January 04 2017 02:00PM
Since the implementation of Paul Jerrard's more opportunistic, aggressive penalty kill we've started seeing a steady rise from among the league's worst to about middle of the pack, which is a positive trend given how often this Calgary Flames team is penalized. It's not perfect by any stretch of the means, but it's on a good trajectory.
One major opportunity exists: elevating the second penalty kill unit to a higher level. To do that, it should include Sam Bennett as a near permanent fixture in place of Matt Stajan.
December 18 2016 08:00AM
Everyone should love the 3M line. If you don't, which would be a confusing thought, then I can only assume something happened in your life that prevents you from ever loving anything again. Teams hate playing against them being they are a combination of physicality (thank you Matthew Tkachuk) and two-way prowess anchored by Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik.
They're a line that the Calgary Flames have desperately needed for several seasons because they do exactly what you need them to do in this current era of the NHL: they drive play and they find ways to suppress the opposition.
December 09 2016 10:00AM
The game that we all love very much is very much a results based business. The window of opportunity for teams, players, coaches, and management is so finite now that maximizing your window by any means should be key. The problem - among other things - is the salary cap situation for this Calgary Flames team and maximizing results from players before they become a sunk cost.
A portion of that salary cap problem comes from pre-existing contracts that are hurting the team, one of which is Lance Bouma's contract. Between consistency, health, and on-ice results it's proving to be quite the disastrous use of money.
Let's not mince words here: if there was an opportunity to move on, it would be best to act on it.
October 14 2016 09:00AM
One of the few positives to exist in the first game of the regular season was the improved special teams, specifically the Calgary Flames' penalty kill. This season is significant, with hopes of the team finding success after last season's fraudulent excuse for a PK.
On Wednesday night we caught a glimpse into what Paul Jerrard was preaching throughout training camp and the preseason: an aggressive, intelligent penalty kill that is opportunistic in every sense of the word.
September 14 2016 02:00PM
It's September, the World Cup of Hockey tournament is about to start for real, and the Calgary Flames still have to sign Johnny Gaudreau. But an underlying and rather valuable asset remains unsigned as well: Jakub Nakladal.
After his well above-average showing to close out last season, the Czech blueliner is among a small contingent of capable NHLers who may warrant a PTO or a contract - whether it's in the NHL or overseas - that can help improve a team immediately.