2016 NHL All-Star Game: Johnny Gaudreau, Mark Giordano battle for Pacific glory

Ari Yanover
January 31 2016 12:00PM

At long last, the NHL All-Star Weekend is just about over. The skills competition provided a few highlights, although none really involving the Flames; more of the John Scott and P.K. Subban/Jaromir Jagr and Brent Burns variety (with a little bit of Vancouver Canucks goaltending controversy thrown in there for good measure). Johnny Gaudreau excelled at the puck control portion of the Skills Challenge Relay, while Mark Giordano went two-for-two on the one-timer, but neither were able to score during the Shootout.

But now it's time for the main event: the actual game itself. Or rather, games, as the new format this year is a 3-on-3 mini tournament. Here's a watch-along post, if you're so inclined!

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How the Flames became the NHL's best 3-on-3 team

Ari Yanover
January 31 2016 08:00AM

Remember 3-on-3 overtime? It feels like it's been a while, hasn't it? The last time the Flames went to an extra frame was just six games ago, in that horrid shootout loss to the Edmonton Oilers back on Jan. 16. Before then, the last time the Flames went to overtime was on Dec. 15, against the Nashville Predators - a game they won.

In fact, it used to basically be the only time the Flames could win was when it went to 3-on-3.

Well, this weekend we're seeing 3-on-3 featured at the All-Star game. The Flames have two entrants to the cause for Pacific Division glory: Mark Giordano and, probably the greatest 3-on-3 player in all of hockey, Johnny Gaudreau.

This is as good a time as any to look back on the Flames' overtime record, isn't it? They've gone to the extra frame 12 times this season, resulting in eight wins, one loss, and three shootouts. Their 8-1 record in the extra frame is the very best in the NHL, and there's one guy in particular they can thank for that: Gaudreau.

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2016 NHL Skills Competition: Gaudreau, Giordano in Skills Challenge Relay, Shootout

Ari Yanover
January 30 2016 02:30PM

Technically, the NHL All-Star activities are officially underway. Really, though, they don't get started for the out of town fans - essentially, the rest of us - until the Skills Competition. (It used to be the drunk draft, but alas, the NHL decided the best part of the entire weekend was no longer the way to go.)

Mark Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau will both be there, representing the Western Conference, though they'll only be participating in the skills challenge relay and the shootout: events that see a large contingent of All-Stars.

The Skills Competition gets underway at 5 p.m. tonight on CBC Sportsnet - consider this your watch-along post!

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Should the Flames call up Derek Grant?

Ari Yanover
January 30 2016 12:00PM

In his brief time with the Flames organization, Derek Grant has caused quite a stir. After the Flames acquired Dougie Hamilton and Michael Frolik, the seemingly-destined-for-the-AHL signing was little more than an afterthought. After all, this was a 25-year-old who had only played in 25 NHL games: probably useful for Stockton's depth, but ultimately meaningless to the big club.

Except that would no longer appear to be the case. Grant was called up to the Flames in late October, and he survived for a nine-game stretch, before the threat of waivers necessitated in sending him down - perhaps prematurely.

Since then, Grant has gone on a total tear at the AHL level. With a combination of his success down there, the fact that he was a great story when with the Flames (though he has yet to score a goal in the NHL, and that would be awesome), and general dissatisfaction with the NHL team, a lot of people want to see Grant back up. He'd probably be a fourth line centre, but we already know he can play that role... and just maybe offer a little more.

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A Wideman suspension could complicate roster moves

Ryan Pike
January 30 2016 10:00AM

The fate of Calgary Flames blueliner Dennis Wideman is up in the air right now. The 32-year-old is presently suspended indefinitely by the National Hockey League for his collision with linesman Don Henderson, pending a hearing on Tuesday.

The specifics of Wideman's status as a suspended player, along with winger Micheal Ferland coming off of the injured reserve, could greatly complicate Calgary's roster moves when the All-Star Break ends.

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