61

5 things: Assessing the situation

1. You know what the problem is So the Calgary Flames enter the summer months by first turning their attentions to getting guys already under contract or on expiring deals re-signed, and that’s the sort of due diligence any smart NHL team does well in advance of July 1. The sooner deals can be made,…

46

5 things: The Giordano situation

1. Stating the obvious It was no surprise — to anyone, you’d hope — that Brad Treliving said on pack-up day that his big job this summer was getting Mark Giordano re-signed. And that’s smart and it makes sense because you don’t want the pall of that contract situation looming over the entirety of next…

92

5 Things: Is it safe?

1. The comeback The entire confluence of events that led to Calgary’s comeback on Tuesday night encapsulated everything weird about this season for the Flames. Everything goes their way all the time, even when they don’t deserve it. And make no mistake, they didn’t deserve to win on Tuesday. The confluence of circumstances that came…

61

5 things: Wabbit season

1. A tall order The Flames made it through to the second round. Many had not counted on Eddie Lack and, later, Ryan Miller, being quite so bad as they were. Nor did they count on the Canucks’ depth forwards getting so easily devoured by the bottom-nine guys on the Flames. As has been covered…

44

5 things: Getting close

1. Discipline The big focus in the series to this point has been that everyone is trying to kill everyone else. Headshots aplenty, instigators rescinded, slashes and crosschecks and coaches fined. You get the idea. Both teams are very guilty of playing this way; for every Hamhuis there’s a Ferland, and for every Bieksa there’s…

114

5 things: Danger

1. You got me!!!! So the Flames made the playoffs and Flames fans immediately started giving me stick about it. Can’t say I blame ’em, of course, because I spent the whole season basically beating a dead horse about how the team isn’t good — it’s not, by the way — and how the club…

86

5 things: The big game(s)

1. This is basically it At this point you can basically surmise that the entire 80-game season to this point comes down to tonight’s game with Los Angeles. Not actually and not all the way, of course, because the Kings could still win and then the playoff outcomes reset to being entirely dependent upon Saturday’s…

64

5 things: Five left

1. Going their way Well the tightness at the bottom of the Western Conference playoff race predictably held more or less steady over the last week, but the good news for Calgary is that a few of the results went their way. They are, again, ostensibly only battling Winnipeg and Los Angeles for the last…

22

5 things: Getting tighter

1. The race So that concern the Flames should have had about the Kings having a game in hand proved legitimate. Tuesday night Los Angeles made up that game and reveled in disemboweling a very strong Rangers team on the road. That brought the Kings into a nominal tie with Calgary for eighth in the…

36

5 things: What’s ahead?

1. First the good news As I write this the Flames are currently outside a playoff spot, having been demolished on Tuesday night by the St. Louis Blues — who to be fair demolish a lot of teams these days — while the Winnipeg Jets lit up San Jose 5-2. That pushed the Flames a…

82

5 things: Quantifying hard work

1. What are we talking about? People do not like when I refer to the Flames as a “bad team.” They tell me to look at the standings, because in sports, all people really care about is results. If a team could get away with being outshot every single night all season long — and by…

65

5 things: A bad week

1. The worst thing possible So Mark Giordano’s done for the year, and that’s a real shame for him because he was having the season of his life for the second year in a row. Last season he played 64 games and dominated the toughest competition in the league. He played more than 25 minutes…