Can you believe we’ve been doing this for 60 episodes?  On this show we talk about an article from Hockey’s Future about how deep the Flames system is right now.  We’ll break down the season so far after 20 games, and talk about Peter Maher night, as well as recapping the last week and looking ahead to the tough week ahead for the Flames.

After a devastating loss to the Hurricanes Dan and Matt run down the Flames 5 game road swing and how the team looked over the last 10 days away from home.  We’ll also discuss Sven Baertschi and if the Flames should keep him past this season, plus a look at the Adirondack Flames and more.

The Calgary Flames have been one of the most surprising teams in the early part of the 2014 – 2015 season. Posting an 12-6-2 record in their first 20 games, the Flames find themselves sitting sixth overall in the NHL in points, tied with Vancouver for second in the Pacific division. Considering the Flames are only a year and a half into a full tear down rebuild, those results are both shocking, but also appropriate for how they have played this season. Calgary has only been significantly outplayed three times this season, winning one of those games. Some media experts have pegged the reason for Calgary’s early success is based off of their hard work rather than their skill. It is easy to determine which experts have not actually watched the Flames this season. The Flames sport the third highest goals for behind only Sidney Crosby’s Pittsburgh Penguins and Steven Stamkos’ Tampa Bay Lightning. Most of Calgary’s goals this season have been a result of some flashy skilled plays rather than dirty garbage goals that are scored within five feet of the net. That is a testament to both the quality and quality of the young prospects coming through the organization. To this point in the season, the Flames have been receiving excellent performances from not only the veteran players, but also from the rookies.

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The Calgary Flames finish off their five game home stand with a matchup against the New Jersey Devils. The Flames home winning streak was snapped on Thursday, when they fell to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3. Despite losing the game, Calgary’s young forwards have continued their excellent play, giving one of the best teams in the league a run for their money. The Flames will look to get back on the saddle against one of the weakest teams in the Eastern conference and NHL. Despite having a slow start to the season, the Devils were able to shutout the Oilers 2-0 last night. New Jersey has struggled this season scoring, and currently resides 24th overall in goals for, while Calgary remains 3rd in scoring with 66 goals thus far. Mike Cammalleri makes his first appearance in Calgary after signing with the Devils in the offseason. He is a point off the team lead, a single point behind Jaromir Jagr. This is also the first time our resident New Jerseyan, Johnny Gaudreau, will face the team from his home state.

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First Period

The visiting club and got off to an electric start in the opening minutes of this game. TJ Brodie took an early penalty, which Chicago was able to capitalize on right before it expired. Adam Clendening scored his first career NHL goal off a point shot that found its way through an abundance of traffic in front of Hiller. Dan Carcillo extended the Hawks lead on a nice snapshot that went off the post and in. After the first seven minutes, not only were the Flames down 2-0 on the scoreboard but were also being outshot 8-0. After the Carcillo goal, the Flames settled their game down and started to outskate the other team. This caused Chicago to take several penalties in a row allowing for Paul Byron and Dennis Wideman to tally power play goals and tie the game before the intermission. Surprisingly, the Flames headed into the locker room only being outshot by one, 12-11.

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Feeding off the energy of their comeback victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Peter Maher night, the Flames look to extend their home winning streak to five games this evening against the Chicago Blackhawks. Tonight’s game will be the second of four measuring stick games that the Flames will play over the next week. The Flames have had a surprisingly great start to the season, but the only critique of their run is that most of the games have come against Eastern Conference opponents. Playing two games against the Ducks, and one each against the Sharks and Blackhawks will go a long way to dispel those concerns if the Flames can manage to collect more than the two points they have accrued already. In the only other meeting between these teams this season, the Flames won the game in overtime 2-1. However, that was not a game that you would want to look back on as a good example of a victory. The Flames were heavily out shot and out chanced in that game, and if it wasn’t for Jonas Hiller making 50 saves, the Flames would not have walked out of the Mad House with two points.

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First Period and Second Period

The first two periods of tonight’s game were frustrating for the Flames. The Anaheim Ducks are one of the larger teams physically, while the Flames are one of the slightest. They used that physical advantage to their benefit for the first 40 minutes. Calgary could not break through the tight defensive style that the Ducks were employing, and their passes were not very crisp as well. That led the Ducks to outshoot the Flames 19-7 and outscore them 2-0. Both of the goals were caused traffic in front of the net with one of them being a deflection goal. Jonas Hiller did not have much of a chance on either of the Ducks goals.

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It is Peter Maher night in Calgary. The legendary broadcaster will be honored this evening in a celebration of his lengthy career as the radio voice of the Calgary Flames. Maher called 2954 games over 33 seasons in his Hall of Fame career. Up until this season, Peter has been the only broadcaster that Flames fans have ever known. There is nothing I can say on here that could quantify what he has meant to Calgary and all the fans that have listened to his work over the years. Simply, thank you for everything Peter Maher. I hope you enjoy this evening as every fan in attendance will have ample opportunity to show how much you have meant to us all.

If you have not viewed these videos, please go to Flames.NHL.com and watch all the videos that they have on added to their site. There are many tributes to Maher there, and the Flames media/video staff have done an excellent job with their presentations. My only hope for this evening is for Maher to not only have the radio booth get named after him, but for him to be inducted into the Forever a Flame program, as he literally has been a Flame forever.

Maybe the Flames can put one in the win column one more time.

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Adirondack is on fire lately. The team has now won seven of their last eight games including the last five in a row. This week, they were victorious against the Rochester Americans 4-3, and defeated the Lake Erie Monsters twice 4-2 and 3-2 in a shoot out. Emile Poirier added a point in each game, with a goal against the Americans and a pair assist against the Monsters. He also scored the shootout winner. Bill Arnold and Ben Hanowski were the players of the week though for the baby Flames. Bill Arnold scored four times, and Hanowski collected a hat trick against Lake Erie. The actual hat trick goal was scored by the opposition into their own net. It is interesting to note that Poirier has only played 6 games, yet is only a couple points back from the team lead. He has been noticeable in every game with some sort of positive effort. Also, it is interesting to note that he does not have a single PIM this season. He had 129 PIM last season, so he has played far more disciplined as a professional thus far. Perhaps he is a bit reticent to get as involved until he is sure his shoulder is 100%, time will tell. The Flames are busy this week with three games. They will face the Chicago Wolves on Tuesday, with weekend games against both the Syracuse Crunch and Rochester Americans.

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First Period

The game began with the home side getting off to a hot start. The Flames tested Craig Anderson early, but the NHL’s save percentage leader was up to the task. Sven Baertschi took a high-sticking penalty 3:46 into the game, when his stick inadvertently collided with the Jared Cowen’s helmet. If it wasn’t for that, Sven would’ve had a glorious scoring opportunity as he beat Cowen to the inside and went in on a two on one. A few minutes later, the captain, Mark Giordano was hit in the eye with errant high stick that required him to get many stitches over his eye. He did not return for the remainder of the first period, and looked a little shaky when he did return. On the play though, there was no call. The Senators struck first when Clarke MacArthur fired one past Ramo from the faceoff circle. Despite the Flames vastly outplaying the opposition, they headed to the intermission down by one.

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