1. Flames win 10th in a row
It’s been quite a year for streaks in the NHL. After Columbus (16 games) and Minnesota (12 games) both rode lengthy win streaks to surefire playoff appearances, the Calgary Flames are mounting a similar charge. By beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 last night, the Flames equaled a franchise record that dated back to their Atlanta days.
What’s interesting is that the Flames didn’t make any remarkable changes to spark this run. They added defenseman Michael Stone at the deadline, but even though he’s now sidelined with an injury, the team keeps winning. This young Calgary team has just been sharper on special teams, players like Johnny Gaudreau are busting out of lengthy slumps, and goalie Brian Elliott has rediscovered his game.
The Flames’ next three games come at home against teams that are below them in the standings, so this run could go for a while. But more importantly, keep Calgary in mind come playoff time. When a team is gelling at this time of year, it’s a sign they’ll be a tough out in a best-of-seven.
2. Lacy signs with Seahawks
Seattle was one of the most frustratingly inconsistent teams in the NFL last year, and a big reason for that was an unreliable run game in the first season sans Marshawn Lynch. Injuries to Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise left the Seahawks without much punch in the back field. Well, former Packers RB Eddie Lacy brings punch by the gallons and will be a welcome addition to this backfield.
Lacy comes with conditioning concerns, but in a crowded backfield such as this, he’ll be less exposed. This is a positive sign the Seahawks are going to get back to the football that brought them two straight Super Bowl trips, but unless they can beef up their o-line with better players than Luke Joeckel, this still isn’t a team worth backing for a deep run.
Photo credit: mark6mauno (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/].