Tonight's test for the locals is a visit from the Dallas Stars, a once playoff hopeful team now playing out the string and hoping that their grouping of able-bodied youngsters that get some momentum and confidence into them that they can carry into next season, since it won't do them much good right now.
Calgary? They're opening the day in a playoff spot, with a magic number of 9.5 on both the Winnipeg Jets and Los Angeles Kings. The key for them? Just keep finding ways to win. With just 9 games to go and the magic numbers where they are, we're likely in for a photo finish of some sort - with an outside chance of a three-team standings log-jam for the final two berths.
The puck drops at 8pm MT and is part of a Sportsnet Wednesday night double-header. To avoid pre-emptions, check it out on Sportsnet One and Sportsnet 960 The Fan. (It's also on Sportsnet West when the earlier game is done.)
March 25 2015 11:00AM
This has been one of the more interesting years for Flames goaltending in recent history. Of course, that's a pretty easy feat to accomplish when most of said recent history was watching Miikka Kiprusoff suit up for at least 70 games a season, but still: it's been interesting.
Ryan recently wrote on Bob Hartley's tendency to spot the goalie with the hot hand and ride him endlessly. Right now, that goalie is Karri Ramo. But with Jonas Hiller having started 39 games this season to Ramo's 29 - not to mention the fact that Ramo has been pulled for Hiller's relief way more often than vice versa - Hiller has been an absolutely crucial part of the team's goaltending this season. Hell, he's been an absolutely crucial part of the team overall. Jonas Hiller was the best thing the Flames did on July 1, 2014.
So, what if they hadn't gotten him?
March 25 2015 09:34AM
The signing by the Calgary Flames of college free agent Kenney Morrison the other day got me thinking about the players the Flames have under contract for next season, and the age groups represented in that grouping.
So with a bunch of moves probably coming in the off-season, let's see where things stand.
March 24 2015 01:30PM
It's been a long time since the Flames were a real threat to make the post-season. It's been an even longer time since anyone could say the club had an above average collection of young players and prospects. Both are true of Calgary currently, which is encouraging at this point in the rebuild.
But it also means the club will have to make some tough decisions on some of the kids this coming off-season. Not only will they be adding to the professional depth when guys like Sam Bennett, Jon Gillies, Keegan Kanzig and Morgan Klimchuk likely turn pro, the organization also has 15 pending RFA's in the NHL and AHL level to sign, trade or walk away from.
Here's a look at the Flames soon to be free agents, with an eye to who they should keep, how much it will cost and who the team may cut bait with. We'll start with the main guys on the parent squad.
March 24 2015 12:00PM
Another weekly edition of Elliotte Friedman's 30 Thoughts column over at the Sportsnet site has, as usual, resulted in some interesting Calgary Flames information.
Per Friedman, the Flames are reportedly looking to dip into the college free agent pool once again.
As of Monday night it was not 100 per cent certain Colgate forward Kyle Baun will forego his senior season to join an NHL roster, although teams would be surprised if he didn’t. He’s still sorting through offers, with a few Canadian clubs (Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Winnipeg) interested. We should have a better idea of his future Tuesday afternoon.