Saturday, September 8, 2018

Calgary Flames 2018-19 season preview


      
     
            After goalie Mike Smith got hurt, the Calgary Flames completely fell, and ended up missing the playoffs again. They fired Glen Gulutzan, and brought in Bill Peters. But, they then traded star defenseman Dougie Hamilton and Michael Ferland after his breakout season, plus one of their top prospects, Adam Fox, to Peters' old team, the Carolina Hurricanes, for young defenseman Noah Hanifin and disappointing forward Elias Lindholm in this summer's biggest trade. Before we look at their team, here's some fast facts for the Calgary Flames.

Head Coach: Bill Peters
General Manager: Brad Treliving
Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome
AHL Affiliate: Stockton Heat
2017-18 record: 37-35-10 (84 points)
2017-18 placement: 5th
Division: Pacific
2017-18 goals leader: Sean Monahan (31)
2017-18 assists leader: Johnny Gaudreau (60)
2017-18 points leader: Johnny Gaudreau (84)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): Dougie Hamilton (44)
Captain: Mark Giordano
Assistant Captains: None
2018 first round pick: None, picked Martin Pospisil 105th overall

Offseason additions: James Neal. Noah Hanifin, Elias Lindholm, Austin Czarnik, Derek Ryan.

Offseason subtractions: Dougie Hamilton, Michael Ferland, Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan, Kris Versteeg, Nick Shore, Matt Barkowski, Tanner Glass.

Forwards: The dynamic duo of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan is back, and they have James Neal on the first line along with them. Matthew Tkachuk, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik make up a scrappy, two way second line. Sam Bennett is officially a bust, but Mark Jankowski scored 17 goals in his rookie year, and can easily get 20 as a second line center.

Forward lines:

Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - James Neal
Matthew Tkachuk - Mikael Backlund - Michael Frolik
Sam Bennett - Mark Jankowski - Elias Lindholm
Austin Czarnik - Derek Ryan - Curtis Lazar
Other: Garnet Hathaway

Defenseman: Dougie Hamilton is gone, and stepping in is the not as good but younger Noah Hanifin. They went from a top-2 defenseman to a top-4 guy. Captain Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie are good top-4 guys as well. At 21, Rasmus Andersson will get a starting shot.

Defensive pairings:

Mark Giordano - Travis Hamonic
TJ Brodie - Michael Stone
Noah Hanifin - Rasmus Andersson
Other: Brett Kulak

Goalies: At age 37, Mike Smith is still a good goalie. Behind him is youngsters David Rittich and Jon Gillies. If Smith goes down, so does the team.

Goalie alignment:

Mike Smith
David Rittich
Other: Jon Gillies

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Johnny Gaudreau
Sean Monahan
James Neal
Matthew Tkachuk
Mikael Backlund

Playoffs: No
Division spot: 5th

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