Calgary Flames

Senators loss to Leafs ‘wakeup call’ for Flames


The Calgary Flames are getting ready for games against Los Angeles on Thursday and Winnipeg on Saturday. Those are their chief adversaries in the battle for a playoff berth, so it seems natural to look at those contests as the games that will define Calgary’s season.

That can’t be where their attention is though. Not yet anyways. First they need to earn two points against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday. They’re the heavy favorites going into that contest, but only if they don’t fall into the trap of looking too far ahead. If they needed help staying focused, Ottawa provided some.

When Pittsburgh suffered a 4-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, it made Tuesday’s Senators-Penguins critical for both teams. However, the Senators missed a golden chance to maximize that opportunity when they failed to put away the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs. Instead they had to settle for a consolation point in a 3-2 shootout loss.

“I’m hoping that’s a good wakeup call for us,” Flames forward Joe Colborne told the Calgary Sun. “We went into last game knowing that would be Edmonton’s biggest win of the year if they could get us and put a dent in our hopes, and managed to come out of that with a pretty good win. Now we have to make sure we get another one.

“You can’t afford to have a slip up.”

While Calgary is idle tonight, Winnipeg is facing Minnesota and Los Angeles is playing against Vancouver. Both of those contests are important to the Flames as Calgary will slide from its playoff spot if the Kings and Jets win on Monday.

Report: No suspension for Shaw after charging Jackman


Chicago forward Andrew Shaw won’t face any supplemental discipline for his hit on St. Louis’ Barret Jackman from Sunday night, per the Tribune.

Here’s the hit in question, which occurred early in the second period of the Blues’ 2-1 win and netted Shaw a two-minute charging minor:

Shaw does have a disciplinary history — during the ’12 playoffs, he was suspended three games for bowling over Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. He was also tossed from a game in mid-March versus the Islanders for headbutting New York forward Brock Nelson (though Shaw wasn’t given any further punishment for that infraction.)

As for Jackman, he went uninjured on the play and returned to finish with 19:59 TOI. It’s worth noting this is the second time Jackman’s been on the receiving end of a questionable hit in a matter of days; against Calgary last Thursday, Flames forward Brandon Bollig was given five and a game for boarding Jackman.

Bollig did not receive any supplemental discipline either.

With Ramo sidelined, Flames recall Thiessen


With Karri Ramo sidelined due to a lower body injury, the Calgary Flames have recalled Brad Thiessen from the American Hockey League’s Adirondack Flames.

Ramo left Saturday night’s 4-0 win over the Edmonton Oilers 58 seconds into the first period.

Ramo is listed as day-to-day.

Thiessen is 10-14-7 to go along with a 3.02 G.A.A. and a .905 save percentage in 32 games with Adirondack this season.

“It’s a fun time of the year. I’ve been following the #Flames and their run to the playoffs,” said Thiessen per The Calgary Herald’s Scott Cruickshank. “This is the week to be here.”

The 29-year-old signed with the Flames as a free agent last summer.

Calgary returns to action on Tuesday night when they play host to the Arizona Coyotes.

Photo credit: NHL

Holding serve: Basically everyone wins in the West, too


In the NHL, sometimes it feels like playoff races work like side-view mirrors in reverse: objects behind you may not be as close as they appear.

Technically, the Dallas Stars and San Jose Sharks might not be mathematically out of this, but considering the fact that everyone who needed to win more or less did so today – not just in the West, in the NHL overall – even a few points represent a mountain with such a small amount of time left.

(See the East update here.)

Outside the bubble

The Stars won and the Sharks lost, but both teams are almost certainly out of the running.

In news higher up the food chain, the St. Louis Blues are in a great position to win the Central Division after Nashville only managed an OT point against Dallas:

Also, the Minnesota Wild lost, yet they managed to grab a point by getting to a shootout against Detroit. With 96 standings points, they’re in a pretty comfortable position for the first wild card spot.

If you’re more of a visual learner, here are the updated West standings via


Back to the bubble

As covered earlier, Winnipeg won a thriller against VancouverThey slipped into a playoff spot in the early evening, yet now they find themselves back out into the bubble thanks to two other outcomes.

The Los Angeles Kings smothered the Colorado Avalanche to grab a 3-1 win. The Avalanche only managed 10 shots on goal.

It was close for some time, but the Calgary Flames shook off Karri Ramo’s injury and pulled away from the Edmonton Oilers with a 4-0 victory. Dennis Wideman set a new career-high for points in one season by reaching 52.

Finally, let’s look at the closing schedules for the Flames, Kings and Jets.

Flames (currently the third team in the Pacific Division): 93 points, three games remaining, 39 regulation/OT wins

Tuesday: vs. Arizona
Thursday: vs. Los Angeles
Saturday (April 11): at Winnipeg

Kings (currently in the second wild card spot): 92 points, four GR, 37 ROW

Monday: at Vancouver
Tuesday: at Edmonton
Thursday: at Calgary
Saturday (April 11): vs. San Jose

Jets (currently in the bubble): 92 points, four GR, 33 ROW

Monday: at Minnesota
Tuesday: at St. Louis
Thursday: at Colorado
Saturday (April 11): vs. Calgary

Interesting schedules, huh? The Flames have one fewer game remaining, yet they have one left against both Los Angeles and Winnipeg. For all we know, Calgary vs. Winnipeg and Los Angeles vs. its local rival San Jose could both stand as all-or-nothing games (or any number of other possibilities).

It all points to a thrilling finish … or a stressful one if you’re pulling for the Flames, Jets or Kings.

Update: Flames’ Ramo (lower body) considered day-to-day


Update: It seems like good – if somewhat vague – news for Karri Ramo: the Calgary Flames consider him day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Day-to-day can mean very little time or could mean a week-plus depending upon how he progresses.

The news could certainly be worse, though.


The Calgary Flames have done a great job adapting to a variety of different situations, yet seeing Karri Ramo go down with an injury on Saturday remains a cause for concern.

The 28-year-old left tonight’s contest against the Edmonton Oilers a little less than one minute into the game, giving way to Jonas Hiller.

There’s no word yet how hurt Ramo (pictured) is. The good news for Calgary is that Hiller is a seasoned starter who could easily carry a heavy workload (and who’s seen playoff success before, something Ramo can’t really claim). The bad news is that injuries and other issues would give the Flames limited backup options behind Hiller.

That’s a troubling situation, yet we don’t know how serious Ramo’s issue is just yet.