Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Calgary Flames: When the Dust Settles

Reblogged from Flames Jambalaya

When all the dust clears, what then?  First of all, let’s determine what the Flames accomplished.  Most insiders or so-called experts said the Flames would be in  on MacDavid sweepstakes. Not only were they out of the McDavid sweeps, they made it to the second round playoffs.   

What we know

Basically, Burke and Treliving have been to asked to ensure the Flames are a contender. In other words, the ownership has no desire to go back to the rebuild.   
They will be spending in the off season, but will do wisely.  

Because next season, the Flames will not catch anyone off guard. 

The NHL is is now aware of the Calgary Flames and how dangerous they will be.  The Flames will have to be more prepared next season.  Making it to the level will need to be a top priority. 


If the Flames have their way, there will be a new number one goalie  

At times, Hiller and Ramo were very good. In fact, they were putting the team on their shoulders. The problem is neither was consistent.  Too many times, the Flames were switching goalies, depending which one was hot. Ramo and Hiller were both subject to giving up weak goals.  This cannot be tolerated if the Flames are to make it to the next level. 


The Defence was the strength of the this team. I would rank our top four with any team in the League. The problem is, we have no depth for the fifth and sixth spots. When Gio went down, we were fine mostly because of Wideman, Brodie, and Russell. Those three had record-breaking ice time because Hartley had no confidence in the fifth and sixth paring. The Flames have to get more depth on the defensive blue line in the off season.   

The priority on the Flames this season will be to sign Gio. The next would be to add another steady dman. We must improve the depth. The Flames will address this issue in the off season.  

First line best in the NHL?

The last part of the season, Hudler,  Johnny Hockey, and Monahan formed one of the best lines in the League. They worked like a finely-tuned machine.  Gaudreau should win rookie of the year.  He  pretty much the saved the season in late December, scoring the trick in one of the miracle comebacks and beating the KIngs.  

Gaudreau has the tools to be a star for many years to to come. He often took this team on his shoulders and carried them. He was amazingly durable. Every time he got hit, he got up. He proved to be clutch player, often scoring the big goal when it was needed. 

Mr. Hudler had a  career year, leading the team on and off the ice. He had a career year with the Flames last season. Juri has matured into a leader and a sniper. He has grown in leaps and bounds since he has signed a free agent. 

Monahan has developed into one of the best young players in the League. I knew he was he was going to develop into a star; just not this quickly.   His thirty-one goals were top on the team, tied with Hudler. He was a force on the powerplay. Often when the team needed a huge powerplay goal and he got it. Ten of them.  He was used in all situations, including defending leads in the last minute. He was on the ice to help in defensive zone coverage and when the Flames need a goal. The only problem he needs to work on is his draws, but the as a whole, that is a Flames team problem. 

The final word

The transactions that I am predicting the Flames to be making in the off season: 
  • The Flames will add another blue liner. 
  • If they can they will find a new goalie, trading HIller. If they can, they will try to land a new goalie. 
  • They will try to add another top six forward.