The Flames had a small game slate this week with only 2 games and they lost them both. Calgary fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Thursday and then dropped a 4-2 decision to the Wild on Saturday night. Not exactly how you want your week to go, especially after having a 4 day break before the Carolina game. Enough with that nonsense, here’s the week three edition of 3 Things.
T.J. Brodie: He’s Been Freed And It’s Beautiful
For as long as he can remember, T.J. Brodie has been shackled with that human anchor in Dennis Wideman. This season he’s been paired with Travis Hamonic and his offensive game has been freed up as well. Brodie’s 8 points (2G 6A) are tied for second on the team with Sean Monahan and he’s only 3 behind Johnny Gaudreau (11) for the team lead. This week T.J. Brodie picked up 2 assists in the Flames loss to Minnesota, but he also pumped 7 shots on goal in the Flames two games. You can clearly see his confidence growing as he’s been leading the rush a lot for the Flames out of the defensive end as well. On this exact date last year Brodie had 1 point, a lone assist he got in a Flames 7-4 loss to the Oilers. How much better has he been? He has 8 points as of October 22nd. It took him until December 14th to get to 8 points last year.
The Penalties Were Down
Yes, the Flames only played 2 games this week, but the penalties, in theory, were down. Last week Calgary took 24 penalties in 4 games. This week they took only 9. The PK unit gave up 2 goals this week, going 2-3 against the Hurricanes and 5-6 against the Wild. The fact that they are still able to kill penalties like they are is something of a miracle. As this is being written Calgary is 4th in the NHL killing penalties at 86.8%. The Flames have been short handed 38 times this season and of the 3 teams ahead of them in PK% the next highest penalized team is Dallas with 30 short handed opportunities. Suffice to say the Flames PK units have been more than doing their job.
Jagr Giveth, Jagr Taketh
It finally looked like Jaromir Jagr was settling into the the Flames lineup. Glen Gulutzan bumped Jagr up to the top line with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan last week and the results were good. Jagr picked up another point this week by assisting on a Sean Monahan goal in Calgary’s 2-1 loss to Carolina. But as things were starting gel, Jagr left the Flames game Saturday night with a “lower body injury” and now has apparently been place on injured reserve. The timing isn’t good for either Jagr or the Flames with how well things had been going. He only has 2 points (still better than 11 other Flames, including Sam Bennett), but the shot attempts were going up and Jagr was looking like he was finally comfortable. Hopefully this is a small blip on the radar and not a sign of things to come.