Kukla's Korner Hockey
Calgary, AB – The Calgary Flames announced today that they have signed head coach Bob Hartley to a multi-year contract extension.
Hartley was originally named head coach of the Flames on May 31, 2012. He has guided the Flames to a 71-79-13 record during the past three seasons and earned his 400th career win on December 4th, 2014 over Colorado. The Flames currently hold a 17-14-2 record for 36 points and are 5th place in the Pacific Division, 9th in the Western Conference and 15th overall in League standings.
In startling the hockey world through the first 25 games, these Flames provided themselves enough cushion in the standings to at least partially withstand a tailspin of these dimensions and built up a tonne of good will.
But they need to end this swoon. Or else.
-George Johnson of the Calgary Herald on the Calgary Flames. More from Johnson on the Flames and their six game losing streak.
George Stroumboulopoulos sits down with Toronto’s Larry Tanenbaum, Boston’s Jeremy Jacobs and Calgary’s Murray Edwards to discuss the perks and issues of owning a hockey franchise.
Part two and three of the video can be viewed at Sportsnet.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
So, is this it? Is the moment when water reaches its level in Calgary and the dream becomes the nightmare many folks believed this season would be?
The Flames, one of the pleasant surprises of this season through the first quarter, were dumped 4-3 by Buffalo on Thursday night, blowing a 3-2 third period lead along the way. Netminder Karri Ramo, a workhorse of late for the Flames, allowed four goals on just 19 shots while the Flames could only solve Jhonas Enroth three times despite launching 45 shots on net.
The loss was the third in a row for the Flames, their worst streak of the season. The Flames are in a stretch where they play six of eight on the road and are in Pittsburgh on Friday and Chicago on Sunday. So far, the Flames have always rebounded from whatever slight bumps in the road they have encountered. Now we'll find out if their reality is about to change.
more topics from the games last night by the ESPN hockey writers...
from Damien Cox of Sportsnet,
The Flames are stunning the hockey industry with their strong season, and today team president Brian Burke made it clear the team is more than willing to start spending some of the more than $19 million in available cap space to make the team even more of a playoff threat.
"You can quote me on this. We are budgeted as a full cap team," said Burke today at the conclusion of the NHL’s board of governors meetings.
"The only reason we haven’t been a cap team so far is we haven’t seen the value. But the second we do, (general manager) Brad Treliving is authorized to go right to the cap."
Right now, the Flames are 29th in NHL payrolls at about $50 million. The room they have could translate into contracts worth tens of millions by the March deadline if they choose to spend it.
It sort of looks good on Mr. Hartley who notched his 400th NHL win.
Below, watch the highlights of another Calgary come from behind win, the time against the Colorado Avalanche.
Much like the Leafs’ early success last season, Calgary’s start this year is smoke and mirrors.
Perception is a funny thing. Many journalists (and coaches and fans) have a hard time separating results from actual performance, probably because they don’t realize just how big a role randomness/luck plays over a 20 (or 40 or even 80) game span.
Hockey analytics can go a long way toward explaining what’s going on by providing substance and insight that aren’t limited to clichés.
-IJay Palansky at the Toronto Star on the Calgary Flames. Read on to find out why.
Note- NSFW language...
The Calgary Flames won again last night, a 3-0 victory over Arizona.
Calgary is15-8-2 and in a battle with Vancouver and Anaheim for first in the Pacific Division.
Here is Bob Hartley post-game talking about his team.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Starting the season, oddsmakers had the Flames as the longest of long shots – 100 to 1 or more – to win the Stanley Cup. Recently, they’ve been upgraded to 40 to 1. Now, at the very least, they have played themselves into the mix.
Year over year, the biggest difference this season is the work ethic the Flames became known for a year ago has been translated into points in the standings. The reality is, there’s a lot of hockey left to play and early enthusiasm can easily fade in the grind of the regular season and before the adrenalin rush of the playoff race licks in.
It is one reason why coach Bob Hartley divides the season into a series of seven-game segments, mimicking a playoff series.
“Internally, we have that seven-game mindset, and we really believe in that and follow that,” defenceman Mark Giordano said. “We’re in a good spot. We’re over .500. It’s still early. There’s still a lot of time to go both ways, so we have to make sure we maintain a good mindset. If we lose one, we try to bounce right back.
“But when you get this confidence that we have going right now, I think it’s really important to pile up as many points as possible to get yourselves right in that hunt – and then stay in it for as long as possible.”
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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