Sunday Open Thread: Coming Up Milhouse!

It’s another off-day for the Calgary Flames, as they prepare for their final game of their five-game road trip tomorrow night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

We’re in a weird spot here.

With 16 games completed this season, the Flames sit 9-5-2 and have 20 points.

To put that in context:

  • In 2013-14, the Flames were 6-8-2 after 16 games.
  • They won their 9th game in their 26th game (on November 30 in Los Angeles).
  • They hit the 20-point mark in their 23rd game, which was oddly another close win against Florida.

Any way you cut it, the Flames are a good chunk ahead of last year’s points (and wins) pace. So far everything has been “coming up Milhouse” for the Flames – they’re getting out-played (but not quite out-worked), yet are relying on the bounces and hot goaltending to stay in games.

So far, it’s working.

The odds-makers pegged them at 75 points for the entire season (via their over/under). With 62 games left, they would need a record of 28-34-0 (or thereabouts) to hit that mark.

Can the Flames keep this run going? (Well, probably not, no.) But are the team’s big pieces (the top pairing and their goalies) good enough to keep the regression to the mean from being horribly awful down the stretch?

  • Howie Meeker

    Honestly, last year I became a fan again simply because this team is entertaining to watch and are playing some of the best Flames games I’ve seen in a decade. If they can continue to be on the winning side of all those 1 goal games that were losses last year then there maybe an outside chance of being in the hunt for a spot. But what means more is that this group is trending in the right direction and are building a solid core which will only get better for years to come….GFG.

  • Kevin R

    I understand the caution, nervousness & apprehension of where these Flames really fit in hierarchy of the jungle known as the NHL.

    I submit 5 reasons why this isn’t necessarily a temporary anomaly:

    1/Gaudreau. Because of his size there was a lot of anxiety of how he will translate to the bigs. I don’t think anyone expected him to be an impact player this quick. He is & I’ve seen it at the games, this kid is giving the Flames the ability to offensively set up. Something they lacked. Gaudreau has been an impact player & if he keeps this up will win the Calder. He is without a doubt making other players better when he is on the ice.

    2/Monahan. He had a great rookie year & showed us he was NHL ready. This year, due to his commitment & maturity has become an impact player this year so far & another reason this team currently sits in a playoff position.

    3 & 4/ I lumped these together because last year some started taking notice, people who followed them every game like us saw it then. This year Gio & Brodie have played incredible. Kudos to Hartley who has cultivated these two players into his transitional high tempo system & they do it perfect to the text book he coaches to be done. 1 & 2 in defence scoring & right now arguably the best top pairing in the NHL. Can they keep this up? I don’t see why not. When you suddenly go from a #4 pick to having 2 stud dmen in your top pairing, that just isn’t an impact, that is a Gio logical event.

    5/ Hiller- we haven’t seen this good of goaltending since Kipper was in his prime. I am waiting for the shoe to drop on this but Hiller isn’t exactly a new commodity to the NHL & there is a reason we pay him 5.0mill a year. He is a true #1 tender & has been without a doubt an impact player.

    Trash me for being a flames fan but the advanced stats on this team in the last 6-7 games have been way better than the 1st 6-7 games. So yes, the start we had has been pure luck considering how badly we were outplayed early. Now, way different story. 5 impact players are having an affect on other players & taking them along for the ride. Enjoy this people & embrace the fact we may be sellers at the TDL but still in the top 8 of the Western conference.

  • The Flames put in more effort than apparently MORE talented Oilers.Roger Miller in a tune called Everything’s Coming up Roses describes the Flames.
    Miller’s tune for Edmonton has to be Good Old Days.
    Some of the Oiler Management will be around until a pension kicks in.Oiler fans will blame the Government for extending the Old Age Security to 67.
    In 10-15 years the Oilers will be back.