Calgary Flames Wish List for 2023


Having excessive expectations means loads of strain, and we’ve seen that with this Calgary Flames workforce within the 2022-23 season. While they’ve proven some indicators of turning issues round in latest video games, their 15-12-6 file is underwhelming, provided that many considered their roster as a Stanley Cup contender only a few months in the past.

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The excellent news, nonetheless, is that the season shouldn’t be even half over. Sitting simply shy of a wild-card place within the Western Conference, there may be loads of time for the workforce to get again to the extent they have been enjoying ultimately season and cruise into the playoffs for the second straight yr. That stated, they may use some assist, and if Santa is studying, listed here are just a few recommendations.

A Scoring Winger

Since coaching camp started, Brad Treliving has been available in the market for a top-nine winger who can present some secondary scoring. Of course, that didn’t appear practically as pressing months in the past when everybody anticipated the workforce to attain objectives at will. That hasn’t occurred; the Flames rank 18th within the league with a median of three.12 objectives per recreation.

Brock Boeser, Vancouver Canucks (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The excellent news is that there are many proficient wingers rumored to be available on the market. From extra attainable gamers akin to Brock Boeser, Conor Garland, and Josh Anderson to elite choices like Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, there isn’t a scarcity of offensively gifted gamers up for grabs.

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The difficulty for the Flames, in fact, is the wage cap. That stated, good normal managers appear to discover a approach to navigate troublesome cap conditions, and Treliving must do all the pieces in his energy so as to add a scoring winger.

More Ice Time for Talented Youth

After watching each Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk break the 100-point mark a season in the past, whereas additionally witnessing gamers like Elias Lindholm and Andrew Mangiapane have profession years, extra of the identical was anticipated in 2022-23. However, Lindholm’s 31 factors lead the workforce, whereas newcomer Jonathan Huberdeau has but to get comfy with simply 22 factors on the yr. On high of that, each Mangiapane and Blake Coleman have struggled to offer a lot secondary scoring.

The excellent news is that the Flames have loads of offensive expertise of their system. Players like Jakob Pelletier and Connor Zary are having incredible seasons within the American Hockey League, as was Matthew Phillips earlier than being recalled recently.

Darryl Sutter Calgary Flames
Darryl Sutter, Head Coach of the Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

What many Flames followers need to see is for a few of these youthful gamers to get a possibility. Phillips was recalled however has been a wholesome scratch as a rule, suiting up for simply two video games and failing to get a lot of a possibility in very restricted ice time.

While it appears impossible, given head coach Darryl Sutter’s old-school model, it might be unbelievable to see a few of these younger gamers get an actual alternative to indicate what they will do. Not solely are they offensively gifted, however their youth may present a spark to a number of the veterans who aren’t enjoying their greatest proper now. Perhaps the giving season will see the Flames’ bench boss give a few of these younger guys a shot transferring ahead.

Consistent Goaltending

Despite the Flames’ scoring points, the workforce’s greatest downside thus far could very nicely be their goaltending, and one nobody would have imagined it given Jacob Markstrom’s excellent play only a season in the past.

After posting a 2.22 goals-against common (GAA) together with a .922 save share (SV%) in 63 appearances en path to his first-ever end as a Vezina Trophy finalist, Markstrom has been an inconsistent mess in 2022-23. Through 23 video games, he owns a disappointing 2.88 GAA, together with a .893 SV% and a 10-8-4 file.

Due to Markstrom’s struggles, Dan Vladar has been seeing extra enjoying time than most anticipated. Unfortunately, he too hasn’t been all that nice, with a pedestrian 2.81 GAA and a .905 SV% to associate with his 5-4-2 file. The workforce wants them each to be extra constant within the second half.

An Improved Power Play

This gained’t come as an enormous shock, however Calgary’s energy play has been very disappointing as nicely. After ending the 2021-22 season with a person benefit that ranked within the league’s high ten, they’re twenty third with a hit price of 19.6 p.c.

Sutter has a number of choices to repair this, however one is giving a number of the workforce’s youth a possibility, maybe permitting Phillips an opportunity for just a few video games to indicate what he can do. Another is to offer a participant who’s on the second unit an opportunity on the highest one, maybe somebody like Dillon Dube, who has been excellent these days.

Dillon Dube Calgary Flames
Dillon Dube, Calgary Flames (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

A remaining possibility value contemplating is giving MacKenzie Weegar a possibility in both group. The former Florida Panther, who has averaged lower than a minute per recreation on the person benefit this season, has the offensive ability to be an asset on both unit.

Flames Praying Wish List Gets Answered

While we’ve to attend a bit to search out out, the hope for each Flames gamers and followers is that the requests on this want checklist are granted. If so, the workforce ought to have the ability to resemble the Stanley Cup contender many believed them to be, due to Treliving’s work this offseason.


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