10-22-14: The surprising Flames are now 4-3-1 on the year, despite playing a six-game road trip. They got a 49-save performance from Jonas Hiller in a 2-1 win over Chicago last Wednesday. They dropped a 2-1 overtime game to Tampa on Tuesday. How long this will last remains to be seen? One thing is, they're being out-possessed every game, and their goaltending has bailed them out in every game thus far.
10-15-14: Jonas Hiller is 0-2 with a 3.54 GAA. That’s all you need to say about the Flames. They did pick up a quality shootout win over Nashville, but backup Karri Ramo was in net. Even in their 5-2 win over the Oilers, the Flames didn't look really good. Calgary’s top nine forwards appear to have potential. Overall, the Flames are off to an up-and-down start. I would expect that pattern to be repeated throughout the season.
10-10-14: Fans in Calgary are excited the Flames’ high-energy roster -- a squad that balances young talent with veteran skaters on the wings. Johnny Gaudreau, the highly touted Boston College product, is poised to play his first full NHL season. He’ll join the youthful Sean Monahan, who’s coming off a strong rookie campaign, and Sam Bennett, who the Flames took fourth overall in last year’s draft. In net, Jonas Hiller was brought in from Anaheim to provide back-end stability that the Flames haven’t had since Miikka Kiprusoff departed.
Though Sidney Crosby returned in 2013 to play a full season (one in which he handedly won the scoring title), the Pens embarrassingly lost to the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, infamously blowing a 3-1 series lead. The team attempted to excise part of the stain in the offseason by firing head coach Dan Bylsma and GM Ray Shero. New coach Mike Johnston comes from the WHL and has plenty of star power to play with.
Flames tickets to the February matchup against the Penguins have an average price of $380.22,, with a get-in price of $82.
4-14-14: An impressive run of four consecutive wins came to an end this past week, as a hard-working Calgary team dropped its final two contests. They allowed a combined 10 goals in those games. Good news for Flames’ fans is that they will have a high draft pick and Hobey Baker Award winner and former Boston College standout Johnny Gaudreau scored his first NHL goal this past Sunday.
4-7-14: The Flames have been pretty good since they were officially eliminated from making the playoffs. They took two out of three games this past week and are 17-11-1 in their last 29 games yet are still 27th in the league standings. That 27th mark will mean an excellent position come draft day. The Flames need to draft a dynamic scoring forward who can step in right away and play. Local kid Sam Reinhart may fit the bill, or German import Leon Draisaitl could work as well.
3-31-14: The Flames signed Quinnipiac’s Bryce Van Brabant this past weekend. Van Brabant is 6’2 195 pounds. He scored 15 goals and had 22 points and 113 penalty minutes this season. Prospect Johnny Gaudreau is a candidate for the Hobey Baker award and goalie prospect Jon Gillies played well for Providence College this season. Calgary, like many teams, should be looking forward to the NHL draft this June.
3-25-14: The Flames went 2-1 this past week and are 4-2 in their past six games played. It’s a pretty good finish for a team that should be losing in my opinion in order to help its draft lottery standing. However, it’s been a while since anything was done the right way in Calgary. I would say their future is brighter than those of their provincial rivals in Edmonton. Calgary is still 3-4 years away from contention.
3-17-14: The Flames show a ton of heart and are tough to play against, but they are still a bad team overall. That's something you can be proud of for this year, but if they don’t improve next season, that fine folks in Calgary will get restless. The Flames will most likely select in the top five of the draft and be able to pick a top player. They have been crippled with injuries including nine players right now.
3-10-14: With two wins this past week, the Flames are winners of three of their last four games played. Their record may be atrocious, but Calgary has more fight than any of the teams behind them on this list. The Flames are a tough team to play against. They scrap and battle every game they play in no matter how far out of the playoffs they are. They did trade goalie Reto Berra to Colorado for a second round pick and Lee Stempniak to Pittsburgh for picks.
3-3-14: Sean Monahan scored exactly 100 percent of the Flames’ goals in the two games since the break. He had two in a 2-1 overtime win against the Oilers last Saturday after no one scored two days earlier against the Kings. The Flames know they aren’t going anywhere and are just looking forward to the draft. As far as trades are concerned, Mike Cammalleri could be moved to a contender looking for offensive production on the wing.
2-10-14: The Flames have dropped two out of three games they played this past week after winning five in a row. Rookie Sean Monahan has three goals and two assists in his past 12 games. It’s another lost season in Calgary and one can imagine fans are getting frustrated. The Flames have one of the weakest prospect corps in the entire NHL besides BC product Johnny Gaudreau, so their potential top five selection in June will be welcomed.
2-3-14: The Flames have won five straight games, and it is an even more remarkable run given what went before. Before their current stretch of wins, the Flames had lost 12 of its previous 15 games. While the season maybe a lost in Calgary, their fans do have some hope for the future. Sean Monahan showed this year that he can score at the NHL level. Prospect Johnny Gaudreau leads all of college hockey in scoring, plus the Flames will have a lottery pick come June.
1-27-14: The Flames won two straight games to close out last week after losing four in a row and seven of their last eight. Calgary is a flat out bad hockey team that will be in the hunt for a chance at the first pick in the 2014 draft. Mike Cammalleri could be a candidate to be moved at the trade deadline. David Jones had two goals in a 5-4 win against the Predators this past Friday.
1-20-14: The Flames have one win in their last seven games, two in their last 12 and three in their last 17. Calgary may vie for the first overall pick. Buffalo has improved of late and sits six points back of the Flames. Calgary is only three points up on the Oilers. Jiri Hudler has 39 points and an even rating in 49 games. Defenseman Kris Russell, has 16 points and a plus-one rating despite logging almost 24:00 minutes per game for one of the worst teams in the NHL.
1-13-14: Sadness and despair continue to be the theme in Calgary. In their past 13 games, the Flames are 2-9-2. They have lost three straight and seven of their last eight games. The Flames, along with Buffalo and Edmonton, will be in contention for last place in the league standings and have a great chance for the first overall pick in the 2014 draft. Sean Monahan had six goals and three assists in his first eight games. In his past 30 games, the 19-year-old has six goals and three assists.
1-7-14: Calgary not won a game in regulation going back to December 4, and have lost four games in a row. The Edmonton Oilers were all alone at the bottom of the Western Conference, but the Flames' free fall has them 13th. Sean Monahan scored a goal against the Flyers on December 31, which was his only point in the last eight games. Since scoring six goals and nine points in his first eight games with the Flames, Monahan has only five goals and eight points in his last 26 contests.
12-30-13: Calgary defenseman Dennis Wideman returned to practice last week since breaking his hand. Wideman had missed the previous 14 games and is slated to return to the lineup soon. Flames fans should be excited for the WJC as well. Team USA goalie Jon Gillies is a Flames prospect and is widely considered as the best goaltender is all of college hockey. Gillies stars at Providence College where he is 10-1-3 on the year with a 1.88 GAA.
12-23-13: The Flames started off the month of December two narrow overtime wins. That momentum has now evaporated, with Calgary dropping the last four games of a five game Eastern Conference road swing. The Flames are 13 points behind for the final playoff spot in the West. A strong December from Karri Ramo (3-2-2, .922 save percentage) has been a big reason for the Flames success this month. He’s Calgary’s only goalie with a save percentage above .900 (.904) on the season.
12-16-13:Calgary has won three out of five games, all ironically in overtime by scores of 2-1. After a 4-3 shootout loss to the Rangers on this past Sunday, the Flames are 2-0-1 since firing general manager Jay Feaster after less than three years at the helm. Where Calgary goes for their next GM will be interesting to watch. Many have speculated that former Flame Joe Nieuwendyk could end up back in Calgary as GM. Only time will tell I guess.
12-9-13: The Flames won two out of three games last week, defeating a tired Coyotes club and the Oilers in overtime. Their only blemish was a loss to the Avalanche. The Flames struggle to find a goalie continues. Karri Ramo and Reto Berra have both split time in net this season, but neither has managed to provide the team with any real stable presence between the pipes. Both Ramo and Berra are below the .900 save percentage mark.
12-2-13: The Flames had a pretty tough schedule this past week. They hosted the Blackhawks, and then headed out on the road to take on Anaheim and Los Angeles. Calgary came away with a single win, dropping to the Kings, and finished the week with a 1-2-0 record. Jiri Hudler continues to surprise in Calgary. The long-time Red Wing has topped 50 points only once in his seven year NHL career. Hudler already has 23 points in 26 games. That's a 73-point pace over a full year.
11-25-13: Calgary had a good week going 2-1 overall, picking up wins over Winnipeg and Florida. Their lone blemish came to the hands of the Blue Jackets. Sean Monahan scored the game winner in the shootout over the Panthers last Friday. For Monahan, that was the second time he’s scored the shootout winner for the week. He previously scored the shootout winner in last Monday’s contest against the Jets.
11-18-13: It was less than stellar week for the Calgary Flames. They managed to salvage one point in an overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks. The Flames lost 7-3 to Dallas last Thursday and followed that up by losing 4-2 to the pitiful Edmonton Oilers. Interesting to note that Calgary has the fewest faceoff wins of any NHL squad. Calgary has won just 44.9 percent of their draws this season. That’s certainly not good. Matt Stajan is the only Flames player over 50% from the dots. He’s clicking at 51.1%.
11-12-13: Hey remember when the Flames were red hot (no pun intended) to start off the year? Yeah, well they have cooled off as Calgary has only one win in their last nine games. The Flames had three road games this past week in which they dropped all three games and lost by a combined score of 12-5. Sean Monahan has struggled since the Flames decided to keep him with the big club instead of shipping him back to junior. In his last eight games, Monahan has three points and is a minus-4.
11-5-13: Slowly but surely the Flames are emerging as that team out West that you can’t overlook or take for granted. They only had one win last week but it was an impressive one defeating the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks. Joey MacDonald hasn’t been cutting it for Bob Hartley in net so they turned to 26-year old Swiss-born Reto Berra Sunday against Chicago. Berra was named first star of the game and turned aside 42-of-44 shots in the 3-2 overtime win.
10-29-13: The Flames had a tough week playing four games, including three road games against their Pacific Division rivals. They came out pretty good with a 2-2 record overall. They beat the Kings in Los Angeles and dismantled the Capitals at home. Jiri Hudler is Calgary’s leading scorer with 13 points through 11 games. His 27.8 shooting percentage is almost double his career high. The Calgary brass decided to keep rookie Sean Monahan on the Flames roster instead of shipping back to his junior squad in the OHL. Smart move!
10-21-13: This is the Calgary Flames we all thought they would be. After starting off the season as one of the leagues’ surprise teams, the Flames have cooled off. (No pun intended). This team needs to score lots of goals to win hockey games. Credit should go to guys like Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler, Lee Stempniak, Mark Giordano, and Curtis Glencross who drive the offense. Starting goalie Joey MacDonald has a .891 save percentage. That says it all right there for the Flames.
10-14-13: Picked by many to finish dead last in the NHL this year, the 3-0-2 Flames have been a pleasant surprise thus far. Their 3-2 win over New Jersey last Saturday set a franchise record for most consecutive games with a point to start the season. Sean Monhan’s four goals are second best among all rookie players and Flames are averaging 3.60 goals per game, which is good for fourth overall in the NHL. Their defense still needs work to do sitting in the bottom half of the league on the penalty kill and goals against.
10-7-13: Picked by many to finish dead last in the NHL this season, Calgary is giving their fans plenty to cheer about. They have scored an astounding 12 times in their first three games. However, they have given up 13, including blowing huge leads twice and an overtime loss. Rookie Sean Monahan has been impressive.
9-4-13: The absence of Jarome Iginla is now an afterthought and the future state of the Calgary Flames may seem dismal, but in reality, their candle is burning brighter.
Young talent such as defenseman David Jones, forward Shane O’Brien, Tj Brodie and Sven Baertschi, a speedy left wing, will be able to establish identities born from pressure much like their brother to east, the Edmonton Oilers. Mikka Kiprusoff is no longer a distraction and goaltender, Kari Ramo seems poised to be number one. Ramo returns to the NHL after playing in Russian for four seasons posting a GAA of less than 2.11.
This will be a difficult season for the Flames but with so many youngsters with so much to prove, hitting the ice every night, the Flames are poised to play spoiler all season long.
8-3-13: The Flames have signed 23-year-old defenseman T.J. Brodie to a two-year, $2.125M deal.
Flames 2013 NHL Draft Summary
Pick #6: Sean Monahan, C
Pick #22: Emile Poirier, LW
Pick #28: Morgan Klimchuk, LW
Pick #67: Keegan Kanzig, D
Pick #135: Eric Roy, D
Pick #157: Tim Harrison, RW
Pick #187: Rushan Rafikov, D
Pick #198: John Gilmour, D