It’s the Carolina Hurricanes. Nobody watches this team. They haven’t won a game this season, and for 55 minutes they manhandled the Flames. For their part, the Calgary Flames are a team built with all the players money can buy, but the product on ice is terrible. This year’s Calgary Flames are actually worse than last year’s, despite being ‘better on paper’. Top to bottom, the new coach is out of his element, and yes, a new system takes time, but wow, time means dropping the first 15 games of the season? What a waste. The goaltending? Brian Elliot is still channeling the worse of Jonas Hiller, believe it or not. Maybe he’s hurt and won’t be the same player, seemingly forever….. The D are still finding their game. The forwards have little in terms of generating real scoring chances. And finally, the special teams. They haven’t been this bad in 15 years. PK wasn’t good, and the discipline on ice? Terrible. PP? Whatever word there is for terrible, taht’s the PP and that’s why this team will be going nowhere fast. Fix the special teams and we might have a chance of at least not putting fans asleep who pay their hard earned money to come to the building.
Four games in and the first win of the season for these Calgary Flames. There were other ‘firsts’ tonight as well. Matthew Tkachuk scored his first NHL goal to the tie the game late in the 3rd. Chad Johnson, local boy, got his first win as a Flames in net facing his old team. Then there were a lot of ‘same old’ like the abysmal broken powerplay. Everyone who knows anything knows this: Calgary has never had a good PP. Never. Ever. (Ok, maybe we did in the late 80s). So let’s say 30 years ago we had a good PP. Today? Not so much.
The Calgary Flames played in there third game of the regular season with some teams, like the Vancouver Canucks, only starting their season tonight. fit team I played a factor late in the game and, but it doesn’t cover up the fact this team looks lost. If it’s not goaltending then it’s offence. Tonight Vancouver scored all three goals. They scored on themselves on a delayed penalty, they scored late in the third to tie the game, and then they scored the only shootout goal.
Calgary struggled to generate offence, shored things up on D, and looked great in goal, but you can’t win games if you can’t put the puck in the net. At least this happened.
Edmonton 7 – Calgary 4
After a half-hour delay before puck drop due to a Rogers commercial on their new building, the game finally got underway to open the new season much to the delight of the hometown fans who took in the spectacle in the new arena. Calgarians will continue to revel in their old building as their cool neighbours to the North bask in their shiny new arena and millions of the dollars of tax payer subsidies.
On the ice, it was the Connor McDavid show. The 19 year-old rookie was ‘handed the keys’ by the old guard (seriously, Edmonton just can’t move on from the “dynasty years” 30 years ago can they?) lead by Gretzky and Messier.
For their part, the Flames essentially crapped the bed in every possible way looking like a beleaguered ECHL team for most of the game, or perhaps more like a team cobbled together at the last minute like how management managed to arrange things to start this season.
Here’s the post-game reflected through the performance of select members of the team.
It came down to the wire but the final roster has been set and the 2015-2016 Calgary Flames season is about to begin. The single questions fans are asking (since thee Gaudreau signing): will the Flames make the playoffs?
I would say, YES!
The goaltending alone I believe gives the team at minimum 10 extra points. The improvements up front will translate into exciting hockey and more goals. We can only assume that the special teams can go nowhere but up. At the D should remain solid (unless Wideman plays top-line minutes). They’re not a Stanley Cup team, yet, but they’re definitely on the upward trend which is a welcome sight for Flames fans who have endured too many years to count dwelling in the basement of NHL standings.
Things open up with a back-to-back home-at-home series with the Edmonton Oilers, who have a revamped roster as well. All in all, a new kind of hockey is in town with a balanced lineup complete with elite goaltending, star goal scoring, and steady defending. Let’s start the 2016-2017 Cup run folks! Go Flames Go!
It came down to the wire, but in the end it got done. Johnny Gaudreau, restricted free-agent, has signed a long-term extension for six years with the Flames. The surprise? The price. Some pegged the Gaudreau camp asking price of 8 million. Start high in negotiations I guess. The Flames were reported to be coming in low, around 6.5. In the end, the deal was for just around 6.75 million a year, largely a STEAL of a deal for the club. It means the team is positioned well to add additional pieces in the future. It also means the nonsensical caveat to salaries–no one earns more than the captain–might be true.
Why did Gaudreau sign for under market value? Assuming his value was more? Armchair GMs pegged the deal just north of 7 million, and few fans would’ve batted an eye. Others rightly noted the deal is fair given it only bought 1 year of UFA (the max 8 years would’ve potentially added a million), and as a 17 minute a night point producer with only 2 years in the league. But GM Brad Treviling continues to impress with exceptional value for exceptional players. We can rest assured that Flames fans will reap the benefit of the next 6 years. As for Gaudreau, he gets to hit UFA sooner, and cash in on the payday of a lifetime assuming he produces at the clip his young career has shown. Let’s just hope management can cobble together not only a winning, but a Championship team soon.
Here’s what others are saying about the deal:
The 2016-2017 season is a couple weeks away which means the players are all in town ready to kick-off another race to the Cup. Probably the biggest piece of the puzzle for the team–improvement in goal. Here’s Brian Elliot, shedding his all blue pads from his time in St Louis, for a mean all red.
Some moves and some updates from the Calgary Flames front. The NHL Draft went down to the wire, even before it began, with a rumored 3-way trade with Columbus, Edmonton, and Calgary. Nothin materialized and Calgary stuck with the #6 pick, and by some miracle thanks to Vancouver (again), managed to land RW (although a left-shot) Matthew Tkachuck.
Here’s how the other rounds unraveled.
If there was a right time to fire the head coach, about now is the time to do. General Manager Brad Treliving announced this morning that Bob Hartley, and associate coach Jacques Cloutier, will not return to the club. Only one season removed from winning the Jack Adams award for league’s best coach, Bob
Highlights from this morning press conference with GM Treliving: