Sean Monahan

It’s Calgary Flames Day at PHT


Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team?  The Calgary Flames.

For more entries in this series, click here.

Do we really need to review the 2013-14 season for the Calgary Flames?

OK, so it was a special one for … Mark Giordano and a couple other players. There was also the advent of Sean Monahan (pictured), and maybe just as importantly, “Boring Sean Monahan.”

If the Flames release on of those “Season Yearbook” DVDs – do they still make those for random sports teams, even ones who experienced unremarkable years? – it would probably be titled, “That could have been worse: the 2013-14 Calgary Flames.”

Sure, finishing with the fourth-worst record in the NHL was bad, but they weren’t anywhere near as futile as the Buffalo Sabres or as frustrating as the Edmonton Oilers. Their -32 goal differential advances the argument that they were at least “scrappy” when you consider their Alberta natives went -67 last season (and the Sabres fell by a resounding -91).

In the grand scheme of things, the Flames hope to shake the Etch-a-Sketch on that forgettable campaign.


Besides, that tough year landed them another key piece in Sam Bennett, who might eventually help the Flames pull themselves up (sorry) from the doldrums.

The most important offseason move came in the front office, as the Flames hired new GM Brad Treliving. Of course, with a dominant (and fairly well-defined) personality in the pecking order in Brian Burke, many of Treliving’s moves will inspire the “is that the really Burkie?” type questions. Especially when it comes to adding guys who played for the Anaheim Ducks (Jonas Hiller) or paying far too much for players who do little other than punch other players (Deryk Engelland). In the grand scheme of things, allowing Mike Cammalleri to walk was the right move, although one could argue that they should have been more willing to part with him for something at the trade deadline.

The Hiller signing is intriguing, although one cannot help but wonder if the Swiss goalie will help the Flames be just good enough to miss a high spot in the coveted 2015 NHL Draft while not elevating them enough to make the playoffs.

Then again, when you take a glance at the roster, it’s easy to see that this Flames team remains … a work in progress. Translation: Hiller might get Olympic flashbacks of trying to carry Swiss teams to victory on more than a few nights.

Video: Eichel’s first career NHL goal

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Didn’t take long for Jack Eichel to make his mark at the NHL level.

The No. 2 overall pick at this year’s draft scored his first-ever NHL goal in his first-ever NHL game on Thursday night, cutting Ottawa’s lead to 2-1 in the third period of Buffalo’s season-opener.

Marcus Foligno and another new Sabre, Evander Kane, registered the assists on Eichel’s marker, which came on the power play.


Tough start: Lehner knocked out of Sabres debut, won’t return

Matt Puempel, Alex Chiasson, Robin Lehner
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Chances are Robin Lehner won’t look back fondly on his first game as a Sabre.

Midway through Buffalo’s season-opener against Ottawa, Lehner — facing his old team for the first time since getting traded this summer — suffered a lower-body injury, and was forced from the contest.

During the second intermission, the Sabres ruled out Lehner for the night.

It was a difficult turn of events for 24-year-old, who admitted he was keen to go up against the Sens. He had a bit of a chip on his shoulder about his time in the Canadian capital; Lehner felt he never got a full opportunity to run with the No. 1 gig, and probably wasn’t thrilled GM Bryan Murray opted to keep Craig Anderson and Andrew Hammond instead of him.

As for tonight’s injury, details are scarce. All that’s known is the ailment was serious enough for Lehner to leave and not return, forcing backup Chad Johnson into duty.

Prior to getting hurt, Lehner had stopped 11 of 12 shots faced.