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3 Things From Week 10: There’s Success In The Bottom 6, Rittich Is Solid & OT Monahan

Calgary is getting significant contributions for their 3rd line, Rittich is putting to rest the backup issues and Sean Monahan sets a Flames record this week.

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

The kid’s are alright: Mark Jankowski, Garnet Hathaway and Sam Bennett are getting it done.

Vancouver Canucks v Calgary Flames Photo by Derek Leung/Getty Images

In our Fan Poll Friday question we asked you what should the Flames do with Garnet Hathaway when Jaromir Jarg returns? As of this morning 48% (186 votes) of you think Hathaway should stay right where he is and it’s hard to argue with that. That Flames 3rd line is really clicking and the added bonus to their play: they are young, fast and not afraid to get in the dirty areas. Mark Jankowski, Sam Bennett and Garnet Hathaway were a MAJOR reason the Flames got a 4-2 over Vancouver and now hold the top spot in the coveted Wild Card race. Sam Bennett got the GWG, but Garnet Hathaway fed Matthew Tkachuk for the game tying goal after he tracked down a loose puck and kept it in the Vancouver end. Hathaway also got the tying goal against Montreal by sitting in front of the Canadiens net and jamming the puck in past Carey Price. Jankowski had a great week as well, putting 7 shots on net and collecting an assist against the Canucks. The real strength from this week, however, was Bennett and Hathaway. Bennett had 3 points this week and Hathaway had a 4 point week, 2 coming against Vancouver. Hathaway and Jankowski have chemistry from playing together in Stockton and Bennett looks like he’s starting to really shake off the “bust” talk that’s been surrounding him all season. If this 3rd line can pick up some of the slack and help out (like Sunday night) when the top line is struggling, the Flames are going to be in great shape. It’s pretty hard to argue that Jagr belongs back on this line when he’s healthy. This trio has too much going for it right now and it would be a shame to break it up.

The pipes are stable: Looks like Calgary’s got a backup.

Calgary Flames v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

Admit it, you knew Mike Smith needed the night off against Montreal, the Flames needed a win and Calgary looked like they were tossing David Rittich to the wolves. Montreal had won 5 out of their last 6 and the Flames were like a rolling stone, building momentum in the wrong direction. Well, fear not. Rittich handled the goaltending responsibilities with easy and the Flames came out 3-2 winners in overtime. Rittich stopped 35 of the 37 shots that came his way, collecting his second win of the season and easing everyone’s minds about who plays when Smith needs a day off. The Flames backup situation was sketchy, to say the least, before Eddie Lack was put on waivers and assigned to Stockton, but David Rittich has made a smooth transition to the NHL. Dare we say it feels like when the Flames need to give Smith the baseball cap for the night the entire fan base doesn’t say “dangit, Smith isn’t playing tonight.” Maybe now that the Flames have an actual backup goalie Mike Smith can get a little more rest. I for one am thrilled at the idea of seeing David Rittich get some more ice time.

Sean Monahan: Overtime hero......AGAIN.

Need a goal in overtime? Call Sean Monahan. The Flames got to overtime against Montreal and Sean Monahan does what Sean Monahan does best, he scores GWGs. Mony’s OT marker was his second of the season, but equally as important, the goal was his franchise record 9th regular season OT winner. The NHL record for OT goals is 19, so Monahan has a long way to go, but that’s 9 OT winners in a short 4 years. Who’s got the 19? Alex Ovechkin and Monahan’s current teammate Jaromir Jagr. The Flames centre now has 17 goals on the season, which puts him 3rd in the NHL behind only Nikita Kucherov and Alex Ovechkin.