Christmas time is almost here! Hockey will take a brief break later this week, but here’s a quick rundown of where things stand here in the third week of December.
A week after facing Jarome Iginla for the first time at home, the Calgary Flames trekked to Boston to face Iginla for the first time on the road on Tuesday night. The result was the first time the Flames have been shut-out this year, by a 2-0 score. Reto Berra got the loss. [Post-Game]
On Thursday, the Flames headed to the Motor City to play the Detroit Red Wings (in a game probably featured next week on HBO’s 24/7 program). The Flames proved to be a slump-buster for the Wings, who won 3-2 in overtime for their first win since December 6. Mikael Backlund and Mark Giordano scored, while Karri Ramo took the loss. [Post-Game]
On Saturday, the Flames played an afternoon game in Pittsburgh against the Penguins. After getting down 2-0 early, the Flames showed some spunk and battled back. They lost 4-3, however, and also lost Curtis Glencross and Kris Russell to injury. Karri Ramo was in net. [Post-Game]
NHL.com profiled Abbotsford Heat forward Max Reinhart.
The Flames players are half-jokingly referring to Paul Byron as “Mighty Mouse.” Because he’s small. And he’s good at hockey.
The Flames signed 2013 picks Morgan Klimchuk and Keegan Kanzig this week. Kanzig talked to the Herald about how excited he is for the opportunity.
— Kristen Odland (@KristenOdlandCH) December 22, 2013
And lastly, the Flames had Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold as their guests in Boston. So don’t fret about them knowing the organization likes them.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames got one of a possible six points, but played two pretty good games and one flat game in Boston.
In the AHL, the Heat lost two of three this week – they dropped a pair to the Utica Comets (boo!) and beat the Hamilton Bulldogs via shootout on Sunday. Joni Ortio started all three games, while Sven Baertschi returned to the AHL with….zero points. He did have 10 shots over three games, which is a decent stat. In the ECHL, the Alaska Aces swept three games with the Utah Grizzlies. Olivier Roy stared all three games.
Slim pickings for prospect action this week, but your Three Stars are Gatineau’s Emile Poirier (1 goal, 1 assist), Providence College’s Mark Jankowski (2 assists) and Quebec’s Ryan Culkin (1 assist).
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames play Monday night at home against the St. Louis Blues, then get three days off for Christmas. I believe the CBA specifically says Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are off days. They are likely back practicing on Boxing Day, then are back in action on Friday at home against those damn Oilers and then play at home on Sunday against the Vancouver Canucks.
Abbotsford hosts the Oklahoma City Barons (the Baby Oilers) on Friday and Saturday. The Alaska Aces host the Ontario Reign (the Baby Baby Kings) on Frday and Saturday. College and junior hockey gets back underway after Christmas.
Oh, and the World Juniors start on Boxing Day. Fun fact: Malmo, Sweden is 8 hours ahead of Calgary. Rushan Rafikov will suit up for Russia, while Jon Gillies is the starting goalie for the Americans. Russia opens against Norway on Boxing Day at 6am MT, while Team USA plays the Czech Republic at 9:30am. We’ll have much World Juniors discussion later this week (and throughout the tournament).