SUN Hockey Pool

Three storylines to watch

RANDY SPORTAK, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

November Pain: Last season, the Flames frittered away a strong opening month of October (6-3-3) with a terrible performance through November (4-10-0), which included a five-game losing skid. Are they doing it again? Calgary's 6-3-1 mark in October was another strong start, but the club has dropped two of its first three this month.

Five-on-five not alive: Calgary's strong special-teams play, save for last outing, has masked a serious problem -- the five-on-five performance. The Flames have been outscored 26-22 at full strength. The only clubs that have struggled worse in the plus-minus category are Los Angeles, Colorado, the New York Islanders, St. Louis, Dallas and Atlanta.

Do a special job: In the last couple of games, the Flames have lost the special-teams battle, and it's been costly. Against Phoenix, Calgary's powerplay was abysmal, failed to create any chances and gave up a shorthanded goal. To add to the problem, they surrendered a powerplay tally to the Coyotes. Nashville's penalty kill and powerplay are near the bottom or the league.


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