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Calgary Flames First Quarter Player Grades

Grading each player through 21 games

NHL: Calgary Flames at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Calgary Flames concluded the first quarter of their season on Wednesday night with a 1-0 overtime loss against the Blue Jackets. The Flames finished the first quarter of the year with a record of 12-8-1 which is pretty impressive after sitting at 6-6-0 at the end of October.

With the first quarter of the season now completed, here are our grades for every Flame so far this year.

Forwards

NHL: Calgary Flames at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

#11 - Mikael Backlund (21GP, 5G, 9A, 14 PTS, 26 PIM, +/- 0, CF Rel 8.2%)

Grade: A

The slick Swede continues to impress early in 2017-18. He’s currently on pace for a career high in points yet again. He’s due for a big contract at the end of the year and he’s certainly earned it thus far.

#93 - Sam Bennett (21 GP, 1G, 2A, 3 PTS, 20 PIM, -6, CF Rel -7.47%)

Grade: D+

To say Bennett’s start to the year has been poor in an understatement. He’s struggled in almost every spot he’s played in. He’s shown some glimmers of hope with Jankowski and Jagr but he needs to pick it up.

#36 - Troy Brouwer (21 GP, 0G, 3A, 3 PTS, 23 PIM, -5, CF Rel -8.22%)

Grade: F

Loud fart noise.

#79 - Micheal Ferland (20 GP, 8G, 4A, 12 PTS, 7 PIM, +3, CF Rel -0.42%)

Grade: A

He’s become exactly the player that the Flames top line needed. He can muck it up in the corners, he can forecheck, he can score, and he can defend. It’s been great to see his progression over the last few years.

#67 - Michael Frolik (21 GP, 4G, 5A, 9 PTS, 4 PIM, +1, CF Rel 7.89%)

Grade: A-

He’s scoring at a slower rate than previous years but is continuing to play his role very well on the 3M line. Perhaps the Flames most consistent forward in the defensive zone with some offensive threat as well.

#13 - Johnny Gaudreau (21 GP, 10G, 21A, 31 PTS, 4 PIM, +5, CF Rel 4.25%)

Grade: A+

Just as Chuck Berry sang it, we too say “Go Johnny Go”. He’s been absolutely on fire this year and it’s not even close. The Flames have played 21 games and been shutout three times. Of the 18 games the Flames have scored a goal in, Gaudreau has at least one point in 17 of the games. On pace for 121 points.

#68 - Jaromir Jagr (12 GP, 1G, 5A, 6 PTS, 2 PIM, +4, CF Rel 3.29%)

Grade: B+

He’s sitting at 0.5 points per game and has provided invaluable leadership and experience to this young core. Can’t really ask for much else from him! Great signing by Treliving.

#77 - Mark Jankowski (13 GP, 3G, 1A, 4 PTS, 2 PIM, -1, CF Rel -6.28%)

Grade: B+

Was sent down to start the season but as expected was the first callup and will probably never leave now. Getting acquainted to the NHL has to be much more fun as a rookie with Jagr on your wing. Looks to be a very promising player!

#20 - Curtis Lazar (15 GP, 0G, 2A, 2 PTS, 2 PIM, -4, CF Rel -9.29%)

Grade: D+

Has been getting chances in the lineup but has yet to grab anything by the reins. He needs to start showing something more soon.

#23 - Sean Monahan (21 GP, 12G, 10A, 22 PTS, 2 PIM, +7, CF Rel 4.36%)

Grade: A

His knack for scoring is uncanny as he always seems to know exactly where the puck is going to be when heading to the slot. Is over a point per game and is on pace to shatter previous career highs.

#18 - Matt Stajan (13 GP, 0G, 0A, 0 PTS, 10 PIM, -3, CF Rel -5.37%)

Grade: D

He’s been fine, not great but he’s consistent. There are probably better options but for now it’s okay. He’s not going to kill the team in a game, but he also won’ do much to save them.

#19 - Matthew Tkachuk (20 GP, 4G, 11A, 15 PTS, 29 PIM, +1, CF Rel 8.28%)

Grade: A

Tkachuk is having a stellar sophomore season this year, clicking at 0.75 points per game and is ever his agitating self. He’s a joy to have on the Flames, and his style of play fits perfectly on his team.

#10 Kris Versteeg (21 GP, 3G, 5A, 8 PTS, 6 PIM, -7, CF Rel -6.47%)

Grade: C+

He’s kind of stuck on the fourth line but he executes very well on his powerplay spot. Also has one of the best personalities on the team, has struggled at times this season but is the kind of depth player that can help late in the year.

Defense

NHL: Calgary Flames at St. Louis Blues Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports

#44 - Matt Bartkowski (10 GP, 0G, 0A, 0 PTS, 2 PIM, -4, CF Rel -9.53%)

Grade: F

Simply doesn’t deserve to be on an NHL roster. Has been shelled no matter the linemate or opponent.

#7 - T.J. Brodie (21 GP, 2G, 12 A, 14 PTS, 8 PIM, -8, CF Rel -5.91%)

Grade: C+

Brodie has been an odd case this year as his offensive numbers are up but his defensive game has been really struggling at times. Has seemed to be a stride behind where he was last year, and that turnover last night really stunk.

#5 - Mark Giordano (21 GP, 3G, 5A, 8 PTS, 14 PIM, +6, CF Rel 9.29%)

Grade: A-

It’s pretty likely that Giordano will never hit the 56 points mark like he had in 2015-16 again, but his defensive play continues to be very strong. At the end of the day he’s here to be a top level defender, and he has been.

#27 - Dougie Hamilton (21GP, 2G, 8A, 10 PTS, 12 PIM, +4, CF Rel 10.3%)

Grade: B+

Like Giordano, Hamilton’s offensive numbers have been down slightly this year but he’s really improved in the defensive zone. With his style of play, the points will eventually come but we should all rest easy about his defensive play.

#24 - Travis Hamonic (18GP, 1G, 1A, 2 PTS, 26 PIM, -6, CF Rel -6.19%)

Grade: D+

Hasn’t lived up to expectations yet when considering what he cost. Hopefully it’s just him taking time to get adjusted, but it’s hard to say, especially at his age.

#61 - Brett Kulak (13 GP, 0G, 3A, 3 PTS, 11 PIM, +3, CF Rel -2.47%)

Grade: B

With each passing game Kulak has continued to look better and better. He doesn’t possess much extra flash, but he’s confident and consistent defensively, which is exactly what the Flames need.

#26 - Michael Stone (21 GP, 1G, 1A, 2 PTS, 10 PIM, +2, CF Rel -5.80%)

Grade: C

At times Stone has looked decent, at others not so much. He’s a tough player to get a read on but he seems to be doing alright with Kulak so far this year.

Goalies

NHL: Calgary Flames at Philadelphia Flyers Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

#31 - Eddie Lack (4 GP, 1-2-0, 5.29 GAA, 0.813 sv%)

Grade: D+

We really don’t much about Lack other than he’s a funny guy who likes tacos. In his two starts this year, he hasn’t done well. It may be wise for the Flames to find a better backup in house or on the market.

#41 - Mike Smith (19 GP, 11-6-1, 2.51 GAA, 0.925 sv%)

Grade: A+

Last but not definitely definitely definitely not least is Mike Smith. I shudder when I think of where this team would be without him. He’s provided consistently stellar goaltending for this team and given them the chance to win every night. That’s all you can ask for.