We’re back! It’s the week 1 edition of 3 Things! Now, it was a short week for sure, but there are a few things we can touch up and or highlight that happened during the first week of the NHL season for the Calgary Flames. The Flames finished the first week at an even 1-1-0 with an opening night loss to the Oilers 3-0, but rebounded to pound the Winnipeg Jets 6-3 on Saturday night. Without further adieu, here’s 3 Things from Week 1.
Johnny Gaudreau: Settle Down Folks
There was some rumbling from the fan base after the debacle in Edmonton on Wednesday night about Johnny Gaudreau’s play. Which, let’s face it, is ridiculous after one game. Gaudreau did have a rough night, piling up an impressive number of 0’s across the stat sheet. Of all the stats from that night that appeared to be troubling were the 0 shots he took during the game. He did have a few opportunities to shoot in that game and passed, but he did spend an inordinate amount of time playing defence when he was on the ice. And that wasn’t just a Johnny problem, that was a Flames problem in round one of the BOA.
Saturday night he looked like Johnny Gaudreau. He was flying up the ice, feeding players left and right and put 3 shots on net, one which ended up being a goal. He finished the game against the Jets with 4 points (1G 3A) and probably could have had at least 1 more assist if Steve Mason didn’t commit robbery on a Curtis Lazar/Johnny Gaudreau breakaway. Last season was a “down year” for the star forward and it took him 8 games to get to 4 points in 2016-17. He’s already there after 2 games. Let’s all take a deep breath and watch Johnny work.
Mark Jankowski: Back Sooner Than Later?
The Flames made an unpopular move this week when they sent Mark Jankowski down to Stockton to start the season. Janko had a spectacular preseason and he looked like he had played himself into a roster spot with the big club. Pump the breaks. Calgary signed Tanner Glass and that became ONE of the reasons Mark Jankowski was California Dreamin’ to start the season. Jankowski took it like a pro and went to Stockton and has been lights out in the Heat’s first two games. In those two games Jankowski has 5 points (3G 2A) and is a +12. The way certain NHL’ers on the Flames roster <cough Brouwer cough> are currently playing, Jankowski should be trading in board shorts for a shovel and ice scraper faster than we might think.
The Jagr: Jagr, no Jagr
The Flames added NHL legend Jaromir Jagr to the stable this week, not sure if you heard about it? Jagr hasn’t taken to the ice yet in a game as he’s getting accustomed to just being in Calgary. This week he said he was pretty tired after practices and he really was pushing the “exercise caution” angle for his expectations for the season. Whether it’s age, jet lag or humbling, Jagr is taking the high road and tempering what fans can expect. Look, he’s 45. Science tells you the older you get, the harder things become. I think he’s smart to keep expectations low and then everything else will seem like gravy. Jagr was clearly not playing in the season opener and he passed on the Flames home opener as well because he didn’t feel he was ready. It’s best to let Jagr decide when he is ready. The organization would be better served letting him take his time, even if it means he’s not on the ice for 2-7 games. Let him get acclimated, let him get his hockey legs back and let Jagr do Jagr things when he’s ready.