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Photo Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Flames 3, Flyers 2 (OT) post-game embers: Redemption all around

Two games against the Flyers this season. Two games in which the Flyers had a lead late before the Flames forced it to overtime. Two games in which the Flyers lost to the Flames in overtime. They haven’t been perfect games, but they’ve been fun – at least from one team’s perspective. Probably not the Flyers’.

Feel of the game

Maybe it was playing in the afternoon in a time zone two hours ahead, but the Flames didn’t look ready to play this one at all; though for that matter, neither did the Flyers. However, certain expectations can be set when it’s a team near the top of the league’s standings against one at the bottom, and with that in mind, it definitely wasn’t the greatest game – though it was probably the right result achieved in the end.

The Flyers scored off of two brutal gaffes by TJ Brodie and David Rittich; the Flames scored off of beautiful shots by Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk. When he wasn’t giving the puck away, Rittich (and on occasion the post) kept the Flames in it, giving the skaters every opportunity they needed to actually tie the game up – a total reversal of the way goaltending worked in the Bruins game. This was particularly the case before Tkachuk tied things up, with Rittich making several absolutely huge saves – including that one right on the goal line – to make sure his team wouldn’t fall to a multi-goal deficit.

Rittich made up for his mistake and then some. Brodie ended up making up for his in overtime, ensuring the Flames got their second point of the day. And for that, even though they have some extra games played, the Flames are still at the top of the Western Conference in January – good teams just find ways to win.

The good news

Here’s your daily reminder that Gaudreau is absolutely incredible at hockey. Even when he loses the puck – which he did a couple of times against the Flyers – he manages to keep it with him and create something out of it. Just ridiculous.

For a time Tkachuk was competing with Gaudreau for the team lead in scoring. Though we’re kind of well past that now – Gaudreau has just ascended to his own plane of hockey-playing excellence in the past week – Tkachuk provided yet another great reminder of just how talented he is, too. Not just the goal and assist – although those were pretty massive – but even the sheer confidence to try those between the legs move at such pivotal times during the game, and with the knowledge that there’s a good chance it’ll actually work. It all combines into one formidable player.

Oliver Kylington can skate. We already knew that, but it’s absolutely impossible to not be impressed with his wheels, which he’s been known for for quite some time. From taking away a Dale Weise scoring chance to creating one of his own after James Neal chipped the puck into the offensive zone, Kylington was able to show off on both sides of the ice. If he keeps getting better – which, why wouldn’t he? It’s only been 20 NHL games – then there’s going to be something really special here. (Special shoutout to Brodie’s own skating effort on his overtime winner, as well: he just put his head down and created that.)

“Big Save Dave” is a fun nickname but it’s also an extremely accurate one. Some standards have been lowered to the extent that a routine save can be something to celebrate nowadays, but with Rittich, he isn’t just stopping the pucks that need to be stopped – he’s stopping the ones that you wouldn’t think would be possible. The Flyers really, really, really should have taken a 3-1 lead late in the game. They did not. Because Rittich makes big saves, and on a regular basis, at that.

The bad news

But man oh man was that Rittich giveaway atrocious. The nice thing is it’s so easy to forgive him because, well, he made all of those other stops, and it isn’t a regular thing for him. But Rittich playing the puck has kind of been an adventure this season, and perhaps one we might all like to go on a little less.

The Flames really did not get off to a good start, and poor passing and overall play plagued their game, particularly in the first period (though they did take two too many men penalties in the second period, which is a whole other problem). This does seem to be something of an ongoing issue, though some of that may be recency bias. They were actually fine against the Bruins, but had that poor start against the Red Wings. They showed up against the Sharks, and outplayed the Canucks, but had some problems against the Jets, and were pretty awful against the Blues prior to the holiday break. A little more consistency in high level play would be nice to see along with the points.

The powerplay was atrocious. The second unit seemed to be having a better go of it than the first, in that they were actually able to move the puck around the offensive zone rather than spend time trying to chase it out of theirs (and Mark Giordano’s drop pass in the third that could have given the Flyers a breakaway – yikes!). The Flyers have one of the worst ranked penalty kills in the league this year, too.

What does Michael Frolik have to do to get more ice time? He’s done more on Mikael Backlund’s wing as of late than Sam Bennett has. There’s the Flames’ top five forwards, and then there’s the rest, and Frolik is among the best of the rest. It’s just absurd how little ice time he’s getting.

Numbers of note

51.46% – The Flames’ 5v5 CF. Pretty evenly played game, really; the better team won.

49 – Tkachuk tied his career high in points with 49. Last season, it took him 68 games to reach it. This season? Forty-three. Tkachuk likely would’ve been a 50-point scorer two times over by now if it weren’t for injuries, but it sure looks like he’s gonna reach that plateau sooner rather than later.

23 – Speaking of points pacing, with two assists, Noah Hanifin hit 23 points on the year, jumping him over Backlund for sixth in team scoring (Backlund sits seventh at 21, albeit with four fewer games played). Hanifin’s career season came in 2017-18, when he scored 32 points in 79 games. He’s on pace for 44 right now. From the second pairing. So that’s working out rather well.

350 – The number of points Gaudreau has in 355 career games. He isn’t just on the verge of becoming a career point-per-game player – something that isn’t exactly common nowadays – but he’s now third in his draft class in scoring, having just passed noted first overall pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Next up: Gabriel Landeskog, who has 38 more points than him in almost 200 more games played. Can Gaudreau catch up to him one day? … Maybe?

11:03 – Frolik’s ice time. Only Austin Czarnik (7:58) and Garnet Hathaway (10:02) played less. Take special teams out of the equation, and he played more at 5v5 than Derek Ryan did, too – though in fairness, his 11:03 in 5v5 ice time isn’t that far off from Backlund’s 11:39. Still, this is dumb. Absolutely no reason for Frolik to be getting shafted like this: he’s still a plenty good player.

24 – Rittich has officially appeared in more games than Mike Smith (23) this season. That’ll probably keep going up.

Final thought

This group is so much fun. Gaudreau and Sean Monahan have been the main duo ever since Gaudreau entered the league pretty much, but how about Tkachuk and Rittich? From Tkachuk leaping into Rittich’s arms after every win to “thanks bro, I love you,” they are absolutely adorable and really pushing it for my new favourite pair on the team.

And both are due for new contracts next season! Fun.

  • freethe flames

    To call TJ’s play that led to deflected goal against brutal is brutal journalism. It was brutal bad luck but his decision to try and block that pass on an in tight 2 on 1 is right play 9 out 10 times. Now BSD decision to play the puck to where the opposition had players when there was a safer play available was a brutal decision.

    Here’s my question as we are nearing the end of this road trip in which 3 of the games have or will be against “sellers” at the TDL. Is there anyone on any of these teams that the Flames could realistically acquire that would significantly improve this teams chances of making a long run? So looking at Detroit, Philly and Chicago coming up who would you want and what would be a fair deal?

  • Goddam I’m loving Rittich! I actually think his puck handling has been pretty good, the gaffe last night aside…and that kind of thing happens to literally every goalie a few times in their careers. He’s aggressive when he feels he can beat the opposing player to the puck to break up a chance/rush against. If I’m the Flames I just tell him don’t worry about the giveaway, just keep doing what your doing.

  • Clayton

    Pretty slim pickings from these bottom feeders…likely why they are bottom feeders.

    Detroit
    – Gustav Nyquist – nearly ppg pace, but likely very pricey in a deadline deal.
    – Thomas Vanek – cheaper, but seems to have lost a step this year.
    – Jimmy Howard – Flames Target #1. Solid numbers on a bad Wings team. Unfortunately the Wings would want an NHL ready prospect goalie in return.

    Chicago
    – Cam Ward – His .888 Sv% is higher than Mike Smiths and Ward is playing on a much poorer Chicago Team. Would be a cheap experienced back up.

    Philly
    – Michel Neuvirth – 4.27 GAA and .859 Sv% – NO Thanks!
    – Wayne Simmonds – seems to be the catch from the Flyers. Many think he is the playoff guy teams need…but he looks to have lost 3 or 4 steps this year. Stay away.

    There are reasons why these teams are doing so bad…they don’t have much!

    • freethe flames

      I agree but I think we have talked the game to death, A discussion during the game, post game, quips and now Ari’s take. The Flames pro scouts will be doing these kind of discussions over the next few weeks. Also while this teams are bottom feeders we struggled to beat Detroit and Philly, maybe there are some depth pieces.

  • Getpucksdeep

    Kylington is an amazing skater and last night was his best display. He still gets pushed around in our end in heavy going but like Brodie did, he’ll learn how to handle that. In the NHL “20’s” of anything counts. Hanafin had his 20th assist of the year! He’s NOT paired with Gio and scoring points and chipping in on Calgary’s offense at twice the pace Hamilton is doing in Carolina. Andersson is just plain turning into a prototype 6’2″ 215 skating passing shooting defender and oh yeah, Giordano, Brodie and Hamonic are all pretty good too! I recall way back thinking Regher, Phanuef and Bouwmeester were as good as we could ever assemble under a cap. 10 years later, this years blueline is as good as any anyone can remember and in many respects just as deep as Calgary’s cup winning blueline was in 89′.

  • Heeeeere’s Johnny

    I ran a report on NHL stats for the most points scored by a player weighing less than 170 pounds. In 1985, Mats Naslund had 110 pts in 80 games. He weighed 170. That was the age of 6-5 games. In 1992, Cliff Ronning scored 85 pts in 79 games listed at 165 pounds. Johnny is on pace for 118 points … the best small guy season EVER!!

  • The Beej

    And the Frolik thing is not really a thing. It just testifies to the depth on this team. I dont think he is being intentionally shafted. Do not agree with the authors take at all.

    We have been over this here ad nauseum over the last couple years: if you want to develop your young players it means giving Bennett the opportunity to play with Backlund and Tkachuk. Frolik with Janko is good for his development as well. Frolik is also back from injury and why not give him a break to fully heal.

    Maybe its not ideal to have Frolik play 11 or 12 minutes a game and he obviously wants to play more but he will be there when we need him. But at this point I think it will be better for our playoffs if Bennett can elevate his game to another level.

      • Cfan in Van

        Yeah, I didn’t understand that at all. If he’s in line with Backs’ minutes, how is this something to crow about. Even Fro admits he knew the summer moves would have bumped his minutes down a bit… And they did. If he’s not getting benched, nobody should be making a big deal about Fro’s treatment, Ari, Agent, or otherwise.

    • buts

      Frolik had a 3 on 2 and he dumped it into the corner, on another 3 on 2 he put a weak wrist shot on goal, neither opportunity did he try to make a play. Later in the game he put a drop pass in his own zone on the tape of a philly player that led to a quality scoring chance that Rittich made a great save on. Frolik is a player that’s paid too much ,who has lost a step and should be shopped.

  • canadian1967

    Frolik plays like a Timbit, all he does is chase the puck all over the ice.
    I can’t even explain how awkward it must be to play with that guy. He must have suffered a “super” concussion when he broke his jaw because his play has never been the same.

    • Cfan in Van

      I disagree. He’s always played a frantic game that relies on effort as opposed to finesse. It’s way more effective for a 2-way focus, and he wasn’t usually the offensive driver on the 3M, he just facilitated possession and hustled hard. Add in the occasional goal from a fairly low shooting %, and that’s Fro in a nutshell.

      Still valuable, if used in the right way.

        • Cfan in Van

          I don’t think he’s lost a step. If anything, I think he’s lost a certain % of his shot quality. He’s quick enough, and works just as hard in the corners. He’s just a tiny bit less sharp than he was, so he’s sticking to what he’s always been good at.

          You can’t expect him to be a player he never was at this point, nor can you expect that he’ll be 100% of what he was at his peak.

          Trade? Sure, if it seems like a good deal. He’s valuable hardworking depth, and I think it’s better to shop him in the off season, if anything.

  • The Sultan

    Just wanted to laugh at Edmonton who lost 4-0 last night to the bottom-feeding LA Kings. If any franchise deserves this it’s Edmonton. Eat it you entitled parade-planning, first overall squandering losers.

          • Cfan in Van

            I wouldn’t be as harsh as 420, I’d like to see him here for a playoff push, but… He’s been a scoring machine, so he’d be costly to acquire. We can’t afford to pay him on his “finally earned a big paycheck” contract, so everyone involved in the deal would realize he’d be a pure rental. Then, also, there’s the fact that his concussions are becoming very worrisome.
            I don’t see Tre pulling that move, even if it might earn him some warm fuzzies from Flames fans who love Ferly (I’ve always been a huge fan).

    • aye

      Sad thing about the oilers is that they will be sellers, but outside of their top 3, are just a collection of AHLers, and don’t even have any player of value to sell. Oh right, Chia’s already sold the good pieces for pennies on the dollar.
      Chaisson and their goalies might be their best trade chips, and won’t even get them much return.

  • Skylardog

    I always have something Flames running through my mind. To understand where I am starting to go with my crazy and wild thinking, you must understand that I believe this edition of the Flames may be the best chance we have had to win a Stanley Cup since 89. This is a good team, that has had tremendous success against the very best in the NHL (and seems to struggle against the worst). They have the number of Nashville and Winnipeg this season, meaning a great chance to get to the finals if they can get out of the Pacific. The key is beating SJ, Vegas, and Anaheim. We are showing signs that for the first time in 15 years, we could be the cream of the Pacific, and even beat our arch enemies in the Sharks and Ducks.
    So I have in the back of my mind, that this is the year, hell or high water, that we risk it all to go “ALL IN” for a chance to win the Cup. The window is open, and who knows what lies ahead that could cause it to close.

    I have some trade thoughts that I will be putting out over the next few weeks based on the “ALL IN” idea. There will be untouchables and there will be draft picks that are not for sale. I will look at moves that make this a bonafide favorite for the next 2 years.

    To start, I will throw out the idea of Jimmy Howard for Mike Smith and a third rounder in 2020, with the pick upgraded to a 2nd if the Flames make the Conference Finals. Detroit would have to eat $2.0 Million of Howard’s salary, which would help to make their pick a second.

    To get this done we may have to look at Nyquist, who is having a good season, for…?

    Here is a quick list of other ideas I have kicking around in this wild head of mine. These are the basics of the ideas, but need to figure out how to make it work for both teams, including who or what to add or demand, and current and future cap issues. Keep in mind I just plain enjoy these kind of strategic games.

    Brodie, or Kylington for Kapenen in Toronto
    Czar and Mangi for Muzzin in LA
    Benny and Kylington for Stone.

    With 2 forwards, both capable of putting up points (Kapanen and Stone), and a veteran goalie, the Flames become the Cup favorite. Lines to show you what is possible, you can tweak them all you want.

    JG-Lind-Kapenen
    Tkachuk-Monahan-Stone
    Ryan/Lazar-Backs-Fro
    Dube/Ryan/Quine-Janko-Neal

    Remember that our best offensive line by GF/60 is Dube-Janko-Neal. They have also been stellar defensively.

    On D
    Gio-Anderssen
    Hanifin-Hamonic
    Valimaki-Muzzin

    Prout (M. Stone if available)
    We would need a solid 7th D if M. Stone is not available, which I believe is most likely the case. He should go on LITR once we know more. That would be our only rental if I can get this put together the right way.

        • Skylardog

          Then keep them together
          Quit thinking narrow. This is the best team in the NHL. We can win this all if we go all in

          But always keep in mind. We are very far from the best team in the NHL 5v5.

          JG-Mony-Kap
          Tkachuk-Lind-Stone

          or JG-Mony-Lind
          Tkachuk-Janko-Stone

          • Mitchell

            The issue from my standpoint is that the players you’re proposing to trade for are still quite young, and it’s likely that both stone and kapanen become rentals due to calgary’s cap situation. In addition muzzin has a bit of term left (one year after this one), and as such I believe the ask for them is going to be way higher than what you have listed. I’ve also heard news that Detroit’s ask for Howard is at least a first rounder. In short I dont think these players are realistic targets at trade deadline. However I do like the thought to improve the team.

          • Skylardog

            Mitchell

            Ottawa is looking for young, inexpensive roster players. Benny and Kylington fit the bill. We may have to toss in a pick or a third prospect, but with him as a UFA, they will have a limit on what they can get, especially with a cap hit over $7.0. I have actually worked it out for this season getting Stone and Muzzin on Cap Friendly. I have not yet looked at the 2019-2020 season and beyond. Until I do I will not say what is possible.

            Muzzin is a bit tougher, and I agree, they will want a bit more. Just need to put it all together. LA needs cap space to fill in their roster with Doughty getting $11 mill next season. Muzzin almost becomes a necessary move to do that. They also need to improve team speed. Czar and Mangi fit the bill, with Mangi being a very good top 6 forward. He cannot make it into the top 6 here, and has no value because of his game as a bottom 6 forward. He could crack the top 6 in LA. It gives them cap stability while they rebuild.

            And everything becomes more manageable (although I have not looked yet) if you structure Matty’s deal as a one year signed in June for say $5.0 for 1 year, and on July 1, sign him for $8.0 for 7 or 8 years. With the Cap growth, and guys like Michael Stone, Frolik, and Hamonic coming off the books in 2020-2021, if you can do one year bridge deals for Mark Stone and Kapanen and sign them to deals on July 1st if you like.

            Guys coming here with a chance to win a Cup, and I mean a really good chance in the next 2 years, will be willing to take a discount to get their name on the Cup.

            Blow it up after that if you have to, but the window is right now.

          • Off the wall

            Good post Skylar. That’s a lot of moving parts, however I think we need something like that to make a real difference.

            I’m not sure why there’s so much reluctance from our fans as we’ve become very ‘TOP HEAVY’.

            We are just past the halfway mark and if Peters keeps using the top line so aggressively, there going to be gassed by the time the playoffs come around. We DON’T want that!

            I’d be more inclined to do a Bennett- Brodie to obtain Mark Stone. I don’t think Ottawa does that deal without this.

            Kylington for Kapanen is doable.
            Toronto needs D.

            I’m not sure about Muzzin fitting in under the cap, I’m assuming you’ve already calculated this. He’s exactly what we need in terms of size and strength for playoff hockey.

            If there’s one thing we absolutely need, it’s a goalie. Howard is probably the best name out there. The Wings can have Neal and perhaps we retain some salary?

            Overall, I like the way you’re thinking and I’m sure Treliving is thinking about it too.

            Why not challenge for the Cup?

          • calgaryfan

            Skylar there is a thing called chemistry with sport teams, it just happens, you can have the best talent on paper but it does not guarantee winning. The Flames seem to have the chemistry thing going and you want to change out 4 or 5 players. I usually can get behind your ideas but this is too drastic for my liking. No to ever trading Kylington until the Flames know what he is going to be. Kylington appears to have a great future ahead.

          • Cfan in Van

            Calgary Fan… That’s what I would worry about with a big shake-up. Aside from Neal, I think everyone on the roster has been going to war for this team for at least half a season, and bonding in the process.

            I agree there are holes, but you might not be able to just get another few cards from the dealer and hope you can put together a perfect hand for the playoffs. It’s a different process.

      • Puck Head

        The maddening part about our lineup as it stands is Neal. If he was playing up to his potential and was emotionally involved we wouldn’t be having these conversations about acquiring a forward. Instead, we would be talking about getting a functionally tough big body for the bottom six (which we will need come playoff time).

        And the frustrating thing about Smith is that he should be fully dialed in. This is his chance to make a cup run.

    • Chucky

      Why would this amount of major surgery be required?

      Smith for a better than average backup with some playoff experience and throw in a late round draft pick is OK.
      Create a second scoring line by pairing Tkachuk and Jankowski with Neal (if he can find the range) or Bennett.
      Create a solid shutdown line with Backlund, Frolik and Lazar
      Have a solid fourth line that of Dube, Ryan and Hathaway
      Keep a couple of depth guys and trade the rest for draft picks
      Leave the successful defense six as they are until Vlaikmaki can return from conditioning in Stockton and then give a little rest and maintenance where required.
      Trade Stone for future picks if he comes back in time for the TDL.

      The existing team can go deep into the playoffs without dumping the future. In two years when Giordano retires to be fitness coach and left side Kylington Valimaki and Hanifin will look pretty impressive. The future may be now but it also remains the future, time is like that.

      • Skylardog

        This is not major surgery.

        Think about it, and this is simplifying it slightly.

        We are talking about:

        Kapanen for Benny
        Muzzin for Brodie
        Stone for Czar, Mangi, and Kylington.
        Howard for Smith

        In reality we are giving up 2 roster players (Benny and Brodie) to get 4 roster players. Smith is no longer NHL quality. Our cupboard will be bare in 2 years, but we will have some darn good guys on the roster, and hopefully 2 Stanley Cups in the showcase.

        Kylington bothers many of you. But here in Calgary, he is at the very best, a bottom pair defenseman. Valimaki and Hanifin will ALWAYS be ahead of him. Even when Gio retires, he is still just a bottom pairing guy. But to Ottawa, he has value.

        Toronto needs a Dman badly, Brodie fits the bill, and has a deal that expires in 2 years, something they also need. Kapanen is absolutely surplus if they are to hold onto Matthews and Marner. Why not get Brodie for a guy you can’t sign anyways.

        WHO BEATS US WITH THAT LINEUP?

    • supra steve

      Detroit has ZERO cap space. Could not eat Smith’s salary plus $2M of Howard’s.
      They reportedly want a first rounder for Howard. The difference in value between a first, and Smith + a 3rd (possible second in 2020) is vast. Not gonna happen.

      • Skylardog

        Howard doesn’t want to leave, apparently he wants to retire as a Wing. That makes trading him extremely difficult for Detroit. What would make him agree to leaving? A serious Cup run?

        They have some space, and Smith is a smaller hit than Howard by about $1.0 million. Injuries excluded, they are showing $1.1 million in cap space available right now. Smith’s $1.0 plus the $1.1 they have is enough to retain the cap hit of $2.0.

        It is also why Nyquist may have to come this way as well (I would turn him around in another trade right away).

        Would Howard be willing to come this way for this cup run, and then sign a 1 year deal here for next season to have a second chance at a cup? I think so, if we do everything I am proposing. He is not moving for a half hearted attempt. If you consider the real contenders, then TB, Toronto, Washington, CBJ, Nashville, San Jose, and Vegas have no need for his services. Boston, Anaheim, Dallas and Colorado are not in the top tier. That leaves us, Pitt, and Winnipeg that may need the services of a goalie for a run. With a small market, the chances they get a first are slimmer. It opens up the possibilities of us prying him away. He would have to like our lineup, and our record against the best of the best in the NHL this season. Detroit, and Howard, make that deal. If they don’t they get nothing.

    • Mitchell

      As long as were talking trades I’d really be interested in a neal for victor rask trade. May need to put in a few spare parts to get it done. Hes only 25, he makes $1.75 million less than neal, and hes had success under peters. The way I see it is that we can only get rid of neal through a buyout, a trade with high end picks and prospects, or by taking a bad contract back.

      • Skylardog

        Neal is untradeable – lets all face the reality of this right now. The only way to gain value here is to get him going, or find a combination that makes it tolerable to have him here.

    • BlueMoonNigel

      I very much doubt the Leafs are going to deal any of their big names in season if it means taking on salary. They have to know that an offer sheet is likely coming to Matthews and les likely to Marner. The Leafs will probably get some rentals on defence for the playoff run but their strategy for the rest of the season is to rely on a healthy Fredrich the Great to resolve all of their backend woes. When their offseason comes, they will start moving parts. I urge Tre to be in a position to pounce when the Leafs start selling off this summer.

      I strongly doubt Tre can pull any deals before the offseason that will drastically improve the Flames because of his apparent aversion for costly rentals and his hands might be tied by some pricey underperforming assets whom I don’t think there is a vibrant market for at this time. That being said, the guys here now are the ones who are on the cusp of becoming new Flame legends or the bums who fold in another playoff floppa.

    • Getpucksdeep

      Not with you on Brodie for almost any deals. He and Gio are “back” and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Not the time to tinker with the #1 or 2 pairings. Howard over Smith? I still think Smith can be a useful back up this season. I don’t think its fair to use his poor performance in Boston to bash the guy. He played pretty well for us his previous 5-6 starts. He hadn’t played ince before xmas and then tossed into a back to back on the road and Bostons no slouch. Don’t get the “muzzin” angle over what we have now either

    • KeepitReal

      I appreciate your outside the box thinking but not sure I agree with the premise that we have a small window of opportunity. I’d like to build a squad that will be serious contenders for the next 3 – 5 years. And hopefully bringing home Lord Stanley’s chalice. But failure to win the SC is not the benchmark for failure. I’d do some minor adjustments and not risk messing with chemistry these guys have in the locker room. That last thing I want is one cup run and then back to the bottom for the next several years.

    • His Dudeness

      You are living in fantasy land lol. Why would Ottawa make that trade? And how do you expect to pay Kapanen, Stone, Tkachuk and Rittich this off-season? I guess they all take massive salary reductions because we won 16 games straight on the way to the Stanley cup and oh wait we live in the real world….

    • Al Rain

      Let me get this straight: you’re trading some futures, upgrading the forwards, going all in, and Lazar is on your third line? I’m willing to play along, but let’s not have aliens and bigfoot involved.

  • Jimmyhaggis

    Kylington reminds me of Paul Coffey, once he gains a little more confidence, watch out this kid will start scoring goals.
    Johhny’s line looked worn out, going to have to watch there ice time, Jankowski had a solid game.

    • Skylardog

      Fatigue is starting to effect our top line. We need secondary scoring desperately. Injuries are way more likely to occur if guys are tired. We can’t lose Johnny, or Mony or Lind for that matter.

      Has anyone else noticed that the top line almost never scores in the first period? Even though we have success in the first period (and third), when we score in the first it is usually Backs line, or support from Janko or Benny. I believe it is because other teams can shut down the first line when we roll 4 lines, and it is only rarely that we get secondary support from lines 3 and 4. It is why we often get down early or play to 0-0 in the first then get down in the second.

      Once we run 3 lines, and play the heck out of the top line, we begin to get them away from their checkers, and the 1st line begins to run amuck on the opposition. But the downside is fatigue, and as the season goes on, it will become more and more evident. In a playoff series it will be fatal (the first line being tired that is).

      Trash if you like, but my observations are correct.

      • calgaryfan

        Hockey has always been played by shortening the bench and getting your best players on the ice more often. Its not about shutting down the first line when the Flames roll 4 lines, I believe shortening the bench just allows the best players to get the their legs going and be more involved in the game.

    • KeepitReal

      I don’t think we’ve yet to see Klingon’s potential. He has seriously fast wheels and when he gets confident with his NHL status I think we are gonna be very impressed with the results.

    • KootenayFlamesFan

      Sorry man, that was right in the middle of the season. The game against Vegas at the end of the season was an absolute blowout in our favour. Having said that, I don’t think Fro’s defensive play has been great this year. I still don’t understand his lack of minutes though because hes contributed much more than neal, Ryan, dube, czarnik, etc.

  • Derzie

    The irony is that Frolik is one of the GOOD FA pickups we have had. He’s in the doghouse for something. Not sure what it is because it doesn’t seem to be his play.

    Also, in today’s NHL, most players turn into pumpkins at 30. There are exceptions but they are one offs and the pumpkin-clock is spinning like mad post 30. It can all end in a month, week or game. Buyer (Tre) beware.

  • KootenayFlamesFan

    I’d be open to trading Brodie for the right piece. Less likely to trade Kylington. Definite NO to trading both of them. Small likelihood of these trades happening for two reasons, I think the other teams would want more, and I think there are other teams which would give them more.

    Also, the chemistry thing. The last thing you want to do is turn over half the team just as you’re heading into the playoffs. I think if we can add/swap 1 or 2 players max to make our lineup better then go for it. Blowing the team up going into the playoffs is just too risky.