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Four Slumps Troubling the Calgary Flames Through December



Jonathan Huberdeau Flames Daily

With a 4-6-2 record over 12 games and a 26th-place .417 points percentage through the month of December, it would be understandable if you were to be reading this feeling a bit discouraged about the Calgary Flames 2023-2024 campaign.  

Not to mention, the team is coming off a disheartening performance in a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Kraken where, in very much a 2022-2023 fashion, the Flames vastly outshot the opposition yet lost the outing. Not to mention a goal against on the first Kraken shot, a Kailer Yamamoto breakaway that snuck under Jacob Markstrom’s blocker. 

There is room for optimism. After all, the Calgary Flames appear to play entirely differently with each calendar flip.

Not to mention that trades are likely to bring change to the roster in the near future. 

Let’s take a quick inventory of a few players that could be performing better of late. After all, with a goal differential of 35-38 on the month, there is a case to be made that the Flames would be a few games above .500 if any of these guys were producing at a higher clip. 

Calgary Flames Slumps

Dillon Dube 

The former Kelowna Rocket has seen better seasons – for example, every other year he’s played in the NHL except for his rookie season. Dube’s next lowest, 0.20 points per game in 2018-2019, only slightly edges out his 0.21 mark this year. Coming off of a career-high 18-goal, 45-point campaign in 2022-2023, the 56th overall pick in 2016 has a mere three goals and four assists in 34 games this season. He also hasn’t recorded a point since getting an assist against the Dallas Stars on Nov. 24.  

Jonathan Huberdeau 

A glutton for punishment since arriving in Calgary, year one of an eight-season, $84,000,000 deal has somehow gone worse than expected for Jonathan Huberdeau. Four goals, 11 assists, and a lively –14 rating at even strength has the fallen star projected to finish the season with nine goals and 35 points – or $300,000 per point.  

Any more good news?  

Well, he’s gone the entire month of December without a point despite eating up a sixth-highest on the team average of 2:25 of power play time per game. That amounts to 28:54 of power play ice time on the month with zero production to show for it.  

The bright side? The third overall pick in 2011 has one more kick at the can this month; The Flames host the Flyers on New Year’s Eve. 

Adam Ruzicka 

The following two don’t quite fall into the same category as Huberdeau and Dube. Their roles aren’t as prominent on the team, and there is the possibility that injury factors into their stat sheet. Following a questionable hit from Jimmy Vesey of the New York Rangers on Oct. 24, Slovakian Adam Ruzicka has struggled dramatically to find consistency. The 24-year-old has one goal and four assists in 23 games since that incident, and only three assists in 11 December games.  

Ruzicka sat out against the Seattle Kraken on Wednesday as Walker Duehr returned to the lineup from injury-related time off.  

Martin Pospisil 

23-year-old Martin Pospisil has managed to provide plenty of intangibles of late. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been adequate offensive production to accompany said intangibles.  

This would be understandable had the former fourth round pick not proven that he is capable of filling the back of the net. Pospisil debuted in the NHL on a tear, recording three goals and two assists in his first seven games. Four of those five points gave the Flames a lead or tied the game. 

Since then? An admirable goal against the Florida Panthers on Dec. 18 and a secondary assist on a Nazem Kadri tip-in against the Golden Knights on Dec. 12. Two points in his last 16 games isn’t a strong enough pace to keep a long-term role in the top six.  


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