Flames Projected to Finish 14th in West
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01-19-2013, 03:58 PM
unholy acting talent
Join Date: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by
Bobs your uncle
The Flames finishing 14th or there abouts has been the consensus projection by virtually everyone outside of Calgary; TSN, Sportsnet, THN, NHL.com powerline, SI, HF etc ...etc ....
Frankly, I'm surprised that Flames fans see things so differently
The reason for optimism should be pretty obvious. The Flames finished 9th last season despite having a terrible coach, questionable offense, bottom five centre depth, and a weak back end. They made steps to address three of those four issues.
By removing Sutter, they already made a fairly significant improvement to the team. Hiring Hartley, who should in theory at least, actually utilize the strengths of the assembled roster only makes it that much better. On the forward corps, you've lost Jokinen, but replaced him with Hudler (or even Stajan if he gets any icetime), Cervanka and added Baertschi. Then, you've upgraded on the defense by signing Wideman in place of Hannan. If nothing else, Wideman should be an enormous help in providing some offense from the defense, something that's been entirely missing since Phaneuf was traded/Brent Sutter was hired.
Are there still a lot of question marks, specifically around centre depth? Sure, but the improvements in other areas speak to the optimism. And of course, unlike other fans around the league, the Flames' won't just write off Iginla and Kipper because they're on the wrong side of 35.
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