The Calgary Flames fired head coach Glen Gulutzan on Tuesday after two seasons.
Gulutzan, 46, guided the Flames to the playoffs after his first season in 2016-17, though the Flames were swept in the first round by the Anaheim Ducks. The Flames missed the playoffs this past season with a 37-35-10 record. The team especially faltered down the stretch, losing 17 of its last 24 games.
MacMullan: I’m putting all my chips on Giannis Antetokounmpo. Here are his numbers in four games against first-round opponent Boston this season: 33.5 points, 10.5 rebounds, 5.2 assists a game, while shooting 53.9 percent on field goals with an average of 10.5 free throws a game. With underrated Boston big man Daniel Theis shelved for the postseason, those numbers could actually increase. (And yet, invoking the immortal Jerry West, this does not necessarily mean the Greek Freak’s team will win.)
Ogwumike: Damian Lillard is primed to make some noise this postseason, but I am expecting James Harden to officially claim his throne as the real MVP. While people might still say Harden can’t be trusted after the way the Rockets exited last year’s playoffs, please remember that the league’s leading scorer playing on the best team in the better conference now also has Chris Paul in his ear to keep him focused.
It will likely be the only game on Facebook to feature a New York team this season, according to a source. There are all kinds of rules for how teams are chosen for national exclusive games, but the Yankees allotment is expected to be swallowed up by ESPN, Fox and TBS, while the Mets will likely be one and done.
The reason MLB chose to make the Facebook deal exclusive is that is the only way to make it resonate. Did you know Facebook and MLB had a Friday night package last year? You probably didn’t, because it wasn’t exclusive and the numbers were low.
The afternoon games also are a better fit because most people are at work. With a supposed 700 million sports fans on Facebook, they could reach a lot of people. The number of people watching at once varied, hovering in the 70,000 range, but never reaching more than 90,000.
The game was produced by MLB Network, which has built strong productions since its inception. The score bug was extra large for mobile and will probably be shrunk in the future. They played up the Facebook comments angle.