Week 14 was another slow one for the Flames with only 2 games, but they made the most of them. The Flames currently have a 3 game winning streak and they’ve taken down 3 of the heavy weights in the West. Last week ended with an over time thriller against Chicago and this week the schedule makers tossed Calgary LA and Anaheim and the Flames came out victorious in both contests. A 2-0-0 record on the week and 4 huge points towards climbing back into Wild Card contention, not bad at all. Calgary is now within a point of Anaheim and they are 1 point behind Colorado for the 8th and final WC spot. On the injury front the Flames are still without Michael Frolik and Kris Versteeg and the Jagr Saga (more on that below) took some odd twists and turns this week as well. Oh, and Glen Gulutzan flipped out. Here’s the Week 14 Edition of 3 Things!
Ferland SMASH!: And not how you’d expect.
Micheal Ferland had a great week this week for the Flames, scoring twice and collecting 2 assists. A nice lil 4 pointer in 2 games for the red hot Flames forward. Ferland scored his 16th of the season Thursday night against the Kings setting a new career high in goals for the Manitoba product. He then grabbed goal #17 to open the scoring against the Ducks (his assist on Dougie Hamilton’s game winner was a thing of beauty) and that goal pushed him to second on the Flames in goals scored behind only Sean Monahan and his 19 goals. To say Micheal Ferland has knocked down the door this season is an understatement. He’s KICKED in the door. His physical play is still a part of his game (3 solid hits against Anaheim), but his skating, hands and rocket shot have taken over and it’s been beautiful to watch. If he keeps up this current pace he’ll score 34 goals and have 48 points when the season is done. He’s also on pace to set a career low in PIM this season as well. He’s only gone to the box to feel shame for 11 minutes this season. Last year Ferland set a career high with 50 PIM. And you can really see that maturity growing as Kevin Bieksa and Ferly had a nice chat last night and nothing came of it. In the past it appeared Ferland’s value was “go out there and hit someone, then punch them in the face, repeatedly.” Now? His soft mitts and scoring ability have landed him on a line with two of the Flames most exciting and dynamic players. Not bad for a kid Flames fans were touting as “just a 4th liner” only a season ago. You go Micheal Ferland!
Should I Stay Or Should I Go?: The Jagr Saga Continues
Well, this was an interesting few days for the Flames and Jaromir Jagr and it appears it may only get weirder. The Flames announced a press conference scheduled for Friday to address Jagr’s injury issues. All that Friday delivered was Glen Gulutzan F-Bombing the Flames across the rink at practice and him throwing a stick 10 rows into the stands. Back to Jagr. Rampant speculation was that Jagr was announcing his retirement and..........nothing happened. Gulutzan said Jagr was still day to day with a LBI and we all scratched our heads and moved on with life.
Then Elliotte Friedman happened:
From Headlines: CAL/Jagr working on an exit. Jagr deserves to be treated w/respect and agent has permission to talk to other clubs. Nothing materialized yet, but time in CAL is drawing to an end. There is believed to be European interest.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) January 7, 2018
Who the? How the? What the? From that tweet and Friedman and the panel discussing it during the first intermission of the Flames and Ducks, it appears JAGR wants out, not the opposite. Bizarro. The fact that Jagr isn’t happy in Calgary is semi-understandable. He, when playing, gets less PP time than Troy Brouwer and the 45 year old vet is saddled on the 4th line with the aforementioned human anchor and Matt Stajan. Not ideal, but at 45 Jagr doesn’t have the chops to skate with Gaudreau and Monahan and there’s ZERO chance of breaking up that 3M Line to squeeze him in there. Yes, I know Frolik is out, but Troy Brouwer has, dare I say, looked serviceable on that line. Both of those lines need to be out on the ice more than Jagr can handle now and he’s been surpassed by the 3 kids on the 3rd line. So that leaves Jagr on the 4th or nowhere. Jagr’s offseason was brief as he waited and waited to sign with someone and let’s face it, he’s 45. I don’t care how super human you are, 45 is 45. This appears to heading towards a weird ending that no one saw coming when he signed.
Good Week For The Kids: Dube and Fox strong at the World Juniors
Both Dillon Dube and Adam Fox had very successful World Junior appearances over the last 2 weeks. Dube found himself with a gold medal around his neck when all was said and done as Team Canada took down Sweden in the gold medal game. Fox found himself with bronze around his neck as Team USA fell to Sweden in the semi’s, but managed a third place finish after knocking off the Czech Republic in the consolation game. Dube finished the tourney with 3 goals in 7 games, including the opening goal in Canada’s goal medal winning contest and Fox finished with 4 assists in Team USA’s 7 games.