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Old 08-03-2017, 08:50 PM   #21
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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
Bennett is going more the trajectory of Yakupov than that of a 60 point - 1st line Center....

Calgary has failed the kid miserably by not playing him on the wing and giving him the best chance to accrue goals/points.

He's never even going to sniff 50 points centering our 3rd line.
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Old 08-03-2017, 08:53 PM   #22
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Half the league's fans are probably asking this same question right now. There are some good pieces and the blue line looks very good. IMO goaltending is a question mark and players like Gaudreau and Monahan have to both be better than last season. I think they need to win a game in Anaheim this season to prove they are better. I believe they need to get over that hump if they want to get out of the division.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:05 PM   #23
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If the Flames beat the Oilers in the season opener and then win in Anaheim for Game 3 then we will know that the season has gotten off on the right foot, and that Lord Stanley beckons!
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:07 PM   #24
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If the Flames beat the Oilers in the season opener and then win in Anaheim for Game 3 then we will know that the season has gotten off on the right foot, and that Lord Stanley beckons!
They say confidence goes a long way.....imagine how big of a confidence boost that would be.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:39 PM   #25
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Until the core includes a stud goalie, no.
I'm not a big Mike Smith fan but I would bet he's going to give everything he has to make sure he takes advantage of this. Maybe he's Calgary's Tim Thomas.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:03 PM   #26
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I think the Flames are a contender for the coming few years, but an outside contender. They're not likely to be the favourites without some super star talent up front but they should be a regular threat for the next few years.

Adding Stone and Hamonic on the back end makes the D look rock solid, and the way they were coached into playing a very solid team game by the end of the year I have confidence that they will be able to play against anyone in the league, but they lack an unstoppable force up front capable of taking it to any opposition. If they had that one star up front with the rest of the team as-is, they would be a pretty intimidating group.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:08 PM   #27
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....

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

It's win now and I couldn't be happier.
Yeah, it is impressive how short the turnaround time has been for the Flames. It might not be enough to get to the top of the league, but there was no real period of wallowing in total ineptitude. The biggest fear with this team is of always being not quite good enough to be a powerhouse and then slumping back into mediocrity.

For now though, there is hope and it's a good time to be a fan!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:09 PM   #28
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I think the Flames are a contender for the coming few years, but an outside contender. They're not likely to be the favourites without some super star talent up front but they should be a regular threat for the next few

but they lack an unstoppable force up front capable of taking it to any opposition. If they had that one star up front with the rest of the team as-is, they would be a pretty intimidating group.
Maybe this is the year that Monahan becomes the Flames version of Tavares!
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:14 PM   #29
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The 2008/09 Flames...

Cammy(82)-Jokinen(65)-Iginla(89)
Bourque(57)-Langkow(55)-Bertuzzi(55)
Glencross(44)-Conroy(48)-Moss(39)
Nystrom/Boyd

Regehr-Phaneuf
Giordano-Aucoin
Leopold-Sarich

Kipper - Was 45-24-5 with a 2.84 GAA and 0.903 SV%???? Lol what? How the hell? Can someone explain this? How do you win 45 games and have such awful numbers?


Anyway...is our team now better than the 08/09 Flames??....A team with a top 9 of 40+ point players and 2 elite players 80+ points???

Btw - I did prorate the points for a full 82 game season in case where injuries were an issue.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:17 PM   #30
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Calgary does need a bit more game breaking ability up front. Gaudreau brought that in years one and two. But last season he let frustration get the best of him and teams keyed into how to shut him down more effectively. Hopefully he finds a way to stem the tide of frustration when things don't go his way this season and hopefully he can evolve his game a bit to one up the oppositions strategies to shut him down. The other way he can be made more effective is having another dangerous presence on his line to distract the opposition and give him the space he needs to be effective (which he only needs an extra second to). This is why I hope Jankowski can force his way in and bump Tkachuk up to his line. Who better to take focus off him and prolong zone time by working hard along the boards? Opposing teams don't need to key in on Ferland to shut the line down. He doesn't produce enough on his own, and doesn't piss off opponents as much as he used to.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:26 PM   #31
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It really comes down to goaltending.

On paper we have a good chance to make some real noise in the west. GG has his system in place so it shouldn't take too long for the team to get back into the swing of things.

Its interesting to note - Brian Elliott said his rough start was re-learning how the guys play compared to St.Louis in the beginning. I wonder if you really run with Smith in the pre-season to get him seasoned with the team so he's game ready and has a feel for how the team plays.


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Old 08-03-2017, 11:00 PM   #32
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I think the Flames are a contender for the coming few years, but an outside contender. They're not likely to be the favourites without some super star talent up front but they should be a regular threat for the next few years.

Adding Stone and Hamonic on the back end makes the D look rock solid, and the way they were coached into playing a very solid team game by the end of the year I have confidence that they will be able to play against anyone in the league, but they lack an unstoppable force up front capable of taking it to any opposition. If they had that one star up front with the rest of the team as-is, they would be a pretty intimidating group.
I think Tkachuk and Bennett still have star potential up front. With some improvement from them I think we have as good of depth up front as anybody in the West.

Flames are definitely contenders. One of the best blue lines in the league and tremendous C and LW depth. A lot will rest on Mike Smith but I've always liked him, love those big althletic goalies. I like our chances in the next couple years to chase the division and make some noise in the playoffs.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:20 PM   #33
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I think it goes without saying that Bennett filling out his potential would be a massive boost to the core and to chances of truly contending. He had a sophomore slump, and that was clear. He put some of the little details of his game together down the stretch, but can he take a leap this year and turn that into production and consistency? One can hope.

It's funny that Oiler fans get such a kick out of Bennett vs Draisaitl (not like the Flames had a choice in the matter as to who they picked, but ah well), though it is also lost on them that they're 20/21 and it is normal to take beyond that age to put it together for many NHLers. Just because Leon figured it out early, with the benefit of Connor making it a whole lot easier to put up points, doesn't mean that Bennett doesn't put it together at his own pace. I'd go as far as to say that facing the adversity he has early on in his career and being forced to learn the details of the game as a center despite not having the offense not go his way, will go a long way towards making him a complete player if he does figure it out. We'll see how Leon fares when he hits his own adversity with an $8-10 million cap hit beside his name.
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Old 08-04-2017, 12:36 AM   #34
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A lot really rides on Bennett. Currently he's being wasted on the third line dragging around the lumbering corpse of Troy Brouwer, so I hope he gets some play time as a top 6 winger. This would then open up the door of maybe playing Tkachuk on his off-wing on the Gaudreau-Monahan line which would give us a very good top 6.

Of course, it's really up to Bennett to show that potential, and I have my fears that the longer he spends as the 3C the more he will trend toward Yakupov town.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:11 AM   #35
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Goaltending is the key also if Mony and Johnny have career seasons we are in for a treat.Im not too worried about the D.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:13 AM   #36
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We have a lot of ambiguity when talking about who is core and who is not.

I like to think of guys that should be here long-term 3+ years as part of the core. From that standpoint, I do think that the Flames are composed this way:

Forwards: Capable but not an elite group.
Defence: Elite
Goaltending: ????

That is the most simple way.

Now, I am a big believer in Parsons (kid just wins and has that drive to save pucks like Kipper and Vernon, and like nobody since). You win with a goalie like this. I WANTED to like Irving, but I hated the way he played. Ortio was a better prospect, but you were still hoping his development arc would take him there. Parsons is on-target. You aren't hoping he becomes something that he is currently not. All you are hoping for is that he continues developing without requiring any leaps. Gillies I am less high on, but I do think if he just continues his development he can be a steady goaltender who you can win with. I put Rittich between Gillies and Parsons on ability - so that's really good. The long-term outlook for goaltending I find is really strong.

Schneider is an under-appreciated prospect. I like his compete level. I expect him to bounce back and do some climbing in the prospect rankings, but at the same time I myself couldn't vote for him yet. I place him ahead of MacDonald, and MacDonald is still a very legitimate piece to have in the stable.

Smith/Lack - that should provide for the best goaltending the Flames have received since Kiprusoff. I am not a believer in Lack, but he should do well as a backup. Smith I worry about with respect to his health, and he is 35 after all, but he should be good enough. What I mean is that I think the combo of Smith/Lack should be good enough on most nights to not lose the Flames any games. That is what I hope for at the moment. I do think that they have the potential to steal some games as well. Are they good enough to win a cup?

I think a goalie that doesn't lose you a game is a damn good goalie. From that aspect, I think this combo is good enough to win a cup with, but they are here short-term (Smith in particular) so talking about them as part of the core may not be accurate anyways.

What makes the Flames a particularly attractive team is how they are built and how their cap looks like.

- No players making 7 million or more
- An elite defensive core
- Very deep forward group - at the very least if some of the younger guys continue taking steps, and a couple from Stockton get to see some time
- An elite (or damn good?) prospect goalie depth organizationally
- An elite - or near elite - defensive prospect depth
- A very good forward prospect depth

Look at the 'proven' roster players on forward - Gaudreau, Monahan, Backlund, Frolik, Tkachuk (already!) - that's good talent. Gaudreau is elite offensively, Backlund is elite at a two-way game, Frolik is almost elite as a two-way forward (though I don't necessarily add him to the 'core', but he is what I would call most certainly part of the 'working core' that is helping the Flames win games).

Ferland has taken over games (and an entire series) before, and I do think we haven't nearly seen the best of him offensively. Bennett has as well, and I expect him to take further steps until he is more like a 1st line center than a 3rd line center.

Jankowski and Foo - these guys will be making a case for being strong complimentary players. In Jankowski's case, he might end up making a case for being part of the long-term core of this organization.

Lazar - I said it at the time of the trade, and I stand behind it - We fans will love this kid, and not just for how well spoken he is and how much he is always smiling. He is very fast, he has a tonne of grit, and he has a non-stop motor. I also think he has a tonne of untapped offensive potential that has thus far been stymied due to Ottawa rushing him. This kid still has a lot of potential.

Know who else I consider a strong part of the core? A strong manager. I am still relatively indifferent to Gulutzan as a coach, and I strongly feel he has a lot of seasoning to do yet (especially with managing his goaltenders and using coaching challenges/time-outs/line matching - Hartley was way stronger in all those areas), but his system seems to be one that works and is very much a modern system. I hope he does tweak it to utilize the defence more, sort of like how Hartley used them, but maybe quite to that extent, as every defender on the team now is strong in all areas of the ice.

Hopefully Gulutzan can grow his game professional acumen a bit more and pick his spots a bit better - that will help a playoff series tremendously. Sutter was simply amazing at it. While Hartley was in no way elite at line-matching, he made Dejardins look like an idiot at it. Gulutzan seems like a bright guy, and it does seem to be a strong system, so I am betting he improves as a coach.

Treliving is an ace up the Flames' sleeve. You know the guy is going to address a hole he sees, and manage the team's cap well. Sure, he has mistakes like Brouwer and Raymond, but he hits it out of the park in his trades and other signings.

What I really feel is so very important when talking about winning the cup, is how the hockey ops department as a whole are doing. The recent hirings/promotions lead me to believe that they are doing a lot of things right. You need a strong hockey ops department these days to give you an edge.

All in all, I think the Flames are a deep team with an elite defence and a bit of a question mark (again) in net.

The positive thing for me is that this is a team well-positioned to take a long run at the cup. Even after Giordano has fallen-off, even after Hamonic and even Brodie get raises, there will be room in the cap (or trades to be made) to address these. The long-term outlook is definitely really strong, and I will argue it is probably the strongest in the west right now.

Anaheim definitely matches Calgary on defence (at the very least, the Flames and Ducks are in the same tier, and preference dictates who you like better). Ducks are much better positioned in net today (with the Flames potentially closing that gap soon - I really believe in Parsons). Ducks are easily the better team on forward right now, but the Flames I argue are a bit deeper now, but not as elite. However, Getzlaf, Perry and crying Puke-Face are getting there in age, and while I like some of their young guys, they don't have anyone to fill those shoes long-term. I give the Flames the edge long term between those two teams.

Arizona I don't think have enough good prospects. I don't think Dylan Strome is going to be elite. I don't think they have enough elite-level D on the way to close the gap with the Flames. They have some pieces that I really love (Keller, for instance), but just not enough pieces currently in their pipeline to make me believe that they will turn into a major threat.

Vancouver is gaining a tonne of steam in their system. Really love some of their prospects, but they have had costly misses in the last few years. Who knows what they end up as.

San Jose is getting there in age, and though it wouldn't surprise me to see them leap up in the standings again and make a strong push, they are going to start fading.

Nasvhille is looking solid. They have to continue adding to their forwards for me to like them a lot, but who can argue with a Stanley Cup finals appearance while generally being a young team?

Chicago is trending down. St Louis did a lot of great things this off-season, but do they have the horses organizationally to turn them into a contender again, and keep them there for the next 5 years?

I do think that the next powerhouse team in the west is going to be Dallas. They have a lot of talent coming through, and made some really good moves that addressed their weaknesses. That's a strong group that is building still.

Edmonton is a joke to me. An ugly, annoying joke. I think Chiarelli is terrible at managing the cap. I though (nervously) that it was management that was forcing his hand and making him trade away this high-end youth who dared to demand excessive salaries after their ELCs and who wouldn't take the proverbial old-school second contracts. I guess not. It seems to be him that hands out terrible contracts. I do think that McDavid's contract is fair - maybe even a relative bargain long-term - but Chiarelli has already saddled that team with expensive contracts that won't help that organization win long-term. They are going to be a very shallow team that relies on an elite top line (and it will be the best in the NHL, unfortunately), and an elite-level goalie (who needs another couple of seasons before we can start talking about him being an elite goalie - but he has been elite or near elite for them). I don't think the Oilers are well-positioned, and I don't think they draft well enough to become better positioned. I do think they draft much better since they fired their old scouting staff, but they don't seem to be getting enough quality players pushing up the pipeline. We will have to see. Either way, it will be tough to off-set the salaries of McDavid (as well as Draisaitl and Talbot long-term) when you have a few too many poor contracts on the books, without enough replacement level players off-setting those.

Flames I feel are exceptionally well-positioned to make some strong runs. I do think that the 'core' is talented enough - elite defensively, offensively decent - with more room to grow. It is the entire organization that makes me confident right now that the Flames will at least come close at some point one of these years, but SHOULD be starting to make a lot more noise in the seasons to come.
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Old 08-04-2017, 01:15 AM   #37
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I think Bennett should be stapled on the first line on the wing.He is the Flames lowest draft pick ever but he is playing with plugs on the third line.Just my opinion.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:14 AM   #38
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Not sure, some guys need to take the next step including a young goalie.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:22 AM   #39
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Need top 3rd in league goaltending, if not better.

Need some young forwards to make strong pushes into both top 6 and bottom 6 roles.

Need young d prospects help offset Gio aging.

Need the core (Gio, Hamilton, Brodie, hamonic, Monahan, gaudreau, Tkachuk, Backlund?) to have the ability to lead this team, to bring another level come spring and carry team on their back.

They are positioned well, but a good portion of the teams in the league probably feel the same right about now.
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Old 08-04-2017, 07:16 AM   #40
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Pretty much any team that makes the playoffs can win the SC in the new cap era, now that some of the teams who had insane depth prior to the cap really kicking in have lost that depth.

The margins are so slim between the elite playoff teams and the lesser playoff teams that in the playoffs its not all the relevant anymore.

I expect that with any type of reasonable goaltending the Flames will make the playoffs fairly easily, especially with many of the usual better teams in the West trending downwards. Their division doesn't appear overly strong, so that should only improve their record with an easier schedule.

I expect them to have home ice advantage in the first round, and from there anything can happen if they keep healthy and get some randomness that is always required to capture the Cup.

So yes, the Flames definitely have a core capable of winning the Cup.
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