Flames set to burn first year of Bennett’s contract as rookie suits up for Game 3

Jared Clinton
Sam Bennett (Gerry Thomas/Getty Images)

It’s usually not something you hear about this late in the season — a rookie and team having to deal with the potential of knocking a season off of an entry-level contract as the first-year player prepares to play his 10th game in the NHL. For Sam Bennett and the Calgary Flames, however, Tuesday’s Game 3 against the Anaheim Ducks will burn the first season of his contract.

“Contracts don’t matter to us,” Calgary coach Bob Hartley told the Flames website Monday. “We’re a pro organization, a very classy organization, and never have I had a conversation with [general manager] Brad Treliving or [president of hockey operations] Brian Burke about the contract of Sam Bennett. They always allow me to play the players that we feel will help us win.

“Sam Bennett will be in the lineup [Tuesday].” Read more

Flames better in Game 2 against Ducks, but still not good enough to beat one of the West’s best

Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (Debora Robinson/Getty Images)

Let’s give the Flames this: they weren’t a total disaster in Game 2 of their second-round series against Anaheim Sunday, the way they were in an opening-game 6-1 shellacking, (emphasis on lacking). However, the reality is they lost 3-0 to a Ducks squad that is as focused and loaded for bear as any still left in the Stanley Cup tournament, and unless their youngsters get untracked in a very short span of time, Calgary will be boxing up their belongings and heading home for the summer break in a few days. Read more

Ducks’ Hampus Lindholm scores first NHL playoff goal to seal Anaheim’s Game 2 victory over Flames

Anaheim's Hampus Lindholm (right) and teammate Rickard Rakell battle Calgary's Drew Shore in the Ducks' second-round series against the Flames. (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks are a deep team with a number of talented young players likely to keep them in Stanley Cup contention for the foreseeable future. In Game 2 Sunday of their second-round series against Calgary, one of those youngsters – Swedish sophomore NHLer Hampus Lindholm – showed a glimpse of what’s to come with a laser-like snap shot that gave him his first NHL playoff goal and helped his team to a 3-0 win.

The 21-year-old Lindholm, drafted sixth overall by Anaheim in 2012, had seven goals and 34 points in 78 regular-season games this year, but after 11 playoff games without a goal last season and another five this year, he finally got on the scoreboard at 11:15 of the third period and the Ducks leading 1-0: Read more

Brent Burns, Mark Giordano, Henrik Lundqvist named NHL Foundation Award finalists

Brent Burns San Jose Sharks

The ultimate act of benevolence is to do something good for someone else with little attention or fanfare for yourself. Fitting, then, that the NHL Foundation Award is among the league’s lesser-known annual honors. It’s awarded to the NHL player  ”who applies the core values of (ice) hockey – commitment, perseverance and teamwork – to enrich the lives of people in his community.”

Like with the Masterton Trophy, each team nominated one of its players. A judging panel then voted, producing three top vote getters as finalists. The finalists are:

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Hiller out, Ramo in as Flames look for answers in Game 2

Jonas Hiller is passed by Karri Ramo on his way to the net. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Jonas Hiller has been pulled in consecutive starts, and Flames coach Bob Hartley isn’t going to let that happen in Game 2 of the Pacific Division final. Instead, Karri Ramo is getting the call between the pipes for Calgary.

During Thursday’s Game 1 against the Anaheim Ducks, Hiller was shelled for three goals on 14 shots in little more than 22 minutes of duty. In Game 6 of the first-round series against the Vancouver Canucks, Hiller faced a similar fate, getting the hook after allowing two goals on three shots in 7:30 of action. Ramo came into Game 6 and backstopped the Flames to victory, but wasn’t named the starter for the Anaheim series. He’ll get his shot now, though.

The announcement of Ramo as the Game 2 starter comes two days ahead of Sunday’s Game 2 contest. Read more

Are Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry best 1-2 draft punch in NHL history?

Ryan Getzlaf (left) and Corey Perry  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

When fans of the Anaheim Ducks watch games such as Thursday night’s thrashing of the Calgary Flames in Game 1 of their playoff series, there’s a good chance they thank their lucky stars that Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry are under contract for the next four seasons. (Oh, and if you happen to have both of them in a playoff pool, you’re probably clicking your heels together today as well. Click-click.)

They’re also probably pretty happy that Perry had such a poor showing in the CHL Prospects Game in 2003 and that Getzlaf was likened to “a poor man’s Patrick Marleau,” in THN’s Draft Preview that year. Because if not, Getzlaf would not have tumbled to 19th and Perry to 28th in that year’s draft and the Ducks would not have had the chance to take them. Read more

Why the Calgary Flames are Canada’s team

The Flames salute their fans after winning Game 3. (Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The argument comes every post-season about which team – be it a Canadian club or not – is actually “Canada’s team.” While some will cheer for whichever Canadian teams are left standing, others base their fandom on wanting to see an underdog fight through and win the Cup. There’s one other way, though: by breaking down the rosters by nationality.

Using the rosters teams have iced during the post-season, we broke down not only which team is Canada’s club, but which are the most representative of other nations. So, while it’s not a perfect science, what it serves to point out is which teams best represent the hockey-playing nations. It also adds a bit of a twist to some of the second-round matchups.

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Ducks demolish Flames in Game 1 of what could be seriously short second-round series

Sami Vatanen, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry (Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

We know and expect when we rise every day that certain things won’t go exactly right in life. Every trip you’ve ever made to get your driver’s license renewed, for instance. Or the season-to-season development of the TV show Heroes, for other instance. Or your daily commute to work. We understand and accept someone or something will be the equivalent of the dolt driver doing parade speed in the passing lane of our lives, and we muddle through it to get where we want to be.

Then there’s the kind of night Calgary had against Anaheim in Game 1 of their second-round NHL playoff series Thursday. To call the Ducks’ 6-1 win over the Flames a defeat seems charitable in a way that cries out for a tax credit. Read more