Week 27 wrapped up a frustrating and disappointing season for the Flames. Calgary went 1-2-0 in their 3 games on the week, the biggest surprise being their 7-1 thumping of the Vegas Golden Knights in their season finale. The Flames dropped their other 2 games to the Arizona Coyotes 4-1 and to the Winnipeg Jets 2-1.
The Flames 1-2-0 record pushed them to 37-35-10 on the season, good for 11th place in the Western Conference. Their 84 points put them 11 shy of the Colorado Avalanche for the final playoff spot in the West. Here’s the rest of Week 27 in the final edition of 3 Things for 2017-18.
60 Looks Good On You
Johnny Gaudreau was sitting on assist #59 for quite some time and he finally got to #60 on Mark Jankowski’s first goal in Calgary’s 7-1 victory over the Vegas Golden Knights. Gaudreau’s 60 assists were the first time a Flames player had that many helpers since Theo Fleury dished out 66 back in 1992-93. Gaudreau should be proud of that total, but he’s got a long way to go to be the Flames all time assist leader in a season. That record belongs to Kent Nilsson who helped out a gargantuan 82 times during the 1980-81 season for the Flames. Gaudreau finished 2017-18 with 84 points (24G 60A), his highest point total since coming into the league.
The Flames have some goaltending issues to deal with this off season. Yes, we know, shocking. And Jon Gillies is in the mix.....somewhere. The 24 year old Concord NH native started all 3 games this week which was peculiar. Sure Mike Smith was gassed due to the Flames overusing him this season, but you would have thought he would have started at least one game this week. Maybe the game against his former team the Coyotes on Tuesday? Nope, Gillies. Surely he’d start in the final home game so the fans could give him the ovation he deserved for his play this season. Nope, Gillies.
A couple things could be in play here. Gillies could have been starting just to give Smith the rest of the season off. He did play in 55 of the Flames 82 games and probably would have played more if he didn’t get hurt. Gillies also could have gotten the 3 starts because the Flames really want to see what they have in the Providence College product in goal. He finished the season with a 3-5-1 record, 2.88 GAA and a suspect .896 Save%. Maybe the Flames were just throwing Gillies out there with the season over at that point and seeing where he might fit in and what they need to do to get him NHL ready.
OR was he being showcased? The Flames have no 1st, 2nd or 3rd round picks in this year’s NHL Draft. GM Brad Treliving is already on the record saying he wants to recoup a 1st round pick this off season, so was Jon Gillies getting starts to see if anyone would bite? Could Gillies be getting prepped to be part of a trade package on draft day? Anything is possible, but this scenario does make a lot of sense. The Flames have 5 goaltenders (Smith, Gillies, Rittich, Parsons and McDonald) floating around the system. At some point some of these guys are getting moved and maybe these 3 starts at the end of the season are partially showing the Flames hand as to who they are willing to deal and who they think will fetch them something decent in return.
Spencer Foo made his NHL debut last week against the Oilers, but he truly arrived this week. The 23 year from Edmonton scored his first 2 NHL goals this week against the Winnipeg Jets and the Vegas Golden Knights. Foo had 15 SOG this week, so it’s not like he hasn’t been working hard to get his first and second NHL goals.