Tomas Vokoun, Jarome Iginla

Late-night recap: Calgary’s struggles continue, fall to Florida 3-0

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While one team’s struggles come to an end, another ones continue to fester on. The Panthers took out Calgary 3-0 at the Scotiabank Saddledome on the strength of Tomas Vokoun’s 27-save shutout and two goals from the seemingly ageless Radek Dvorak. Youngster Shawn Matthias added the put away dagger in the third period to provide the final tally. For Calgary, things are looking ugly and nervousness is already starting to settle in as Sportsnet’s Mark Spector finds out after the game.

“To play this game, you have to be confident,” Tanguay said. “None of us want the puck on our stick right now.”

Shut out in two of three games this young season, incredibly, we’re already approaching critical mass in Calgary. The lines have been busted up before any of the Big 3 mustered their first point of the season, and the power-play is brought to you by Dr. Seuss, just 1-for-13 so far.

“We’re just uptight,” said Tanguay of the scoreless trio, alongside Jokinen and Jarome Iginla. “We don’t want to make plays, don’t want to make a mistake. Certainly, that first goal is wearing on us.”

The lack of fire from the Flames is evident in watching them play. The get-up-and-go isn’t there and while they outshot the Panthers tonight 27-18, they lost 3-0. While the wildly underrated Tomas Vokoun has a lot to do with that, the truth of the matter is Calgary was outworked all game long by a hungry Panthers squad. Are these horrible puns doing anything for you?

What needs to change in Calgary is simple, they need to find their groove. Scoring some goals will help that and getting everyone back in the lineup would do wonders as well. Until those things happen, the trend towards ugly play may continue to roll along. The Flames need something to get them going and Jarome Iginla can’t do it all by himself. Lord knows he’s already doing enough of that already.

Blues put Berglund on LTIR, use savings to sign Gomez

Scotte Gomez
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As was the case last season, Scott Gomez accepted a professional tryout offer because he went unsigned over the summer and once again he has used that opportunity to extend his career.

The St. Louis Blues announced that they have signed Gomez to a one-year contract. They didn’t disclose the financial terms, but it’s a two-way deal that comes with a base salary of $575K at the NHL level, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In order to free up the space necessary to sign him, St. Louis moved Patrik Berglund to the long-term injured reserve list. Berglund had shoulder surgery in August and isn’t expected to be available until January.

Gomez, 35, is coming off of a resurgence campaign where he recorded 34 points in 58 games on a Devils’ team that finished near the bottom of the pack offensively. The two-time Stanley Cup champion will be bringing more than a 1,000 games worth of NHL experience to St. Louis.

He’s not the only veteran forward to make the team off of a PTO as the Blues signed Scottie Upshall on Monday.

NHL key dates for the 2015-16 season

Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares
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Nov. 10 —  NHL General Managers Meeting (Toronto)

At last year’s November meetings, the GMs decided to kill the dry scrape. But these meetings usually serve as a table-setter for the rest of the season. It’s the more in-depth meetings in March where the majority of things get decided.

Nov. 27 — NHL Thanksgiving Showdown: Rangers at Bruins

The first of 12 “NHL on NBC” games in 2015-16. Click here for the full list, including the games on NBCSN.

Dec. 7-8 — NHL Board of Governors Meeting (Pebble Beach)

This is where we could find out about expansion. Will both Las Vegas and Quebec City get the nod? Only one of them? Neither of them?

Jan. 1 — Winter Classic: Canadiens at Bruins

From Gillette Stadium in Foxborough. Please don’t make any “deflated pucks” jokes. You’re better than that.

Jan. 28-Feb. 1 — All-Star Break

This year’s festivities are being held in Nashville, which is a pretty fun town we hear. Skills competition on Saturday the 30th, game on Sunday the 31st. Over/under has been set at 25 goals and 60 percent effort.

Feb. 29 — NHL trade deadline

Leap day! Click here for a list of pending unrestricted free agents, a.k.a. potential rentals.

Mar. 14-16 — NHL General Managers Meeting (Boca Raton)

As mentioned, these are the more in-depth meetings where any recommendations are typically made. Last season, the GMs recommended 3-on-3 overtime and a coach’s challenge.

Apr. 9 — Last day of the regular season

All 30 teams in action on this Saturday. Playoffs begin four days later on Wednesday. Also, the draft lottery’s date is still to be determined, but should be held sometime around here.

June 18 — Last possible day for the Stanley Cup Final

Click here for PHT’s Cup picks.

June 24-25 — NHL draft

In Buffalo this year. Click here for Central Scouting’s “players to watch” list, led by Auston Matthews.

July 1 — Free agency begins

And then it’s summer.