What a week in the NHL. Most importantly, Jaromir Jagr finally has a home in Calgary (!!!!!) and we couldn’t be more excited to have him back and in a Calgary Flames uniform. Alex Ovechkin is still a goal scoring beast, the Toronto Maple Leafs have 15 goals in their first two games, and the Winnipeg Jets have allowed 13 goals in their first two games. It’s been a wild inaugural week to the 2017 season, and here’s hoping it continues.
Calgary Flames Recap
The Flames were embarrassed in their season opener in Edmonton last Wednesday, getting singlehandedly dismantled by Connor McDavid who scored three goals. The Flames looked horrible on the ice, not finishing passes cleanly and failing to muster any noteworthy offense. The defense was out of sync and the offensive threats were easily neutralized by the Oilers’ bottom 6. Troy Brouwer had one of his worst games in a long time (and that’s saying something), and if it weren’t for Mike Smith making 42 saves, the outcome could have been a lot worse.
Thankfully, the Flames completely turned it around at home on Saturday night when they faced the Jets. After failing to earn a win in their previous six home openers, the Flames rallied from 3-1 down after the first period to win the game 6-3. TJ Brodie was the first star, amassing 2G and 2A in the winning effort. Johnny Gaudreau had three points of his own, and Sam Bennett and Curtis Lazar impressed with their strong play in both ends of the ice. After the first period, Mike Smith was solid in net, finishing the game with 25 saves on 28 shots.
Games to Watch
Three games you should tune into because they will be fun and interesting. Take our word for it.
1. Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks: October 9, 2017
The Flames streak in Anaheim has been well documented and we’d rather not get into it too much right now. It’s been said for years, but this could be the year that Calgary finally earns a win in Anaheim. This game could be historical for the Flames who are coming off a dominant 6-3 win on Saturday.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins at Washington Capitals: October 11, 2017
The first instalment of the Crosby vs. Ovechkin “rivalry” is set to take place this Wednesday in Washington. Sure this matchup was manufactured by the League to drive ratings, but after the disappointing start for the Penguins and Ovechkin’s ridiculous goal scoring rate, this one should be great fun.
3. Chicago Blackhawks at Toronto Maple Leafs: October 9, 2017
The top two offensive teams in the NHL? Yes please. Both the Blackhawks and Maple Leafs have shown early on that they can score goals and score a lot of them. This matchup will surely be high flying with goals all over the place. This game has a real chance to finish 10-9 so make sure you’re tuned in for this original six bout.
Players to Watch
Three players to keep an eye out for this week.
1. Jaromir Jagr
For obvious reasons. He returns as our number one player to watch because he has yet to suit up for a game this year. When he signed, he did mention that he would need some time to return to game shape so, when he does, make sure you keep an eye out for the living legend.
2. Alex Ovechkin
All this guy does is score goals. Seven goals in two games is crazy, but we should probably stop being surprised at Ovechkin’s goal scoring ability. With four games this week, we’ll see more of what he can do.
3. Brent Burns
One of, if not the best defenders in the NHL right now, Brent Burns hasn’t gotten off to as explosive a start as he did last year. The San Jose Sharks have allowed nine goals in their first two games, and Burns is minus-5 with just a single assist. Look for Burns to return to his dominant form and turn heads in week two.
Calgary Flames Preview
Facing the Anaheim Ducks tonight will be the biggest test for this Flames club yet. It might only be their third game of the year, but all momentum and progress that they make seems to get erased the second they step foot onto the soft Honda Center ice. Tonight’s tilt, however, features a Flames team fresh off a comeback win on home ice and an injury ridden Ducks team who is missing a good chuck of their top six forwards and top four defense. If there was ever a time to break the curse, it’s now.
The Flames then face the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday. Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar look like their old selves so this game will not be an easy one. The week finishes with back to back games on Friday and Saturday against the Ottawa Senators and Vancouver Canucks. Ottawa may be without Erik Karlsson again, and the Flames have a good chance of walking away with the win. Many pegged Vancouver to be among the basement teams this year, but after a good showing against Edmonton on Saturday, it would be unwise to take the Canucks for granted. Fists will likely fly in this one, and Tanner Glass will surely be in the lineup. It’ll be a fun game, just as every game against Vancouver is.
It’s a busy week for the Flames with four games. With three games against division rivals, they have a good chance to establish an early lead in the Pacific.