Q. What has gotten into the Flames recently? Destroying Anaheim then beating Dallas in the last few days.
A: It's crazy, isn't it? The Flames are playing spoiler team incredibly well, and it's really fun to watch, regardless of the draft sabotage that has some of the fandom up in arms. Some of those wins are due to regression on the part of the other team, but the roster full of fresh new faces is stepping up big time. All the recent call-ups have at least a point--Joni Ortio (the goalie!) has TWO--and I think everyone's just getting familiar with each other without too much pressure on their shoulders. It's really heartening to see the future of the team do so well.
Q. Mark Giordano is having arguably the best season of his career despite his earlier injury, what has been the biggest difference in his game this season?
A: He's got a real consistency to his game, and I think he's really taken the captain's role head-on after; it can't be easy leading a team in the middle of a rebuild, where things are always in flux and probably not always good, and taking on the role after Jarome Iginla to boot. Gio's been a terrific player to have alongside all the young guns and although I can't say I expect him to have this kind of offensive season every year, he'll be a really valuable part of the team going forward. He's very dependable and an excellent defenseman.
Giordano was in the conversation for the Canadian Olympic team for a surprisingly long time, which I think speaks to how consistent he's been. Not just a flash in the pan!
Q. Was it a mistake not to move Mike Cammalleri at the trade deadline?
A: Yes. I think the reason it didn't happen was because Burke wasn't able to get the return he was hoping for, and Cammalleri having a super dry spell leading up to the deadline didn't help (of course, he started scoring again afterward), but now the Flames are stuck trying to re-sign him or watch him walk away for nothing. You don't want to let UFAs go anytime, but in a rebuild, the picks that could come the other way are a big deal.
That being said, it's possible his rights are flipped at the draft for a pick. If he signs with the Flames, he's gone at the next deadline for sure.
Q. Flames prospect and Boston College forward Johnny Gaudreau extended his point streak to 30 games on Friday, how soon until he makes the jump to the NHL?
A: Gaudreau has been totally ridiculous. Flames fans are salivating over the idea of having him play for us--there's been a bit of worry surrounding whether he would sign, which seemed in doubt for a while, but I think the prevailing sentiment now is that he will sign a contract with Calgary once the college hockey season is over; it's pretty likely that he'll get a chance at playing in the NHL pretty quickly once that happens, as the Flames have been giving everyone a look. He's also currently in the running for the Hobey Baker Award and has a very good chance of winning that. It's going to be really exciting to see how he makes the transition from college to NHL.
Q. What does it feel like to finish just outside of the playoffs year after year? Asking for a friend.
A: Hahaha. Haha. :( It feels like this.
To see our answers to their 5 questions head on over to Matchsticks and Gasoline.