All summer I have been watching the Flames moves and wondering to myself if the team is improved or not. I seem to be able to make an argument on both sides. So I’ll present them to you over the next two blogs. Today I start with why the Flames will make it.
Why The Flames Will Make The Playoffs
The main reason Calgary missed the post season last year was that they were dead last in the league in goals scored. (204) Defensively Calgary was top 10 last year behind a very good defense core and fine goaltending most of the year by the guy who would have won the Vezina trophy had his team made the playoffs. Miikka Kiprusoff.
If you look at what has come in as compared to what has gone out, the Flames do have more offensive talent than last year. Alex Tanguay should have a resurgence as well as Olli Jokinen who could compliment Jarome Iginla very nicely. Lets remember that Tanguay’s best years came playing with Jarome. And Olli Jokinen hit more posts than any Flames player that I can ever remember.
The trade of Dion Phaneuf has given Calgary some much needed offensive depth. Matt Stajan, and Nik Hagman should have a strong year playing alongside Rene Bourque and that line is one that opposing teams will have to account for. Add a nice third line of Backlund-Kotalik-Moss and you have some legitimate offense. Ales Kotalik and David Moss should both have bounce back years as they both have something to prove, and Backlund should be fantastic at getting the puck to both those guys in better shooting positions.
There are few teams that wouldn’t dream of having a defense core that the Flames can bring out. There is no way that Jay Bouwmeester has another year like last year, and should return to a form that showed him putting up big numbers for the Panthers, now that he is comfortable in the Flames system and head coach Brent Sutter seemingly figured out how to use him effectively in the second half of the season. Throw in Mark Giordano, Ian White, and Robyn Regher and that is a top flight top 4 D core in anyone’s book.
Miikka Kiprusoff will play his close to 70 games again this year, and again people we say he plays too much which is a load of crap! Great goaltenders want to play every night, and Miikka fits into that category. He’ll have another close to Vezina winning year and should lead this team with more firepower to the playoffs. It will be a matter of if they can reel in the Canucks or not for the North West Division lead.
Flames should end up around 105 points this year and comfortably in the playoffs!
Up next is why this team will fail again to make the post season.
Have a good one!
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About the Author
Written by Shane Hoopfer
Die hard Flames fan since 1980, and a closet baseball junkie. Also a big Dolphins, and Stampeders fan!