On Festivus, we aired our grievances towards the Flames. Rest assured, they were well-deserved; the Flames have given us plenty of things to be mad about this season so far.
But! It’s not entirely their fault. I mean, some of it definitely is, and better decisions can most likely always be made. The Flames are still a team growing out of a rebuild, though, and are still somewhat saddled by decisions made back when #goingforit was determined to be the right call, for reasons still unfounded.
On some nights, you watch the Flames and think, wow, they’re close. Just a few more things have to go their way – whether it be the expiring of certain contracts, a young player taking another step forward, bringing in that one key piece – whatever it may be, they may not be as far off as the bubble team they currently look like is.
So today, on this Dec. 24, we express our greatest wishes for the Flames this season.
Ari: This isn’t among the most pressing issues on this team, but if anybody – and I mean anybody – deserves a greater role, it’s Micheal Ferland. He has consistently been at the bottom of scoresheets in regards to playing time game in and game out, even on the nights when he takes over the game. Players who don’t have his talent or potential have gotten more chances than he has, and short of somehow becoming a point-per-game player on the fourth line, I’m genuinely not sure what else he can do.
Ryan: A return to form in the new year for T.J. Brodie. He’s immensely talented, but has been stuck dragging Dennis Wideman (and others) around much of this season. If he can figure things out, or get a better partner, the Flames may be dangerous.
Kent: Find a way to get T.J. Brodie back to form. Whether that’s moving him back to the right side, getting him a new partner or just sheltering the Wideman/Brodie duo a bit more… something needs to be done to get him back on track.
Pat: I wish for the Pacific Division to remain somewhat average. Because teams like Anaheim and Los Angeles have struggled to gain loads of momentum through the first part of this season, the Flames were able to get back in the playoff picture despite a horrid start. If the division stays average, it gives Calgary a much better chance of being in the dance when it’s all said and done.
Mike: An upswing for Sam Bennett. I still strongly believe he is the future number one centre on this team. He has all the tangible inputs that should make him a capable centre in this league, but he’s slumped a lot this season. Give him more time with Gaudreau and maybe even Versteeg or someone other than Brouwer.
Christian R: A top four option to emerge SOMEHOW to play with T.J. Brodie and save him from Dennis Wideman and maybe push him back to right side where he was so good for so long. I hate seeing him struggle like this.
Christian T: The deck is stacked against him, but can Matt Tkachuk win the Calder? If not, can he knock Bettman’s teeth out while he’s awarding it to some inferior clown?
Taylor: For a Heat forward, perhaps Shinkaruk, Mangiapane, Klimchuk, or Poirier to get an opportunity and contribute offensively. Developing skill within this organization has been a serious problem (outside of Gaudreau) and it would be fantastic to see one of those players become an impact forward.
What’s your big wish for the Flames this season? And do you think it will come true? Sound off with your hope in the comments, it’s that time of year!