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Johannesburg • South Africa • 15 Years Old • Male
The Calgary Flames, clinched a playoff spot for the first time since 2009 after beating the defending champions the LA Kings 3-1 last night. They clinched the playoff spot with one game to go in the season. For most of the final part of the season they battled with the Kings and the Winnipeg Jets for 3rd in the Pacific and the final wild card spot. This has been one of the biggest surprises of the season and it still remains a mystery to some. The Flames have been one of the worst puck possession teams this season. Their 44.32 Sat% is third last in the league ahead of the Colorado Avalanche and the last placed Buffalo Sabres. These stats suggest that the Flames should have been in the running for Connor McDavid and not in the playoffs. One of the reasons could be that the Flames had a never say die attitude combined with a James Norris Trophy winning performance and a possible Hart Memorial from Captain and top defenseman Mark Giordano but his season came to an abrupt end when he completely tore his biceps tendon in a game against the New Jersey Devils on February 25th 2015. Many thought this would be the end of the Flames Cinderella story but it wasn’t. Great play from the Flames top forward line consisting of Jiri Hudler, Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau and defenseman Kris Russell, T.J Brodie and Dennis Wideman they managed to make the playoffs.They will face the Jets on Saturday and then will have a best of seven series against rivals the Vancouver Canucks. Both the Flames and the Canucks have not won a playoff series since losing in the Stanley Cup Final (The Flames in 2004 and the Canucks in 2011). At the end of the series one streak will end. In 2014-2015 season they split the four game series at two. If they get past the Canucks they will face either the Jets or the Anaheim Ducks/St. Louis Blues depending on who finishes top of the Western Conference. Potential opponents in the Conference Final are the Blues, Ducks, Nashville Predators, Chicago Blackhawks or Minnesota Wild. None of these opponents will be easy, with all but the Predators having made the playoffs the previous season. In the final they could face last season’s Stanley Cup Finalists New York Rangers, last season’s Eastern Conference Finalists Montreal Canadiens, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins/Ottawa Senators/Boston Bruins depending on who gets the wild card spots in the East.Whoever they face will tough which is what makes the Stanley Cup one of the most prized trophies in sport. They are not expected to make it very far due to their terrible puck possession stats and not much playoff experience in their team. In 2012 the Kings had one of the worst records coming into the Stanley Cup Playoffs and managed to beat the top 3 seeds in the West and the New Jersey Devils in the final with Goaltender Jonathan Quick winning the Conn Smythe Trophy. If the Flames can get offensive production from their top line, solid defense and great goaltending they can make a deep playoff run.It is a very optimistic prediction but it has been done before and it can always happen again. As they say the playoffs are very unpredictable.
April 11, 2015 10:19 AM ET | Delete
Very nice piece! a must read
April 20, 2015 2:56 PM ET | Delete
Excellent work...
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