As this weekend comes to a close, the Calgary Flames are doing pretty darn well.
They sit with a record of 11-6-2, and despite having a fairly tough stretch of games coming up – Anaheim, Chicago, New Jersey, Anaheim again and San Jose – even if (heaven forbid) they lose every single game, they’ll be at the .500 mark after 24 games. That’s a massive improvement, and it’s been fueled by a combination of hard work and some nice puck luck – their PDO is 102.8, mostly fueled (still) by a high save percentage.
This turn of events has me nervous. And the nervousness is mostly because of the legacy of Jay Feaster.
When Feaster came to the Calgary Flames, the writing was on the wall. An aging core. An aging goaltender. A country club atmosphere around the team. Not a lot of youth, and hardly any good prospects in the system. Yet the Calgary Flames stuck around the group of playoff bubble teams.
The result? Despite every indication that it was an awful, awful idea and that the team should do literally anything else, Feaster stuck by his mantra of “going for it,” because “this group deserves the chance to win” and made moves to bolster the team for the present rather than tearing down a house built on a shaky, eroding foundation.
Now, post-Feaster, the team looks to have finally moved itself past the stage of the rebuild where the club is slogging in the bottom group of NHL teams. That’s great! But I hope that Brad Treliving and his staff stick to the plan, because it would be a shame if the progress being made in this rebuild – culturally and on the ice – are thrown to the wayside because the organization gets delusions of playoff grandeur in their heads.
It’s a long season. They WILL regress, though how much is a subject of much debate. The Calgary Flames should not “go for it.” They should stick to the plan, whatever that is.
Share your thoughts on the start, the remaining 63 games and how nervous you are going forward in the comments!