This 31-part series chronicles why each team is going to be trash in the 2018-2019 NHL season. Progressing alphabetically, three teams will be featured weekly during the off-season. A compendium 31-part series will be published by Hockey Doc (@RealHockeyDoc) on www.BeerLeagueTalk.com on why your team is good in the 2018-2019 NHL season.
The Flames were a team that I said was going deep at the beginning of the 2017-2018 season. Instead, they made me look like an asshole and didn’t even qualify for the playoffs with a record barely over .500. That’s what happens when Jagr doesn’t play.
This year the Flames will again miss the playoffs because they didn’t resign Jagr. Just kidding, they’ll miss the playoffs again because it’s the first year of their new coach, Bill Peters, they hemorrhage goals, and they’re really going to under-perform.
Peters was brought in from Carolina which has been a dumpster fire under his watch, not qualifying for the playoffs in his entire 4 year tenure/coaching career. Management then traded Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland to Carolina for Elias Lindholm and Noah Hanifin, with Calgary tossing in prospect Adam Fox to sweeten the deal. The Flames also picked up Derek Ryan – who played for Carolina the past 2 seasons – for his “versatility”. I think they had some insider information, no? These are all solid rebuild moves. Hamilton and Ferland had enough time to see if it would work and it didn’t. They were valuable – so they were shipped for young assets in return. Lindholm is 23 and Hanifin is 21, and both have tons of upside. Lindholm could probably touch a 30 goal season, and Hanifin could provide some offensive depth on the blue line… OR they could totally shit the bed and lay an egg this season. Hey, at least they’re familiar with the head coach.
The defensive core looks like it could be good on paper but if there’s anywhere you can say this roster will under-perform you can find it here. When you finish over .500 and your team gave up 30 more goals than it scored, it’s on your team defence. Giordano is declining steadily at 35 and the bottom 3 are players I’ve never heard of. Mike Smith hasn’t done bad but he’s 36 and if he takes considerable time off, Jon Gillies/David Rittich will need to really step up for the Flames to get them into the playoffs. This could all change with Peters taking the reins plus the personnel changes, but they’re going to need a drastic change to be consistent. On paper is as good as it gets for this Calgary team.
This team is a lot like Buffalo in the sense that they are going through a rebuild and to expect them to make the playoffs this year is setting the bar too high. Peters’ new system will need to emphasis team checking and defence while still letting their offensive talent loose for everyday success. Mike Smith will need to have a career year, and at this point I think those days were wasted in Arizona for him. While you may see some flashes of brilliance from this team, they won’t be able to pull it off consistently. Also, no Jagr.
That’s why the Calgary Flames are trash in 2018-2019.
What’s not trash? The Calgary Flames Best Jersey in Franchise History
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