The second month of the season concluded with the Calgary Flames comfortably in a playoff spot. As the calendar flipped over to December, they were first the Pacific with games in hand to boot. They entered December with a 15-9-2 record. How did star selections look for them in November?
In 13 games played, 39 star selections were made, in which 23 game stars were Flames. Individual performances by Calgary’s top players stood out often enough for them to be awarded star selections in 59% of the available spots. Not a bad November at all. Let’s see who stood out game to game and what the did to earn the selections.
Game 14: Flames vs Avalanche
|First Star||Mark Giordano||1 G / 3 A / 7 SOG|
|Second Star||Mikael Backlund||1 G / 2 A / 2 SOG|
|Third Star||Matthew Tkachuk||0 G / 3 A / 2 SOG|
Game 15: Flames vs. Blackhawks
|First Star||Sean Monahan||2 G / 0 A / 5 SOG|
|Second Star||Johnny Gaudreau||0 G / 2 A / 3 SOG|
|Third Star||Matthew Tkachuk||1 G / 0 A / 2 SOG|
Game 16: Flames @ Ducks
|First Star||Ryan Getzlaf||1 G / 0 A / 2 SOG|
|Second Star||Josh Manson||0 G / 1 A / 2 SOG|
|Third Star||Rickard Rakell||0 G / 1 A / 3 SOG|
Game 17: Flames @ Kings
|First Star||Travis Hamonic||1 G / 0 A / 5 SOG|
|Second Star||David Rittich||21 SA / 1.000 SV%|
|Third Star||Jack Campbell||36 SA / 0.972 SV%|
Game 18: Flames @ Sharks
|First Star||Martin Jones||30 SA / 0.967 SV%|
|Second Star||Evander Kane||1 G / 1 A / 6 SOG|
|Third Star||Joe Pavelski||1 G / 2 A / 3 SOG|
Game 19: Flames vs. Canadiens
|First Star||Carey Price||45 SA / 0.956 SV%|
|Second Star||Matthew Tkachuk||2 G / 0 A / 6 SOG|
|Third Star||Artturi Lehkonen||1 G / 0 A / 3 SOG|
Game 20: Flames vs. Oilers
|First Star||Elias Lindholm||2 G / 0 A / 4 SOG|
|Second Star||David Rittich||26 SA / 0.923 SV%|
|Third Star||Travis Hamonic||0 G / 2 A / 5 SOG|
Game 21: Flames vs. Golden Knights
|First Star||Johnny Gaudreau||1 G / 3 A / 2 SOG|
|Second Star||Matthew Tkachuk||2 G / 2 A / 2 SOG|
|Third Star||Sean Monahan||2 G / 1 A / 3 SOG|
Game 22: Flames vs. Jets
|First Star||Sam Bennett||1 G / 1 A / 2 SOG|
|Second Star||David Rittich||40 SA / 0.925 SV%|
|Third Star||Patrik Laine||2 G / 0 A / 6 SOG|
Game 23: Flames @ Golden Knights
|First Star||Marc-Andre Fleury||29 SA / 1.000 SV%|
|Second Star||Alex Tuch||1 G / 1 A / 2 SOG|
|Third Star||Colin Miller||1 G / 0 A / 3 SOG|
Game 24: Flames @ Coyotes
|First Star||Noah Hanifin||2 G / 0 A / 2 SOG|
|Second Star||Mark Jankowski||2 G / 0 A / 2 SOG|
|Third Star||Clayton Keller||1 G / 0 A / 2 SOG|
Game 25: Flames vs. Stars
|First Star||Mark Giordano||1 G / 1 A / 2 SOG|
|Second Star||Gavin Bayreuther||1 G / 1 A / 1 SOG|
|Third Star||Tyler Seguin||1 G / 1 A / 2 SOG|
Game 26: Flames vs. Kings
|First Star||Johnny Gaudreau||1 G / 0 A / 3 SOG|
|Second Star||T.J. Brodie||0 G / 1 A / 1 SOG|
|Third Star||Mike Smith||14 SA / 0.929 SV%|
In November, Tkachuk led the Flames, being selected as a star four times: twice as the second star and twice as the third star. In those four appearances, three were multi-point performances. Tkachuk has really stepped his game up and is undoubtedly one of, if not the best players on the Flames roster this season. In the four games he was selected as a star, he totalled five goals, five assists, and 12 shots on goal.
Gaudreau followed closely with three appearances, though he was the first star twice and second star once. His ability to control the puck and make plays never goes unnoticed. One of his best games of the season was against the Golden Knights, when he scored one goal and three assists… in the first period. Gaudreau is definitely stellar on the ice and November was no different.
Rittich has been a star for the Flames all season long, and he really shone in November. He earned a star selection three times, in which he averaged a .949 SV% in those games. He’s definitely made his case for the Flames to use a 1A/1B goaltending system between himself and Smith, and it would not be surprising if he earns the full-time starting position.
Two players that have deservedly been chosen as stars are Giordano and Hamonic, each with two selections to their names. The former has been putting together yet another Norris-calibre season, while the latter has arguably been even better than the defender the Flames hoped they were getting when they traded for him.
Both have been great on both ends of the ice, yet they are rarely seen on the ice together. Giordano has spent most of his time with Brodie; Hamonic with Hanifin (Brodie and Hanifin were each selected as a star once in November too). This speaks volumes about the Flames’ defensive corps this season and how they have found a system that works for them.
The season will be officially a third of the way over after the Flames play the Blue Jackets. The Flames have gotten contributions from most of their players, and the skill up and down the roster is evident. With any luck, other Flames will find themselves selected as stars throughout December and the rest of the season.