The second half of the Calgary Flames season was something to write home about. It started off rough, just as the first half, but it eventually got better. And then it snowballed into one of the most progressive Flames seasons in a long time.
It all started with the announcement of Steve Begin retiring from professional hockey and finally making the decision that he dreaded. From there, Lane McDermid also announced his retirement shortly after being acquired from the Dallas Stars.
After losing two players to retirement, and the Flames in a downward spiral, Hartley took matters into his own hands and started his fourth line against the Vancouver Canucks on January 18th, which led to a line brawl right off the faceoff. Coach Torts was not happy, and Hartley ended up getting fined over the ordeal.
But it started something among the team that everyone took notice of. The Calgary Flames went on a win-streak and couldn’t seem to be stopped. Even when Karri Ramo was hurt, Joni Ortio stepped up from the AHL and took over as a backup, earning his first NHL win on March 5th against the Ottawa Senators.
Ending the season with an 8-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary lost their last game to the Canucks as Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold joined the team in their NHL debuts. Regardless of the final loss of the season, the Flames should hold their heads high. Hartley had nothing but good things to say about his team during his last interview of the season on Flames tv. He’s like a proud papa, gushing over his kids. Admittedly, I feel the same way. It’s been one heck of a season and one that I’m very proud to have been a part of.
As my time as editor has come to an end here on Flame For Thought, I’d like to extend my greatest of appreciation to everyone who has continued to support me by reading my updates and game recaps. I’m not going too far, I will be back to write once in a while. Stay tuned to read more from me during the off-season soon.
For now, I’d like to send out my gratitude in the form of a McGrattan Salut to all my readers!