January 12 2017 10:00AM
Calgary Flames left wing Micheal Ferland left Wednesday night's game against the San Jose Sharks with a lower body injury. In the immediate aftermath of the game, it was unclear what Ferland's status is going to be for the weekend back-to-back against New Jersey and Edmonton on Friday and Saturday nights.
Given that Troy Brouwer is roughly a week away from a return and that the Flames are carrying just one extra forward (Freddie Hamilton), any potential absence for Ferland over the weekend may lead the Flames to call up a forward from the American Hockey League's Stockton Heat.
If they call up somebody, who will it be?
January 12 2017 08:00AM
Sergei Belski/USA TODAY Sports
Even if the Flames had lost, that would have been a pleasing game to watch.
Did they play at their best for a full 60 minutes? No, they did not - but they played a far more complete game than their previous two. A not-so-hot first led to pretty good second and third periods, and combined with some timely (and, honestly, unnecessary) stops from their goaltender, the Flames were able to pull out a win.
A regulation win. Over a division rival. They probably won't be competing with the Sharks for a playoff spot - the Sharks are, well, good, and should be a favourite to win the division for a reason - but that was a statement game.
It was against a tired opponent down a player for clerical reasons, but it was still against a superior opponent. And they didn't just hang in there: they won.
January 11 2017 11:16PM
After a stretch of games where the Calgary Flames were able to bank a lot of points against the lesser lights of the National Hockey League, they've had a tough stretch of games against Vancouver (twice), Winnipeg and tonight's game against the San Jose Sharks where they've been playing in tight-checking games where the margin of error is very thin.
After letting some points slip through their grasp against Vancouver and Winnipeg, the Flames overcame a slow start to capture a hard-fought 3-2 victory over the Sharks at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Once again the game turned not on the play of the team's most expensive forwards, but on the efforts of the much-heralded 3M Line of Matthew Tkachuk, Michael Frolik and Mikael Backlund.
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.)