Coach Sutter, Jarome Iginla - the Flames look like a winning team

Calgary Flames on track to Playoffs - Is the Stanley Cup a Reality?

11/24/09 in NHL   |   Debi_L   |   11848 respect

We're almost a third of the way through our regular NHL season, and Coach Brent Sutter, along with brother Darryl have motivated the Calgary Fames to a second place spot in the Northwest Division, second to the Colorado Avalance who are having an incredible season.

San Jose is again having a  regular season all teams wish they could have, leadin the conference, and the league.  Calgary is seventh in the league and fourth in the Western Conference.  They have played 22 games and won 13 of those games, with Jarome Iginla stepping up to show he is worthy of the Captain's crown. 

Surprisingly, some of the lesser known players have also shown their skills and talent.  Players like Curtis Glencross, Rene Bourque, NIgel Dawes, Erik Nystrom, Jay Bouwmeester and  David Moss have also had impressive seasons this far.  Of course, Iginla is leading the "pack"  with 12 goals in 10 games in November. So he should ad leader of the team, but the thing that has shown itself to be prevalent this year is the teamwork, the comaraderie and the desire to win, as a team.   The Sutter brothers showed that kind of drive and desire in their playing careers and they are demonstrating the same desire in their administrative positions.

So can the Flames make it to the Stanley Cup?  Certainly, a berth in the playoffs seems definite, at this point in the season.  Unfortunately, we've seen all too often how a team can come apart, or dismantle if you will, right aroung the time it is to play for "all the money.  Last year, I predicted in December that the San Jose Sharks would make it all the way to the Stanley Cup.  I got shot down by fans who were outraged that I would make such a prediction so early in the season.  I won't make that claim for the Flames.  I've learned my lesson, especially after the way the Sharks did exactly that, came apart in the playoffs.

But really, at this point in the season, what are our predictions?  San Jose is leading the League with 16 wins in 25 games, but Pittsburgh also has 16 wins, in 24 games.  Pittsburgh has struggled a little lately, losing a couple of "sure wins" to much lesser teams.  Chicago has only played 22 games, and has 15 wins, so they are also right up at the top of the leader board.  Washington, Colorado and New Jersey are also ahead of the Flames, who are then follwed by Dallas and another surprise, (although not to Becky) the Los Angeles Kings.  Really, it is way too early to make predictions for any team.

By the end of January we should have a better idea of who will be in the playoffs, who will be the truly dominant players and teams.    For now, I'm happy to see the Flames playing like the team I first became a fan of.  If Jarome Iginla can continue to play they way he has the last month, and inspire the rest of the team to do the same, the sky's the limit.

I'm curious though.  The NFL and the NBA are still on, with championship games a ways off.  I know we have a few hockey fans on the site, and most of you are pretty opinionated.  So, is it too early for predictions? Or do you have some?  Will the Sharks go further this year than last year?  Will the Hurricanes finish in the bottom of the league, where they currently reside, kept company by the dismal Toronto Maple Leafs, or will they suddenly have an incredible turnaround and start winning?  Will Pittsburgh continue to flounder, or do we have to, again, put up with their obnoxious fans celebrate with them through yet another Stanley Cup?

What do YOU think?
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11/25/09   |   kaido   |   5 respect

(Edited by kaido)

Calgary has good team but there have been some collapses what i dont like. I think championship team can not afford this kind stuff( Chicago game when the blow 5-0 lead and lost it 5-6). I still dont have believe in Sharks. They have Heatley and Thornton but Heatley has not helped any team to win the cup -- yet. I think SJ need some SC veteran experience ( of course not that old Lemieux). Chicago may be too young team to win the cup. so, its hard to say what to expect. We can surely see Detroit again in playoffs and they have experiences. East - NJ can go far with their conservative hockey and goaltending. And Penguins .. maybe 

11/25/09   |   half_baked   |   847 respect

kteacher wrote:
Well...I AM placing money on the Kings (got tickets to the game).

Gave you a respect for your last part.

Thanks...and I hope your money is well spent.

11/25/09   |   kteacher   |   34351 respect

half_baked wrote:
I hope your right...but if I were a betting man, I wouldn't be placing my money on the Kings...

go Kings!

Well...I AM placing money on the Kings (got tickets to the game).

Gave you a respect for your last part.

11/25/09   |   half_baked   |   847 respect

kteacher wrote:
I agree, but I hope that this star studded, young, and mighty Hawks team folds this Saturday.

I hope your right...but if I were a betting man, I wouldn't be placing my money on the Kings...

go Kings!

11/25/09   |   kteacher   |   34351 respect

half_baked wrote:
Good article Debi...

It's never too early to make predictions and make a fool of yourself!

Firstly, to my beloved Flames. So far they've done okay in the standings and have games in hand on most of their competitors. That being said, I've seen a lot of their games and although they've won many of them, I haven't been entirely impressed by the way they play. Perhaps one day, they'll buy into coach Sutter's system and actually become consistently good. Until that day happens, I predict they make the playoffs and exit in either the first or the second round.

Secondly, the team that has impressed me the most is the Blackhawks. Not only are they winning but they look good doing so. A star studded line up with Toews, Kane, Sharp, Seabrook, Campbell, and others along with solid goaltending with Huet; this might be the year for them. If it isn't, then they'll have a hard time getting to the top again given that some of these stars will be looking for sizeable salary increases and in a salary cap world, this team could be dismantled.

Thirdly, I don't know about the eastern teams. It's not that I don't see a lot of their games, but I always get the impression that the western conference has better teams. That doesn't mean that a team from the western conference will win the cup but I just think that a team that makes it through from the west, will have a more difficult path to the cup. When they get there, they'll likely have less gas in the tank.

So to summarize, the best team at the end of the season will likely be Chicago. That doesn't mean they'll be bringing Lord Stanley home; the best team doesn't always win. 

I agree, but I hope that this star studded, young, and mighty Hawks team folds this Saturday.

11/25/09   |   half_baked   |   847 respect

Good article Debi...

It's never too early to make predictions and make a fool of yourself!

Firstly, to my beloved Flames. So far they've done okay in the standings and have games in hand on most of their competitors. That being said, I've seen a lot of their games and although they've won many of them, I haven't been entirely impressed by the way they play. Perhaps one day, they'll buy into coach Sutter's system and actually become consistently good. Until that day happens, I predict they make the playoffs and exit in either the first or the second round.

Secondly, the team that has impressed me the most is the Blackhawks. Not only are they winning but they look good doing so. A star studded line up with Toews, Kane, Sharp, Seabrook, Campbell, and others along with solid goaltending with Huet; this might be the year for them. If it isn't, then they'll have a hard time getting to the top again given that some of these stars will be looking for sizeable salary increases and in a salary cap world, this team could be dismantled.

Thirdly, I don't know about the eastern teams. It's not that I don't see a lot of their games, but I always get the impression that the western conference has better teams. That doesn't mean that a team from the western conference will win the cup but I just think that a team that makes it through from the west, will have a more difficult path to the cup. When they get there, they'll likely have less gas in the tank.

So to summarize, the best team at the end of the season will likely be Chicago. That doesn't mean they'll be bringing Lord Stanley home; the best team doesn't always win.