3 Things From Week 2
The Flames had a pretty good week all things considered. They faced some pretty stiff competition on their 3 game road trip and came out 2-1-0 over the last 7 days. The Flames struggled in St. Louis, which is typical, but they really handled their business in Colorado and Nashville. Both of those wins were big for the Flames and they currently sit in 2nd place in the Pacific and 6th overall in the Western Conference.
Flames Can Hang
The Flames showed some real moxie this week in 2 of their 3 games. The Flames went into last year’s President’s Trophy winning team’s house in Nashville and shutout the Predators 3-0. Calgary played solid for the entire game and Mike Smith’s 43 saves were the most he’d ever made in a shutout. Not be outdone, Calgary found themselves in a 2-0 hole in Denver after 2:40 and didn’t quit. The Flames battled and clawed their way back, got outstanding goaltending from David Rittich, tied the game in the third and then won it in OT. Colorado is no slouch and should prove to be one of the hardest draws in the Western Conference this season. The fact that the Flames handled their business in those 2 games is HUGE and should give the team and the fan base a little more confidence as the 2nd week of the season came to a close.
When you think of things that happen to you in the NHL over the course of your career, this week is one that Juuso Valimaki and Rasmus Andersson will probably not look back on with fondness. The young pairing were exposed early and struggled until they were broken up and paired with different players. Valimaki was paired with Michael Stone and Andersson was paired with Noah Hanifin on Saturday night. The two played much better in Colorado and that’s to be expected. There’s no denying both Andersson and Valimaki belong in the NHL with the Flames, they just need time to adjust. At some point Travis Hamonic will be back in the lineup and here’s to hoping the Flames will keep BOTH Valimaki and Andersson up at the NHL level because the talent is there. Will there be growing pains? Sure, but the payoff in the end will be worth some early season struggles.
If you think favorites are being played anymore, you’re wrong. This week saw Mark Jankowski and Michael Frolik scratched by the Flames and neither were hurt. Janko got the pine for 2 games this week and Michael Frolik was a healthy scratch against the Av’s on Saturday night. Clearly both got night’s off due to their play....or lack there off. Jankowski’s 4 goal outburst at the end of last season hasn’t carried any good will over into 2018-19 and Frolik has been a shell of the player he was since getting hit in the face with a puck last season. Their replacements (Hathaway and Peluso) weren’t anything to write home about (though I am a fan of Hathaway), but the message has been sent: perform or sit.