In Part 1 I laid out the framework as to why the Calgary Flames will make the playoffs this year. Today I take the other side of the argument and explain why the Flames won’t make the playoffs. So without further adieu…
Why The Flames Won’t Make The Playoffs
As I stated in the previous blog. The Flames missed the post season because they couldn’t score goals. The question now is did the Calgary Flames properly address adding enough scoring? The answer to that is clearly no.
Up front the Flames boast a fine collection of #2 centers, and once again failed to address the glaring need to find a true #1 center this team has desperately needed. Instead the Flames went back to a couple of former Flames in Olli Jokinen, and Alex Tanguay. The problem with this is both Tanguay and Jokinen are years past their best years, and the Flames are relying on both of them to find the magic they once had. While they do have depth in the forwards they will require all those depth forwards to post close to career highs in order to significantly increase the teams goals scored. There is also no reason to think that the power play will be any better with these changes.
The back end is very similar to the front end. Mark Giordano has indeed brought his game to the next level, and Ian White was a pleasant surprise and made the Dion Phaneuf trade at least palatable to most fans of the team. However Jay Bouwmeester has been a disaster since signing a long term big money contract with the Flames, leading to the question Is Bouwmeester the type of player that only thrives in a market where there is no pressure? The Flames also have Robyn Regher who is getting older and a little slower but is still a good shut down D. Cory Sarich and Steve Staios are fine character players but have lost a step and don’t provide enough in the new NHL to justify their massive cap hits. There are kids in the farm ready to take the next step but the Flames have traditionally not given their youth a fair opportunity in the NHL stunting the growth of numerous prospects.
In net the biggest question is can Miikka Kiprusoff put up numbers like he did last year? There could be a good argument made the his great numbers could have been a result of being an Olympic year and Kiprusoff proving a point to Team Finland. His numbers will be good again this year but I don’t know if they can be Vezina caliber again. Once again Kiprusoff will be forced to play a ton of games simply because the Flames have no NHL proven backup to lighten the load. Another question for this team is why sign a FA keeper, when you have a farm system full of goaltenders who are of a similar quality.
The Flames are going to be in serious trouble and miss the playoffs with around 82 points!
Now I have given you two extremes on what will happen to the Flames this season. Where do you think Calgary will end up? I suspect it will be somewhere in the middle.
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!