FlamesNation Roundtable: Round 2 Predictions

The second round of the Stanley Cup playoffs begin today! And the Calgary Flames have survived the opening round to live another day, and for another round!

Can the Flames continue their dream season? Can they extend their miraculous run? Or will they taste the sour flavour of defeat? We asked the FlamesNation bunch to give their thoughts.

THE PANEL

Ryan Pike @RyanNPike FN managing editor; The Hockey Writers senior writer
Kent Wilson @Kent_Wilson FN founder, contributor, overlord emeritus; analytics pioneer
Book of Loob @bookofloob FN contributor, living legend; The Canafornians contributor
Byron Bader @baderater FN contributor
Mike Cadarette @cadarette_M FN contributor; AHL/prospects lover; BC resident
Christian Roatis @CRoatis FN contributor; draft lover
Beloch N/A FN contributor
Taylor McKee @TaylorMcKee_ FN contributor; BC resident

THE ANSWERS

RYAN P.: Ducks in 6. I’ve got a lot of faith in this group, but the Ducks are deeper, faster, and stronger. I predict a heart-breaking Flames loss at home in Game 6. But I’d love to be wrong.

KENT: Being cold and rational has gotten me nowhere so far, so screw it. Flames in 4.

BOOK O’ LOOB:

If the Flames can win even one game in Anaheim, they are winning the Stanley Cup.

BYRON: These series are officially impossible to call. This team is in “have no business being here” category and has been here since about December or so. Everything points to them not being able to keep on going but they just keep going and going. Their games against Anaheim this season went like this: 1) came back from 2 or 3 – nothing to beat them in a shootout 4-3; 2) were narrowly beat 3-2 at the Pond; 3) had the ducks on the ropes for 2 periods but had their worst 3rd period of the year, giving up 5 or 6 goals (a couple bad luck), and lost 6-3; 4) laid an egg in a 6-3 loss to the Ducks at the Pond and 5) dominated the Ducks pretty handily with a 6-3 victory at home (right after Gio went down). So each team dominated a game, each team barely won a close game and a really, really bad 3rd period by the Flames in one game is all that sets the season series apart. This is probably the best the Flames have been against Anaheim in nearly a decade. It’s not there yet, but the playing field is starting to level off.
I see it going 6 or 7 games. Winnipeg was one of the worst teams in the league at giving up the lead in the 3rd (not just in the playoffs either). The Flames were 5th best at holding the lead going into the 3rd, the Ducks were 4th. The Jets should have won at least 2 of those first 3 games if they could have held the lead. You’d hope that Anaheim wouldn’t have that same ability to come back very late in a game against a team that defends the leads better. But both teams are the comeback kings of the NHL this year. So it’s really tough to say how this is going to go. One thing I will say is there was an average of 7.6 goals per game between these two teams in the regular season. I could see this being a last goal wins in a few games for sure.
As for a prediction, for no other reason than something special is going on here, I’ll say the Flames get something like a 2-1 victory in game 6 on the back of Hiller’s best performance of the playoffs and win it.

MIKE: Once this team finds out that they can win in the Honda Center, levels of energy that haven’t been seen since the Big Bang will emanate from the Calgary Flames and will be unleashed onto the hockey world. The Ducks should fear that. However, I’m a little concerned that our “Big 3” defencemen are going to get mashed into the ice by the Tonka truck Anaheim forwards. I mean, these aren’t the little weak Canucks forwards anymore. That’s my biggest concern. With that said, no team… NO TEAM go pound for pound with the Flames in terms of relentless energy, and that will be a lot to handle for the Ducks. Flames in 6? No, Ducks in 7. Actually, no, yeah, Flames in 7.

CHRISTIAN: While the Ducks are undoubtably the better hockey team, there isn’t a group in the entire league that is a better *team* than the Calgary Flames. I think both teams will hold court at home, but winning a game 7 at the Honda Center will prove to be this season’s lone unclimbable mountain. It’s so tough to bet against this team, but with the exception of a total implosion in the net, Anaheim is just too good. Ducks in 7.

BELOCH: The Flames are in full-on Rocky Balboa mode right now. They’ve been to the meat packing plant and broke all of the Canucks’ ribs. That’s done. Now is the night before the big match. We’re all sitting alone in the dark and coming to the realization that just going the distance would, in itself, be an epic accomplishment. The Ducks just dropped the Jets in four like they were chumps. There’s no logical reason to think the Flames can win this series, but if they can drag it out to 6 or 7 games… If, a month from now, the Ducks go down in the conference finals and everyone says that it was their epic battle with the Flames that drained them… That’d be pretty damned awesome. The Flames can’t be thinking that way though. They’ve got to believe they can win to even have a chance. You know what? You can’t touch a Flame when it’s red hot! Flames in 7 baby!

TAYLOR: Well, first of all, the Flames winning in Anaheim will occur at some point right? RIGHT? I mean, there are all sorts of possibilities afforded to us if we believe hard enough. So, that being said, if the Flames sweep the games in Anaheim, they will lose the series. Somehow. But I predict the Flames get a split and win the thing in 7. Matthew Stajan Esq. for Conn Smythe..

  • Brownblazer

    Okay, I am vibrating I’m so excited. How can you bet against this team??? I think they will catch the Ducks off guard tonight and crush them, then take it in 6!!!!! Go Flames Go!!!!!!

  • Brownblazer

    haha have to love it when even the prognosticators start throwing caution and rationality to the wind. what a fun year.

    side note – i had a series bet with some van fans where the loser has to bake a cake by the vitor’s design. i thought if my wife’s design would get love anywhere, it would be here: http://imgur.com/ncV6mym

    • mk

      Haha nice. I live in Vancouver and had a bet with a coworker – the winner got to decorate the loser’s desk with team stuff. She now has a nice set of Flames victory photos and player pics (Papa Hudler, Johnny Hockey aka the Gaudfather, Boring Sean Monahan, Mr. Irrelevant, 18-year-old-rookie Sam Bennett, etc.). To top it off, my wife baked ‘victory cupcakes’ for the office. Most people took it in good humour and enjoyed them – one staff is pretty upset though. I swear she glared at the cupcake the entire time she ate it.

      Go Flames!

  • Brownblazer

    oh yeah Beloch! That song was just launched into my mind last prior to game 6 last week – the days of Neil Sheehy (I believe he wrote the song). I’ve been telling all my family and friends that this season has been my favorite season to watch since ’89. (yes – overall to me its better than even ’04 – ie come backs and excited young offensive players)! I’ve also been saying the ducks would kill either van or cal – but who can count this team out of any series? Flames in 6.

  • RedMan

    I’ve got butterflies already! It looks like most everyone has learned to quit betting against the Flames. My prediction is – lot’s more fun!

    Go Flames Go! Drop the puck!

  • Burnward

    No Lambert this time? Ah well, let me take a swing at it:

    Ahem (clears throat).

    Regression. CORSI. Flames are terrible. Flames are terrible. CORSI. Enjoy being wrong and cheering for a horrible team.

    Ducks in NEGATIVE FOUR.

    That is all.

    • I actually sent mine in and it didn’t get included for some reason. Here’s what it said:

      “The Flames will win every game 6-1 because they’re such a good Team and the Teamwork is what makes them beat non-teams that are a lot, lot, lot better than them. I see the light now. The Flames Are Actually Very Good.”

      Thanks for thinking of me every day of your life.

      • TheoForever

        If you are perplexed as to why your writings failed to make the cut, perhaps the CP editors came to conclusion that your response was amateurish and very much in line with a child’s tantrum.

        Perhaps, they though that your response gives analytics community a bad name.

        At times like this great men take a step back to analyse and reflect on their mistakes.
        That’s what great men do. Thus, I fully expect you to take a different path and continue on trolling. 🙂

      • beloch

        I don’t think of you every day, just the days when you’re wrong. It’s been an awful lot more than I expected lately, I’ll admit.

        You’re finally seeing the value of teamwork. Good for you! Keep it up, champ! Don’t regress!

  • Burnward

    Would anyone know or be able to give the Flames record since that jump start Cgy/Van fight night last season? I’d be curious to know.. thanks, and just give Hartley the Adams already, no need to announce 3 candidates

  • beloch

    BTW, I have a twitter account going under @Boring_Beloch. I’ve gotten a bit behind on it, and mostly it’s just me being a smartass anyways (That’s what twitter is for right?).

  • beloch

    Size can be overstated as it already is before this Flames/Duck series even begins.
    Not saying that size will not be a factor but that the prediction ignores the fact that even the Getzlaf & Kesler lines will find themselves in their own defensive ends and they themselves will be targets (rather than just hapless Flames Defenders) for ‘black & blue’ meat tenderization from the likes of Ferland, Colborne, Bennett, Schlemko and other heighted Flames players.
    A coach can easily regain size & weight parity during game time by juggling settled lines – but for this to happen the big players must come to play as Ferland & Colborne did in the Flames/Canucks series!
    A fast team makes this tactic easily doable in ‘real game time’.
    I predict that Colborne will be this impact player during the Flames/Ducks series as Ferland was during the Flames/Canucks series!
    This will position the Gaudreau/Monahan/Hudler line to go on a robust goal scoring mugging!