Saturday, October 4, 2014

Calgary Flames Season Preview 2014-15

2014-2015 Calgary Flames Season Preview

Much like their fellow Albertans, the Calgary Flames put up disappointing results every year, failing to make the playoffs with regularity.  The Flames are not quite as bad as the Oilers and some years they play a bubble team role, but it's playoff or bust for this hockey hungry fan base.  This season will most likely be a continuation of a rebuild, but the future is bright, this team has players ready to step in the lineup that are sub 25 years old and can put on a show.  The Flames have one of the most exciting prospects to come along in awhile in Johnny 'Hockey' Gaudreau, as well as his line mate at BC Billy Arnold, second year player Sean Monahan,  fellow rookie and 4th overall pick Sam Bennett,  Sven Baertschi is also ready to step it up as well as with Max Reinhart and Markus Granlund.  So basically the Flames organization is stacked with prospects, as there are others that can make an impact too.  Calgary won't make the playoffs this year but I think they are on the right track.

Jonas Hiller- As a Duck fan I will miss Jonas but the goalie pipeline in Anaheim is too legit to ignore any longer, that being said, Hiller is an olympian with NHL playoff experience who could have won a Vezina a couple of years ago if it weren't for a bout with vertigo.  This is good news for Flames fans because Hiller will be awesome for the most part and this team has been looking for a permanent goalie since Kipprusoff fellow apart, I mean retired.

Johnny Hawckey-  Johnny Gaudreau's skill is incredible, he can dangle with the best of them and put up just ridiculous stats in college at BC, guy scored 80 points last year in just over 40 games.  Gaudreau was even a ppg player during his freshman year which is relatively unheard of this day in age.  If you look back at the 2011 draft you will notice that JG was a 4th round pick, and if you've ever seen him play you will see why, JG only stands at 5'7 and is probably 160 soaking wet.  As many players before him it is hard to see JG being successful, until you see him play in international competitions, in his first NHL regular season game and first few pre season games, he plays a smart game and avoids the big boys who would crush him.  JG absolutely lit up the competition a couple of years ago in the World Juniors and put his already huge name even more on the map.  JG scored a goal in his first regular season game and scored another highlight reel gino in a pre season game this year, which can be seen below.  Personally I think Johnny can be the next Martin St.Louis, let's hope this wizard can stay healthy.

Playoff Chances-  You can look for a lot of standout youngsters on the ice this year, JG might be a calder candidate, Sean Monahan will have a strong second season built off of last years 20 goal rookie campaign, and Sven Baertschi will finally become a full time NHL player scoring around 50 points.  Jonas Hiller will stand on his head from time to time mostly because he can but also because it's the Flames and he will probably have to.  Captain Mark Giordano had an absolute beauty of a season last year scoring 47 points in just 64 games as a defenseman, his role brings pressure and he stood up to it and beat it down, if he is playing for a full season he could put up some serious points and lead his team to many upsets.  Calgary has a new Gm, Brad Treliving, it will be interesting to see what kind of moves he will make come deadline time, of course depending on where they are in the standings.  Flames coach Bob Hartley is a no nonsense guy and I hope to see his squad beat up on some superior teams, aside from the Ducks of course.  Long story short, I hope Calgary surprises me and everyone else and makes a run this year, more than likely they will not though and do more of building for the future, they are on the right track.

Johnny's magic:

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