2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Calgary Flames

johnny gaudreau sean monahan nhl calgary flames

This week we continue our Canadian team predictions with the Calgary Flames. The Flames are one of many teams that are currently on the rise and the young guns of the team may be able to succeed this year after a disappointing 2015-2016 NHL season.

After failing to make the playoffs last year with 77 points, the Flames are ready to fight for a playoff spot. With all the young stars gaining experience and taking on bigger roles, there are reasons for optimism within the Flames organization ahead the 2016-2017 NHL season.

The Flames added forward Troy Brouwer in free agency this summer but more importantly acquired goaltender Brian Elliott.  Elliott is a legitimate number one goalie and could do wonders for the Flames. The Flames also had a change behind the bench firing Bob Hartley and replacing him with Glen Gulatzen who had success coaching in the WHL and coached in the NHL for the Dallas Stars in 2011-2012.

This is good news for the Flames as a new system was needed to be successful. Bob Hartley was an old school hockey coach and it wasn't paying off. The Flames over the past 3 years have been among the poorest in terms of possession and with the speed of some of the young players they have, the Flames could  become a very strong possession driving team which is valuable in today's NHL. Although it is unknown whether Gulatzen's system will help the Flames in that area of the game, coach Gulatzen likes the speed of the Flames and wants to use it to their advantage.

Projected lineup
Forwards
Gaudreau  Monahan  Tkachuck
Shinkaruk  Bennett  Brouwer
Frolik  Backlund  Ferland
Bouma  Stajan  Chiasson
Bollig, Vey

Defence
Brodie  Giordano
Jokipakka  Hamilton
Engelland  Wideman
Smid

Goalies
Elliott
Johnson

Prediction: 3rd Pacific

I have Tkachuk making the team out of camp and providing the Flames with offence in the top nine. The Flames youngsters will carry the team to the NHL playoffs this year.

Related:

2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Edmonton Oilers
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Vancouver Canucks
2016-2017 NHL Team Predictions: Winnipeg Jets

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