The Calgary Flames have hit the quarter-pole of the 2013-14 NHL season, with 20 games complete and a lot of hockey left to go. In addition, we’re experiencing the meat of the schedule in college and major junior hockey, while the Abbotsford Heat are in the midst of their longest road trip of the season.
All that and more in your Weekly Ignition!
The Flames played three games at home this week. Things didn’t go quite as well as they hoped.
On Tuesday, the Flames dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the San Jose Sharks. The club got beat up in terms of shots and chances through the first 40 minutes, then rallied in the third against a tired Sharks club to tie it up before losing early in OT. Kris Russell and Mike Cammalleri scored, while Reto Berra stood on his head to earn the team a point. [Post-Game]
On Thursday, the Flames were drubbed 7-3 by the Dallas Stars. They had a similarly slow start as against the Sharks, but Reto Berra wasn’t quite as sharp in net. He was pulled mid-way through the game and Karri Ramo finished things off, himself giving up three goals in a game the Flames were never actually “in.” Matt Stajan had a pair of goals and David Jones had the other marker for Calgary. [Post-Game]
On Saturday, the Flames staked themselves to a 2-0 lead but then collapsed in the third period. Worse, the collapse was against the hated Edmonton Oilers, who left the Stampede City with a 4-2 win. Sean Monahan and Dennis Wideman scored, while Reto Berra was in net for the loss. [Post-Game]
- The Flames were bad at face-offs and the power-play, before a face-off win by Sean Monahan against the Sharks changed everything. The Herald’s Kristen Odland has the rundown.
- The Flames want Sven Baertschi to shoot the puck more. Wes Gilbertson of the Sun explains.
- The AHL website profiles brand-new Abbotsford Heat captain Dean Arsene, who once played for the Oilers (but don’t hold it against him).
- Over at the Hockey Writers, I looked at how the Flames never, ever score first and why that’s bad.
- Our Christian Roatis shared his views and experiences on bullying in minor sports.
- The great Steve Macfarlane take a look at how Mike Cammalleri’s doing in a year before his contract is up.
- And best wishes and good luck to Megan Robinson, who’s been with the Fan 960 and 660 News and has been a fixture at Flames games for as long as I can remember. She’s off to Toronto, where she’ll surely do well.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames are 6-11-3 after a week where they went 0-2-1. The work ethic is generally there, although it’s varying a bit, while they’re losing games because they’re getting out-skilled. And occasionally out-worked, sadly.
In minor pro, the Abbotsford Heat lost a game finally (boo!) but won two of three on the road as they begin a seven-game trek throughout the United States. They beat Texas 7-3 and Oklahoma City 5-4 before losing 4-1 in the only game Joey MacDonald started on the trip so far. Just saying. Ben Street had five goals this week, while Blair Jones, Chad Billins, Max Reinhart and Mchael Ferland also generated many points. Joni Ortio ran his record to 7-0 with a pair of wins. In the ECHL, the Alaska Aces also won two of three against the Las Vegas Wranglers. Olivier Roy split his two starts, while David Eddy returned from injury and had three points in two games.
Your prospect Three Stars are Swift Current’s Coda Gordon (six points), Vancouver’s Brett Kulak (four points) and Quebec Remparts captain Ryan Culkin (three points). Honourable mention to Providence College netminder Jon Gillies, who won both of his weekend starts and set the Providence College career shutout record with his eighth shutout. And he’s just a sophomore, so expect that record to get run up a bit before he heads to Calgary.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames play tonight in Winnipeg, in their first visit in many, many years, before returning home for games Wednesday against the Columbus Blue Jackets and Friday against the lowly, lowly Florida Panthers. If they can’t win against Florida, expect the panic levels to rise.
The Alaska Aces are off until November 27, but the Abbotsford Heat continue their trek through the USA. They play Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wednesday in Rockford and close out their seven-gamer on Saturday and Sunday with a pair of games against the Iowa Wild.
And in an added treat, Flames prospects will be on TV this week. The Subway Super Series starts tonight, so check out Rushan Rafikov and the Russian Selects against Emile Poirier and Team QMJHL. The game starts at 5pm and airs on Sportsnet. They play again on Wednesday, as well, at the same time and channel.