The Calgary Flames faced their 5th straight disappointing season since their 2009 playoff appearance. They are also in the rebuilding process and are on the right track.
Worth ethic has not been a problem for this team. They have been a very hard-working team, just has not had enough talent to compete for the Stanley Cup. One thing I’ve learned is that if a team lets off on them, they will make them pay.
They had trouble on both ends of the ice. The top point producer on the team, Jiri Hudler, had 54 points. They had only two players above 20 goals, Mike Cammalleri with 26 and Monahan with 22. That’s not enough scoring wise. On defense, they gave up a total of 241 goals against. One of their problems is that they didn’t have a starting goaltender in their lineup; Karri Ramo is a solid backup goaltender, but doesn’t fit the starting role well enough to lead the team to the playoffs. The defense itself wasn’t great; there were 11 players at least under a -10, 3 of them under a -20.
In the offseason, Calgary lost Mike Cammalleri, which was a bit disappointing. Mason Raymond will do a nice job filling that role. He may have score 7 less goals last season, but he notched the same amount of points. I expect Monahan to produce more being a year older, so I believe the production they were given from Cammalleri won’t be too big a loss.
The Flames did acquire a good starting goaltender in Jonas Hiller that I believe will help a lot. He didn’t have a great playoff performance this past season, but he is still a very talented starter in net. He has a career .916 SV% and a 2.51 GAA.
On defense, they signed Derek Engelland, who brings solid depth on the back end. He’s a career plus player, even though he was a -6 this season.
Also a bright note to go along with the good offensive moves is their prospect pool. Monahan already has his place on the team, growing into an all-star. They also have Klimchuck and Sam Bennett who will grow into great players. With 2 2nd round picks and their 3rd this year, they may have some good depth in the future, as well.
Right now, the Flames aren’t a playoff team, but like the Sabres, they are on their way.