We’re into November now, gang. The NHL’s into the second month of its schedule, most of the minor league teams have played a couple weeks and conference play has begun for college teams. Things are getting real now.
The Calgary Flames played three times in the past week. All three games were against Original Six teams. All three games were pretty entertaining. They came away with two points, although the team played well enough to win all three games.
On Wednesday, the Flames lost 4-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Karri Ramo started in goal and the Flames out-shot the Leafs by a wide margin, but just couldn’t capitalize on their chances. Matt Stajan and David Jones scored. [Post-Game]
On Friday, the Flames lost 4-3 to the Detroit Red Wings. Again, the team out-shot their opponent, but they were undone by some soft goals given up by Joey MacDonald. Chris Butler, Sean Monahan and Curtis Glencross scored, but the Flames just couldn’t tie things up late. [Post-Game]
And the week closed out with the beginning of a four-game road trip in Chicago. With Reto Berra making his NHL debut, the Flames beat the Blackhawks 3-2 in overtime. Mike Cammalleri, Curtis Glencross and Kris Russell (with the OT winner) scored. [Post-Game]
In terms of roster moves, the Flames recalled Berra and defenseman Chad Billins from the Heat this week and assigned MacDonald to the AHL. Lee Stempniak and Chris Breen were also put on injured reserve, although they’re eligible to be activated whenever they’re fully cleared for action based on their retroactive injury dates.
- Flames President of Hockey Operations Brian Burke wrote a fairly detailed defense of the role of fighting in hockey for USA Today.
- As detailed by Eric Francis, the Flames have made protective skate caps mandatory after losing Mark Giordano and Lee Stempniak to lower extremity injuries via blocked shots.
- George Johnson of the Herald previews the Flames four-game road trip.
- Our own Ryan Lambert shares some live impressions of the three Flames prospects at Providence College.
- And over at the Hockey Writers, I muse about the Flames poor power-play performances.
A LOOK BACK
In addition to three Flames games, there was a lot of hockey played this week all around the organization.
The Abbotsford Heat went out east this week for three games. They ended up doing pretty well, beating the Utica Comets on Wednesday in overtime and Friday in regulation. They ended their sweep with a shootout win in Hamilton on Saturday. Markus Granlund scored twice, Max Reinhart scored twice, Blair Jones had four points (including three goals) and Corban Knight also had four points. Joni Ortio earned the win in all three games.
Up in Anchorage, Laurent Brossoit had an excellent weekend for the Alaska Aces. He spent Friday on the bench as the Aces beat the Bakersfield Condors 6-3. Then he shut out the Condors on Saturday night. And then again on Sunday. The Aces are off to a 7-1-0 start and have won seven straight since their opening-night loss to the San Francisco Bulls.
I know I usually have three or four Three Stars, but this week five guys had great performances. Boston College’s Johnny Gaudreau had three goals and Bill Arnold had three assists. Gatineau forward Emile Poirier had two goals and an assist. Swift Current’s Coda Gordon had one goal and four assists. Vancouver’s Brett Kulak had one goal and three assists.
In short: it was a good week for Flames hockey.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames continue their midwest trek, visiting Minnesota on Tuesday, St. Louis on Thursday and Colorado on Friday. After that, they have a few days off at home before playing San Jose next Tuesday.
The Heat head home for four games this week. The San Antonio Rampage visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by the Toronto Marlies on Saturday and Sunday. Up in Alaska, the Aces head south to Boise this week for three games against the Idaho Steelheads (on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday).
Elsewhere, Providence College has a home-and-home with Merrimack, Boston College plays Boston University and Army, Yale plays Princeton and Quinnipac and there’s the usual buffet of major-junior games.
Oh, and if anyone’s curious about Coda Gordon, Swift Current visits the Saddledome next Friday (November 15) to play the Calgary Hitmen. I have it on good authority that tickets are available.