I'm saying this as a lifelong Flames fan so don't think that I'm trashing them. They just don't seem like a dangerous team. First line is producing, second line with Backlund is solid. Third line centered by Jankowski and Bennett is finally producing, though guys like Lazar, Brouwer and Bartkowski probably shouldn't be in the NHL. Even Hathaway who was great in the AHL is producing.
The defence should be the least of the problems but it seems like every game they get hemmed in their own zone for minutes at a time and have to rely on goaltending to bail them out. Smith has done way better than I expected him to do this season but even that is unsustainable unless you've got a guy like Price or Quick in net. It seems like our defence core was built with name value in mind more than actual play and chemistry. In theory, adding Hamonic should have really shored up any defensive holes that we had but here we are still, looking weak on defense.
Maybe Giordano has regressed? Maybe Hamilton and Brodie (who has gone cold since the first quarter of the year) aren't as solid defensively as we thought they were? From watching games I've noticed that Gaudreau seems to disappear for extended lengths of time. Maybe he shouldn't be relied on to be the sole catalyst of our offence? Even in games where he produces plenty of points, he does so in small spurts and seems irrelevant the rest of the time. I just don't see the Flames doing much with the core they have currently unless they get really lucky and someone pans out to be a superstar. Maybe its Bennett who has to save them, who I've been defending for a season and a half now. Everytime he's on the ice, he seems like a difference maker, even during his awful start this year.
What I ask is this, what are the Flames missing? What do you do in Treliving's shoes to push the Flames into being a legitimate contender. I mean of course they need a goalie soon, they have some high end goalie prospects and Smith seems to be a perfectly capable stop gap until then, but what else?