Usually the cry of “yeah, it’s the playoffs....everyone is injured” is a real gripe as the grind of the regular seasons blends into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Everyone is banged up and bruised, but it’s playoff time and everyone sucks it up. The NHL shutdown allowed all players (that could) the chance to heal up and be ready for the start of the post season. The Flames were no exception, as they healed those who could, but as the games progressed, Calgary had some players suffer some injuries that affected their play.
Today we found out that Matthew Tkachuk, Rasmus Andersson and Sam Bennett all lost playoff time to injury or played through things that could have hampered their play. Matthew Tkachuk suffered a concussion in Game 2 against the Dallas Stars and he was clearly missed once he was done for the series. Even if the Flames had made it past the Stars Tkachuk’s status would have to still be up in the air as the league has really started to take concussions and head injuries seriously. The good news is Tkachuk will now have plenty of time to get himself right as the Flames season is over.
Rasmus Andersson is a trooper and a half. According to the Calgary media, the young defenceman broke his foot at some point during the playoffs, yet still managed to perform at a high level. In 10 games he had five points, was a +4 and blocked 17 shots. He also helped anchor the Flames second defensive pairing and averaged 21:27 minutes over the Flames little playoff run.
Rasmus Andersson was playing with a broken foot and Sam Bennett tore a triceps vs Winnipeg. That's why Lucic started taking face-offs.— Eric Francis (@EricFrancis) August 24, 2020
Sam Bennett managed to fight through a torn triceps injury that he suffered against Winnipeg. According to Eric Francis that’s why Milan Lucic was taking face-offs. Either way, a hurt Sam Bennett was one of Calgary’s best players this post season. Bennett suited up for every game, despite the injury and scored five goals to go along with three assists. Where he excelled, EVEN while being hurt was his physical play. The centre threw 54 hits over the 10 game playoff run which led team and he also led the Flames in shots with 32.
When you look at it overall, the Flames players who played hurt were actually better performers than some of those who were healthy. Matthew Tkachuk was clearly a key piece that was missing, but it’s doubtful that he could have been the difference in the Dallas series. The Flames needed all of their players to show up and they didn’t. It’s pretty telling that a player with a broken foot and one with torn triceps muscles were Calgary’s best players, while their high priced, healthy talent didn’t bother to show when it counted the most.