Calgary Flames Burning Bright In Western Conference


What to think of the Buffalo Sabres next opponent, the Calgary Flames.  After last season, it appeared that the Calgary Flames were on the verge of a burnout, an organizational overall after the team failed to make the playoffs again for the sixth straight year.

At the beginning of this season, the team wasn’t supposed to be much better than the teams battling it out for position in the NHL Entry Draft Lottery.  Either unfortunately for the Flames, or fortunately – in how you want to look at it.

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Updates from Conroy: UFAs, main camp, captaincy, goaltending, prospects
Updates from Conroy: UFAs, main camp, captaincy, goaltending, prospects /

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  • Where has the success come from?  The Calgary Flames has built a team that won’t quit, and part of that success centers on the long road to the NHL taken by Mark Giordano, from Russia with Love.  Girodano is one case where the KHL could benefit the National Hockey League – possibly a step above the American Hockey League level (at least in terms of players eyes and pockets).  Giordano went from a fringe player on the bubble of the National Hockey League, to representing the Calgary Flames in the All-Star game.

    And for the Calgary Flames, the success they are seeing this year doesn’t appear to be a flame-out, with key prospects performing well on the farm, to include appearances at the AHL All Star game.  Calgary fans have to be excited about the prospect of having Emile Poirier in the system.

    If there was a question about the short term success surrounding the Calgary Flames, it might be in net.  The Flames aren’t going with one goaltender who gets occasional relief from the backup.  The Flames are prepared to test the post season waters with a two goalie system.  He who wins keeps the job until he loses.  Can the Flames end the playoff drought with that thought process?

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    As of right now it is working for them, but there is a lot of hockey left to be played.  Currently the Flames hold down the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, just one point ahead of the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings.  The Flames also have to worry about the Colorado Avalanche, who could turn things around and catch the wild card race as well.

    As long as the Flames keep looking forward in the standings, they might not have to worry about the teams nipping at their heels.  As close as they are to falling out of the wild card spot, they are just as close to jumping into the top three in their division.  While it is unlikely they will supplant Anaheim as Pacific Division leaders, the Vancouver Canucks and San Jose Sharks are close enough for kill shots.

    Next: Sabres Weekly Preview/Predictions