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Old 08-03-2017, 06:26 PM   #1
Love
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Default Do you think this team's core has Stanley Cup potential?

I think so, but it seems that when discussing the up and coming teams to take the torch from the Penguins' and the Blackhawks' of the world, the most popular responses usually seem to be along the lines of 'Edmonton and Toronto alone at the top'. Not only those two, but we usually rank below Winnipeg and Buffalo as well, and I've even just recenly seen a poll where Columbus was killing Calgary when asked to project their future's.

We don't have that dynamic franchise 1C, but we definitely do have:

- Our quiet, but effective 1C in Sean Monahan (13th in scoring amongst all centerman in the last 3 seasons)

- We have two players that have played and thrived on the top pairing under the age of 27 in Dougie Hamilton and TJ Brodie (could add Travis Hamonic too depending on next season)

- We have two franchise wingers in Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau

- We have a current selke caliber, possession god boderline #1C in Mikael Backlund (36th in scoring amongst centerman: ahead of MacKinnon, Couture, Kopitar, Horvat etc)

- And then a plethora of promising youngsters that have impact player potential in: Bennett, Jankowski, Parsons, Gillies, Valimaki, Kylington, Andersson, Fox...

I think we're massively underrated and have just as good a future as any team in the league, but I'm not sure if that's because I'm looking at things with Flaming C tinted glasses.

What are your thoughts?
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:26 PM   #2
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Yup
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:30 PM   #3
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100% Cup potential.

The question mark, as it has been for several seasons, is in net. I'm more confident in Smith as a quality card carrying number one goalie then I have been in any of the others but this is a question that needs to be finally answered.

There are holes in forward depth but Bennett stepping up will help that immensely. Monahan, Backlund, Bennett are a great core down the middle if Sam does. And like you said on wing, franchise type wingers in Gaudreau and Tkachuk.

It's all about goal.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:31 PM   #4
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Upfront and on defense, the pieced are all there I'd say. Goaltending is a question mark right now, but that will be answered soon enough
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:31 PM   #5
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If the goaltending is there, if the d-core is as dominant as we expect (including a bounce back year for Brodie) and guys like Bennett, Ferland, Brouwer and Lazar all up their level of play and production...then I would say the Flames definitely have a shot at Stanley.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:32 PM   #6
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Yes. I think provided Bennett can take a step forward, and even if tkachuk stays the same as last year, We are in much better shape this year with Smith & Hamonic coming in
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:53 PM   #7
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The consensus seems to be that the Flames need one more piece up front. I don't nessesarily disagree, but I think they have that piece already internally in one of Jankowski or Bennett.

I do see cup potential. What writers don't look at either is stability. Calgary looks very stable for the next several years, with having their core all locked up to good contracts. Whereas the media circle jerks over the Oilers when really, next year might be their best shot with their current core before contracts mean they need to dismantle. And next year they'll be missing a top 4 defender for half the year. You hear all about McDavid and Draisatl but who's going to be talking up the Oilers when they buy out Lucic to re-sign Talbot
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:54 PM   #8
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There might be a slight case of "rose coloured" homer glasses, but it's hard not to be excited. It's kind of natural to be underrated until we make some noise (Edmonton, Columbus this year) or unless we're a big market (Toronto). If we make it past the first round this year, I fully expect to be right up there in the conversation.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:58 PM   #9
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I look at the centre position of cup winning teams since the 05 Lockout:

Brind'amour/Staal
McDonald/Getzlaf
Datsyuk/Zetterberg
Crosby/Malkin/Staal
Toews
Bergeron/Krejci
Kopitar/Richards
Toews
Kopitar/Carter
Toews
Crosby/Malkin/Bonino/Cullen
Crosby/Malkin/Bonino/Cullen

And I am not sure we have a 1 that can stack up. I think Backlund is fine as a 2 but we need a center who can be point-per-game over 20-25 playoff games away from Gaudreau. Bennett's struggles last year really hurt my optimism as he was supposed to develop into a guy who could make you pay for keying in on Gaudreau's line. Maybe a PPG away from Gaudreau is extreme, but we do need a big 5 on 5 producer who can get it done from the center position. I am happy with both our powerplay units.

I like Jankowski and Bennett and hope they can elevate us to the next level. But right now they don't stack up to guys like Matthews in Toronto, which is why people have a team like Toronto expected to do very well.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:01 PM   #10
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The OP question is somewhat incorrectly worded. Each NHL team has a Stanley Cup potential – some low, some high. The more accurate question would be: Does this roster have a high probability of winning the SC? To that, I would say no, it doesn't.

Even though we will have one of the better overall defense in the league, that's the only piece of the puzzle that has been well-assembled so far. We would need Smith to play his best hockey ever. I like Smith better than Elliott, but there has been no evidence of him being able to play at the SC level yet. We do not have a solid backup goalie, unfortunately (although a trade at the deadline is possible). We are still missing the top-line quality RW player without any reasonable acquisition possibilities of such player on the horizon.

With all of the above shortcomings, while our probability of getting into playoffs is higher than, say, 10 other teams in the NHL, I think, our chances of winning the Stanley Cup next season are not nearly that high.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:02 PM   #11
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On paper it would be ideal if we could add another top 6 RW but I'd say our real weakness outside of goaltending is our depth on the 3rd line.

Versteeg is a solid piece that fits nicely in both caphit and what he brings to the team. Once Sam Bennett shows a little more success and am upgrade on 2017 Brouwer, you could start to feel co confident being a cup contender.

Against the Ducks our main two lines thoroughly outplayed their opponents but the battle of 3rd lines was absolutely dominated in the Ducks' favor.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anduril View Post
On paper it would be ideal if we could add another top 6 RW but I'd say our real weakness outside of goaltending is our depth on the 3rd line.

Versteeg is a solid piece that fits nicely in both caphit and what he brings to the team. Once Sam Bennett shows a little more success and am upgrade on 2017 Brouwer, you could start to feel co confident being a cup contender.

Against the Ducks our main two lines thoroughly outplayed their opponents but the battle of 3rd lines was absolutely dominated in the Ducks' favor.
Versteeg-Bennett-Chiasson had its way with Vermette and co everywhere except faceoffs. In fact our third line scored more ES goals than Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland.

Our issue in the playoffs was a mix of things but I would point to the third defense pair long before blaming the third line.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GranteedEV View Post
Versteeg-Bennett-Chiasson had its way with Vermette and co everywhere except faceoffs. In fact our third line scored more ES goals than Gaudreau-Monahan-Ferland.

Our issue in the playoffs was a mix of things but I would point to the third defense pair long before blaming the third line.
You probably have the numbers already but my memory wants to say that the top line didn't score any ES goals.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:10 PM   #14
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The thing that helps this team I think going forward is their cap situation... they have their core locked up to reasonable numbers so far unlike the other teams like Edmonton and Toronto who could very well be in cap hell within 2 years.

I also see the advantage in lots of depth in the flames organization since it feels like a steady stream of talent is going to be pushing for spots over the next few years at all positions.


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Old 08-03-2017, 07:28 PM   #15
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If one of Bennett or Jankowski surpasses Backlund at center that would increase our chances. And if Tkachuk can become a point per game player. But it has to happen within two-ish seasons. If not, they need to acquire someone else for their top 6 via trade. Frolik won't be a 2RW for long, and Giordano is slowly losing steam. The defence will be fine, but you have to find that production elsewhere, and then some.

If I were to estimate, I'd say we need to find another 30 goals and 60 points in production to have an adequate offence for a contender - the extra 30 goals would be putting them into the top 5-6 teams in goals-for in the league. Either you find that through the current core players collectively improving, or by adding another source of offence.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:56 PM   #16
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Yes

This team if they continue playing for each other and being accountable for mistakes has a very good chance of winning it all.

As a team they were rebuilt from the net out which I think is a positive.

2 New Goalies.....one proven one not
4 Goalies developing .....1 of which has more promise than the others (Parssons) Needs more time and seasoning, Rittich and Gillies waiting in the wings....plenty of healthy competition.
Defence ....1 new , 1 newer and several waiting to make the jump up from Stockton.

No Injuries, icetime to development of players waiting, healthy competition all will play a role.

It's not talked about anymore but I think meritocracy is still important.

If these players meet and beat expectations out of the gate they should play.

If they struggle you have a very short leash. If the rumours are true and this new statistics guy plays any role in decision making on the active roster then things will remain very competitive on are roster...play well or don't play.

Everything's in place like I've never seen before.

It's win now and I couldn't be happier.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:09 PM   #17
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Until the core includes a stud goalie, no.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:26 PM   #18
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The true answer to this question will lie with Sean Monahan and how good he can become.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:35 PM   #19
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The true answer to this question will lie with Sean Monahan and how good he can become.
i think bennett is the piece of most importance. If bennett is able to make a jump to 60 points, the flames effectively have three #1 centres. Will be very hard to beat
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:45 PM   #20
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It was mentioned above that Monahan is 13th in scoring among Centres in the last three seasons and I think he does have room to improve / become more consistent. He'll also fill out a bit more.

I can see him being a 40 goal scorer with his shot and knack for being in the right place at the right time.
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