The Calgary Ava-Leafs?

December 1st, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The buzzer sounds, and the Flames; all smiles, make their way to the dressing room in Arizona, fresh off a 3-0 victory and a four point, three game road trip.

PGA golfer Graham Delaet joins them soon after, cladded in head to toe Flames gear as Iphones flash catching the Saskatchewan native with his favourite Flames players.

Bob Hartley, the proud papa, talks to the CBC about the Flames work ethic, and how the world may be over looking the skill the team has amassed to go along with the elbow grease, and never say die attitude.

Back in Toronto, the on air desk guys suddenly realizing their extra time from a rapid game in the desert turn to the Flames as the topic, with Hrudey, Kypreos, and Elliot Friedman all gushing about the team speed, the goaltending, the defensive all star duo, and the fact the Flames are fun to watch.

A quick look at the advanced stats however tell a different tale, the Flames were on the wrong side of the advanced stat bottom line with a game corsi% rating of 45.2%. Two nights earlier, and impressive track meet of a game in San Jose had the club post a Corsi% number at a measly 37.9%.
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Game Takes: Flames 3 Coyotes 0

November 30th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

The pinch me moments just keep piling up for a crew that most had sitting near the bottom for the duration of the season.

A big win in San José followed by yet another shut out victory, this time 3-0 in Phoenix, the Flames showed how quick and how skilled they’ve become as there was never really any doubt in this one.

As I said earlier this week, Calgary fans should put aside some beer money for playoff tickets. - Full Article –

The Turkey Day Bubble

November 28th, 2014 | Posted in Commentary | By: D'Arcy McGrath

They did it.

The Calgary Flames managed to secure a NHL playoff spot by American Thanksgiving. What does that get you? Absolutely nothing of course, as they still have more than 70% of their schedule still left to play. It does however, create a great discussion given the history of this magical date.

The history of the turkey line comes from a notion by Red Wing’s GM Kenny Holland;

The Hockey News December 2013
Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland has long contended that when it comes to making the playoffs, things are pretty much decided by the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, which gives a new meaning to Black Friday if you’re on the outside looking in.

And if history is any indication, Holland is about three-quarters correct. Over the past 10 seasons there have been 160 playoff spots up for grabs. Of the 160 teams that have held down a playoff spot after the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend, 41 of them have finished the season out of the playoff picture. (We obviously didn’t include last season because the battle between the billionaires and the millionaires prevented us from having any NHL hockey until January.)

As a web site owner I’ve been projecting this article on this date for the better part of a month. My hope was the Flames would squeak into the 8th spot at Thanksgiving creating the debate about teams and the likelihood of holding down a spot in each Conference. Media in other markets would have been sure to point at the Flames as the team most likely to fall out (the 25%), and fans in Calgary thinking things too good to be true, would likely have thought the same.
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Game Takes: Flames 2 Sharks 0

November 27th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Some game stories almost right themselves. They contain many themes, easy openings, and little difficult in putting pen to summarizing the game’s events.

Tonight you have Jiri Hudler and two goals, for ten on the season. Then you have the back to back games meaning little to the upstart Flames as they run their record to 9-0-1 after losing a game this season.

However I’m going with the US Thanksgiving. Ken Holland has always contended that things are pretty much decided by American Thanksgiving. When the Flames had a hot start I kept eyeing that November 27th date and wondering where the Flames would sit when their game in San José came to a close. Well tonight’s 2-0 victory gives the club 30 points in 24 games, a divisional playoff spot, and a six point bulge on the best of the trialling teams. Guarantee of playoff action? Of course not, but boy do we have a story unfolding in Calgary. - Full Article –

Game Takes: Ducks 3 Flames 2

November 25th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Back in the day it was Buffalo where the Flames never won, making we wonder if they should just skip trips into upper New York, I mean who wants to go to Buffalo?

Today’s Flames will make the trip, as the players circle trips to California but tonight was the 19th straight time the Flames found a way to come up empty, this time a come from behind (almost) 3-2 loss in Anaheim to the Ducks.

The game left one feeling pretty positive given the push through out the game, putting aside my fears that the team was slipping with some spotty play in the last three home games. - Full Article –

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