Calgary's third line of a newly rejuvenated Mason Raymond, Paul Byron, and Markus Granlund would be the beginning of a strong first period for the Flames. Their persistence and ability to force their way through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone was a beautiful sight. Even Deryk Engelland initially contributed to doing nice things by punishing David Booth early on.
Flames out-shot the Leafs 13-8.
Flames possession with Giordano on the ice so far: 89%. Without him? 45%. Yeah.— James Mirtle (@mirtle) December 10, 2014
- What the fuck was Byron doing there with that pass late in the third leading to an EN goal? He wasn't doing too bad until then.
- Josh Jooris on that line with Hudler and Gaudreau is damn impressive to watch, right? Keep them together forever. They were causing chaos for the Leafs all night and I'm fairly certain Randy Carlyle questioned his existence tonight.
- David Jones is healthy and that means he's playing well. He looks leaner, more in shape, and more capable of playing a top-six role. I've doubted him for so long and I'll gladly accept I'm wrong about him if he puts up numbers.
- The top line wasn't too bad tonight. Their play was largely overshadowed by the 2nd line for sure. Monahan's game continued to get more and more complete as the season has gone on. Hopefully he can continue strong two-way play for the rest of the season. I don't care necessarily about numbers but I want to see him emerge as a top young centre in the league that you can rely on.
- Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie are damn near unstoppable at even strength. Ari will break that down tomorrow but they are clearly the driving force of the team.
- To stick with Brodie, his skating ability might be one of the most underrated things the league is noticing. His fluidity and ability to break out at any moment is spectacular.
- Matt Stajan isn't getting much TOI but his play on the 4th line with Lance Bouma and Ferland is nice. If we can roll four lines when Joe Colborne and [eventually] Mikael Backlund returning, we may have a great look at the team of the future. Stajan's experience and actual abilities help the line out so much that this has been a long time coming.
- Smid and Engelland's gaffes on the Holland goal. I choked on my soda when I watched the reply. Just awful. They got better as the night improved but we need more reliability on that pairing.