Kukla's Korner Hockey
Gary Bettman spoke with Roger Millions about building a new arena in Calgary, and why it’s important for the city and the Flames.
How does the mayor of Calgary feel?
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
This season’s trade deadline is a rarity, coming on Feb. 29.
That leaves slightly more than seven weeks to make a deal, but uncertain is what kind of deals the Flames will make.
The list of pending unrestricted free-agents consists of goalies Ramo and Hiller, defenceman Kris Russell and forwards Jiri Hudler and David Jones.
Even if they are in a playoff spot come the end of February, the Flames will very likely look to move at least a couple of those players at that time. Maybe almost all of them.
At the same time, rest assured the club will be looking to bring in players as they try to add more young players and prospects amidst the rebuild.
They were very interested in Ryan Johansen before he was traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets to the Nashville Predators and rest assured GM Brad Treliving knows what Tampa Bay Lightning GM Steve Yzerman wants for Jonathan Drouin.
Regardless of whether they’re in a playoff spot, the Flames will be an interesting follow at the deadline.
more on the Flames at the half way point of the NHL season...
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Growing up in Salem, N.J., Johnny Gaudreau had access to ice time constantly, because his dad, Guy, operated the local rink. Summers, when regular hockey was over, there was the option of playing in three-on-three leagues.
“And I was on three or four different teams,” reported Gaudreau, the Calgary Flames’ second-year scoring star. “In the summer, I loved playing three-on-three. I played a lot when I was younger, growing up.”
In a year when the rest of the NHL is trying to figure out three-on-three, Gaudreau has it nailed. The Flames are 8-1 in overtime, and Gaudreau – a.k.a. Johnny Hockey – has been in on seven of the game winners (three goals, four assists), one of the primary reasons his team is back in the playoff hunt after a slow start.
Gaudreau, a finalist for the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year last season, has not skipped a beat in his second year. At the NHL’s Christmas break, he was seventh in the NHL scoring race, with 15 goals and 22 assists in 34 games. He scored a hat trick in the final game before the holidays, with his brother Matt in the stands watching, leading Calgary to its 10th consecutive home-ice victory to tie a franchise record set in 2006.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
When the dust settled on the affair at the Joe Louis Arena, the Flames won a paltry 15 of 55 faceoffs — a mere 29%.
Mikael Backlund won six of 17 draws, while Sean Monahan won only three of 19. It’s not a good sign when your two most active centres can’t gain possession of the puck.
“Faceoffs are basically a one-on-one battle with support crew around,” said head coach Bob Hartley, who wouldn’t mince words on the subject. “We don’t have really good numbers on faceoffs, it’s not a secret, but tonight they gave us quite a spanking.”
That lack of success is costing the Flames with their NHL-worst powerplay. Think of how often they start the man-advantage in the opposition zone, only to be forced to retreat to their end to get a puck fired down the ice and losing valuable seconds.
It has been costing them with their bottom-feeding penalty-kill, ruining a chance to burn opposition powerplay time right off the hope.
from the Calgary Flames,
Hey Brian, lifelong Flames fan here. Just wondering how you find the Calgary media as opposed to the Toronto media?
I’d say the two biggest differences are the Toronto media, they’re like Lemmings – there’s masses of them everywhere.
Everywhere where you turn there’s someone there with a recording device. The players are forced to deal with a huge quantity that gets tiresome, frankly. There will be 100 media in the room after a game and here there might be 40 and in Anaheim there might be 20 or 15. The number one thing is the volume, there’s a crush of them everywhere. Number two is, of course, in a 5-million market compared to a 1.2-million or whatever we are. The social media component is huge. If a player stops at a bar to have one beer, someone’s going to tweet that he had four. Or if he’s talking to a woman. Social media, if you add that to the media thing, is a crushing burden. Second is the attitude. I’ve said this before so this isn’t a revelation, I think in Toronto they breed on the misery of the team. When the team does poorly then love it and love to pick up rocks and throw them.
I think here the media have been fair. I think they’d like us to do well but they’re not cheerleaders and I think they’ve been fair.
more Q & A for Brian Burke...
from Kristen Odland of the Calgary Herald,
The Calgary Flames, one of the best overtime clubs in the National Hockey League, had 10 wins heading into their game against the San Jose Sharks.
And only three of them were completed in the traditional 60 minutes.
So, when the home team calmly went up 4-2 in the second period and held onto the lead until the final buzzer, the head coach welcomed the change.
“When I used to work in the (windshield) plant, I liked overtime because it meant time-and-a-half,” Bob Hartley said. “Over here, wins in regulation are a little easier on the coaches and the general managers.”
And, to boot, the Flames captured their seventh-straight victory on home ice with goals from Markus Granlund, Sean Monahan, Micheal Frolik, and Mikael Backlund.
In fact, it’s their longest home-ice spree since they prevailed in eight in a row, Feb. 23 to March 27, 2013. It’s also the first time that Calgary (11-14-2) has strung together a three-game win streak this season.
“I don’t know about relief,” said Flames captain Mark Giordano who, in one of his finest games of the season, logged 28:17 of ice time and had two assists. “We’ve been feeling good about ourselves here over the last little bit. The way we won those last two (against Boston and Dallas) did a lot for our team.
from Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe,
The last time the Bruins were in Calgary, the Flames scored with 2.4 seconds remaining in overtime. This time, they scored with 1.2 remaining in regulation, Jiri Hudler knocking a puck behind Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the midst of a scrum around the net to send the game to overtime.
And that was where Johnny Gaudreau scored his third goal of the game from — who else? — former Bruins defenseman Dougie Hamilton to give the Flames a 5-4 win with 1:40 left.
But even getting there was a bit of craziness in itself.
“That’s not our hockey,” Rask said. “It’s fun to watch. That’s happened a couple times this year, I think. It’s fun to watch, but a lot of times when we play that way, we’re not going to win the game. Have to be better at that. Just disappointing that we had the win, but then again, last-second goal like that should have never happened. It [stinks].”
Game highlights are below...
"We just stopped playing hockey. We knew they were a desperate hockey team, and it was a pretty embarrassing loss.
-Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars after blowing a 3 goal lead and losing 4-3 to the Calgary Flames in a shootout. Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News has more.
from Randy Sportak of the Calgary Sun,
The thrilling comebacks, the surprise playoff berth, complete with a trip to the second round of the Stanley Cup tournament after upsetting the rival Vancouver Canucks and high hopes looking forward sure seems like a distant memory these days, doesn't it?
Or a mirage.
It sure isn't anything like the Flames team we've watched this season through more than one-quarter of the season, floundering, stumbling and mired at the bottom of the NHL standings alongside the Edmonton Oilers.
(So much for that 'Battle of Alberta has returned' storyline, eh?)
But reality is setting into the Saddledome as the Flames return from yet another dismal road swing, which started with a whipping at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks and ended with a thrashing at the hands of the San Jose Sharks.
Those very early-season struggles weren't just a poor start from a team which would eventually rebottle the lightning of a year ago. After the first two months of the campaign, it's obvious the Flames are not a good team, and look nothing like a playoff squad.
Just think of the differences, team-wide and individually.
from Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun,
As a team shopping perhaps the most desirable trade bait in the NHL, it’s no surprise the New York Islanders asked the Calgary Flames for T.J. Brodie in exchange for Travis Hamonic.
However, a far more interesting question thrown Calgary’s way makes for a delicious debate amongst Flames fans.
A source close to the team told the Calgary Sun that Islanders GM Garth Snow also inquired about the services of Flames newcomer Dougie Hamilton as part of a trade for Hamonic....
For the record, the Flames aren’t.
Very few front office-types believe the Isles will find a suitor anytime soon as the asking price for Hamonic is sky high -- as it should be for a highly sought-after commodity who shoots from the right side, eats up 23-plus minutes nightly, relishes the physicality of the sport and is proficient at both ends of the ice.
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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