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Flames Fan
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Amber Craig
Amber Craig
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La Kings Fan

Kings descent continues as they lose key game vs. Flames posted by La Kings Fan

Once again the Los Angeles Kings came close, but their 2 to 1 overtime loss to the Calgary Flames was nevertheless a significant setback.

Going into tonight’s action, Los Angeles was just shy of a Wild Card spot. They were even with Calgary with 51 points in 45 contests, but the Flames were the ones holding onto a playoff spot thanks to the tiebreaker. The Kings squandered a golden opportunity to get back into a postseason position though, largely due to the efforts of Flames goaltender Joni Ortio.

The 23-year-old netminder was playing in his fourth game of the season as Karri Ramo is sidelined with an upper-body injury. Ortio kicked out 33 of 34 shots tonight, giving him a 1.23 GAA and .958 save percentage. At this rate it will be very tough for Calgary to send him down.

Kings goalie Jonathan Quick matched Ortio for most of the contest and it was Los Angeles’ Matt Greene that was able to strike first midway through the third period:

Sean Monahan, who scored the overtime game-winner against San Jose on Saturday, came up big again with the equalizer 3:32 minutes later:

Dennis Wideman found the back of the net at 4:08 of the overtime frame.

Calgary and Los Angeles are both scheduled to play on Wednesday (against Anaheim and San Jose respectively), so it is still possible for the Los Angeles Kings to enter the All-Star break in the second Wild Card position, but either way the team is in trouble. Los Angeles has won just two of its last 10 contests. The fact that the Kings have gotten five consolation points over that stretch has helped, but that only slowed the bleeding. They need something more. Much more.

Continue reading "Kings descent continues as they lose ..."

Stars Fan

Dallas Stars 'pay a big price' to get back into contention posted by Stars Fan

Is there a better breakout candidate in the second half of the season than the Dallas Stars?

OK, we know that we’ve been waiting for the Stars to take the NHL by storm – pretty much since the summer.

Ales Hemsky was brought in. Captain Jamie Benn was going to be amazing and so here comes the Dallas Stars Juggernaut!

Instead the most productive element of the Stars operation this season has been the jumbotron.

Benn and Seguin have indeed been prolific – but the Stars have been up-and-down all year. But as of Monday, Dallas is back in the playoff race just two points behind Calgary for the last Wild Card spot. How in the world did that happen?

It has occurred by ensuring all parts of their game have clicked at the same time, which wasn’t the case earlier in the season.

Spezza made them better down the middle. Hemsky added depth. But the Stars never really dealt with an area of weakness. Defense. It was basically ‘score enough goals and hope Kari Lehtonen stops everything that comes his way.’

As talented as Lehtonen is, that’s not a recipe for success, unless Ruff thought he was back in Buffalo in the late '90s with Dominik Hasek.

In Trevor Daley and Alex Goligoski the Stars had two solid No. 2 or 3 defensemen, but no clear-cut No. 1. And once they started to realize this, Dallas began to slowly, methodically turn its season around.

Earlier in the year, the Stars essentially tried to load their offense on Benn and Seguin. Now everyone is joining in, but it still leads back to defense. If they can tighten that up even more and GM Jim Nill can add a defenseman, maybe the Stars can go from bust to burst and fulfill our offseason prophecies! At very least they still have the jumbotron. 

Continue reading "Dallas Stars 'pay a big price' to ..."

Flames Fan

Royal Flush: Flames stun Kings in overtime again posted by Flames Fan

After the National Hockey League reviewed Dennis Wideman’s strange-looking goal which appeared to strike the in-net camera with 52 seconds left in overtime, the entire Calgary Flames bench erupted, celebrating a 2-1 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.

Monday’s game had drama but it was an important victory, too, as Calgary (25-18-3) improved to 4-0-0 on its five-game Pacific Division trip and have now won four straight at Staples Center.

Meanwhile, the struggling Kings (20-14-12) finished a seven-game home stand and now have 52 points to sit behind the Flames.

 “I thought everyone played well tonight,” Wideman said. “I think we had to. Any time you play a team like that, we need everyone going. I think top-to-bottom, we played well.

“We’ve played them tough . . . we just played a solid game as well as they did.”

To punctuate the third period, former Flame defenceman Robyn Regehr dealt the hit of the game on Mark Giordano. In the last 15 seconds, Regehr, laid out the Calgary captain with an old-school check and the ensuing rough-up landed them both in the box during overtime.

That stirred things up and, with 6.4 seconds remaining in the first period, Drew Doughty gave Joe Colborne the business by the Kings net and was tagged for cross-checking. The NHL all-star, fuming, used a special four-letter word among other to express himself to the referees and was given an unsportsmanlike too.

All in all, an exciting first period which had the Flames down 10-3 on the shot-clock.

Continue reading "Royal Flush: Flames stun Kings in overtime again"

Flames Fan

Calgary Flames: Training youngsters and Dealing with Injuries before 2014-2015 Season posted by Flames Fan

They have talented goal tenders who have shown depth and skill. They have shown a lot of skill on the left wing, which unfortunately has been lacking on the right wing.  Need to make the most of the roster players.

Rebuilding the Team

The rebuilding efforts that started in the last season are probably going to show better results in the 2014-2015 season. One of the main weaknesses that this team is currently trying to deal with is the lack of scoring talent. Sean Monahan, is one of the prospects who made the draft in the last season. He has shown promise with his ability to score goals, finishing the last season with 22 goals and 34 points overall. Other prospects for this season are Sam Bennett and Sven Baertschi.

The coach has been working on helping the youngsters in the team to learn how to be more aggressive in the field. Bob Hartley, reportedly told reporters that he brought Serge Roberge to ‘protect our assets’. Serge is expected to bring in years of experience to help the youngster in the team understand how to fight and protect themselves during the game.

Backlund’s Injury

Mikael Backlund had an abdominal injury, which kept him off his off season games. Coach Bob Hartley, initially expressed his concern and admitted to the media that he was worried. The coach has since had him back in the team and he has been practicing. He is doing okay according to the coach, and all that Hartley is waiting for is a green light from the doctors.

The team could do much better with a better offensive strategy. The team currently relies on Jiri Hudler for this. Currently, the main strength of the team lies in goalies like Jonas Hiller. The return of Mikael Backlaund and Mark Giordano could also help the team. 

Continue reading "Calgary Flames: Training youngsters ..."

Jeff Ponder

Calgary Goes Old-School; Sign Alex Tanguay to a 1-year, $1.7M Deal and Olli Jokinen to a 2-year, $6 million Deal posted by Jeff Ponder

The Flames are taking the stance that if they can't win, they have to stick to what they know.

Both Tanguay and Jokinen are former Flames, though both were at different times.  Is this a questionable move; you bet'cha.

Tanguay is coming off of a dreadful season in Tampa Bay, scoring just ten goals and 37 points.  This isn't the first sign of the 30-year old dropping off though; his goal totals have slowly diminished every season since 2005-06.  But his speed and quick hands can come in handy when he hits the face-off dots.

Jokinen was traded by GM Darryl Sutter and the Calgary Flames in February of last season with Brandon Prust to the New York Rangers for Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins.  His lack of effort and poor point totals (15g-35a—50p) were a huge disappointment last season, especially when considering that he was ranked 14th in points in the entire NHL just four seasons before (39g-52a—91p).  Since leaving the Florida Panthers and joining the Western Conference in 2008, Jokinen has proven to be a purely Eastern Conference forward.

While the Tanguay signing will bring a lot of flack with it, it is understandable that Sutter may want to give the winger a chance.  After all, even when he is not scoring, Tanguay is still a presence on the ice that works well behind the net.  But the Jokinen signing is near-laughable.  Just a few months ago, Sutter could not wait to unload Jokinen to somebody else.  Now, its as if Sutter completely forgot how bad Jokinen was as a Flame in his last season.  If you're lucky Darryl, Jokinen will put up another 11 goals for your club.

Continue reading "Calgary Goes Old-School; Sign Alex ..."

Andy Charles

A most unexpected return… posted by Andy Charles

While most of the hockey world was reading about Dany Heatley’s monster move to the San Jose Sharks last week, it became clear that a former NHL favorite was about to try his luck at an unlikely comeback.

No, it’s not Jeremy Roenick a month after his retirement, and it’s not Claude Lemieux at the age of about 80, but the man most opponents loved to hate and his fans loved to love, Theo Fleury.

Fleury is back at training camp with the Calgary Flames, apparently determined to have at least one more season back in the NHL to end his career on his own terms, not in the way it had previously looked like ending back in 2003 before the work stoppage.

His path back to the league was cleared last week when he was granted reinstatement after a meeting with Commissioner Gary Bettman, as he was still under indefinite suspension over substance abuse issues that dogged the years towards what had been assumed to be the end of his career.

Fleury’s last organized professional hockey came in Britain’s Elite League with the Belfast Giants, and as for much of his career he was a success, being named Player of the Year by the British Ice Hockey Writers’ Association. He piled up an amazing 74 points in only 34 games and unsurprising racked up 270 penalty minutes before leaving after complaining about the standard of refereeing.

But Calgary is where Fleury calls his hockey home, after 11 seasons with the Flames which included a Stanley Cup in his first season and two other campaigns where he scored more than 100 points and eight seasons with over 100 minutes in the penalty box.
Continue reading "A most unexpected return…"

Jeff Ponder

Calgary Flames Sign Jay Bouwmeester to a Five-Year, $33 Million Contract posted by Jeff Ponder

Jay Bouwmeester got his wish on Tuesday; a long-term contract worth a handsome sum.  After having his rights traded last Saturday from Florida to the Flames for defenseman Jordan Leopold and a third round pick, Bouwmeester met with Calgary management all week but finally came to a deal just before the deadline.

“Jay is one of the most complete defenseman in the game,” said Flames General Manager Darryl Sutter, “and we are very pleased to have reached an agreement that will make him an important component of the Calgary Flames success.”

This agreement will help bolster the Flames' defensive corps, but it leaves little with re-signing an important Flames forward.  Mike Cammalleri is coming off a career-year with the Flames, tearing the ice up with 82 points and being a top-center for Jarome Iginla's line all season.  After earning $3.6 million last season, Cammalleri is now expected to remain unsigned. 

The Flames did get a big defenseman to help workhorse Dion Phaneuf in game situations, which will help them in any long playoff run.  The team is expecting Oli Jokinen to step up and enjoy a great season at center to make up for the loss of Cammalleri, so this is a great deal that will help the Flames go deeper in the playoffs in 2010 and on.Continue reading "Calgary Flames Sign Jay Bouwmeester ..."

Joshua Tarkoff

Western Conference Rolls Along! posted by Joshua Tarkoff

I have a confession to make. I love the Canucks. I really have loved them ever since the worst trade in NHL history when my beloved Panthers gave Luongo away for nothing. I know he is great and that team has a ton of fast guys with a lot of talent. For some reason, I really want them to win. What a job they did last night finishing off the Blues. Hey some big time people picked the Blues to win, since they were so hot coming down the stretch. So,no prediction is even needed for Vancouver. All I know is, I do not know of any team that wants to face the Canucks in the 2nd round.

Onto the series that are still going on...Sharks/Ducks. What a series this is. I think this is the best one we have going (no disrespect to NJ/CAR). It is a bit tough in Florida to be able to watch all of this series, but every second that I have seen has been awesome. Huge hits, I mean huge and every goal has been hard fought. I think this series will come down to who makes the least number of mistakes. That was especially true last night. Both teams are solid and the difference is going to be very small. I have to go with SJ here, they did not win President's trophy for nothing. 7 games, but this will take its toll on whoever ends up winning here.

Detroit is quietly doing its championship thing as usual. They really are an amazing organization. For years I know I have thought they were too old, but somehow they keep on doing it. Hossa this year has been a huge add on and he continues to shine in the playoffs. The series with the Bluejackets will not last much longer, although I must give them a hand for making it into the playoffs this year. It is just unfortunate that they ran into Detroit. 

Continue reading "Western Conference Rolls Along!"

Jeff Ponder

NHL Trade Deadline Analysis: Part One posted by Jeff Ponder

With the NHL salary cap in place and newly drawn-up rules and regulations, NHL teams have found it tough to move players on a whim nowadays.  But plenty happened despite that, so lets get started by looking at the big deals that went down today.

Columbus trades Pascal Leclaire and a 2009 second round pick to Ottawa for Antoine Vermette.

  -Columbus acquired another veteran forward, which is something fans have been asking them to address.  Vermette, 6’1” 197 lbs, was used in many defensive roles for the Senators, as well as playing on the second line behind the Jason Spezza line most nights.  Ottawa gets the starting goalie that they have been desperately searching for in Patrick Leclaire as well.  Leclaire, bothered by injury all season, has played in just twelve games this season, recording a dismal 3.83 goals against average and a .867 save percentage.  But Leclaire has been a bright for Columbus in the past on non-playoff teams, as his career numbers show an impressive .907 save percentage and a 2.82 goals against average.

Ponder’s Call:  Good deal for both teams. Ottawa got a goaltender and Columbus got some veteran leadership.

Calgary trades Lawrence Nycholat, Ryan Wilson and a 2009 second round pick to Colorado for Jordan Leopold.

  -Calgary gets Leopold, who was a major part of their 2004 Stanley Cup Final run.  He and Robyn Regehr were paired together most of the playoffs and were the top line for Calgary.  His numbers have not been too impressive this season (6 goals, 14 assists for 20 points), but the Flames got a defenseman who is very good at moving the puck out of the zone.  Colorado acquired a few players that have minimal NHL experience.  Nycholat was placed on waivers by the Vancouver Canucks earlier this season, being claimed by the Flames.  He has just 1 assist in 14 games this season.  Wilson has been called “slow-footed” and “lacks intensity at times” by NHL scouts, but came into the Quad City Flames roster as a possible NHL prospect.  Only time will tell on this guy if he can pan out.
Continue reading "NHL Trade Deadline Analysis: Part One"

Amber Craig

Calgary is On Fire posted by Amber Craig

We’re just over halfway through the NHL regular season, and the Calgary Flames have made quite a turnaround from their slow start—for which they have become notorious for year after year. The 2008-09 season started with loss after stupid loss for the team, and for a while it looked as if Calgary may have lost it’s flame. But lately it seems like Keenan has really lit a fire underneath them, because what a comeback they have made.

Winning seven of their last ten meetings, the Flames now sit in first place in the Northwest Division, and third overall in the Western Conference, under the seemingly unbeatable San Jose Sharks and Detroit Red Wings. Things are looking good for Calgary right now.

And for the first time in at least a few seasons, more than a handful of players are contributing to the team’s point tally. When usually the infamous standalone stars like Jarome Iginla seem to be responsible for the mass majority of the Flames’ goals, five players have tallied over 30 points each in the last 46 games. 

Yes, Iginla still leads the pack with 53 points, but players like Mike Cammalleri are giving him a run for his money. The 26-year-old currently sits with 44 points, and has obtained eight of those in the last five games alone. He seems to be getting increasingly better as the season rolls on.

And who could forget Todd Bertuzzi? He managed to win over Flames fans, after many questioned the decision to bring him on board for this season, and he has become a prominent force on the ice for Calgary. He has been particularly strong in the way of assisting goals—constantly in the right position in front of (and sometimes behind) the net, to create a passing play.

Continue reading "Calgary is On Fire"

Calgary Flames News

View All Calgary Flames News

Flames sign Brouwer to 4-year deal (Yahoo Sports)

The Calgary Flames quickly filled a couple of needs Friday by signing winger Troy Brouwer to a four-year deal worth a reported $4.5 million annually and giving a one-year deal to goaltender Chad Johnson for a reported $1.7 million. The six-foot-three, 213-pound Brouwer is a candidate to play on the top line with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau after the Flames dealt Jiri Hudler to Florida in February. Brouwer, 30, won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

AP Source: NHL forwards Nystrom, Raymond placed on waivers (Yahoo Sports)

A person with direct knowledge of the moves tells The Associated Press that Nashville Predators forward Eric Nystrom and Calgary Flames forward Mason Raymond have been placed on waivers in order for their teams to buy out the remaining year of their contracts. Nystrom, a nine-year NHL veteran, had no goals and seven assists in 46 games last season. Raymond, a nine-year veteran, had four goals and an assist in 29 games last season. [read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

NHL teams must consider expansion draft in offseason plans (Yahoo Sports)

[read full article]

From Yahoo Sports

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