9

FN Mailbag – March 27, 2017

With the victory of the St. Louis Blues, the Flames’ chances of making the playoffs grew to over 99% according to Sports Club Stats. They’re in. What we’re left with now is talking about match-ups and challenges, strengths and weaknesses. There are no soft touches in the Western Playoff picture at this point, so no…

48

WWYD: keep Sam Bennett on the wing?

Glen Gulutzan moved Sam Bennett back to the wing with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik owing to the Matthew Tkachuk suspension. The team didn’t have a great game, but Bennett’s performance was better than what we’ve generally seen from him this season: A team-leading CF% of 66% in just over 13 minutes of ice time….

8

FN Mailbag – March 20, 2017

It’s been a very up and down season for the Flames, but one thing has been consistently good for them so far: health. Aside from Johnny Gaudreau’s broken finger, the Flames have mostly sidestepped serious injury this year. The only other players to miss significant time to date are Lance Bouma (shoulder), Troy Brouwer (finger),…

39

WWYD Wednesday: The Flames’ lineup down the stretch

There are just 13 games left in Calgary’s regular season. Thirteen games left to cement their place in the postseason, but also to iron out any lingering issues or make last minute tweaks. Curtis Lazar still hasn’t made it into the lineup. The third line still can’t drive play or score. The first PP unit…

35

FN Mailbag – March 13, 2017

After the Flames’ difficult opening month this year, few people would have believed the team was on course to make the playoffs, let alone to set a franchise record for consecutive wins. Calgary’s unprecedented hot streak has not only been enough to propel them into the postseason, but they are now battling for home-ice advantage…

10

The 3M line’s dominance in 2 charts

The 3M line featuring Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, and Michael Frolik entered the year as the club’s putative “third line”, but has cemented itself as the club’s top trio so far. However, the Backlund line isn’t just Calgary’s best – it’s one of the best in the NHL. Here’s evidence: Line combo shot rates Cgy,…

39

WWYD Wednesday: What to do With Curtis Lazar?

The newest Calgary Flame is in a strange position. He was acquired at the deadline, but is more of a long-term reclamation project. His new team is in the midst of its best winning streak of the season and there’s no obvious place to slot him in the lineup. So when does Curtis Lazar get…

66

Random Thoughts – On Lazar, Brouwer and the virtue of patience

Predicting performance in the NHL is hard. Every signing, every trade, every draft pick is a gamble that will likely play out over a number of years. The interplay of risk, cost and reward impacts decisions on what players to acquire, what prospects to develop, and what veterans to sign (or get rid of). That’s…

0

FN Mailbag – March 6, 2017

  The Flames couldn’t have asked for a better-timed hot streak. And yes, it’s mostly a coincidence that it happened to correspond with Dennis Wideman’s exit from the active roster. It’s taken a long time for Brian Elliott to discover the form many Flames fans (and members of management) expected to see when he was…

36

WWYD Wednesday: Trade Deadline Open Thread

Well, it’s trade deadline day. The Flames are in a two-horse race for the final playoff spot in the West with the Los Angeles Kings. They have already made a handful of minor moves to firm up the backend. What’s left? Does Brad Treliving stand pat? Does he add another forward? Should he look to…

42

FN Mailbag – February 27, 2017

After a disappointing January and a tentative start to February, the Flames are getting hot at the right time. They’ve leaned heavily on one-goal wins and extra time to pile up the points recently, but at this point in the season and given where they are in the standings, none of that really matters.  With…

WWYD Wednesday: Solve the Flames’ goaltending problem

Embed from Getty Images Brad Treliving probably thought he’d solved the Flames’ goaltending woes last summer. At least, he likely thought he was inching closer to a long-term solution.  In the 2016 offseason, Treliving traded for Brian Elliott and signed Chad Johnson to a cheap, one-year deal. Together, Elliott and Johnson promised to improve Calgary’s…