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.
- Full Article –

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 –

Game Takes: Hawks 4 Flames 3

November 21st, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

Only the late Harry Houdini could boast the ability of getting himself in serious trouble again and again yet finding a way out. The Flames this season have used the third period to come back on numerous opponents, defying logic and the odds over and over.

Earlier this week the Flames were impressive in erasing two melancholy periods to beat the Ducks, but tonight it was Chicago scoring the only goal in the third period to snap the Flames streak. The Flames likely deserved better in the contest, a 4-3 setback, but then had no business being in the game on Tuesday. These things even out! - Full Article –

Game Takes: Flames 4 Ducks 3 (SO)

November 19th, 2014 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

An audible click click click of the same laptop key getting hammered over and over again could be heard from press row. The DELETE button on a game story of the upstart Flames getting taken to the woodshed by a true NHL contender was written by every beat reporter after the second period. The third, a frame to relax, tweak the odd game star selection and wait to hit send once a quote or two was added after the game.

Instead the upstart Flames continue to push up, coming from behind in dramatic fashion to shock the Anaheim Ducks with a 4-3 shoot out victory at the Saddledome. If this game was to diminish expectations, or prove sustainability to the Calgary market it failed miserably in its quest. - Full Article –

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