Well, the Flames are certainly on a roll. Calgary had grueling 4 game week and they went 4-0, knocking off Nashville, Tampa Bay, Florida and Carolina as their 5 game road trip concluded. The Flames now own the first WC spot and are 4 points ahead of St. Louis AND only 4 points back of the Oilers. Things are looking up for the Flames. Here’s the Week 21 edition of Three Things.
Will We Ever See Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka Again?
If the trade deadline goes the way Flames fans are hoping, then the answer is a resounding NO! Calgary acquired Michael Stone and Matt Bartkowski and the 2 have been in the Flames lineup since they both arrived and Dennis Wideman and Jyrki Jokipakka have been healthy scratches. The other big thing that has to factor into those 2 continuing to be scratched: the Flames are winning. Since Stone and Bartkowski have been inserted into the lineup Calgary hasn’t lost a game. Now, are Bartkowski and Stone the reason the Flames are winning, no, but they also aren’t losing because of them. Neither player is spectacular, but they have played steady when in the lineup and there wasn’t one time where you were screaming at them for doing something that lead to a goal. Can’t say that ever happening with Wideman and Jokipakka in the lineup. Earlier last week Wideman said he was open to waiving his no trade clause if the Flames found a deal to move him. Wideman has to see the writing on the wall. He’s in the final year of his 5 year deal with the Flames, him offence and defence has fallen off a cliff, he ran over a linesman and now everyone swears there’s a penalty conspiracy against the Flames and since the newer arrivals have come to town, he hasn’t sniffed the ice. Jokipakka? He’s just been a disappointment this season as a whole. He was Calgary’s trade deadline acquisition last season and it hasn’t worked out at all for either party. I can’t imagine there’s any market for Jokipakka, but then again, if Dennis Wideman can possibly dealt, anything can happen.
Have Johnny and Mony Finally Got Their Wing Man?
Troy Brouwer. Sam Bennett. Kris Versteeg. Alex Chiasson. All of those guys have skated with Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan this season and the results have been, shall we say, not good. It looked like the Flames might need to make a deal to get someone to play on the wing with those two, heck the Flames even split Gaudreau and Monahan up with no results. Then, last week, Glen Gulutzan put Micheal Ferland up with those two. Ferland has had a very good last 2 months for the Flames. He’s shooting more, skating harder, not taking stupid penalties and doing everything I’ve sworn he could do since he wreaked havoc in the playoffs against Vancouver. What he’s done since moving on up to skate with Monahan and Gaudreau has been remarkable. He started skating with them on Tuesday against Nashville and Ferland scored twice in that game with Gaudreau assisting on both and Monahan getting a helper on one. The 3M Line took care of business in Florida, but the Monahan/Gaudreau/Ferland line had it’s finger prints all over the Flames 3-1 win at Carolina.
Ferland scored the Flames first goal to tie it at 1, the assist went to Gaudreau on a gorgeous no look pass to spring Ferland. Johnny Gaudreau scored the two remaining goals, Monahan assisting on the final tally. That line seems to have been rejuvenated with Ferland’s addition and there’s no reason to break that line up at all. Micheal Ferland gives that line the grit it needs and also provides some protection for Gaudreau as well. Teams have taken some liberties with the Flames star forward this season and maybe having Ferland out there will make some teams think twice about going after Gaudreau. It finally looks like the Flames have a forward to skate with it’s two stars and Micheal Ferland has more than earned the right to be up there with them.
Sean Monahan Gets 100
It seemed as if Sean Monahan was going to be stuck on #99 forever. Monahan grabbed his 99th career goal on February 3rd in a 4-3 OT win over the Devils. And then he waited, and waited and waited. Waited 20 calendar days to be exact, 7 Flames games. Then, at 6:25 of the second period against Tampa this happened:
Sean Monahan finally got the monkey off his back and pumped in his 100th career goal. He’s the youngest Flames player to reach 100 goals, as he reached that milestone at 22 years old and 134 days.
Not bad company to be in. Want another interesting tidbit about Monahan’s scoring prowess? Wes Gilbertson of the Calgary Herald had this nice piece of info:
So congratulations to Sean Monahan on getting his 100th goal of his career. Next up on the Flames are Mark Giordano (96) and Mikael Backlund (91).