The Calgary Flames have hit the 54 game mark of the regular season with a record of 25-18-11 (bleh). The Flames started the season 13-11-3 in the first 27 games, and then went 12-7-8 in this stretch. The team continues to flirt with a wild card playoff spot, now sitting in 8th in the West via holding the tiebreaker with the Minnesota Wild.
So how do things stand and what is the temperature of the fanbase? Let’s get to the responses!
Q1: Are you confident in Darryl Sutter as Head Coach?
No = 54.7%, Yes = 23.6%, Maybe = 21.7%
Confidence in Sutter has seen a dramatic downturn as the team has meddled with mediocrity throughout the season, however I think the bigger reason behind this rating has to be Sutter’s roster moves that he is forcing at times. He’s finally starting playing Jakob Pelletier but other than that, his forcing of guys like Milan Lucic in the top six or steady starting of Jacob Markstrom has been baffling. He had a 63.1% fan confidence after the first 27 games.
Q2: Are you confident in Brad Treliving as General Manager?
Yes = 50.9%, No = 26.4%, Maybe = 22.6%
Treliving also sees his fan confidence take a dip from 62.8% in the first third of the season, however it is not nearly as dramatic as Sutter’s. It will be extremely interesting to see how he approaches the deadline with his team not really being good enough to buy big, but not being bad enough to sell. It is also worth noting that with his contract up after this year, it is uncertain as to what his future may hold with the club. Does he push his chips in to make a splash before leaving? I think the difficult of the decision is reflected in the next question.
Q3: Should the Flames buy, sell, or stand at the deadline?
Stand = 37.7%, Sell = 33.0%, Buy = 29.3%
Wow, nearly a 1⁄3 split all the way around. I think it implies that the smartest decision for this club is to just hold firm as is heading into the trade deadline. This team isn’t just one piece away from being a contender, but they also aren’t bad enough to tank or sell off enough assets to be tank worthy. Seems to be the prevailing notion to just run with what you have, and maybe the team can make a Cinderella playoff run. Moving high value assets for rentals certainly isn’t the move.
Q4: How many of the remaining games should Dan Vladar start?
17-21: 45.3%, 13-16: 23.6%, 21+: 22.6%, 8-12: 8.5%
I probably should’ve just framed this as a “Who should be the starter?” question, but it’s pretty clear that Vladar should be the guy according to the fanbase. Over 90% think he should start at least half of the games, and 2⁄3 think it should be a sizeable portion of the 28 games left. He hasn’t been a world beater by any stretch, but he has gotten results and right now the Flames can’t afford to be picky on how they get points.
Q5: Do you think the Flames will make the playoffs?
No = 56.6%, Yes = 43.4%
Perhaps there is some extra cynicism after the debacle of Monday night’s collapse in Ottawa, but it is also a fair representation of the division of this fanbase. Like many of these questions, it screams how medicore a team this is and how they always walk down the middle. Missing the playoffs this year would be a disaster, but over half of the fans think that’s exactly what will happen.
Q6: Who is the Flames MVP so far?
- Tyler Toffoli - 30% of votes
- Rasmus Andersson - 14% of votes
- Elias Lindholm - 13% of votes
- Chris Tanev - 13% of votes
- Other - 30%
I have to say, I didn’t expect Toffoli to run away with the in-season MVP race like he did here, but it’s also clear that there was a wide mix of opinions after him. Also receiving substantial votes were Mikael Backlund, Dan Vladar, and Nazem Kadri. Dan Vladar won the first third voting at 24.2% but fell back while Toffoli wasn’t even in the Top 6 vote getters. Should the Flames go on a losing streak and decide to sell at the deadline, Toffoli would surely garner a massive return.
Q7: Are you confident in the direction of the Flames?
No = 57.7%, Maybe = 29.8%, Yes = 12.5%
This result isn’t too shocking for anyone who has followed the pulse of the fanbase this season, or really for anyone who hasn’t lived under a rock the last few months. Outright confidence was already at a low 20% earlier this year, bu
t now hits a new low of 12.5%. It’s very fair given the situations.
We will sort grades this time based on who has risen, fallen, and more or less stayed the same from the 1⁄3 report cards. A rise or fall is classified as a change of more than one notch on the scale such as from B+ to A, but not B+ to A-.
- Mikael Backlund - Rises to A from B
- Dillon Dube - Rises to B+ from C+
- Tyler Toffoli - Rises to A+ from B
- Jonathan Huberdeau - Falls to D+ from C
- Jacob Markstrom - Falls to D from C-
- Adam Ruzicka - Falls to C from A-
- Michael Stone - Falls to C from B-
- Rasmus Andersson - Rises to A- from B+
- Blake Coleman - Rises to B from B-
- Noah Hanifin - Stays at B
- Nazem Kadri - Falls to B from B+
- Trevor Lewis - Stays at C+
- Elias Lindholm - Rises to B+ from B
- Milan Lucic - Rises to D from D-
- Andrew Mangiapane - Stays at C
- Brett Ritchie - Falls to C- from C
- Chris Tanev - Rises to A from A-
- Dan Vladar - Falls to A- from A
- MacKenzie Weegar - Rises to B from B-
- Nikita Zadorov - Stays at B
Who do you think was too high or too low? Which questions do you think will be the biggest answer down the stretch? Let us know what you think in the comments as we gear up for what is sure to be an exciting final two months of the regular season.