A critical season for the Calgary Flames
TSN: Frank Seravalli on That’s Hockey says that this season could be critical for the Calgary Flames franchise moving forward.
** NHLRumors.com transcription
“That’s right Gino, and first off I love the intensity from Geoff Ward. If you think that teams can’t survive a slow start in an 82-game season, what about a 56 game season with no exhibition games.
The Flames need to be ready right from the start because this season is going to be critical. We thought last year might have been a referendum, the way that they bowed out to the Dallas Stars in the first round, on the teams’ core.
I had written at the time that I didn’t think that made sense because I wasn’t sure that Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, and company were properly surrounded with enough depth and goaltending to really make a run at things.
Now all of that’s changed. They’ve got Geoff Ward back for a second season after his fantastic run as an interim coach and now they really need to make hay because if you look back and think about this teams core, well, I think if they have another run where they don’t make some significant progress in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, that it won’t be long before we really see the transition take place from Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, to really being Matthew Tkachuk‘s team if it isn’t already.”
On if we’ll see a play-in round again for the playoffs
TSN: Darren Dreger when asked if the NHL will use a play-in round again in the future.
“Well unfortunately no, but the idea of using a play-in formula was certainly floated because of the shortened season. Now, the presentation was made specific to fourth- and fifth place. So, the idea would be that those two teams would meet at the end of the regular season in a two-game series. If the fourth-place team at the end of the regular season won the first game, well then, they’ve locked down fourth and go on into the playoffs in each division. If the fifth-place team ended up winning both of those games of the two-game series, they would take over fourth place and advance into Round 1.
So, the theory being, at least from a TV perspective, it would keep things really interesting for teams three through six at the end of the regular season. The NHL isn’t interested. They want to recognize the integrity of the playoffs.”