It was a tough week for our Flames as they saw their 6 game winning streak snapped in spectacular fashion and struggled with Columbus after that. The Flames found themselves 0-2 on the week and were outscored 10-4. Here’s 3 Things from this past week.
The Power Play Continues To Surprise
We’re so used to looking at the PP% standings and seeing the Flames in 30th place and in single digits that it’s a shock when you look and see them climbing up the standings. The Flames only scored 4 goals this week, but 3 were on the PP. They finished a short, 2 game week going 3-9 on the power play. Not too shabby. The Flames currently sit at 17th in the league at 17%, a far cry from when they started the season 1-25 when playing with the extra skater. Matthew Tkachuk, Troy Browuer and Sean Monahan each scored PP goals this week and Sean Monahan’s was his 4th of the season, which leads the Flames. If you had told me on Oct. 24th that the Flames would have scored PP goals in 7 straight games and were middle of the pack in PP %, I’d have asked to have whatever you were having.
Is It Time For A Little Brian Elliott?
It’s no secret that Chad Johnson has been a brick wall for the Flames all season, but in his last 2 starts he’s been shelled by the Tampa Bay Lightning and Columbus Blue Jackets. He’s given up 9 goals in those 2 starts and was replaced by Elliott after the 2nd period against Tampa Bay. That third period was the first action Elliott has seen since a 4-2 disaster game in Buffalo on November 21st. That’s almost a month worth of riding the pine for Elliott, but it’s not like Elliott didn’t earn the trip to the bench. Elliott was brought in to be the Flames #1 and he’s been a disaster. In the 13 games he’s started, he’s 3-9-1 with a Save % of .886. Not #1 numbers, more like Jonas Hiller numbers. But it might be time for Elliott to pick out the splinters and hit the ice. Johnson is showing signs of needing a rest and Elliott is PLENTY well rested after his 12 game stretch with the baseball hat on. In his relief of Chad Johnson the other night Elliott stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced (goal on the 1st shot) and looked fairly solid for a guy who hasn’t played in forever. The Flames have a few “softer” teams lined up on the schedule and maybe a start for Elliott in Arizona can get his confidence up and give Johnson a chance to clear his mind and have a rest.
Has Anyone Seen Michael Frolik?
For much of the season Michael Frolik was the Flames leading scorer, even while never seeing time with the power play unit. Yet, since his last point (1 A) against Toronto on Nov 30th, Frolik has put up donuts in his last 7 games. Could it be that Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan are back to the level of play everyone expected? Maybe. But even when Gaudreau was out, Frolik only had 3 points over those 10 games. Last week, in the 2 games the Flames played, Frolik didn’t have a shot on net and was a -3 and -1. He also saw his ice time drop as well. Against Tampa his TOI was 15:19 and against Columbus he had 14:31 of TOI. Frolik is an absolute beast on the PK and one of, if not, the Flames best forecheckers, but the Flames do need his offence. Last year Frolik was hot in October (8 pts) and cooled off until the end of the season where he had 14 points between February and March, finishing with 32 pts. Is this just how Frolik operates, doubtful. He’s never had stretches like this util the last 2 seasons. Could be age, could be the talent around him, whatever it is the Flames need Frolik to get going and not have 0 shot weeks like this past week again during the regular season.
In our “Should the Flames Trade For Jarome Iginla” poll, you all voted 173-133 to bring Iggy back to the Flames. Time will tell.