Arizona Coyotes 2014-2015 Season Preview: The Calgary Flames

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Coyotes vs Flames: Who has the upper hand this year?

Feb. 18, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes center Boyd Gordon (15) wins a face off against Calgary Flames center Roman Horak (51) and NHL linesman Michel Cormier (76) watches during the third period at Arena. The Coyotes beat the Flames 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

HH: Now let’s look: how did we fare against you last year? Do you think things will look the same this year, or will the record change? 

LN: The home team won every game last season allowing the Coyotes to take 3 of 5 from the Flames.  Home team dominance could easily be the story again this upcoming season. 

“Because of that, I predict that the Coyotes will win four games of five. All the pressure’s now on you to prove me wrong.”

 CS: Cheers to being the first responder who didn’t say “we pummeled you last year, expect to see it again”, so that’s nice. I think that the Flames are still in too much transition, though, and the Coyotes are looking just a bit more established than before. Because of that, I predict that the Coyotes will win four games of five. All the pressure’s now on you to prove me wrong.

Feb. 18, 2013; Glendale, AZ, USA; Phoenix Coyotes goalie Mike Smith (41) celebrates with right wing Shane Doan (19) after beating the Calgary Flames 4-0 at Arena. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

HH: Arizona seems to be playing a game of “ifs” with its fans this off-season, so I beg the question: if both Calgary and Arizona play their top prospects, who is more likely to win? If both teams only play current roster players, who will win then?

LN: I don’t know enough about the Coyotes to answer your first question.  At a quick glance at the Coyotes roster on ESPN, the Flames are definitely younger.  Not sure what that translates into though.

 CS: On paper, it looks like if played with prospects to prospects, the Flames would win, simply because they have a younger overall roster. They would look more like the Avalanche, while the Coyotes looked more like the Wild- and all statistics suggested that the Avs were the better team last year. Of course, though, we all know how the playoffs went– and I think that that’s what would happen in actuality, regardless of whether prospects were making appearances or not. 

HH: Assume we each add one more established name before at least one of our match ups. Which position would you most like to see supplemented, and could the addition of one more name be a game changer for your guys? Who’s your dream acquisition?

LN: If the Flames were to add another body, it would definitely be on the defensive end.  While I’m anxious to see the young forwards learn the ropes, this guy prefers an experienced defense.

The Calgary Flames are not one or two transactions away from being Cup contenders.  The Calgary Flames are building towards something with the depth they have within the system at all positions.  We’ve all seen these re-builds go wrong before but with a long list of under 25 year olds on the team with bright futures, Calgary should be okay. But- if the NHL did a one round fantasy draft addition to your team, Drew Doughty would be my pick for this team.

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CS: The Coyotes are in the same position. I’d like to see another guy added to the blue line- the drop-off from OEL and Yandle’s talent levels to Michalek, Schlemko, and Stone is just too big for me. I think that the team can afford one more big name on defense, and they should take advantage of that. As someone who grew up with the Boston Bruins, I’d love to see the Coyotes make a trade for one of their guys- ideally, Johnny Boychuk. This would benefit both teams in a huge way- the Bruins need the cap space, and adding an experienced defenseman who’s fierce and has won a cup could really give Arizona that final push they need. I’ll do as Len did, though, and say- if the NHL did a one-round fantasy draft addition to your team, I would pick up Nino Niederreiter. Sorry that I’m so weak. 

That’s it for this head-to-head, guys! In the coming days, we’ll be looking at the Coyotes versus the Dallas Stars, Boston Bruins, and Chicago Blackhawks!