February 23 2017 01:06PM
Photo Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin - USA TODAY Sports
The NHL added a new wrinkle to the schedule this season with the league mandated bye week. Each team gets one, granting the players respite from the rigours of an 82 game season if ever so briefly. The NHLPA secured the vacation time in exchange for agreeing to the three-on-three format in the NHL All-Star Game.
With five teams coming off their bye week this past weekend, the combined record is now 4-12-4. Teams playing in the first game out of their bye week are outscored 39-68 in their first game back.
February 23 2017 10:00AM
There's a minor problem with the Flames' minor prospects. The Stockton Heat just aren't winning games (although they did last night by a big margin, after this article was written).
That's putting it lightly, because they've only scored 15 goals in their last 10 games. That doesn't sound too bad, but 11 of those goals happened in only three of those games. They've been shut out four times in 2017 alone. The team that scored four or more goals in 12 games from October to December has only done that four times in January and February. They're below .500, near the bottom of their division despite an awesome start, and are probably not going to make the playoffs for the second year in a row. They stink.
The Flames have had a not great AHL team for a while now. The last time their AHL affiliate made the playoffs, it was 2013-14. This year is surprising however, as the team has not had major injury problems and the big team hasn't had to gut them for players. There's nothing to say except that they're bad.
It all raises an important question: why do they suck?
February 23 2017 09:44AM
(Photo credit: James Guillory/USA TODAY Sports)
On Thursday the Pittsburgh Penguins moved to shore up their blue line in preparation for another run at the Stanley Cup, cashing in a second-round pick for 35-year-old left-shot rearguard Ron Hainsey.
February 23 2017 07:00AM
This is a four-part series analyzing where each NHL teams stands heading into the trade deadline based on the context of each division, and the short- and long-term implications of buying or selling with the expansion draft around the corner.
The Metropolitan Division is stacked. At the time this article was written, four of the top five teams in the NHL standings were all from the Metro. The Pittsburgh Penguins look even better than they did when they won it all last year, and the Washington Capitals are gearing up for one final run with this group of players. The Columbus Blue Jackets have come out of nowhere, and the New York Rangers have enjoyed a renaissance. Even the bad teams in the Metro, the Islanders, Devils, Flyers, and Hurricanes aren't pushovers. So, what do you do in order to make yourself work your way out of this division come playoff time?
February 22 2017 02:00PM
Since Jiri Hudler in the 2014-15 season, the Flames have had a fair bit of trouble with finding a right winger to play with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan. Hudler was magic with the duo in the year the Flames went to the playoffs, but he fell off a cliff the following season, and then he was traded.
That line has had a mostly rotating cast since, with multiple other forwards getting the call and none of them really working out.
One of those guys was Micheal Ferland. In the 2015-16 season, he played 144:47 5v5 minutes with Gaudreau and Monahan. The line had a CF of 53.8%, but their GF was a mere 45.5%. They looked great, but they weren't really producing tangible results, things didn't stick, and the Flames had a miserable season, anyway.
Against the Predators the Flames continued to have a not-miserable if inconsistent season, kicked off with Ferland back on that line and scoring two goals to show for it.