I know I'm not the only one noticing the struggles of Sean Monahan as of late. Before anyone thinks that I'm not a fan of Monahan lets get one thing clear, I'm a big fan of him and am excited for him to be a key part of the success of the Flames for the better part of his career. I just would love to see him start playing more of a bigger, harder game.
For a guy who's 6'3 195 pounds, Sean only has 15 hits all season. He has the size to inflict pain to the degree of Michael Ferlands hits, but why does he not use that size.? I understand it's not his style of play, but I think if he starts throwing the weight around it'll open things up for the first line, not just for him but, Johnny and whoever plays on the wing.
I know slumps come and go for any NHL player and Monahan is certainly in a slump with 5 points in the last 12 games, with 2 of those points being goals. The thing that's been bothering me more this year than his first two seasons is the low amount of hits he has. 2 hits in the last 10 games and 15 all season. If I'm Bob Hartley that's something I look at and address to Sean. He's a talented young man and I wish I had half of his talent, but I think a change in style would be the beginning of the end to the slump he's in.
In my opinion I would like to see Sean take a little bit of a demotion and be sent to the second line. There's a couple players who I'd love to see get 1st line minutes with Johnny.
In an article written yesterday by Mark Parkinson he makes a case for Bennett and/or Ferland getting promoted to the 1st line. I guess great minds think alike. I know that both players are in bigger slumps than Sean, but that's not for the lack of scoring chances. Sam and Michael also play more of physical game which will not only help Johnny get some more open ice, not like he needs the help, but will also protect Johnny from the endless abuse he takes from opposing teams.
I was pleasantly surprised to read on Twitter yesterday that Ferland is expected to play on the top line with Johnny and Mony on Monday when the Flames take on San Jose. I'm really looking forward to seeing what kind of impact Ferland can have on that top line and see if his energy can open things up for Sean and Johnny and get Monahan out of his slump.
If anyone has any other opinions on this topic feel free to hit me up on Twitter @jshanny14 or leave a comment below. Go Flames!