A few days ago we asked our readers to fill out report card grades for the Flames based on the first half of 2018-19 season. We got a super strong voter turnout and are quite happy with how everything ended up.
We’ll be including the player’s stats this season, and how they fared since our last report cards 21 games into the season. All stats come prior to the Boston and Philadelphia games. The grade in brackets was their grade in the last round of report cards, but the new grades are cumulative for the season.
1⁄2 Report Cards
#10 - C Derek Ryan 40 GP, 4 G, 8 A, 12 Pts, 14 PIM, -3
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 Pts, 6 PIM, -3
Ryan’s role has solidified more as the season continued as Flames fans have started to figure out what to expect from him. He does what he needs to do, but there is still some head scratching such as why he’s on the PP.
Grade: C (D+)
#13 - LW Johnny Gaudreau 41 GP, 22 G, 37 A, 59 Pts, 10 PIM, +17
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 15 G, 20 A, 35 Pts, 10 PIM, +16
It’s safe to say that the last 20+ games or so has been the best hockey that Johnny Gaudreau has EVER played. He won 2nd star of the month honours in December, and has been clicking at a ridiculous pace. Gaudreau looks like he’ll shatter his career high 84 points in 80 games set last year.
Grade: A+ (A)
#18 - RW James Neal 40 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 Pts, 18 PIM, -11
Last Quarter: 19 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 Pts, 8 PIM, -7
From Gaudreau at one end of the spectrum to James Neal who has been struggling mightily this entire season. His speed has been lacking, but most importantly he just hasn’t been scoring. Whether it’s been being snakebitten or a combination of his overall play, Neal’s time with the Flames hasn’t been pretty.
Grade: D- (D)
#19 - LW Matthew Tkachuk 41 GP, 18 G, 29 A, 47 Pts, 41 PIM, +9
Last Quarter; 20 GP, 7 G, 15 A, 22 Pts, 23 PIM, +8
With the ridiculous play of the top line in the last quarter of the season, Tkachuk’s contributions may have fallen somewhat under the radar because scoring at over a point per game is still really good. No disrespect to Backlund or his other linemates, but the fact that Tkachuk has managed to keep pace in scoring with guys like Monahan or Lindholm despite not playing on their line is a testament to how skilled he is.
Grade: A (A+)
#21 - RW Garnet Hathaway 36 GP, 4 G, 1 A, 5 Pts, 17 PIM, +1
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 Pts, 13 PIM, -1
While some have questioned Hathaway’s inclusion in the lineup, the role he’s asked to fill is pretty minor so it doesn’t take much to stay in. Over the last quarter of the season Hathaway seems to have emerged as a go-to player on the PK. Other than that, he’s a fourth line grinder who often comes out of the game when things get tight but can stir the pot too if needed.
Grade: C+ (C)
#23 - C Sean Monahan 41 GP, 22 G, 28 A , 50 Pts, 6 PIM, +11
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 10 G, 16 A, 26 Pts, 4 PIM, +10
Sean Monahn’s game has continued to evolve as the season continued, and has quietly entered the Top 10 in league scoring at different times. Monahan may fly under the radar outside of Calgary, but fans and media within the city know just how well he’s playing this year. Like Gaudreau, Monahan looks like he’ll be crushing his career high in points which was 64 set last season.
Grade: A (A)
#27 - RW Austin Czarnik 23 GP, 2 G, 4 A, 6 Pts, 2 PIM, -6
Last Quarter: 11 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Pts, 2 PIM, -5
Czarnik has continued to bounce between the press box and the bottom six as he fails to really cement himself into a role. Peters has mentioned that Czarnik really plays his best when on the RW, but with a RW core of Lindholm, Neal, Frolik, Hathaway among others, it’s been tough sledding to stay in a spot. He’s shown flashes, but hasn’t really stood out on a regular basis.
Grade: C- (D+)
#28 - RW Elias Lindholm 41 GP, 19 G, 28 A, 47 Pts, 8 PIM, +25
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 8 G, 17 A, 25 Pts, 4 PIM, +23
Yeah it’s safe to say that the blockbuster trade with Carolina seems to be really benefiting the Flames right now. Lindholm has already surpassed his career high in points at only the halfway mark of the season. While playing with Gaudreau and Monahan will boost your points, Lindholm hasn’t simply been a passenger on their line. In fact he’s been a perfect complement to them, having created one of the best lines in hockey.
Grade: A+ (A+)
#29 - LW Dillon Dube 23 GP, 1 G, 4 A, 5 Pts, 4 PIM, +4
Last Quarter: 7 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts, 4 PIM, +2
Dube spent some time with the Stockton Heat of the AHL where he got a significantly increased and fared well, potting eight points in eight games for the Heat. Dube is back with the Flames now and hoping to continue building his NHL experience. However I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back with the Heat again this year for more playing time.
Grade: C (C)
#67 - RW Michael Frolik 24 GP, 8 G, 2 A, 10 Pts, 14 PIM, +6
Last Quarter: 4 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts, 0 PIM, +3
Frolik missed the majority of this quarter of the season and therefore we didn’t give the option to change his grade from the first quarter. I’m sure Allan Walsh would’ve been all over that. Frolik’s story will be one to watch as the season progresses because he hasn’t had a lot of playing time and his role has diminished.
Grade: N/A (C-)
#77 - C Mark Jankowski 38 GP, 6 G, 10 A, 16 Pts, 6 PIM, +5
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 5 G, 7 A, 12 Pts, 0 PIM, +6
He’s the shorthanded scoring legend! Of the six goals scored by Jankowski this season, four have come with the Flames down a man. His ability to capitalize on opponent’s mistakes and transition the other way has been a big reason for the boost. At even strength he’s done a decent job on the third line, hopefully he can get some 5v5 scoring going too.
Grade: B- (C-)
#93 - LW Sam Bennett 39 GP, 6 G, 7 A, 13 Pts, 70 PIM, +1
Last Quarter: 18 GP, 3 G, 4 A, 7 Pts, 38 PIM, +/- 0
Like I said in the last report card, Bennett’s role as an energy guy and heavy hitter has been one that has fit well into the Flames fabric this season. Calgary already has guys lighting the lamp, but has lacked physicality in the past. Bennett has brought that this season, and if you look past his draft position, he’s what this team needs right now. Also that’s an A+ moustache.
Grade: B (B)
#4 - RD Rasmus Andersson 38 GP, 1 G, 2 A, 3 Pts, 18 PIM, +2
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Pts, 16 PIM, +1
Personally I’d like to see a bit more offensively from Andersson who has a blistering shot and had 39 points in 56 games with Stockton last year. However he’s been a reliable defenceman on the all rookie thid pairing with either Kylington or Valimaki. His play has improved as the season has continued, and the offense will likely come with that as well.
Grade: B (B+)
#5 - LD Mark Giordano 39 GP, 6 G, 32 A, 38 Pts, 33 PIM, +27
Last Quarter: 18 GP, 4 G, 14 A, 18 Pts, 17 PIM, +18
Okay, can I just say how much of a joke it is that Mark Giordano isn’t an all-star this season. He’s already hit his point totals from the last two seasons and looks well on his way to surpassing his career high of 56 points. Oh yeah, have we mentioned that he’s 35 years old this year? Gio has led by example and the team has followed.
Grade: A+ (A+)
#6 - LD Juuso Valimaki 22 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 Pts, 12 PIM, -3
Last Quarter: 2 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 Pts, 4 PIM, +1
An injury that looked relatively minor at the time has turned into Valimaki missing nearly 20 games. He had really shown some progression as the season continued in his rookie year, but hopefully this setback doesn’t affect him. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get some time in Stockton when he’s healthy, just to get him back in game mode and because Kylington has played well in his absence.
Grade: N/A (B+)
#7 - RD T.J. Brodie 41 GP, 4 G, 11 A, 15 Pts, 12 PIM, +19
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 3 G, 6 A, 9 Pts, 8 PIM, +9
Whether it’s the Giordano Effect or returning to the right side or something else, Brodie has had a remarkable bounceback season. He’s been a solid defender all season long, and has cut out some of the mistakes he was making early.
Grade: B+ (B-)
#24 - RD Travis Hamonic 33 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 Pts, 15 PIM, +11
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 1 G, 5 A, 6 Pts, 6 PIM, +10
Hamonic has had a really strong second year with the Flames after a tough first year. He’s paired up quite well with Noah Hanifin and really started to play his game. He gives the Flames a really good second pairing and is looking more like what the Flames had intended to get in their trade with NYI.
Grade: B+ (A)
#55 - LD Noah Hanifin 41 GP, 3 G, 16 A, 19 Pts, 8 PIM, +5
Last Quarter: 20 GP, 3 G, 8 A, 11 Pts, 4 PIM, +4
Hanifin has really settled into his role with the Flames, forming a good second pairing with Hamonic. Obviously there are still some elements to his game that need work, but his skillset thus far has been impressive. Also worth noting that he’s on pace to set a new career high in points for the fourth consecutive season.
Grade: B (B)
#33 - David Rittich 13-4-3, .920 SV%, 2.39 GAA
Last Quarter: 6-3-3, .913 SV%, 2.74 GAA
David Rittich has worked himself into the unquestioned #1 spot with the Flames, even if hasn’t been made official. He gives the Flames a chance to win every single night, and rarely allows any weak goals. He’s a fun presence on the team and now it’s time to see how far he can take them.
Grade: A (A)
#41 - Mike Smith 12-8-1, .889 SV%, 3.00 GAA
Last Quarter: 7-1-0, .911 SV%, 2.29 GAA
Smith’s record in the last quarter of the season has been impressive, however his play hasn’t been. No doubt it’s been an improvement on the first quarter of the season, but Smith still has struggled to really regain his form outside a hot stretch. The Flames will need him to get going as the season continues.
Grade: C- (D-)
Flames 1⁄2 MVP
#6 Sean Monahan - 2.2% of Votes
#5 Matthew Tkachuk - 2.5% of Votes
#4 Elias Lindholm - 5.1% of Votes
#3 David Rittich - 17.8% of Votes
#2 Mark Giordano - 21% of Votes
#1 Johnny Gaudreau 51.1% of Votes