A fairly busy week in Flames-ville, both on and off the ice. Let’s get to it!
Three games for the hometown heroes, as the Flames finished off a lengthy five-game road trip in the western United States and began a three-game homestand.
On Tuesday, in the back-end of a road back-to-back, the Flames fell to the Coyotes 4-2. Joey MacDonald started and Flames goals came from Lee Stempniak and Joe Colborne. The game ended the lengthy “every game is entertaining” streak the Flames had going and Mark Giordano didn’t play due to injury. [Post-Game]
On Thursday, the Flames got beat in Dallas. They were without Giordano, Karri Ramo started and things just weren’t very good. Lee Stempniak had the lone goal and presumably acquired his lower-body injury in this game. [Post-Game]
On Saturday, without Stempniak and Giordano, the Flames beat the Capitals 5-2. Karri Ramo started again. Goals came from Mike Cammalleri (with a pair), Jiri Hudler, Kris Russell and Curtis Glencross. Washington played okayish and the Flames were better. [Post-Game]
On Sunday, the Flames unveiled their third jersey. It looks fairly close to the NHL14/Icethetics leak, and the biggest news was that both Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak appeared to be wearing walking boots on presumably injured lower extremities. Both are officially day-to-day.
- The Herald’s George Johnson breaks down the Flames tumultuous road trip, where they went 1-4-0 and lost their captain to an injury.
- Hockey’s Future takes a look at Calgary’s prospect depth post-draft. Nothing you haven’t heard before, but it’s from a source other than FN saying the Flames have depth.
- The Flames decided to keep Sean Monahan. NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman thinks it’s a smart move.
- According to Eric Francis, Monahan’s old coach thinks he’s a pretty special player.
- Scott Cruickshank looks at T.J. Brodie’s up-and-down season.
- Finally, Icethetics has a brief breakdown of the new Flames third jersey.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames bounced back from an awful, awful road trip with a pretty good effort against the Washington Capitals. Arguably the most impressive thing was their success in the face-off circle – Matt Stajan, Joe Colborne and Mikael Backlund were all over 60%. Their defensive play was a bit wonky, though, and they were hemmed into their own zone quite a bit in the second and third periods. But hey, two points is two points. The NHL’s worst-ever team, the 1974-75 Washington Capitals, only earned 21 points. The Flames need just 10 more points to guarantee that they won’t be the worst team ever. I think they can do it.
On the farm, the Abbotsford Heat split a pair of weekend home games with the Lake Erie Monsters. They won 4-2 on Friday (goals from Ben Street, Chad Billins, Carter Bancks and Corban Knight) and lost 3-1 on Saturday (goal by Knight). The Heat are 4-4-1 thus far. At Flames Fest, Craig Conroy was reportedly very complementary regarding the play of Reto Berra (he’s 5-3-1), Billins, Roman Horak, Max Reinhart and Knight.
Your prospect Three Stars for the past week: Vancouver Giants blueliner Brett Kulak (five points over four games), Gatineau Olympiques forward Emile Poirier (who has at least a point in every October game and 20 for the month) and Alaska Aces goalie Joni Ortio (who had two wins and a shutout in two starts).
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames continue their homestand, hosting the Toronto Maple Leafs (on an early 6pm TSN broadcast) on Wednesday and wearing the new duds against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday. After that, it’s back on the road, as they kick off a four-game trip to the midwestern United States with a Sunday visit to the Madhouse on Madison to check in with the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
On the farm, the Abbotsford Heat also hit the road again, making their first trip to Utica, NY to see the Baby Canucks (the Comets) on Wednesday and Friday, then facing the Hamilton Bulldogs on Saturday night in the Steel City. And meaningful college hockey begins, as Boston College has a home-and-home with Northeastern, Providence has a home-and-home with Boston University and, of note, Yale faces St. Lawrence and Clarkson, where Craig Conroy played his college puck.
SUM IT UP
We’re getting into the meat of the NHL schedule, college hockey is beginning conference play and the farm team is already being impacted by call-ups. It must be almost November.