As slow as Week 14 was, Week 15 was a flurry of activity for the Flames. Calgary had 4 games this week and they won all 4, stretching their season long winning streak to 7 games and outscored their opponents 16-6. The Flames PK went 16-18 this week and the PP scored 3 times in 10 tries. Calgary started off with a 3-2 OT win over Conference rivals Minnesota, which got them 2 very important points in the WC race. They then headed to Florida for a guaranteed loss at Tampa.....but blew out the Lightning 5-1 instead. The Flames got an outstanding performance from David Rittich in their 4-2 win over the Panthers and closed it all out with a convincing 4-1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flames (as of this writing) are now 25-16-4 (54 points), in second place in the Pacific Division and in 5th place in the Western Conference. Not a bad week at all. Here’s the 3 Things we will look at from Week 15 and most are good for the Flames....most.
It’s A Broken Record: The top line is at it again.
The Flames top line is clicking and this week they blew the doors off their opponents. Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland had a combined 18 points in 4 games this week. And that’s with Sean Monahan not even playing (illness) Sunday against the Hurricanes. Johnny Gaudreau lead this crew with 8 of the 18 points, picking up 2 goals and 6 assists. Micheal Ferland saw his goal scoring streak snapped in Florida on Friday night, but he jumped right back on the score sheet with an assist on Sunday. Sean Monahan, with only 3 games this week, managed to score twice and pick up 3 helpers.
After that barrage of points, Johnny Gaudreau now sits at 2nd the in the NHL in points with 54, six behind Nikita Kucherov for the league lead. Sean Monahan’s 2 goals got him to 21 on the season, tied for 9th in the NHL (Alex Ovechkin leads with 28). And lookie here, Micheal Ferland’s 2 goals have him at 11th in the NHL with his 19 goals on the season. Now, imagine what these numbers would look like if they didn’t have that December slump. It’s safe to say these 3 are on this line for good and we’re all better for it.
Younger Brother Dougie: After dealing with brother Freddie being traded, Dougie has gone off.
We all know Dougie Hamilton can score, we also know he’s streaky and really loves his older brother Freddie. Freddie is gone now and Dougie, well, he’s taking off. This week he absolutely crushed it with 5 points in the Flames 4 games. The highlight of the week was his 2 goal effort against the Hurricanes. The
younger only remaining Hamilton on the roster came into the week with 15 points and only 3 goals. He heads into the 5 day mandated break with 6 goals and 20 points. That puts him 7th on the team in points and only 1 point behind Mark Giordano for the team lead is points by a defenceman.
Dougie seems to be motivated well by controversy. Last season there were calls for him to be traded after a rough start. Once the calendar turned to December and the trade talk started, he exploded for 37 of his 50 points to close out the season. This year? Freddie was put on waivers and claimed by the Coyotes on January 4th and dating back to last week against the Ducks, Dougie has 6 points.
Mark Giordano: Suspension looming?
Let’s get the obvious out of the way: Mark Giordano is NOT a dirty player. Despite what the Ducks (from last year) and Hurricanes might say (from Sunday). In case you missed it, Mark Giordano was ejected from the Flames & Canes game on Sunday for a hit to the head on Carolina’s young star Sebastian Aho. Aho had his head down and was bent slightly when Mark Giordano DEMOLISHED him with a hit that would have been chest high and probably not eject-able if Aho had his head up. Now, was it ugly, sure. No one wants to see a star player buried like that. We’d be screaming for a lifetime ban if that happened to Johnny Gaudreau.
Giordano will most likely have a conversation with the NHL this week and with the 5 day off period, the Flames captain will most likely receive a fine and probably hefty. It’s not like Mark Giordano is some repeat offender and a member the goon squad. He’s a pillar of the community, he was the 2015-16 NHL Foundation Player Award winner and the 2017 ESPY Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award winner as well. Not exactly a guy known for head shots and dirty play.
Sometimes you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time and what would be a bone crushing, legal hit, turns into something else. That’s exactly what this appears to be and expect Gio to be fined and at MOST, maybe suspended for 1 game. Also, kudos to Gio for what came after. He knew he was going to have to fight someone and he destroyed Justin Williams when he came calling. In all seriousness, we hope any injury Aho sustained in that collision isn’t serious and that he returns to the ice quickly.