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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What does Glen Gulutzan need to improve?

Kent Wilson
September 12 2016 08:00AM

A lot changed for the Calgary Flames this offseason, but there are two things that will determine if they really are a better team this year: goaltending and coaching.

The goaltending side is simple

The coaching side is a bit more complicated. New bench bosses Glen Gulutzan and Paul Jerrard have very clear areas of the game they need to improve in Bob Hartley's wake, including some individual tactics that were lacking under the previous regime. 

Here are the areas I'll be grading the new coaching staff on this year. 

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Flames best and worst line combos from 2015-16

Kent Wilson
September 06 2016 11:00AM

It's September, the time when hockey fans start to create depth charts and line combinations in earnest. 

Brad Treliving did some reconstructive surgery to the club's starboard side this year, so it's hard to predict just how the new forward units will shake out. A new coaching staff behind the bench adds another layer of unpredictability.

For now, all we can go on was what worked (and what didn't) last year. Former coach Bob Hartley cycled through a number of different alternatives up front in his quest to find chemistry. Some worked out well, others... not so much.

Here's a look at the Flames' three best and three worst line combos from last season.

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The Dennis Wideman Conundrum

Kent Wilson
August 29 2016 10:00AM

Glen Gulutzan has a handful of challenges ahead of him as the new Flames coach. 

Perhaps no single obstacle is as big as the bottom end of the Flames blueline rotation. Brad Treliving has so far been unable to clear out any of the clutter from positions 4-6 on the club's back-end, leaving his new bench boss with an unsightly mix of aging players who all have the same problem: they can't defend. 

To crystallize this problem further, we'll concentrate on Dennis Wideman. At $5.25M, Wideman is expensive. He still has some offensive chops, but his defensive game is rapidly swirling around the bowl. In the proper circumstances, Wideman could probably be an asset for at least one more year, but beyond that, you need two very obvious things: shelter at even strength and a partner who can do the defensive heavy lifting. 

The first is possible. The second is the problem. 

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