The Flames earned five of a possible six points over the last week in a departure from their awful performance in the week prior. All this and Johnny Gaudreau keeps up putting up points and the Abbotsford Heat keep on winning, despite losing their leading scorer to the Flames.
Here’s your weekly cup of catch-up with everything Flames-related!
The Flames had a good week, despite needing to go to extra time in all three games.
On Monday, the Flames headed to the MTS Center in Winnipeg for the first time (and their first visit to Manitoba since 1996). In a really fun game to watch, despite the absolute defensive clown show on both sides of the puck at times, the Flames won 5-4 in an eight-round shootout. Mike Cammalleri, T.J. Brodie, Lance Bouma and Jiri Hudler scored in regulation, while Sean Monahan had the deciding goal in the shootout. Reto Berra got the win in net. [Post-Game]
On Wednesday, the game was much, much less entertaining. Back home, the Flames and Columbus ground it out in a rather tedious affair. Joe Colborne put the Flames on the board, but Calgary lost 2-1 in overtime. Berra was in net again and was “fine,” outside of a bonkers barrel-roll/windmill save he made in the first period. [Post-Game]
On Friday, the Flames hosted lowly Florida. Despite a dull first period, the game got lively and the Flames on 4-3 in a six-round shootout once again won by Sean Monahan. Colborne, Sven Baertschi and Blair Jones scored in regulation, while Reto Berra got a win.[Post-Game]
Also, a bit of roster movement in the Stampede City this week. Tim Jackman was traded to Anaheim for their sixth rounder in 2014 on Thursday (and Blair Jones was brought up from Abbotsford). On Friday, the Flames flipped their own sixth rounder in 2014 to Dallas for Lane Macdermid and assigned him to Abbotsford. In summation: Jackman (32) was replaced by Jones (27) in Calgary, while Jones (27) was replaced by Macdermid (24), while Calgary’s sixth was replaced by Anaheim’s.
Want a decent comparator to Johnny Gaudreau? Take a look at Columbus’ Cam Atkinson. The Sun’s Wes Gilbertson has the rundown.
Trade winds, they are a blowing! While this week’s moves prove that Jay Feaster’s phone is still working, there’s discussion that Mikael Backlund is on the trading block (via the Calgary Sun), while Shane O’Brien may also be available, per Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun.
Scott Cruickshank talked to Reto Berra about his wicked-awesome save. Reto’s, not Scott’s.
Yahoo’s Neate Sager takes a look at Jon Gillies’ recent groin injury this weekend and his chances at being the top goalie for Team USA at the World Juniors.
Finally, I look at how the Flames streamlined their systems in Calgary and Abbotsford and how Blair Jones’ successful return to Calgary may be proof that approach is working.
And if you haven’t read the First Quarter Roundtable, what are you waiting for? Probably the 48-game edition, i suppose…
A LOOK BACK
The Flames went 2-0-1 this past week, with two wins in the home run derby, er, shootout, and one loss in OT. In the past two weeks, they’re 2-2-2. They sit 8-11-4 overall, 12 points back of the last playoff team in the stacked Pacific Division having earned roughly a third of the points available to them. If the season ended today, they’d draft sixth overall.
Down on the farm, the Abbotsford Heat are the bee’s knees, having amassed four wins this week and a 17-5-0-1 record overall. They just finished off a season-high seven game road trip, taking them to such wonderful places as Cedar Park, TX, Oklahoma City, OK, Milwaukee, WI, Rockford, IL, and Des Moines, IA. They went 6-1-0 over the road trip, which is just dandy, especially when you consider that Blair Jones (their leading scorer) was recalled mid-way through. In the past week’s worth of games, Joni Ortio had a shutout and won twice while Joey MacDonald also won twice. Chad Billins had seven assists, while Paul Byron and Markus Granlund each had five points. Granlund has been excellent in the last three weeks or so.
Your arbitrary prospect Three Stars are Keegan Kanzig (he had a game-winning goal, a plus-four rating and a fight in his first week back from injury), Johnny Gaudreau (four points in two games) and John Gilmour (two assists, including on the game-winner for Providence on Saturday night). A special stick-tap to Jon Gilles, who left Friday’s game after 40 minutes with a groin injury, then came back on Saturday to back-stop his team to a win. He’s lost one game all season.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames have two days off, then host the Stanley Cup Champions from Chicago on Wednesday night. Then it’s off to sunny California for American Thanksgiving, which sounds nice until you remember that airports in the US are crazy this week and that Friday’s game starts at 2pm because of Black Friday. It’s an early Friday game in Anaheim, followed by an 8pm start on Saturday in Los Angeles. No easy games this week.
In the minors, the Heat host the Utica Comets on Friday and Saturday, which will feature good hockey and big crowds at the AESC, as the Canuck kids are in town. After a week off, the Alaska Aces head south to visit the Colorado Eagles on Wednesday and Friday.
And for those with Sportsnet on your televisions, the Subway Super Series concludes this week with three games. Team Russia plays Team OHL on Monday at 5pm MT, then plays Team WHL on Wednesday and Thursday at 7pm each night. Rushan Rafikov will probably play once or twice for Russia, while Flames first rounder Morgan Klimchuk will likely play in both games for the WHL squadron.