Ed. note: I posed three questions to the writers on M&G and they were gracious enough to come up with some honest and unfiltered answers.
My first question was, what are the Calgary Flames weaknesses this season?
Secondly, what are some of their strengths?
Lastly, will the team will make playoffs?
Among the varied answers are some interesting opinions and perspectives. Here we hear from LiamPMcCausland. Let us know what you think in our comments section.
1. What are the Flames weaknesses?
A lack of concentration. The goalies and the defence didn't have a good start, we know that, but since Karri Ramo came back up, they have looked more settled. There's still too many moments of the back end falling asleep, though. Ramo makes saves he shouldn't, then lets easy ones in. The men in front of him don't help, though. They make errors in their own zone and put him under pressure. The entire team needs to be better, and more switched on, then probably half the goals conceded this year don't go in.
Another reason for the struggles this year is the regression from players who had career years last season. I'm not singling anyone out in particular *cough Jiri Hudler cough* *cough Dennis Wideman cough* *cough Kris Russell cough*.
I should see somebody about that cough.
2. What are the Flames strengths?
Young, vibrant offence. I'd give serious consideration to putting Sam Bennett on Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau's line somehow and finding a way to making it work because Gaudreau and Bennett have been superb. They drive play, get shots away from improbable angles, and make things work. Streets ahead of the others.
Also, the Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik pairing has been a high point. Possession monsters. David Jones has also been a surprising wonder.
Above all though, they have one of the best offensive defencemen in the league in T.J. Brodie.
The main strength is they have the foundation of a great team. It's all about putting the right pieces around them.
3. Will they make playoffs this season?
No, and that's not a bad thing. If there was a division a team could start this badly and still make it, it would be the Pacific. But, the Flames aren't good enough this year.
I think it's woken a few people out of their dream from last season, and made people (hopefully in the front office too) see what needs addressing and what the Flames still need to be successful. They're not a million miles away, but it would be unexpected if they were to make it now.