The Flames have been an interesting story this year. From the contract extensions of Gaudreau and Monahan to the Dougie Hamilton trade rumors, Calgary has had it’s share of news. So what’s up with them? They had a stretch of games where they were being blown out by their opponents earlier and last night’s game was a return to that. That’s a bad loss to have. Why? 1) it’s against Arizona and 2) those are points that you need this deep in the season. As a result, Calgary has found themselves just outside of a wild card spot in the West. Glen Gulutzan in his first year with the Flames so far has had a roller-coaster of a season. However, with key coaches up for grabs at the moment (Hitchcock and Julien), you have to think he may be sweating a bit.
Bye Bye Bye
This is it. This is what the Leafs have been waiting for. The Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens are now on day 2 of their bye week. Boston went into their break winning two games adding on to the success of the post-Julien era. The Habs are on the opposite end of that spectrum losing their last 2 games before the break. With these two bye weeks starting, the Leafs are now starting to get into the games at hand they have against the Habs but most importantly the Bruins. The Leafs are currently 3 and 9 points behind the Bruins and Habs respectively with 4 games in hand. They need to turn it around now. Enough with the slow starts and the blown leads. The Leafs success during the bye weeks for these two teams will have a huge impact on their chances of making the playoffs.
What a Twist
At the beginning of the 2016-2017 season, I made predictions. One of these predictions was that the Vancouver Canucks would finish last in the league while the Colorado Avalanche finish just outside a playoff spot. As it stands today, the Avalanche are last in the league with 32 points (oh boy) and the Canucks are 4 points out of a wild card spot with 56 points. I think it’s fair to say that this year’s Avalanche team is on par or worse than the 2014-2015 Leafs. As it would be expected, Colorado is already done with this season and is looking towards the draft (Allow Hat Tricks for Patrick). However, I wouldn’t say that this will happen again next year. With a healthy goalie and a better system they could make some noise. In the meantime, I’ll be interested to see what Vancouver does at the deadline.