The Flames' top 5 bright spots

Kent Wilson
November 18 2016 08:00AM

It's been a bad start to the Flames 2016-17 season. Actually, that's an understatement - it's been a terrible, nightmarish start to the season. The special teams are still awful, the goaltending is still underwhelming and all the stars have struggled in unison. Calgary is only a few places out of last place because they've played more games than most everyone else.

So it's been rough.

But it hasn't been all bad. In fact, the terrible record is actually overshadowing some pleasant surprises and enduring bright spots that have managed pop up through the gloom so far. 

So without further adieu here's the five best things about the Flames year so far.

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A look at the Flames' penalty problems

Kent Wilson
November 01 2016 10:00AM

For the past two years, the Calgary Flames were one of the least penalized teams in the league. In 2014-15, they were shorthanded a league low 186 times (one of the many reasons they were able to make the playoffs that year). Last year, they gave up just 233 power plays, good for fifth best in the NHL. 

This season has not started off on the same foot, however. Calgary has already been shorthanded 43 times in just 10 games, the second most in the NHL. That rate comes out to over four PKs per game and projects to a total of 353 (!!) over the course of the season. To put that in perspective, the Arizona Coyotes gave up a league worst 304 PPs last year.

To understand what's going on I took a look at who is taking penalties and how it relates to the club's rates from last year. 

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Should the Flames sign any of their PTOs?

Kent Wilson
October 05 2016 08:00AM

Training camp is nearing its end and the Calgary Flames still have three players hanging around on professional tryouts: Chris Higgins, Lauri Korpikosi and Nicklas Grossmann. It could be that these guys are just extra bodies to fill the veteran quota for the last two exhibition games - or it could be that the club is actually considering keeping one of them around.

Let's not bury the lede here. No, the Flames shouldn't sign any of their PTOs. The club's cap situation is precarious as things stand, and none of the players offer anything that can't be found elsewhere for nothing. 

Shorter version: they're all pretty lousy. 

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Grit, Stats and Draft Choices - An Interview With Doug MacLean

Kent Wilson
September 30 2016 02:46PM

FlamesNation reader Cory S had an opportunity to sit down with former GM and Sportsnet analyst Doug MacLean this summer and he was kind enough to share the transcript with us. 

The interview includes a wide variety of topics, including MacLean's start in the NHL, his experiences in Columbus and his take on things like analytics, the relationship between coaches and GM's and the Flames negotiations with Johnny Gaudreau.

Enjoy!

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WCOH Game 9: NORTH AMERICA VS SWEDEN

Kent Wilson
September 21 2016 09:52AM

swena

Team North America lost a heartbreaker to Russia in their previous game, completely outshooting and outchancing Ovechkin and pals in the final frame only to come up one goal short. The upstart young stars team has been full value so far this tournament, providing entertaining, high-octane hockey that puts their opponents on their heels. 

The kids face a stiff test in Team Sweden today, however. The Swede's roster is filled with NHL stars, both of the grizzled vet and young star variety. Sweden's blueline is especially imposing, featuring Erik Karlsson, Hampus Lindholm, Victor Hedman, Oliver Ekman-Larrson and Anton Stralman. 

Team North America started to look like a Cinderella story in the making after an impressive start to the tournament. Can they get past Sweden today or does the fairy tale end?

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