Franchise Record 10 in a Row – Calgary 4 – Pittsburgh 3 (SO)

I would’ve been happy with a point. Outplayed at times, the Flames got into penalty trouble, repeatedly, yet somehow dug down deep to pull off a franchise record 10 straight wins. They needed a shoot-out to complete the feat, but when you’re riding a hot goalie, anything’s possible (even with Dennis Wideman playing minutes in the final minute of the game….)

This game wowed the hometown crowd, chalk full of superstardom, hits, big plays, and clutch performances, something we’ll get to see more of come playoff time. Where the Flames wind up in the standings is anybody’s guess, but I’ll go out ‘on a limb’ and say they’ll be in the post-season. Right now they sit 2nd in the Division. Can they hold on? They’re playing awesome hockey, peaking at the right time, but they’ll need to round out their game in order to maintain consistency, and every win is a step in that direction.

Nine in a Row: Calgary 3 – Winnipeg 0

Reposted from CJsAviOr from Reddit

You are going to be so proud of your team. Because we’re gonna turn it around, and we’re gonna start winning again! We’re gonna win so much! We’re going to win at every level. We’re going to win vs the Predators. We’re going to win vs the Lightning. We’re going to win vs the Panthers. We’re going to win vs the Canes. We’re going to win vs the Kings. We’re gonna win vs the Red Wings. We’re going to win vs the Islanders. We’re gonna win vs the Canadiens and vs the Jets. We’re gonna with every single facet.

We’re gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, “Please, please. It’s too much winning. We can’t take it anymore Mr. Gulutzan, it’s too much.” And I’ll say, “No, it isn’t!” We have to keep winning. We have to win more! We’re gonna win more. We’re gonna win so much.

8 in a Row iN Costly Win: Calgary 5 – Montreal 0

The last time these two teams met the Flames put in a stinker. Now it was Montreal’s turn to drop a turd. With two streak on the line, Montreal’s 6 game win streak, and Clagary’s 7, somebody was going home unhappy.

There were a few keys to this win, here’s the post-game including some thoughts on what’s lead to the Flames’ 8 game win streak.

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Flames 2 – LA 1 (OT)

The Calgary Flames have had a significant February month. Up until February, very few fans thought they had a chance of making the postseason. Now they are threatening to take third (or dare I say second) place in the Pacific division. The team continues struggles to play a solid 60 minutes from Park drop until final horn, but if there is a time for their game to come around, that time is now.

In the final month of the season they will play divisional rivals, which makes many games a potential four-point affair.

Here are the post-game thoughts from tonight’s game.

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Can’t Argue with Evidence – WidemanEffect and Ref Bias Against the Flames

Last week Elliot Friedman mentioned on Hockey Night in Canada how the league and the Flames brass sat down to talk about the ‘alleged’ increase in Flames penalty calls. The cause of the unusual increase? Refs taking revenge on the club for the Dennis Wideman hit on linesman Don Henderson (who still hasn’t fully recovered).

One referee did not find that funny. The next day, he phoned to complain and dropped a bit of a bombshell: The NHL and the Flames met to discuss the way Calgary games are officiated. They went through a ton of video, and even talked about calls not made — including some specifically against Wideman.

From what I was told, it was very tense at times. The Flames lead the league in penalties taken and penalty minutes per game. Last year, they were 26th and 19th, respectively, in those categories.

In the meeting the league proved to the club called penalties were in fact penalties. Imagine being in that room with the league showing the Flames what a penalty was/is. They must have been seething. For what it’s worth, of course a penalty is a penalty, it’s what you don’t call that matters. Have a read of what former official Kerry Fraser has to say about that.

But let’s go back to the topic at hand, is there referee bias against the Flames? The answer is yes if you look at specific evidence. What we may be seeing, however, is the targeting may be coming to an end as the playoffs draw closer.

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Flames 3 – Lightning 2

It was close in the end, but when the final buzzer sounded the Flames strung together another road win in their SE US trip that continues tomorrow night in Florida.

Some post game thoughts:

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Flames Squander a Point in Torrid Affair: Calgary 6 – Nashville 5 (OT)

It was an utter disaster.

Up 3 goals late in the second, Calgary found themselves trailing by 1, 5-4 to start the final frame because of a monumental collapse.

And there wasn’t Dennis Wideman to blame either

Let me repeat myself. NO DENNIS WIDEMAN on the ice. The recent trade for Mike Stone (and the signing of Matt Bartkowski who probably played himself into the pressbox next game) meant Wideman was sitting, finally, nearly sixty games into the season.

No, this wasn’t Dennis’ fault, it was a Calgary Flames club that can’t be bothered to play a genuine 60 minutes of hockey, and because of that they gave up a point, and almost squandered two.

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Referee Bias Evident: Flames 3 – Flyers 1 #widemaneffect

After putting up one of the worst efforts of the entire season Monday against the Phoenix Coyotes, the Calgary Flames had a chance to right the ship tonight against the Philadelphia Flyers. Three thoughts from tonight’s game.

1) Everyone is talking about how the Calgary Flames on Another one targets for NHL officials. It’s not something that can be hidden anymore. All the sportscasters and journalists joke about it without referencing it directly. It may be unsaid but it can’t be ignored anymore because it’s gone on so long. Alex Chiasson was injected from the game for a ‘spear’ in the first period. That’s not a penalty, even with Cousins embellishing the love tap HARD. If the officials were idiots they’d give two minutes, but no, it was a five minute game misconduct. Why? #Widemaneffect that’s the only explanation possible. Frolik’s partial break late in the third and NO call? Can’t believe my eyes….

2) It took nearly 3/4 of the season for Glen Gulutzan to figure out Wideman has to play bottom pair minutes. 58 games (that’s FIFTY EIGHT) until we saw Wideman play as the 6th Dman. Even with his new assignment he didn’t waste time screwing everything up with a horrid game on his first shift putting the Flames down by 1. Wideman can’t even be traded, so why not just demote him to the minors.

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Road Swing Wins

The Flames take their mandatory 5 day break that will let other teams pick up some games in hand. We’ll see where the Flames sit come Monday when they face the Coyotes again.

The recent trip to the Metro Division was an opportunity to play some consistent hockey, or get blown out of the water. Overall, the team put up some points, surprising everybody.

Two points versus Pittsburgh, a good team, was deserved. But there are still some questions, or rather the same issues, that will plague the team until the end. It all surrounds coaching.

Wideman continues, inexplicably, to play top 4 D man minutes. Brodie was sheltered from him for a bit in the NJ game and promptly put up 4 points. Wideman for his part was the cause of 3 goals against. Gulutzan’s insistence to play him makes no sense and is hurting the team.

Although special teams have been good, it’s a head scratcher why not even the top PP unit would play in OT against Pittburgh. The Gio-Hamilton pair on the backend stunk out the OT frame with their performance on the PP. Again, coaching problems.

If the goaltending tandem can put together a significant run the Flames have a chance to keep their wild card position, that they’re sure to lose over the weekend. They’ll have to play about .600 hockey the rest of the way though. Can they do it?

Brian Burke on Hockey Analytics – Agree or Disagree?

I found this clip interesting.

Part of my agrees, analytics is the poster child of arm chair enthusiasts and anybody who took a stats class in college. It’s a tool in the toolbox.

But part of my disagrees simply because, ironically, the stats on scouting shows that finding bonafide picks is a bit of a crapshoot. Take for instance Detroit and their run over the past 10-15 years of quality, late round picks. How did that happen? Did Detroit just draft better than everybody else? Well turns out not really, the work of a single scout could be attributed to their success. By in large the work of scouting is also a crapshoot, and you need that edge to find the picks that will make an impact.

Your thoughts?