With only a handful of games left in the season, we recap last week’s games including great goals from Michael Ferland and Raphael Diaz that helped the Flames end the week in 3rd place in the Pacific Division – and we look ahead to the two important games this week against St. Louis and Edmonton and which goalie we think is the Flames best bet down the stretch.  Plus, we talk about Kenny Morrison’s excellent AHL debut, and the new NHL rules around compensation for hiring team executives.

First Period

Dallas opened the scoring 0:40 into the game. Jason Spezza took an innocent looking wrist shot that eluded Hiller. Following the goal, Calgary had a decent shift with some offensive zone pressure, but were unable to get pucks in on Lehtonen. The teams combined for a total of three shots in the first seven minutes. Calgary was unable to generate many shots in the first 8 minutes because the Dallas defenders were effective at getting their sticks in the way of Calgary’s passes. Derek McKenzie was called for tripping Rafael Diaz 8:18 into the game. Halfway through the man advantage, Dennis Wideman received a pass from Johnny Gaudreau and skated right into the slot and blew it past Lehtonen, tying the game at one. Following the Wideman goal, Dallas had an excellent shift in the Flames zone resulting in a Lance Bouma penalty. The Stars power play was extremely effective at moving the puck around the zone and they generated four or five solid chances, but the Flames were able to kill off the Bouma penalty. With five minutes remaining, Sean Monahan was called for delay of game after firing the puck over the glass in the defensive zone. Late in the power play, Dallas was called for high-sticking. Calgary did not score on the power play, and were called for high-sticking themselves on the shift following their abbreviated power play. Tyler Seguin scored before the intermission, firing a wrist shot through a screen under Hiller’s blocker.

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Calgary is coming into tonight’s action on the heels of their best performance of the season yesterday in Nashville. With their backs firmly against the wall, the Flames elevated their game against the division leading Predators. They played a frustrating style, hitting and forechecking relentlessly throughout the game. It prevented Nashville from having any sustained momentum for large stretches of time in the contest. Tonight, they will be facing the same desperate Dallas club that beat Calgary in a shootout less than a week ago. The Flames will need to show the same type of desperation and relentlessness that they played with yesterday.

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First Period

Calgary had a physical start to the contest, finishing all their checks in the early going including two Flames players hitting Filip Forsberg. Michael Ferland had the first quality scoring chance of the contest, receiving a pass from behind the net from Matt Stajan and firing it in on Hutton. The Flames nearly opened the scoring at the 5:30 mark, when Mason Raymond fired an innocent looking shot that Hutton kicked out to Colborne and his shot trickled inches wide of the open net. On the shift following the Colborne chance, Roman Josi fired a point shot right past Hiller to open the scoring. After a few minutes with very little action, Lance Bouma had a great individual effort to tie the game. He broke into the Predators zone, firing a shot that was blocked, then collecting the rebound and firing another shot through Hutton’s legs before he could get down in time to make the save. Nashville responded with a view good shifts in a row, hemming the Flames in their own zone four minutes of the time, but they kept them at bay. TJ Brodie had the next good scoring chance for the flames, with Bouma feeding the puck back to him on a 3 on 2 and he fired a one timer that Hutton caught. The momentum shifted back into the flames direction. Johnny Gaudreau broke through the Predators team and set Kris Russell up for a breakaway, but he fired it wide. Later on in the shift Kris Russell fired a point shot off Paul Gaustad’s skate past Carter Hutton and into the net giving the Flames the lead with just over two minutes remaining in the opening period. Gaudreau continued to give the predators fits breaking into their zone and firing a shot that nearly took the head off of the Predators goalie. Sean Monahan fired a puck into the front of the net, Hudler whacked at the loose puck the pad of Hutton was in the way. Calgary went to the intermission up by one.

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Mayor Nenshi recently posted a new edition of his Mayor Nenshi Reads video series, featuring a picture book that was written and illustrated by Calgarians Holly Preston and Val Lawton.

This is a great video for the younger visitors to the website, and still a treat for the older segment of the C of Red as well.

Coming off a heartbreaking loss against the Minnesota Wild on Friday, Calgary back in action this afternoon against the Central Division leading Nashville Predators. For once, Calgary received some assistance on the out-of-town scoreboard yesterday, with both Los Angeles losing in regulation and Vancouver losing in overtime. The Flames now trail Vancouver by four points, Winnipeg by three, and Los Angeles by one with only seven games remaining. The gap between Calgary and Vancouver is starting to seem a little too distant with so few games remaining on the schedule. With their win yesterday, Nashville clinched a playoff spot. Nashville is on a four-game winning streak after posting a 2-8-1 record prior to their current streak. Most of Calgary’s recent opponents have been on a roll just prior to facing the Flames, making it all the more difficult to generate victories.

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First Period

The Wild got their legs under them first in the early going, but neither team generated any scoring chances in the opening five minutes. Calgary struck first on an excellent cycling shift by Jooris, Stajan, and Colborne. They effectively controlled the puck in the Minnesota zone, waiting for a lane to open up. Eventually, Stajan collected the puck on the side of the net and fired it across and the loose puck was banged in by Josh Jooris. The Wild nearly responded on the following shift, with a couple of very dangerous shots in front of Ramo, but the Flames netminder was able to make a couple of excellent saves to keep the Flames lead intact. Minnesota kept up their pressure firing shot after shot after shot at Ramo, but he was able to shut the door. Joe Colborne was called for hooking Matt Dumba after the nine minute mark. Dumba ended up scoring on the power play after the Flames defence scrambled providing a seam for Dumba to fire a one timer, then he collected the rebound and fired it home. Play settled down following the equalizer, with neither team generated much of anything in the minutes following the goal. Mikael Granlund was called for holding Johnny Gaudreau with a little less than five minutes remaining. Calgary could not establish themselves at any point during the man advantage. Zach Parise was left all alone in front of Ramo with the puck, but Ramo robbed him with a good glove stop on the backhander.

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The never ending battle for a playoff spot continued last night with both Los Angeles and Winnipeg collecting victories, pushing Calgary into ninth. Losing in a shootout to Dallas on Wednesday cost the Flames a single point, which ended up being enough to drop them from their tenuous hold on third in the Pacific division. Calgary currently trails their opponent this evening, the Minnesota Wild, by four points. Vancouver and Winnipeg have a three point lead, with Los Angeles edging out the Flames by a single point. A victory will vault Calgary back into the horserace, however a regulation loss could be the beginning of the end of their playoff chances. This is the biggest game of the season to this point, although that phrase probably will be used a few more times in the coming weeks. This is also the first game and a five game road trip that will have them play some of the best teams in the league. It truly is make or break time.

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With only 10 games left in the regular season, we recap the last week of games and what impact the results will play on the Flames playoff chances.  NCAA Defenceman Kenney Morrison and we break down what you can expect from him, and when we think he’ll be NHL ready and we look at the closure of CapGeek and what it means for hockey fans.  And we look ahead to the next week of games and how important they are for the Flames.

In our main discussion of the week, we look at the current roster versus the 2013 post-lockout roster, and who’s still here, who’s left, and the similarities and differences between them.

First Period

It was a bit of a strange start to the game. At the three minute mark, Calgary got called for icing. Then they proceeded to get called for icing an additional six times in the next minute of play. That was the most entertaining thing that occurred in the first eight minutes of action. Markus Granlund was called for a four minute double minor for high sticking at the 8:22 mark. Calgary was able to kill off the majority of the man advantage with ease, but the Stars were able to generate a couple of quality chances in the dying seconds. Karri Ramo made a couple of excellent saves to keep the score tied. Dallas had a 2 on 1 shortly after the penalty expired after Dennis Wideman turned the puck over at the offensive blueline. Ramo was once again there to shut the door with a good pad save. At one point, Calgary was being outshot 11—2, however they started to put some pressure on the Stars and generated the best scoring chances of the period. Sean Monahan had the puck at the point and fed it across to the defenseman, who passed it quickly to Gaudreau and then back to Monahan. Lehtonen made an unbelievable diving stop to get enough of the puck to send it wide. Shortly after that chance, Mikael Backlund fired one right off the underside of the crossbar. Unfortunately, the puck stayed out. Lance Bouma was called for roughing with a little over two minutes remaining. He bumped a Stars defenseman lightly, but it was enough to knock him into Lehtonen sending the Stars goalie flying. The Flames were able to kill off that penalty as well and the game headed to the intermission tied.

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