Christmas is over and we’re now rapidly approaching the beginning of 2014. What a wild few weeks it’s been, but now hockey has returned from its brief holiday slumber and there’s a lot to get caught up on.
Let’s get to it.
The Flames began the week on Monday night with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the St. Louis Blues. Despite trailing 3-1 after 40 minutes, the club battled back, tying the game late and winning in the shootout. [Post-Game]
After three days off for Christmas, the Flames returned to action against a pair of rivals and didn’t do much in the way of scoring. Despite the games being close for the majority of their duration, the Flames lost 2-0 on Friday to Edmonton [Post-Game] and 2-0 on Sunday to Vancouver [Post-Game].
As a result, the Flames are now technically worse than the awful Florida Panthers, standings-wise.
Steve Macfarlane has an excellent piece on Mark Giordano’s rise to NHL captain.
Kent Wilson has a handy advanced stats primer, focusing on possession stats.
Why aren’t the Flames scoring? Kristen Odland takes a look.
Darren Haynes examines Calgary’s goaltending situation.
Finally, Wes Gilbertson takes a look at Markus Granlund’s whirlwind first day in the NHL.
A LOOK BACK
The Abbotsford Heat swept a two-game series with the Oklahoma City Barons this weekend, winning by 5-1 and 4-2 scores. Joni Ortio earned his 14th and 15th wins of the season. Ben Street had six assists and Max Reinhart also played well. Street has 32 points in 26 games with the Heat. Up in Anchorage, the ECHL Aces split a weekend set with the Ontario Reign, losing 4-2 but then winning 3-0. Olivier Roy started both games.
More competition for the prospect Three Stars this week, with much of the junior and college players back in action. Brandon’s Eric Roy had three assists, Emile Poirier had a hat trick, and Johnny Gaudreau had two goals, three assists, and took home the MVP trophy at the Three Rivers Classic. Mark Jankowski had…an assist. But his team was playing Holy Cross, owners of a 2-11-0 record, so don’t get too excited.
Over at the World Juniors, Jon Gillies back-stopped Team USA to wins in each of his two starts.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames have a light week. They host the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday and then the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. After that, we’re in full-on “OMG Olympics!” mode, as the club plays three-to-four games per week, including a fair bit of travel.
On the farm, the Heat host the Hamilton Bulldogs on Friday and Saturday, after which they head out for a lengthy road trip. Up in Alaska, the Aces host the Ontario Reign again on New Year’s Eve, then welcome the Idaho Steelheads on Friday and Saturday.
In the World Juniors, Jon Gillies will likely get the start as Team USA faces Team Canada tomorrow morning. After that, we head into the medal round! Doncha dare miss it!