Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Calgary Flames: When the Dust Settles

The Calgary Flames: When the Dust Settles

When all the dust clears, what then?  First of all, let’s determine what the Flames accomplished.  Most insiders or so-called experts said the Flames would be in  on MacDavid sweepstakes. Not only were they out of the McDavid sweeps, they made it to the second round playoffs.   

What we know

Basically, Burke and Treliving have been to asked to ensure the Flames are a contender. In other words, the ownership has no desire to go back to the rebuild.   
They will be spending in the off season, but will do wisely.  

Because next season, the Flames will not catch anyone off guard. 

The NHL is is now aware of the Calgary Flames and how dangerous they will be.  The Flames will have to be more prepared next season.  Making it to the level will need to be a top priority. 

Goaltending

If the Flames have their way, there will be a new number one goalie  

At times, Hiller and Ramo were very good. In fact, they were putting the team on their shoulders. The problem is neither was consistent.  Too many times, the Flames were switching goalies, depending which one was hot. Ramo and Hiller were both subject to giving up weak goals.  This cannot be tolerated if the Flames are to make it to the next level. 

Defence

The Defence was the strength of the this team. I would rank our top four with any team in the League. The problem is, we have no depth for the fifth and sixth spots. When Gio went down, we were fine mostly because of Wideman, Brodie, and Russell. Those three had record-breaking ice time because Hartley had no confidence in the fifth and sixth paring. The Flames have to get more depth on the defensive blue line in the off season.   

The priority on the Flames this season will be to sign Gio. The next would be to add another steady dman. We must improve the depth. The Flames will address this issue in the off season.  

First line best in the NHL?

The last part of the season, Hudler,  Johnny Hockey, and Monahan formed one of the best lines in the League. They worked like a finely-tuned machine.  Gaudreau should win rookie of the year.  He  pretty much the saved the season in late December, scoring the trick in one of the miracle comebacks and beating the KIngs.  

Gaudreau has the tools to be a star for many years to to come. He often took this team on his shoulders and carried them. He was amazingly durable. Every time he got hit, he got up. He proved to be clutch player, often scoring the big goal when it was needed. 

Mr. Hudler had a  career year, leading the team on and off the ice. He had a career year with the Flames last season. Juri has matured into a leader and a sniper. He has grown in leaps and bounds since he has signed a free agent. 

Monahan has developed into one of the best young players in the League. I knew he was he was going to develop into a star; just not this quickly.   His thirty-one goals were top on the team, tied with Hudler. He was a force on the powerplay. Often when the team needed a huge powerplay goal and he got it. Ten of them.  He was used in all situations, including defending leads in the last minute. He was on the ice to help in defensive zone coverage and when the Flames need a goal. The only problem he needs to work on is his draws, but the as a whole, that is a Flames team problem. 

The final word

The transactions that I am predicting the Flames to be making in the off season: 
  • The Flames will add another blue liner. 
  • If they can they will find a new goalie, trading HIller. If they can, they will try to land a new goalie. 
  • They will try to add another top six forward. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mark Giordano Out 4 - 5 Months

The Calgary Flames have announced that Captain Mark Giordano is out for the remainder of the season with a torn bicep. Flames playoff hopes takes a big blow.

The news came down right after the Flames dealt Baertschi to Vancouver, as the trade deadline hit. Obviously Giordano requiring surgery and a four to five month recovery is big blow to him and the team. Giordano arguably was on his way to a Norris Trophy type season, and his team is eyeing a playoff spot. 
Once Mark Giordano has had his surgery and begins his recovery, I am sure he will find a way to help this team. By the looks of it Russell will try to help fill that leadership void, and Mark will be of great support to Kris in that scenario. 

US AGAINST THE WORLD

Sven Baertschi Traded

Calgary Flames have reportedly traded Swiss forward Sven Baertschi to the Vancouver Canucks. In return the Calgary Flames received a second round pick.

Baertschi has had a challenging time in Calgary and in the AHL. He was not a fit and seemed to have fallen out of favor with Hartley and Burke. The timing of the deal is confusing, you trade a skilled prospect to your division rival who you are competing for a playoff spot with. Perhaps Flames management felt this was as good of a return the Flames would get for the struggling prospect. But this one could haunt you in years to come.

The Flames now have three second round picks in this years draft, and potentially can draft 6 times in the first 90 selections in 2015. I believe Treliving will use these draft picks to help orchestrate deals at the draft.

Enjoy Vancouver? or Utica.
Flames Jambalaya is in no way, shape or form associated with the Calgary Flames Hockey Club or the AHL affiliate, the Abbotsford Heat. This is a fans blog for fans. We just happen to love the Flames, so we write about it.