The Flames are the talk of the season. Anyone not talking about the Flames is obviously not watching, or is no one we need to concern ourselves with. Seriously, who would have picked the Flames to be nine games above five hundred to start the season. Every time someone asks me how the Flames are doing it, I get tongue-tied. It is not just one thing. They are doing several things that seem be going right. In fact, I have a hard time holding it to five seven. These are in order of importance. Of course, you can disagree with me, but that just makes you wrong!
Bob is the best coach in the League. He knows how to motivate. Bob's strength is working with younger players. He knows how to teach. He has implemented the perfect system for the players. What is really important is that the players believe in the system. He has sold it to the players, and they continue to buy in.
Mark is probably the leading candidate for the Norris Trophy. He is a leader in the dressing room. He knows when to rush the puck, and he knows and when not to. He is on a career year in points. Right now he is heart and soul of the Flames.
Brodie is developing into a number two defencemen. Ever since he signed an extension, he has developed into the stud the Flames thought he would. He is playing like a vet in the League for years.
Wideman is outstanding. He is scoring goals at will. He has regenerated his career. He has become a powerplay specialist. He is doing everything right, and Flames are the sole beneficiaries.
Monahan has put the sophomore jinx to bed. Everything he was last year, this year he is more. He comes up with the goals when we need them. He is developing into a complete player. The Flames continue to use him in all situations, including protecting a lead in the third period.
No one can doubts Lance’s heart. Every time the Flames need some motivation, Lance provides it. He throws his body in front any shots fired. He is fearless. He hits with the best of them, but more importantly, is willing take a hit to make a play.
This kid has more moves than a slick car salesman. He can stick-handle in a phone booth. Everyone was worried about his size, but he is too slick to be smacked. He has overcome every obstacle in his way. He is a winner everywhere he has played including this season.
Where did this kid come from? He has the wheels to put the heebee jeebies into every defensemen in the NHL. He has a great wrist-shot, which can often surprise goalies. I love his ability to jump on loose pucks and make the other team pay for their mistakes.
Both goalies have been outstanding. At times it was Hiller who was making the key saves. He was getting the bulk of the starts. But when Hiller struggled, Ramo took over and won four straight starts. The Flames have had fantastic goaltending.
The Flames have more energy and heart. Every player knows his role, and when does not do his job, he is is easily replaced. Every line is skating, hitting every opposition player in sight.
This and that
Do not plan on the Flames bringing in a hired gun. Do not get me wrong; they love winning, but they are in no hurry to gamble this team’s future. Wideman has pretty much taken himself off the market. The Flames have one of the best defenses in the League, and they will not mess with it. What they will do is take a huge contract off of a team, but will make them pay for the service. They are busy trying to improve the team, but will not jump into it. They will take their time before their next move.