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Regardless of advanced stats, we're doing well in the ONLY stat that really counts - points. And that is due to our D.

 

Gio and Brodie are one of the best tandems in the league, and probably both have a good shot at winning a Norris in their career.

 

Wideman and Russel have shown themselves to be a solid 3/4 pairing that would fit on all but the best teams as such.

 

Our bottom two looked weak much of the early season, but there's finally some good play there. Diaz has been great as a PP quarterback, and of our original bottom three, has the best +/- which means a lot. Smid hasn't seen action in a while, but didn't play particularly well in the early part of the season. Engellend's play has improved of late, and he does better with bigger minutes. That's greatmm but he's not likely to get a lot of big minutes next year. That could be an issue, but as mentioned a RHS isn't common on this team and he's one of our few big guys. Schlemko adsa an interesting dynamic. I think he coud wind up being a payer who was capable of playing on the bototm line, but also drawing bigger minutes in the top 4 when needed.

 

Based on their play this year, I'd rank our bottom four Diaz > Engellend > Smid. Too small a sample size on Schlemko yet, but I'd say probably as good or better than Engellend for the bottom roll.

 

Engellend and Smid are the ones signed for next year, but I'd honestly prefer to see a bottom pairing of Diaz and Schlemko, with Enegellend as the 7th to draw in when we require size. I don't see a place sof Smid anymore next year.

 

I doubt Wotherspon cracks the opening lineup, but that's also a pssibility.

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We also aren't bad at goals against - 15th right in the middle. In my mind our D has a lot of room for upgrade still just because some of our D are getting old and we don't have the youth to replace them as of yet. Yes we have a solid core but no real young D stud and we could really use one..

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5-2 win in DET.  Wideman and Russell have a combined 32 blocked shots in back to back games (BOS & DET).

 

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http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams?year=2015

 

According to NHLnumbers, the Flames are the 11th youngest team in the NHL.  There's this idea the Flames are one of the youngest because of Monahan, Gaudreau, etc but fact is, most of the team is made up of the Stajans, Hudlers, Widemans, etc.  They bring up the average age of the team.  The Flames are on average, on par with the rest of the league in terms of age.

 

Plus the Flames subtracted the aging Glencross and McGratton (31 and 32 yrs) this year which helped bring the number down to 11 youngest.

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Russell looked like he blocked one shot too many last night.  I know he came back but he did not look comfortable.   Any news on Calgary Radio/Papers on his status?

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Regardless of advanced stats, we're doing well in the ONLY stat that really counts - points. And that is due to our D.

 

Gio and Brodie are one of the best tandems in the league, and probably both have a good shot at winning a Norris in their career.

 

Wideman and Russel have shown themselves to be a solid 3/4 pairing that would fit on all but the best teams as such.

 

Our bottom two looked weak much of the early season, but there's finally some good play there. Diaz has been great as a PP quarterback, and of our original bottom three, has the best +/- which means a lot. Smid hasn't seen action in a while, but didn't play particularly well in the early part of the season. Engellend's play has improved of late, and he does better with bigger minutes. That's greatmm but he's not likely to get a lot of big minutes next year. That could be an issue, but as mentioned a RHS isn't common on this team and he's one of our few big guys. Schlemko adsa an interesting dynamic. I think he coud wind up being a payer who was capable of playing on the bototm line, but also drawing bigger minutes in the top 4 when needed.

 

Based on their play this year, I'd rank our bottom four Diaz > Engellend > Smid. Too small a sample size on Schlemko yet, but I'd say probably as good or better than Engellend for the bottom roll.

 

Engellend and Smid are the ones signed for next year, but I'd honestly prefer to see a bottom pairing of Diaz and Schlemko, with Enegellend as the 7th to draw in when we require size. I don't see a place sof Smid anymore next year.

 

I doubt Wotherspon cracks the opening lineup, but that's also a pssibility.

Very good assessment to which I mostly agree.  As for next year I think at least Smid and perhaps Wideman are gone via trades, making room for a UFA (i.e. Boychuk) and Wotherspoon the first call-up.  

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No to beat down the defence because I'm am incredibly impressed with how they've stepped up in Gio's absence, but it terms of going forwards you have to be carefully saying this is d core is fine and doesn't need improving. Yes they are winning I get that, but there are too many stretches where they are getting dominated in procession and getting seriously hemmed in their own zone. If it weren't for ramo playing at a vezina calibre level they lose in both Boston and Philly without question so I still think the flames have improvements to make on this d core long term to become a contending team. Brodie and Gio are fine of course but I still think upgrading everywhere else Is something I would be looking into to really turn the flames into a contender. I would agree it's probably not as high a priority as it was before the season so it needs to be the right fit, but I'm not sure you would win a cup with this blueline.

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The blueline was assembled with bits and pieces last summer and into this season. Engelland was a panic move to get to the cap floor, while adding a bigger, tougher defender with some miles left. He is no better than Spoon as a defender. Diaz was a low-risk move to pick up a 7th D.

Going into next season, we have to bring in at least a 3/4 D-man. Spoon will probably make the jump, but that leaves us with an aging top 4 (Gio and Wideman). I would like to rid ourselves of Smid and Engelland, replacing them with better shut-down guys. Diaz is fine as a 7th D, but he gets overused due to RHS.

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http://stats.nhlnumbers.com/teams?year=2015

 

According to NHLnumbers, the Flames are the 11th youngest team in the NHL.  There's this idea the Flames are one of the youngest because of Monahan, Gaudreau, etc but fact is, most of the team is made up of the Stajans, Hudlers, Widemans, etc.  They bring up the average age of the team.  The Flames are on average, on par with the rest of the league in terms of age.

 

Another way of looking at team age is team experience.

This will take into account late bloomers (Gio, Jooris, Colborne) or older college players (Gaudreau):

 

NHL%20Team%20Experience%20-15-03-06_zps8

 

In terms of experience, we rank 5th lowest as opposed to 11th youngest.

 

Our forwards have the 2nd least experience only behind Buffalo. Of course the departure of Glencross & McGrattan did depress this somewhat. New Jersey forwards have a lot of miles.

 

Our defence ranks at 21st. Only 9 teams have more experience with Philadelphia as the game-worn defence champion. Arizona's defence has barely left the incubator.

 

Calgary goaltending stands at the 20th least experience. Anaheim goaltenders have next to no experience while Florida is a victim of the Luongo effect (855 GP).

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No to beat down the defence because I'm am incredibly impressed with how they've stepped up in Gio's absence, but it terms of going forwards you have to be carefully saying this is d core is fine and doesn't need improving. Yes they are winning I get that, but there are too many stretches where they are getting dominated in procession and getting seriously hemmed in their own zone. If it weren't for ramo playing at a vezina calibre level they lose in both Boston and Philly without question so I still think the flames have improvements to make on this d core long term to become a contending team. Brodie and Gio are fine of course but I still think upgrading everywhere else Is something I would be looking into to really turn the flames into a contender. I would agree it's probably not as high a priority as it was before the season so it needs to be the right fit, but I'm not sure you would win a cup with this blueline.

I agree, if we were able to play Wideman an Russell on the third pair, imagine what our D would be like?

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I don't know about moving Russel and Wideman to a third pairing. I'd love to see their time come down a little (heck I wouldn't eeven mind seeing Gio and Brodie playing a minute or two fewer per game), but that's going to require upgrading.

 

Schemko is a good start at that it seems based on a small sample size. Diaz and Engellend are both servicable as a 7th D man to draw in.

 

I would be ok with any combination of:

 

1/2 - Gio - Brodie

3/4 - Russell - Wideman/New

5/6 - Schlemko - Wideman/New/Diaz

7 - Engellend/Diaz

 

 

I don't think Smid stays. I see no logical place for him.

 

We do have to start drafting some good D-men for our top end though. Gio and Wideman need to be replaced in under 5 years and we have no one in the pipe to match that.

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I don't think BT brought in Engelland at the price they did to not play him or trade him. You never say never but I think he is here next year.

I get beat up when I suggest busting up Giordano and Brodie but maybe with bring in someone else you spread out the talent for the better. Here is my take with the addition of Luke Schenn.

Giordano, Wideman

Brodie, Schenn

Russell, Engelland

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After Giorda

 

I don't think BT brought in Engelland at the price they did to not play him or trade him. You never say never but I think he is here next year.

I get beat up when I suggest busting up Giordano and Brodie but maybe with bring in someone else you spread out the talent for the better. Here is my take with the addition of Luke Schenn.

Giordano, Wideman

Brodie, Schenn

Russell, Engelland

 

With Giordano's injury and Brodie having to play with someone else, I don't think it's a terrible idea to separate them. It depends on whether the team is better as a whole in the long run throughout the season if you do.

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No to beat down the defence because I'm am incredibly impressed with how they've stepped up in Gio's absence, but it terms of going forwards you have to be carefully saying this is d core is fine and doesn't need improving. Yes they are winning I get that, but there are too many stretches where they are getting dominated in procession and getting seriously hemmed in their own zone. If it weren't for ramo playing at a vezina calibre level they lose in both Boston and Philly without question so I still think the flames have improvements to make on this d core long term to become a contending team. Brodie and Gio are fine of course but I still think upgrading everywhere else Is something I would be looking into to really turn the flames into a contender. I would agree it's probably not as high a priority as it was before the season so it needs to be the right fit, but I'm not sure you would win a cup with this blueline.

Getting hemmed in our own zone is not the fault of 2 dmen.  I believe it is a lack of overall team defense and puck management and it starts in the face off circle.  As Pyro demonstrated we have the second most inexperienced forwards in the league.  Many of them have a ways to go before they reach peak conditioning and strength.

 

The blueline was assembled with bits and pieces last summer and into this season. Engelland was a panic move to get to the cap floor, while adding a bigger, tougher defender with some miles left. He is no better than Spoon as a defender. Diaz was a low-risk move to pick up a 7th D.

Going into next season, we have to bring in at least a 3/4 D-man. Spoon will probably make the jump, but that leaves us with an aging top 4 (Gio and Wideman). I would like to rid ourselves of Smid and Engelland, replacing them with better shut-down guys. Diaz is fine as a 7th D, but he gets overused due to RHS.

Engelland was not a panic move, he was a large, physical dman BB and BT were targeting.  Rumor had it the Flames got caught in a bidding war.  Spoon is not equivalent to Engelland, not even close.

 

I agree, if we were able to play Wideman an Russell on the third pair, imagine what our D would be like?

I believe Russell and Wideman as third pairing dmen would be a waste of their talent.

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For next season only, I'd be tempted to keep much of our current defense.

 

Giordano - Brodie

Russell - Wideman

Schlemko - Engelland

Smid

 

Engelland and Smid's contracts make them untradeable for the near future.

Don't resign Diaz or offer him an AHL contract.

 

Draft & Trade for D prospects who project to be 1st & 2nd pairing.

 

Calgary has Giordano & Wideman for a couple more years (more if resigned) but the team has to be ready to replace them and the cupboards aren't exactly stocked.

 

I don't see anyone currently in the system who looks like they will turn into Top 4 Ds.

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Getting hemmed in our own zone is not the fault of 2 dmen.  I believe it is a lack of overall team defense and puck management and it starts in the face off circle.  As Pyro demonstrated we have the second most inexperienced forwards in the league.  Many of them have a ways to go before they reach peak conditioning and strength.

 

.

Agree to a point it's not only the defence but they play a part. Outside of brodie and Gio I find the D struggles to handle a cycle and forechecking game. The 2nd pairing lacks physicality and gets cost chasing and the 3rd pairing lacks mobility and not to mention both are problematic against top talent.

Again it's not a slights it's about saying what is needed to be a top level team and how are we going to get there. It's not just the D that would be improved either so I'm not singling them out.

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Gio, Brodie, Wideman and Russell are arguably the best top 4 dmen in the entire league right now.  If you look at the sum our top 4 dmen here is where they stand today when compared to the top 4 dmen on all 30 teams.

 

Pts, 1st
+/-, 4th
TOI/GP, 1st
Shifts/GP, 1st
Blocked Shots, 1st

 

And they are doing all of this at an average annual cap hit of 3.5mil.  With the addition of Schlemko, it’s quite likely we don’t see any changes coming to our D next year, and I'd be okay with that.

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Gio, Brodie, Wideman and Russell are arguably the best top 4 dmen in the entire league right now.  If you look at the sum our top 4 dmen here is where they stand today when compared to the top 4 dmen on all 30 teams.

 

Pts, 1st

+/-, 4th

TOI/GP, 1st

Shifts/GP, 1st

Blocked Shots, 1st

 

And they are doing all of this at an average annual cap hit of 3.5mil.  With the addition of Schlemko, it’s quite likely we don’t see any changes coming to our D next year, and I'd be okay with that.

I think this year has proven just how much we need to improve our depth. We don't really know what we have with Schlemko as of yet. So it's a bit premature to say he's the answer to our defensive woes. I like Schlemko and I hope he can be part of the equation but in my opinion, it's highly likely the Flames will pursue a mid to high level D man. It will all come down to price and I don't think BT is willing to bet the farm yet. If we stand pat I guess I wouldn't have an issue either but I'd rather we pick up at least a depth D man.

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Gio, Brodie, Wideman and Russell are arguably the best top 4 dmen in the entire league right now.  If you look at the sum our top 4 dmen here is where they stand today when compared to the top 4 dmen on all 30 teams.

 

Pts, 1st

+/-, 4th

TOI/GP, 1st

Shifts/GP, 1st

Blocked Shots, 1st

 

And they are doing all of this at an average annual cap hit of 3.5mil.  With the addition of Schlemko, it’s quite likely we don’t see any changes coming to our D next year, and I'd be okay with that.

 

Thoser are basically impossible stats to argue with, especially for that cap hit.

 

I do hope that if we can get a better depth though, the TOI can come down a little. That's the only issue I have.

 

Schlemko has looked good in his first two games. That could definitely be a start. But I think it would be aceptable to pursue one more guy who could play anywhere on the second or third pairing.

 

We also have to draft replacements for a few years from now.

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I don't think BT brought in Engelland at the price they did to not play him or trade him. You never say never but I think he is here next year.

I get beat up when I suggest busting up Giordano and Brodie but maybe with bring in someone else you spread out the talent for the better. Here is my take with the addition of Luke Schenn.

Giordano, Wideman

Brodie, Schenn

Russell, Engelland

Agree.  We have a few D in the pipeline that may be ready in another year or two but it would be nice to get a couple stud D picks at the draft.

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Agree to a point it's not only the defence but they play a part. Outside of brodie and Gio I find the D struggles to handle a cycle and forechecking game. The 2nd pairing lacks physicality and gets cost chasing and the 3rd pairing lacks mobility and not to mention both are problematic against top talent.

Again it's not a slights it's about saying what is needed to be a top level team and how are we going to get there. It's not just the D that would be improved either so I'm not singling them out.

Good insights on our needs, while not trashing what we've currently got.  Think Boychuk could be a great signing in the summer to potentially replace Wideman, or push someone down to the third pairing and potentially replacing Smid.  In the next two years I think we could be looking at adds of: Wotherspoon, Sieloff, Culkin, Hickey, Rafikov(?) and Kanzig and who knows about someone coming out of nowhere?  

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Good insights on our needs, while not trashing what we've currently got.  Think Boychuk could be a great signing in the summer to potentially replace Wideman, or push someone down to the third pairing and potentially replacing Smid.  In the next two years I think we could be looking at adds of: Wotherspoon, Sieloff, Culkin, Hickey, Rafikov(?) and Kanzig and who knows about someone coming out of nowhere?  

I don't get it... Why you want to replace Wideman?

I like Boychuk too but if he hits UFA this summer he will demand far more $$ than we are paying any of our present D group.

 

Wideman:

  • He has bought into our system and performing well.
  • He is/has become a leader for our club.
  • He is reasonably priced when playing at his present levels 3-4D role.
  • He plays really well with Russell as a 2nd D pairing.
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5-4 SO loss vs OTT at the tail end of a successful 7 game road trip.  Amazing third period come back by the Flames from a 4 goal deficit to send it to the SO.  Russell with 2 third period goals.  Schlemko's was a goal post away from his second game winning SO goal in back to back games. Wideman and Russell played 30 and 29 min.
 

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The only thing I would say as a negative about Wideman is that he needs to be a defenseman NOT our goalie.

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The only thing I would say as a negative about Wideman is that he needs to be a defenseman NOT our goalie.

I will take any effort from our top 4D that tries to prevent a goal. Wideman cleared a tap-in goal in a previous game, Russell stops almost as much as a goalie, and Brodie has to try to keep the other D from being totally exposed.
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