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Flames Unfiltered – Episode 199 – Kuzmenko Saves the Power Play

Brad Burud/Kyle Lewis April 17, 2024

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Kuzmenko Saves the Power Play

Listen to “Flames Unfiltered – Episode 199 – Kuzmenko Saves the Power Play” on Spreaker.

— EPISODE 199 —

Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis are the hosts of the episode, not guests. Both are dedicated hockey enthusiasts with a particular passion for the Calgary Flames. Their conversations reflect both knowledge of and deep-seated interest in Flames hockey, offering listeners detailed analyses and opinions on the state of the team.

Episode Summary:

In the latest episode of Flames Unfiltered, Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis engage in a spirited conversation that dissects the Calgary Flames’ current situation. From team dynamics to individual player performances, the duo covers the spectrum of hot topics affecting Flames fans. The episode serves as a prelude to the show’s milestone 200th broadcast, making it a memorable memoir of their journey as podcast hosts.

Brad and Kyle explore the implications of the Flames’ recent player acquisitions and assess the potential impact on the team’s future. Deliberating on a mix of celebration and criticism, they share candid insights into the season’s final stages and the moves that could shape the Flames’ roster for the upcoming campaigns. The discussions include a breakdown of the powerplay improvements, recent player signings, and speculations about potential off-season changes.

Key Takeaways:

  • Brad and Kyle offer a balanced analysis of the Calgary Flames’ season, discussing powerplay improvements, the impact of new players, and the team’s defensive lineup.
  • The hosts express skepticism about the future of some current Flames players while showing optimism for others, such as Kuzmenko and Sharangovich.
  • A discussion on potential goaltending strategies for the upcoming season, including possible scenarios for Markstrom and other goalies in the system.
  • Speculation about the future of the Arizona Coyotes and the potential for a move to Salt Lake City, as well as the implications for divisional alignments.
  • The episode builds anticipation for the upcoming 200th episode, promising more in-depth hockey discussions and reflections on the podcast journey.

Notable Quotes:

  • “And I think he’s kind of endured into the fan base. He’s just a real likable player.” – Brad Burud on Kuzmenko
  • “I’m not a coach killer. No, I think that’s a bad mistake, and I don’t.” – Brad Burud on whether to keep Mark Savard as the Power Play coach.
  • “It’s short-lived. They’re going to have cap hell here coming up. But, you know, hey, here’s their shot this year.” – Brad Burud on the Vancouver Canucks’ playoff outlook
  • “I don’t like our defense right now at all.” – Kyle Lewis on the state of the Flames’ defense
  • “That’s the thing, a lot of these guys and Hunter Bristowicz, like, right now, the London. The London Knights are up three zip in the Kitchener Ranger.” – Brad Burud discussing prospects and the future makeup of the team

Tune in to the full episode to capture the enthusiasm and detailed analysis that Brad and Kyle bring to the table. As they near their 200th episode, there’s never been a better time to dive into the world of Flames hockey with these devoted fans. Stay tuned for more enlightening content from Flames Unfiltered.

Inside the Flames: Playoff Miss, Defensive Dilemmas, and the Kuzmenko Effect

The Calgary Flames’ NHL season has seen its fair share of ups and downs. From roster readjustments to issues beyond the ice, the team’s journey has been nothing if not eventful. In a candid discussion, Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis of Flames Unfiltered delve into the Flames’ current landscape, offering unfiltered insights into the team’s future. They dissect the Flames’ playoff miss, defensive concerns, and the undeniable impact of forward Andrei Kuzmenko.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Calgary Flames faced significant hurdles this season, resulting in missing the playoffs.
  • Defensive challenges and the potential for player turnover highlight critical areas for future improvement.
  • Andrei Kuzmenko’s arrival has had a remarkable impact, rejuvenating the Flames’ power play performance.

The Playoff Miss and its Aftermath

With the Flames being on the brink of the playoffs, the sentiment among fans and analysts alike is somewhat mixed. While there’s acknowledgment of the team’s talent, the lingering sense of unmet potential is palpable.

Assessing the Playoff Equation

There’s a sense of disbelief in how swiftly the Flames’ playoff aspirations dimmed. As the transcript reflects, there’s a consensus that with a few alterations in play and strategy, the Flames could have been postseason contenders. “It’s the same exact sentence we said last year at this time,” Kyle Lewis mentions, indicating a pattern that the franchise seems to struggle to break away from.

Brad Burud emphasizes missteps, such as the team’s performance against critical opponents, underlining that victories in key match-ups could have changed the course. “If we could have just swept the Chicago series,” he says, which points to pivotal moments when the Flames’ fate could have swung towards playoff certainty.

The Work Ethic and Potential

Despite the shortcomings, both Brad and Kyle touch upon the work ethic and potential residing within the team. “He’s an aging veteran that has been a winner, has a great work ethic,” says Brad while discussing goaltender Jacob Markstrom’s contributions. This sentiment reveals a team that, while flawed, has its foundation rooted in determination and a will to succeed.

The Flames’ Defensive Conundrums

Another major storyline for the Flames this season has been their defensive gameplay and roster. With key departures and emerging talent, Calgary’s defense is at a crossroads.

The departure of key players like Noah Hanifin has left a gap in the Flames’ defense, putting them in a position to rebuild and reconsider their strategy moving forward. As Brad frames it, “I don’t like our defense right now at all,” denoting an area ripe for reconstruction.

Kyle addresses this too, noting that promising prospects in the pipeline could bring much-needed vigor to the team’s defense. The conversation notes the arrival of new talents like Jeremie Poirier, while expressing a collective patience for their development. They both agree on the necessity for a strong, experienced defenseman to elevate the team’s defensive capabilities.

The Absence That’s Felt

“It’s been gutted,” Brad states, referring to the loss of players like Hanifin and Chris Tanev. This highlights the challenge ahead for the franchise—to not only replace but enhance the defensive strength that has dwindled throughout the season.

The Kuzmenko Effect

The mid-season addition of Vancouver Canucks’ Andrei Kuzmenko might well be the silver lining for the Flames. With his standout performances, he’s certainly made an impression.

Transforming the Power Play

“Andrei Kuzmenko’s arrival has had a remarkable impact, rejuvenating the Flames’ power play performance,” reads the key takeaway. The Flames’ power play percentage, a dismal visual at the start of the season, has made an impressive upturn, much credit going to Kuzmenko’s high skill set.

Brad and Kyle can’t help but be thrilled at the transformation, with Brad noting, “Since getting him, we’re 24.5% 11th overall in the league.” It underlines how one player can instill new dynamics within a team, profoundly altering its course.

A Marketable Marquee Player

Aside from his on-ice prowess, Kuzmenko’s impact extends to his marketability, a crucial aspect for any sports team. Kyle muses, “In any hockey market, to be a successful team, to make money, you got to have marketable stars and skilled guys. And Kuzmenko’s that.” This statement encapsulates the multifaceted contributions Kuzmenko brings to the team—a beacon of hope for the franchise.

In sum, Brad Burud and Kyle Lewis dissect the Calgary Flames’ season with keen attention to the squad’s misses, roster adjustments, and the refreshing impact a single player like Andrei Kuzmenko can have. As we approach the off-season, the Flames find themselves at a critical nexus—one that could redefine their future success should they address these highlighted areas. With an unforeseen playoff absence serving as an unwelcome yet vital learning curve, Calgary’s resilience remains under scrutiny as they pivot towards potential redemption.



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Brad Burud/Kyle Lewis

Flames Unfiltered features two passionate and opinionated hosts. Brad Burud has been with the show since the beginning and was the creator of the show. A Flames fan since 1986 he brings the old school approach to the show. As a Theoren Fleury and Mikka Kiprusoff fan he longs for the playoff runs he watched decades ago. Kyle Lewis joined the show for the start of season four. A Flames fan since the 90’s, Kyle is a huge collector of Calgary game-worn jerseys. Jarome Iginla was the hero for the Flames when Kyle started this journey and Iginla will always be a favorite. Kyle hopes this year’s version of the Flames can bring him the happiness he felt when Gelinas scored the overtime game winner over Detroit. Thanks for joining us. Sit back and enjoy some Flames hockey talk.

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