What a week in the NHL. Happy Halloween! Sidney Crosby has the eighth most PIMs in the league, and Derek Dorsett leads the Vancouver Canucks in goals. Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos were finally held scoreless for a full game – shocker, I know. In other news, the Vegas Golden Knights look to be trading their biggest offseason acquisition in Vadim Schipachyov. The Golden Knights’ player management issues are still alive and well. I’m not entirely sure what is going on in Vegas but Sin City is as entertaining as always.
Calgary Flames Recap
Johnny Gaudreau is tied for 4th overall in NHL scoring and after the game against the Washington Capitals last night, has more than doubled his point production from this time last year. The Calgary Flames played four games last week after a lighter schedule the week before. They beat the Nashville Predators in a shootout on Tuesday with impressive performances from Mikael Backlund and Matthew Tkachuk, coming back from an early two goal deficit. They fell to the St. Louis Blues the next night primarily due to penalty trouble, an issue that has plagued the team all year. Eddie Lack suffered his first career loss to the Blues in his first start as a Flame. They lost again to the Dallas Stars on Friday in a rather forgettable game. Fortunately, the Flames got back on track with a strong game against the Capitals, winning that contest off goals from Micheal Ferland and Sean Monahan.
Thoughts from Game #9 (Nashville)
Thoughts from Game #10 (St. Louis)
Thoughts from Game #11 (Dallas)
Thoughts from Game #12 (Washington)
Glen Gulutzan has preached the importance of discipline for a few weeks now and the Flames did clean up a lot of the stick infraction penalties they had taken at a high rate to start the season. Unfortunately, their penalty kill was frankly quite useless and did a terrible job suppressing scoring chances from their opponents. Special teams will be a focus for the team going forward.
Games to Watch
Three games you should tune into because they will be fun and interesting. Take our word for it.
1. Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers: October 30, 2017
The high flying Lightning head to Sunrise for a date with their state rival Panthers. Evgenii Dadonov has looked fantastic for the Cats and you can’t pass up the chance to see Stamkos and Kucherov take on a backup goalie with Roberto Luongo out with a mysterious hand injury.
2. Dallas Stars at Winnipeg Jets: November 2, 2017
The Jets host the Stars in what should be a game absolutely filled with scoring. Both teams boast incredible offenses so this should be a fun one.
3. Pittsburgh Penguins at Calgary Flames: November 2, 2017
The Penguins come to the ‘Dome on the end of a back to back to face the Flames. Pittsburgh will likely start Tristan Jarry in net, which should be a good matchup for the Flames.
Players to Watch
Three players to keep an eye out for this week.
1. Johnny Gaudreau
As discussed earlier, Gaudreau is 4th in scoring and has factored into the highest percentage of team goals in the League. He is proving to be one of the most dynamic players in the NHL.
2. Clayton Keller
Keller simply cannot be blamed for the Coyotes Coyotes dismal record this year. He leads the rookie scoring race with 12 points in 11 games and has displayed spectacular offensive ability.
3. Erik Karlsson
Erik Karlsson hasn’t let offseason ankle surgery slow down his production this year. With nine assists over six games, he has been as brilliant as ever.
Calgary Flames Preview
The Flames have another quiet week with just two games on the schedule. They play host to the Penguins on Thursday after a three day break. Pittsburgh doesn’t have the same killer instinct they’ve had the last couple years; they lost several key players in the summer including Chris Kunitz, Trevor Daley, and Matt Cullen. Playing the Oilers the night before and starting their backup goalie should be a good opportunity for the Flames to extend their winning streak to two. They finish the week with a Sunday match against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils have looked surprisingly great this year, currently sitting at first in the Metropolitan division and fifth overall in the NHL. It will be a tough contest for the Flames, especially now that Cory Schneider is back.
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