It’s been a rough week for the Calgary Flames. Already smarting from a post-Christmas span that saw them go winless, the Flames continued their skid for much of the week. Luckily for Flames fans, some of Calgary’s prospects continued to have strong seasons.
Nursing an 0-4-0 record after Christmas, and with just a single goal to show for their efforts, the Flames rebounded nicely in Denver on Monday night, beating the Colorado Avalanche by a 4-3 score in a pretty tight-checking game. Sean Monahan, Joe Colborne, Jiri Hudler and Mike Cammalleri scored, and Karri Ramo made 22 saves for the win. [Post-Game]
The next night in Phoenix, the offensive well once again ran dry. Despite playing fairly well, the Flames got down early on a few weird bounces and things snow-balled on them. They lost 6-0. Reto Berra faced 30 shots. [Post-Game]
The Flames returned home on Thursday to play the red-hot St. Louis Blues. Once again, the Flames came up empty, although they generally played better than they did against Phoenix. Instead of weird bounces, it was largely small lapses against a better team. Karri Ramo faced 29 shots. [Post-Game]
On Saturday, the Flames welcomed Sidney Crosby’s Penguins to the Saddledome. The good news? Crosby generated very little all night and the Flames scored a goal! The bad news? The Penguins victimzed Calgary’s fourth line and won 2-1. Berra faced 26 shots. [Post-Game]
Shockingly, many of us media types discussed how poorly the Flames did this week. I also did a profile on Paul Byron over at The Hockey Writers, as the guy the Flames call “Mighty Mouse” has been excellent lately.
Mark Giordano wasn’t named to the Canadian Olympic team, but Steve Yzerman told him to stay healthy and be ready just in case. Reto Berra will be on Team Switzerland and Ladislav Smid will be on Team Czech Republic.
During the team’s recent struggles, Bob Hartley says he feels for his team.
After a trade, a few signings and amidst the Flames struggles, what’s Brian Burke going to do next?
Finally, Georgie Johnson over at the Herald waxes poetic about how these recent struggles may be but a sign of things to come during the rebuild.
A LOOK BACK
The Flames went 1-3-0. The Oilers and Sabres are rapidly catching up on them. That may be good or bad, depending on (a) how much losses will erode the team’s confidence and (b) how much a high draft pick will jump-start the rebuild. Either way, the team seems frustrated and hasn’t rolled over in any of their recent losses, so that’s probably not a bad sign.
Down on the farm, the Heat have hit a similar skid. They won once in three games down in Texas this week, including one-sided 5-1 and 5-0 losses. They rebounded with a 3-2 overtime win on Saturday night. Ben Street led the team with 12 shots (and the OT winner), and was prompted summoned to the NHL. For those wondering about Sven Baertschi, he had one assist and nine shots. Teammate Max Reinhart had two assists and eight shots.
In Alaska, the Aces went 2-0-1 against the San Francisco Bulls – their lone loss being in OT. Olivier Roy started in both of the wins, and has racked up an 11-6-0 record with a 2.12 goals against average and a .922 save percentage with the Aces. It’s the ECHL, but he’s doing well.
In terms of non-pro prospects, a lot of guys had big weeks. Johnny Gaudreau extended his massive 16-game point streak with a 5 point weekend. That slacker Bill Arnold “only” has a 7-game point streak (and “only” had 3 points). Morgan Klimchuk had 5 points, while Emile Poirier and Brett Kulak each had 3 points. Jon Gilles didn’t have a great weekend, losing both of his starts. Granted, one of them was against the powerhouse Boston College team that is offensively like the Harlem Globetrotters right now.
A LOOK AHEAD
The Flames have a busy week ahead with four games, three of them on the road. Tonight they’re in Raleigh to visit the Carolina Hurricanes. Tomorrow they’re in the Music City to face the Nashville Predators. They’re back home on Thursday to host Paul Maurice’s Winnipeg Jets. On Saturday they head to Vancouver to visit the Canucks.
The Heat continue their road trip: they face the Rockford Ice Hogs on Wednesday, then head to Grand Rapids to face the red-hot Griffins on Friday and Saturday. Up in Alaska, the Aces host the Las Vegas Wranglers on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
There’s a lot of games here and there, but if you’re looking to see some future Flames, check out the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game on Wednesday night. Both myself (for The Hockey Writers) and Christian (for Future Considerations) will be in attendance for the game, and we here at FlamesNation will have a preview and post-game for the event, as well. Get your tickets for the game here.