Calgary Flames: Playing at a tepid pace
The Calgary Flames have a lot to smile about this season. | (Photo: Leah Hennel/Postmedia)

Calgary Flames: Playing at a tepid pace

One surprise team this season is the Calgary Flames. They are playing some entertaining, consistent hockey. Just like their name, they are on fire!

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William Grigsby

The Pacific Division-leading Calgary Flames have been playing very well this season and are in first in their division and have the second most points in the NHL standings.

Flames are putting up some good numbers

The 2018/19 version of the Calgary Flames sees them with a very formidable record of 30-13-4 good for 64 points.

They are close to the top in many statistical categories. They possess a +34 in goals for/goals against, which put them right behind the best team in the league, the Tampa Bay Lightning who has an amazing +60... wow that's going to be difficult to top.

The Flames love the confines of the Saddledome (at least for now) where they have a great 15-4-4 record. They are not bad on the road either collecting a respectable 15-9 record.

They have been a consistently winning team this season as opposed to last season when they finished 11 points out of a wild-card playoff spot.

So what changed?

The roster for one.

The big trade that involved the Flames and the Carolina Hurricanes seems to have been won at least so far by the Flames. 

Elias Lindholm has been doing it all for the Calgary club gathering 21 goals, 31 assists with a rather spectacular +/- of +25. His 18.8 percent shooting percentage is not bad either.

Then, the added young defenseman Noah Hanifin who has done well himself by accumulating three goals, 20 assists.

They really completed the trifecta by gaining Carolina's former head coach Bill Peters to add icing to the cake.

Other things remained the same

This is the same team who has Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and Matthew Tkachuk to lead the Flames to wins... and they're still doing it. They rank as the top three scorers on the team.

Then add in that who was thought to be their backup goalie, David Rittich has taken the spotlight away from veteran Mike Smith. Rittich has 17 of Calgary's wins this season and that has been a significant addition to the success of the Flames this season.

Another player pitching in is veteran defenseman Mark Giordano who at 35-years-old is showing he still has plenty to contribute. Try nine goals, 38 assists in 45 games giving him just over a point a game... very impressive for any blueliner in the league.

Expectations are high

This team seems to be running on all cylinders and not slowing down. Can they continue to stay on top in the Western Conference and win the Pacific Division crown? 

If they can play the way they have this season there's no reason to believe that can't happen. 

They can be a very explosive team as indicated by their complete domination of the Arizona Coyotes tonight winning 7-1. The Coyotes were coming off of a three-game winning streak but ran into a wall in Calgary. It marked the Flames fifth straight win.

It has happened to quite a few teams this season.

The Flames have turned things around this season after a disappointing no-playoff appearance last season. 

They could be THE team to watch once the playoffs begin this spring... and this time they won't be watching the games on TV.

The Flames are HOT! 

What are your impressions of how the Calgary Flames are playing this season? Are they going to make some noise in the playoffs? Let us know in the comments section below.

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