Inexperienced Flames focus on ‘process’ with goal to finish off playoff opponents
By Donna Spencer in Dallas
Closing out an NHL playoff series to advance to the next one has a way of accelerating a player’s maturation.
The Calgary Flames may have been the higher seed heading into their conference quarterfinal against the Dallas Stars, but the Dallas lineup is deep in players who know what it takes to advance deep into the post-season after a run to the Stanley Cup Final two years ago.
“You want to break that down just (compare) the two lineups and see who has played in more winning-series games,” Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said.
“It’s not something that’s easy to accomplish.”
The first round of the 2022 NHL playoffs challenged Calgary to transfer what gave them a division-topping 50-21-11 season into the playoffs.
The Flames failed that test in 2019. Calgary finished first in the Western Conference, but was swiftly ejected in five games by the wild-card Colorado Avalanche in the opening round.
“It’s always hard to win the last game no matter what sport you’re in,” Sutter said. “You’re not a proven playoff team until you make it several years in a row and then you have some success, if you look at the history of champions.
“Guys are still learning. I’ve said it after every game. It’s a process for our younger players.”
Forwards Johnny Gaudreau and Mikael Backlund are the only holdover Flames from the 2015 edition that clinched a first-round series in Game 6 against the Vancouver Canucks.
It was a wild finale with Calgary overcoming a 3-0 deficit to win 7-4.
“It’s hard to end a team’s season,” Gaudreau said. “A lot of guys haven’t been to a point like this in their career. It’s exciting.”
Calgary was bounced in the second round that year by the Anaheim Ducks in five games.
The Flames beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-0 in Game 4 of a best-of-five qualifying round in Edmonton’s playoff bubble in 2020 to advance.
But Calgary squandered a 3-0 lead in Game 6 of their first-round series against the Stars to fall 7-4 in Edmonton and drop out of the playoffs.
The majority of Flames lacked successful playoff reps, which the addition of two-time Stanley Cup winners Blake Coleman and Trevor Lewis, Cup winner Tyler Toffoli and finalist Calle Jarnkrok over the past 10 months was designed to remedy.
“We’ve brought in some guys this year who’ve had a lot of success in the playoffs and then we have some guys who haven’t had a lot of success,” defenceman Noah Hanifin said.
“Having some of those older guys kind of brings that calming presence whether we’re down or up it’s just ‘hey, like we’re good, just keep playing our game’ and I think that’s been a huge addition for us this year.”
The Flames are playing post-season games in front of rabid fans both at home and away for the first time since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic had them toiling a lot in empty arenas.
“It’s exciting because there’s fans, right? That’s the best part,” Sutter said. “I don’t care if they’re throwing beer on you or calling you whatever.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 13, 2022.
‘Tragic accident’ blamed for recent death of giraffe at Calgary Zoo
The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo says a “tragic accident” led to the recent death of an adult Masai giraffe. A statement from the zoo says the female giraffe named Emara died May 19 after tangling one of her horns on a cable surrounding her enclosure. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo-Sergei Belskey
The Calgary Zoo says a “tragic accident” led to the recent death of one of its adult Masai giraffes.
A statement from the zoo says a female giraffe named Emara died May 19 after tangling one of her horns in a cable surrounding her enclosure.
The statement says a necropsy revealed Emara fell against the enclosure fence and died almost instantly of a broken neck.
Emara, who had just turned 12, came to Calgary from the San Diego Zoo in 2016.
The statement says she was a treasured member at the zoo and was known for her cautious yet curious personality and gentle nature.
The zoo says it is checking fencing within its African Savannah Yard enclosure to see if changes are needed to better protect the other giraffes and animals that share the space.
Doug Whiteside, interim associate director of animal care and welfare at the zoo, said Emara was in her prime and was in excellent health when she died.
“Major life changes such as this not only affect our people but can affect our animal residents as well,” Whiteside said in the statement Monday.
He said the zoo’s remaining giraffes, Nabo and Moshi, are doing well.
Grief counsellors are being made available to Emara’s caregivers and other zoo staff.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 29, 2023.
Some of the memorable comments made during Alberta election campaign
United Conservative Party leader Danielle Smith makes an election campaign announcement in Calgary on Monday, May 1, 2023.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Candidates for both the United Conservative Party and New Democrats have been campaigning over the last four weeks for their party to form the next Alberta government. Election day is Monday.
Here are some memorable quotes from the campaign:
“(The NDP) devastated the Alberta economy. They created policies that drove investment out, drove jobs out, and we had to reverse all of that,” UCP Leader Danielle Smith said on May 1, the day the writ was dropped. “The choice in this election couldn’t be clearer. It’s a choice between a UCP government that will cut your taxes and make life more affordable or an NDP government that will make you pay more across the board.”
“Over the past four years, our health care has been thrown into chaos by the UCP,” NDP Leader Rachel Notley said during the first week of the campaign. “They’ll tell you they fixed it, but Albertans aren’t feeling it and they’re not buying it … our (emergency rooms) are still full, our ambulances are still delayed and many (patients) are waiting months and months for critical tests and surgeries.”
“I am satisfied Mr. Pawlowski intended to incite the audience to continue the blockade — intended to incite protesters to commit mischief,” Justice Gordon Krinke said in Lethbridge, Alta., on May 2, when he found Calgary pastor Artur Pawlowski guilty of charges related to his role in protests against COVID-19 public health measures. In a leaked phone call between Smith and Pawlowski, before his trial, Smith told Pawlowski the charges against him were politically motivated and she would make inquiries on his behalf and report back.
“(Smith) has a policy of not speaking publicly on matters before the courts, except when she’s talking to the person who’s before the courts about how she’s going to interfere with the matter before the courts,” Notley said when asked to comment on Smith’s no comment on the Pawlowski case. “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard from her. OK, maybe it’s not the most ridiculous, because there’s a lot of ridiculous.”
“COVID was a really difficult and frustrating time for everyone, including me, and I don’t think that there is a single one of us that wasn’t deeply impacted in some way,” Smith said on May 9, after past comments surfaced in which she equated those vaccinated against COVID-19 to Nazi supporters and said she would not wear a Remembrance Day poppy out of disgust for pandemic restrictions imposed by political leaders. “Sometimes I let my frustrations get to me during that time. I clearly shouldn’t have.”
“That little bit of poop is what wrecks it … it does not matter that we’re in the top three per cent in the world,'” said Jennifer Johnson, UCP candidate for Lacombe-Ponoka. In a tape from September, she said Alberta’s high-ranking education system counts for little when set against the issue of transgender students and compared their presence to a batch of cookies laced with feces.
“(Judicial independence) is a fundamental pillar of our democracy. The premier breached this principle by discussing the accused’s case,” ethics commissioner Marguerite Trussler said in her report released May 18 into Smith’s actions as premier when she called her justice minister about Pawlowski’s case.
“I’ve asked the ethics commissioner to give advice,” Smith said May 19. “I am a non-lawyer. As premier, I do need to be able to get advice from my top official, my top legal adviser. If she has recommendations on how to do that better next time, I will absolutely accept them.”
“More and more conservatives are coming to me saying, ‘I’m a lifelong conservative voter, but what I see in Danielle Smith and this new UCP is not my values,'” Notley said on May 23.”They often say that they’re going to lend us their vote, and I say that’s just great. Because, quite frankly, I think all Albertans should always only ever lend their vote because leadership has to earn it.”
“(The phone call) was always about the charges, from the very beginning. I had nothing really else to say,” Pawlowski told reporters at the legislature in the final week of the campaign. “This phone call was always about the same thing: when are you going to introduce what you promised, the amnesty bill for people like me and thousands of other Albertans.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2023.
UPDATE: Red Deer RCMP arrest 31 year old Chad Wickett for conspiracy to commit murder
“High school has shown us who we are and how we can take forward what we’ve learned and apply it to whatever we encounter in the future.”
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