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Flames in seven games: 3-2-2 in season’s sixth segment

It took six seven-game segments this season for the Flames to finally fail to get a clear win. Well, it was a good run.

In their first seven-game segment, they were 4-3-0. In their second, they improved to 4-2-1. In their third, they were once again 4-3-0. In their fourth, they improved to 5-1-1. In their fifth, they kept it up with a 5-2-0. Their sixth is the first time they haven’t won at least four games – but they did finish just over 0.500 in points percentage, so that’s something.

Underlying numbers via Corsica and Natural Stat Trick.

Team stats

Now at 25-13-4, the Flames are near the top of the league in several categories, including the standings. Despite this relatively poor stretch, they’re still performing well overall. They have a 0.643 winning percentage through the season so far, down from their previous 0.657. It has them fifth in the NHL, second in the Western Conference, and first in the Pacific Division – something that has not changed from the previous segment.

  • Their goals for per game is 3.57, up from their earlier 3.49. They’re third overall in the NHL, and first among all Western Conference teams and the Pacific Division.
  • Their goals against per game is 2.83, up from their previous 2.69. They’re tied for ninth in the NHL, sixth among Western Conference teams, and second in the Pacific Divison.
  • Their goal differential is +29, up from +27. It has them third in the NHL, and first among Western Conference teams and the Pacific Division.
  • Their powerplay is at 21.2%, down from their earlier 22.6%. It’s 13th in the NHL. They’re sixth in the Western Conference, and third in the Pacific Division.
  • Their penalty kill is at 78.5%, down from their earlier 79.8%. It’s 19th in the NHL. They’re 10th in the Western Conference, and fifth in the Pacific Division.
  • At 9:19 penalty minutes per game, they’ve taken more infractions, up from 8:56 earlier. They’re 22nd when it comes to penalties taken in the NHL, ninth in the Western Conference, and fifth in the Pacific Division.
  • Their 5v5 CF/60 is 58.64, down from their previous 59.24. It’s the eighth highest in the NHL, fourth among Western Conference teams, and third in the Pacific Divison.
  • Their 5v5 CA/60 is 51.97, up a little from their previous 51.68. It’s the second lowest in the NHL, and among Western Conference and Pacific Division teams.
  • Their 5v5 CF is 53.02%, down a little from their previous 53.41%. It’s the sixth highest in the NHL, fourth among Western Conference teams, and third in the Pacific Division.
  • Their 5v5 shooting percentage is 8.24%, up from 7.89%. It’s tied for 13th in the NHL.
  • Their 5v5 save percentage is 91.52%, down a little from 91.83%. It’s tied for 20th in the NHL.
  • Their PDO is 99.76, up a little from 99.72. It’s 19th in the NHL.

So, what’s changed?

The Flames are scoring more, but that has more to do with their shooting percentage going up than anything else. And while they continue to do a good job at limiting corsi events against, they’re surrendering more goals: Mike Smith gave up 11 in three starts, while David Rittich surrendered 13 in four starts (with nine coming from the Lightning and the Sharks: one of the few teams better than them in the standings, and one of the few teams better than them primarily regarding underlying numbers). Rittich looked human against some top talent, while two of Smith’s three starts came against two of the worst teams in the NHL.

There is some cause for concern over this stretch, as the Flames’ numbers have almost exclusively worsened over the past seven games. However, standings-wise, they’ve pretty much treaded water: they’re still ahead of many of the teams chasing them, albeit perhaps by less comfortable margins. They weathered this storm, but that doesn’t guarantee anything if things continue to go wrong.

Player stats

First, the forwards (all situations, ordered by ice time).

Game scores courtesy of our very own Ryan Pike: 0.950 and above is considered great; 0.450-0.950 good; 0.150-0.450 fine; -0.150-0.150 bad; under -0.150 awful.

Player TOI Goals Points P/60 SH% CF% GF% OZS% Game score
Lindholm 864:06 20 48 3.33 19.23 58.65 64.62 54.55 +1.282
Gaudreau 861:07 23 61 4.25 16.55 61.67 68.97 67.49 +1.590
Monahan 832:48 22 51 3.67 17.05 61.23 65.81 69.53 +1.368
Tkachuk 743:52 18 47 3.79 18.00 61.74 69.32 68.27 +1.191
Backlund 703:40 9 21 1.79 9.68 53.85 56.06 50.64 +0.797
Neal 629:10 4 8 0.76 4.49 56.01 42.22 63.40 +0.334
Bennett 555:19 6 13 1.40 8.57 55.75 53.19 59.79 +0.512
Ryan 549:28 4 12 1.31 10.00 50.82 40.91 45.37 +0.337
Jankowski 469:04 6 17 2.17 11.76 45.73 50.00 45.09 +0.393
Hathaway 369:01 4 5 0.81 13.79 39.58 40.00 49.60 +0.136
Frolik 301:33 9 11 2.19 19.57 53.02 55.56 52.78 +0.660
Czarnik 261:34 2 6 1.38 6.45 54.62 34.78 58.51 +0.335
Dube 227:58 1 5 1.32 4.55 48.10 56.25 64.04 +0.227
Quine 85:03 3 4 2.82 50.00 48.91 57.14 52.00 +0.327
Mangiapane 80:43 3 0 0 0 49.28 0.00 65.63 +0.023
Lomberg 27:55 0 0 0 0 27.27 n/a 55.56 -0.244
Rychel 18:21 0 0 0 0 36.36 50.00 40.00 -0.268
Peluso 16:27 0 0 0 0 48.15 0.00 25.00 -0.019

The Flames’ top forwards have been obvious all season, but as of late, Jonny Gaudreau has taken things to a whole other level. He’s starting to pull away from his counterparts in pretty much every stat, and it’s showing up on the scoreboard. Sean Monahan, Elias Lindholm, and Matthew Tkachuk are all still playing rather well – and the four of them continue to have pretty high shooting percentages, so this perhaps isn’t something we can continue to expect (Gaudreau’s shooting percentage in particular has increased over this offensive spurt) – but they just aren’t as good as Gaudreau.

Mikael Backlund easily remains the Flames’ fifth best forward, while a now healthy Michael Frolik is back to make a case as the sixth (although, speaking of suspiciously high shooting percentages…). Otherwise, it’s a couple of other Flames first rounders starting to see some spikes in their performance: Sam Bennett got the Backlund Bump a while back, and now Mark Jankowski is starting to get up there (likely a fair bit to do with his penalty killing prowess).

Derek Ryan is dropping a bit, while James Neal has been an enigma all season, though at least his shooting percentage finally got a tiny bit healthier (it’s still bad, though, and helps explain the ever-continuing disparity between his corsi and actual goals for). The rest (that are still up in the NHL, at least) are mostly inoffensive depth.

The Flames’ most common line combinations at 5v5 have been:

Gaudreau Monahan Lindholm
Tkachuk Backlund Bennett
Tkachuk Backlund Frolik

The Flames’ most-used lines have been consistent for a while now, which is kind of odd, considering how they feature two different right wingers for Tkachuk and Backlund. Frolik’s return might shake things up for the next segment, though. And you’ve gotta keep thinking that top line isn’t going anywhere – it’s the third most played line across the entire NHL.

Now, the defence (all situations, ordered by ice time):

Player TOI Goals Points P/60 SH% CF% GF% OZS% Game score
Giordano 988:57 6 39 2.37 5.61 56.42 65.63 51.24 +1.094
Brodie 910:58 4 15 0.99 7.02 51.96 55.29 48.77 +0.568
Hanifin 876:40 3 21 1.44 4.23 53.66 50.56 49.65 +0.589
Hamonic 699:30 3 11 0.94 4.48 50.15 51.14 39.68 +0.648
Andersson 583:52 1 4 0.41 2.08 48.57 52.38 59.66 +0.162
Valimaki 331:58 1 2 0.36 4.35 47.80 34.62 64.71 +0.172
Kylington 213:16 1 2 0.56 16.67 48.68 44.44 60.00 +0.072
Stone 176:18 0 4 1.36 0 48.09 35.00 50.88 +0.364
Prout 57:55 0 0 0 0 52.73 33.33 57.89 +0.071

This wasn’t a great seven-game segment for the defensive group, but as usual, Mark Giordano is heads and shoulders above the rest. Travis Hamonic continues to perform pretty well as a mostly defensive defender, while both Noah Hanifin and TJ Brodie continue to be solid partners for a top four that, overall, is working pretty well, though they certainly haven’t had their best games as of late.

Rasmus Andersson sure has gotten a lot of minutes for someone who didn’t make the team out of camp, hasn’t he? He’s holding on well enough for a rookie getting relatively limited minutes, while Oliver Kylington is a bit worse for the wear – though he’s getting way more minutes than expected, as well. At this stage, the Flames are hanging on well enough to tolerate any rookie hiccups; the top four’s little slump is probably of a more pressing concern.

And finally, goalies (all situations):

Player TOI SV% ldSV% mdSV% hdSV% Game score
Smith 1281:37 88.58 95.90 89.89 75.64 +0.096
Rittich 1229:55 92.03 96.48 93.49 81.94 +0.863

Rittich is catching up to Smith in overall minutes played, and likely would have passed him by now if it weren’t for his day-to-day injury. He’s also still unquestionably the better goaltender: while both goalies’ numbers have dropped some, Smith’s weren’t in great position to begin with.

It’s encouraging, though, that Rittich’s numbers haven’t dropped by much, even as he’s faced some of the toughest opponents the NHL has to offer and as he’s continued to strive as a starter in the best league in the world.

  • Greg

    Re: Neal – I remember Gretzky saying the first thing to go is your hands. Is it possible that Neal’s shooting percentage isn’t an anomaly, and this is what he is now? A guy who can still play, able to drive play somewhat (despite being a bit slow), but doesn’t have the hands to score anymore? I mean, by the eye test, his shot doesn’t look even a little dangerous. Should the team just look at deploying him as more of a shut down forward, and accept they’ve overpaid for that but at least know that’s his role now?

    Maybe as Backlund ages and (hopefully) a Dube or Jankowski grow into the 2nd line center role, he and Neal become a typical 3rd line “shut down” group instead. Wildly overpaid for, but barring a miracle scoring breakthrough or tremendously painful buy out, is there any other option there?

    • Off the wall

      Interesting take Greg. I agree with the Gretzky quote.

      Neal isn’t a defensive juggernaut. You either need great skating or a hockey iq for reading plays to be good at shutting down the opponent.

      Neal was brought in to score. That’s his MO.

      Perhaps I’m out to lunch, however the way Gaudreau is playing, he would be the perfect candidate to get Neal going.
      I know, it hurts me to even suggest it, but I believe is an option worth exploring.

      • Chiz

        I agree, as it could also help with secondary scoring. If you go:
        13-23-18
        93-28-19
        77-11-67
        21-10-27…
        I don’t know, but I think it’s worth a shot. Neal is getting paid a lot of money for a long time. He needs to be more than what he is right now.The way gaudreau is playing right now, I say roll the dice.

          • Chiz

            So what is your plan for Neal? Just have him be a plug for the next 4.5 years? You can’t trade him, so get that idea out of your head. Scratch him? Sure, but what’s that gonna do long term. He was brought in to be a goal scorer. They’ve tried lots of things, but he has not been given any first line minutes. I completely agree that he’s been junk and doesn’t deserve first line minutes, but it’s gotta be worth a shot. The way Johnny is playing, I feel like he could play with you and I as linemates and still light it up.

          • 左翼二

            Yes, don’t fork with the good shirt.
            Moving Neal in to replace Elias might mean Neal scores more goals. It will also likely mean Elias scores less. The probable outcome is that Elias’ scoring decreases by more than Neal’s increases, and the Flames score fewer totals goals. This is not good.

          • KKisTHEproblem

            @ 左翼二 But playing Lindholm with Tkachuk could mean his goals don’t decline too much and Chucky’s increases. How many wide open nets has Backlund missed on feeds from Tkachuk? Those would go in with Lindholm. I think its worth seeing if Lindholm can spark a true scoring 2nd line. 19-11-28 is what I would try for a 2nd scoring line. Chucky distributes well and Backlund is OK. They would likely be very good defensively as well

        • His Dudeness

          You are right about one thing and that is you don’t know. You want to reward garbage with 1st line minutes while also handcuffing JG and SM to somebody who can’t skate, can’t hit a wide open net, and doesn’t know where center ice is. He needs to be scratched, he is dragging down everybody he plays with. And the last thing we need is for him to drag down our top line.

          Maybe he should get himself going. How about some physical play, maybe challenge somebody to a fight, throw a big hit. Neal got his teeth fixed now he’s playing like a Sheila.

        • oilcanboyd

          By replacing Lindholm who truly earned his place on the top line in spades with Neal who has not even earn earned a spot on the 4th line IMO would destroy team chemistry and the great chemistry of the Purple Reign. (love that suggestion for naming the top line!)

      • oilcanboyd

        The perfect candidate to get James Neal going is James Neal. Eric Francis on TV after the Detroit game saying that Neal needs an attitude adjustment. This is half-way through the season and he still has a superiority complex??

        • BendingCorners

          The trouble is that Eric Francis is almost always wrong. I don’t believe attitude is Neal’s issue, but aptitude. He was acquired to provide secondary scoring but needs to be with top-end talent to produce. At some point somebody will get injured and Neal will get a shot at playing higher. My guess is that he is done – any improvement will turn out to be short-lived.
          He is here till at least June no matter what, so I hope they try him with Frolik and Ryan for a while – they both are decent with the puck and Ryan is good at digging out pucks. That leaves Bennett, Czarnik or somebody to be named later as RW on Tkachuk’s line. Not ideal but better I believe than splitting up the top line.

          • The Greaser

            I saw that bit with Francis between periods. I’m not sure about Eric’s take on Neal but last night’s lazy icing dump in looked to me as if Neal was making a statement. Intended or otherwise. The statement being “I really don’t wanna be here”. When I saw that play I had to stop and reply the PVR several times. Unbelievable.

        • Bucky 1989

          OCB and BendingC, I agree with you both.

          Neal’s decision in the last game to not take two strides with no-one around him to dump the puck in is attitude. He is not thinking and frankly that one play demonstrates his lack of buy-in for the game. Missing the wide open net, not being able to take a pass and more than anything, NOT moving his feet are all aptitude issues that can likely only be addressed by someone challenging him on his attitude in my view. It is clear so far that it does not matter who you put him with; he’s a liability period! The only road back I see for him is in a playoff scenario where we are playing San Jose and he is told to go and use his body in a highly physical series. He’s got 40 games and likely a playoff appearance left with his tenure with Calgary….after that they need to rip the band-aid off…buy out part of a very bad contract and replace him with speed aka Mangiapane or Dube.

          The learnings for all of us have to be…the game has changed, its about speed and agility at high speed. If you can’t really skate and keep up…your done. I remember Curtis Glencross packing it in rather early in his career and it surprised me as I thought he could still skate. In an interview he said, he was a half-step behind and he knew it! Neal is border line done and BT has to man up and call it what it is at the end of this season. Do not do what Edmonton is doing and try and keep a dead weight like Lucic around! Edmonton tried putting McDavid and Lucic together the first year, it does not work! We’ve all talked way too much about Neal because it is so evident he can’t keep up and play at a high tempo any longer. He’s also lost his hands. Professional sport is tough; eat or be eaten. Neal is the main course now and it ain’t going away, management has to deal with this before next season at the very latest!

    • Rockmorton65

      That’s an interesting quote, Greg. I remember, during Iggy’s last season in the league, people were saying that even though his legs and power were gone, he still had his shot.

      • Greg

        IIRC – Gretzky said it in the context of the outdoor Alumni game. He was saying his cardio came back trying to skate again, but his hands were gone for good.

        So maybe it’s not the case if you’re still playing. In which case, I’m just back to – what is the deal Neal???

    • MDG1600

      I totally agree with the Gretzky quote and have seen it before with players like Glencross. Neals hands are completely gone. His biggest problem this year is he can’t take pass or handle the puck worth a darn. His skating isn’t good enough to add value doing anything other than scoring so they should suck it up and buy him out at the end of this year.

  • buts

    A little OTW type story….I sat in row 1 at a flames/wings in 07′, in the warmup Hasek stood pretty much on the goal line taking shots as one shot after another went in. I was thinking he’s gonna get lit up tonight. During the game he made countless star saves outside the blue paint, later he stopped Jarome on a break away and Hasek ended with a shutout. I watch Smith and its down, deep, flopp and stab at pucks. Brutal tending in that with any type of decent performance we are up close to tampa. Neal isn’t hustling, moving his feet, hitting and shooting with any zip, the fall is embarrassing and if he was to get hot I’d move him in a heartbeat. Other than those 2 veterans the team is entertaining to watch. GFG

  • snotss

    smith is a plug right now…he is not the only problem but…………….man make a save when your team needs it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! if you cannot then you sit..its that simple

    • oilcanboyd

      Time to give Gillies a shot! You can’t tell me that Gillies would have sucked as bad as Smitty did 2 games in a row. I would not have trusted Smitty with back to back games on the road.

  • Em Durp Em Hrudey

    Yes Smith was bad….like Hrudey in net bad, and Neal looks lost….like Hrudey trying to make a complete sentence lost, but lets focus on the task at hand here. We as fans have no control over the on ice performance of the players, but what we do have control of is the last man in vote on NHL.com. VOTE FOR GIORDANO PEOPLE!! Be like Nike, Just Do It!

  • KKisTHEproblem

    Some interesting tidbits:

    Gaudreau just tied Nugent-Hopkins for 3rd place in overall scoring from the 2011 draft. He is 5 points shy of a point per game pace for his career (349 pts in 354 games) so he will likely pass that marker this year. RNH took 497 games to get to 349 pts, 0.702 pts/game.

    The leader is Kucherov with 403 pts in 406 games, so also just a few points shy of a point per game for his career. Then Landeskog with 386 in 547 games but 0.705 pts/game. Now playing with McKinnon and Rantenan tho, so his point production going up.

    Just thought it was really interesting that a guy taken with the 58th pick is leading his year and another guy taken in the 4th round at 104th just moved into 3rd and will likely move into 2nd sometime next year.

    No other draft in the last 10/12 years has anything even close to 2 guys from later rounds leading or near the top. The only two that has any flavor of guys outside the top 10 close to leading is Benn in 2nd from the 07 draft taken in the 5th round (but 250 points behind Patrick Kane) and Ryan O’Reilly, taken in the 2nd round, in 3rd from the 09 draft but over 200 pts behind Tavares.

    Shows us what an anomaly Gaudreau is and how fortunate we are to have him. Gotta give Feaster credit on that one. Where would we be without him? Keep it up Johnny!

  • Alberta Ice

    On a different note, I was suddenly getting excited about the first line for the Pacific Division come the All Star game:
    Gaudreau/McDavid/Petersson. Rats. Petersson’s injury may foil that fantasy line up. (Call it the Flames/Oilers/Canucks O line. Hope Petersson can heal in time for that potential fun line up.)

  • redwhiteblack

    Neal seems done at this level. Smith for sure is done at this level. What ever Neil was before he came here, it is not there. I can’t even see how he was good last year. His long cup runs are likely part of his burnout. Sitting him for a couple of weeks could help.

  • 左翼二

    I’d like to see this:

    Johnny-Monny-Lindy
    Byng-Backs-Fro
    Sammy the Stache-Janko-Czarnik
    Dube-Ryan-Neal
    Hathaway (as an injury sub, otherwise, fatten up on popcorn)

    Brodano
    Noah-Hammer
    Phat Ras-Killer-Juicy (Rotation of the 3 rookies, to reduce their minutes but still give them lots of games)
    Stone (trade as soon as healthy)

    • Chiz

      Hathaway has had a decent season, especially on the pk. As many have said already, the best place for dube for now is in Stockton to play 1st line minutes. And putting Neal on the 4th line (although he probably deserves it) is just a repeat of last years 4th line debacle with Brouwer and stajan getting all that cash and not producing.

  • Stu Gotz

    Flames have one of the most productive and dynamic lines in the NHL and some here are suggesting we break it up…..IMO Neal will be fine. He will end up being a major contributor down the stretch and in the playoffs. That’s his DNA. Unfortunately he is having a rough start..so be it!

    • BendingCorners

      I checked. For the three years before this one, Neal’s production was consistent across all months. January was his worst month, November his best, followed closely by February and March. His playoff performance matched his regular season performance.
      This year he is getting nothing done. This is not a typical slow start, he doesn’t have slow starts historically. He might simply be finished as an NHL hockey player.

    • MOlson

      I agree that the first line should be left alone, I still have faith in Neal also; but I do believe he’d benefit from an outside addition of a better playmaker/possession player, someone that can control the puck long enough for him to get in to position.
      Purple Reign
      Tkachuk XXXX Neil
      Jankowski Backlund Bennett
      Lazar(YEP!) Ryan Hathaway
      (Dube in Stockton, everyone else not listed as trade pieces)

  • Jumping Jack Flash

    We have beaten the goalie ineptitude horse to death, so I thought I would focus on some positives. Both Janko (9-4) and Ryan (5-1) had monster FO records last night. In fact, only Lindholm had a losing record (4-5). We never would have seen that last year.

    • freethe flames

      The PK scoring another shorty is also something positive to speak about. We are still in 1st place in the Pacific and it will be a dog fight all season. Next game needs to be a win regardless of who is net.

  • BringtheFire 2.0

    Ari I’m really enjoying these 7 game breakdowns. They are structured excellently, full of information and contain succinct, high-quality analysis and insight. In these articles your product becomes as good as any I read on the major sites.

    Well done.

  • KG-Flames

    Should Stockton’s head coach Maclean be in question this year? I mean like everytime stockton loses is like 8-1, 5-1, etc. And they get killed on the PK, I feel like Gillies and Parsons mentally are having a hard time because its all pretty much powerplays and high danger chances. Thoughts, Stockton’s Finest?

    • The GREAT WW

      The purpose of an AHL coach;

      -Get our prospects use to playing the Flames system; ok.

      -Install a winning culture; Fail (you think our Flames goaltending is bad….?!).

      -Develop our prospects; doing ok I think…..

      Part of just one season is a little early I think….

      You have to find the right spot for these coaches; Huska was a horrible head coach, but he is in a good spot now developing our young D….

      WW

    • Stockton's Finest

      KG, I have been thinking about this as I watched one if the worst periods ever by a Heat team, which cost them another game.

      In defense of MacLean, the hand he has been dealt throughout the year has been difficult. His defense, or lack thereof, has been atrocious. But he lost his top D-man before the season (Andersson), lost his defacto #1 when Kylington was called up, and has had a rotating cast of PTO players. I wished they would have sign players like Tyler Wotherspoon or Cody Goloubef who were stables on the blue line last year. Or not trade Brett Kulak. Without looking it up, I believe so far to date, the defense has played 5 or 6 PTO players on loan from ECHL teams, including 1 tonight (Tensey).

      On the offensive side, he has had to deal with the recall of Lomberg, Rychel, Quine, Robinson, Peluso, and Mangiapane (I feel like I am missing someone). So constantly adjusting lines has also affected play. (BTW, this is not whining, just stating facts).

      A good defense can make a .860 goalie into a .900 goalie. But it can also turn a career .902 goalie into a .864 goalie. Yes they need to make a stop, but they also rely on their defense to clear the zone. This defense does not do that. When the defense isn’t doing its job, forwards need to fill the d-zone to help and are not allowed to spend time doing their job, firing pucks at net. This must have an effect on the development of young netminders.

      MacLean is quick to change lines, shorten his bench, and pull a goalie (Parsons yanked after giving up 3 on 19 shots after 1st period tonight). It would be nice to see what he could do with a full roster for a month or so.

      Because of the reasons listed above, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. But I am losing patience quickly. Having a losing record at home, not playing complete games, over passing the puck, and too many trips to the sin bin are all in the coach’s responsibility. He needs to change the culture and play simple hockey.

      End of rant.

      • KG-Flames

        Nice, summary something system wise has to change for stockton because every highlight is like they are getting killed. Would be interesting to see their team possession stats corsi etc because I bet they are the opposite of the big club in terms of possession dominance.

      • Toma41

        Tyler Wotherspoon and Brett Kulak would have been great call ups when needed and even greater in Stockton for some stability. Looks like Kulak has found a spot in the Canadiens line up. Good for him

      • freethe flames

        I wonder is Pascal’s job is the one that should be in danger. It seems to me that the Flames do a reasonable job drafting; the amateur scouts seem to do a good job but I’m not sure the pro scouts are doing the same job. I know BT makes the final decisions on FA and has a lot of control over the Heat but he gets his advice from his AG and his pro scouts. Our FA signings have not been very good nor have some of the trades although all has been forgiven b/c of the Carolina trade.

  • Skylardog

    Jimmy Howard, a 34 year old UFA next season, 0.918 Sv%, a 2.77 GAA on a bad team. As a UFA, he is likely not a Wing next year. What would it cost to pry him out of Detroit? His Cap Hit is $5,291,666. He is having a very good season, on a bad team.

    Smith, at $5,666,667, is only $4,250,000 with the Coyotes retaining salary.

    So send Detroit Smith and a third in 2020, for Howard with $2.5 Million retained, with the pick upgraded to a second if the Flames make to the Conference Final.

    Fixes the goalie situation this season.
    Clears some cap space (Detroit should like this as Smith has some retained, and it increases their chance of the pick being a second by giving us some cap space). It gives the Wings a goalie for the remainder of the season (and he may help them move up in the draft 😉 )
    It takes Smith off the books, a must if we are to fix our goalie situation.
    It changes nothing for the Wings, other than getting a draft pick for a 34 year old goalie.
    It costs Detroit some Cap space this season, but leaves them with no costs next year of beyond.
    We have the option to try and sign him for a single year in the summer.

    Make it happen BT.

    • Speed Kills

      I was listening to Boomer & Warrener with Elliotte Friedman, Discussing “Will Calgary pursue a goalie in the trade market”? They brought up Jimmy Howard, Unfortunately it seems Friedman Believes Howard wishes to retire a Wing and (I could be wrong on this but) Detroit also wants a First Rounder for a Howard rental… You can probably google the interview and have a listen yourself.

      • everton fc

        I can’t see us getting Howard. Unfortunately. But the idea is a good one.

        I wouldn’t give a first, for Howard. I’d certainly give Smith and a 3rd, for Howard. He’d have a chance at the Cup. But a first would be a continuation of BT purging our prospect pool – this, and BT’s record w/UFAs, are the man’s weak spots.

        I think the Wings have some bad contracts w/Abdelkader, Helm, Nielsen. They also have no goalie depth. I see them re-signing Howard. I see them dumping Nielsen, and retaining salary. The Wings have some bad contracts on the books. When you compare it to our team, you have to be thankful, hey?!

    • freethe flames

      I suspect that Detroit and a bunch of the other non playoff teams are on MS list. So the first problem is that you need to convince him to go to a non playoff team; IMO not going to happen. If Detroit is looking for a 1st rounder we are not in discussion but there are teams who may be. Based upon the UFA’s Detroit has and the number of draft picks they already have they are about to seriously embark in a rebuild and they will want either top end 21/22 guys ready to step into the NHL or high draft picks for their assets. I’m not sure we have either.

  • Willi P

    Article states “They have a 0.643 winning percentage through the season so far”.

    That is incorrect. They have a 0.643 points percentage. Flames winning percentage is 0.595

    Hate the loser point.