Welcome back to The Sunday Census. Throughout the week, The Win Column will be posing topical and intriguing polls on Twitter (@wincolumnblog) to gauge the fan-base’s stance on pressing issues. Want to make sure your opinion is taken into effect? Vote in the polls, start a debate, and propose alternative suggestions on the polls!
After Friday night’s slump breaking game for both Sean Monahan and James Neal, it appears as if many players are heating up just in time for the playoffs. We wanted to see which player fans thought would have the most success in the postseason. Suffice to say the results were a little surprising.
Starting off with Monahan, who finished last on this poll. After his four point outing, fans clearly want to see more consistency before giving #23 a break. Totally fair, but remember the last time the team was in the playoffs, Monahan scored in all four games. My personal vote actually went to Monahan, as I expect him to light the lamp the most in the postseason.
Johnny Gaudreau was next on this list, which may surprise some of you as well. After an excellent regular season, fans are clearly wondering what he can do during the playoffs. A reason he is further down the list? The opposing team will most likely build their game plan around stopping #13 at all costs.
James Neal, friend of the blog, comes next on our list with the second highest amount of votes. His strategy plays almost completely opposite to that of Gaudreau’s. A weak regular season will means he may not get as much attention, finally allowing him to reach the potential we have dreamed about since July 2nd. They keep saying they signed Neal for the playoffs, so maybe that is when his true value actually shows?
In somewhat of a surprise upset, Mark Giordano takes the opening poll. I guess since “success” was not clearly defined, that could be taken many ways. Clearly fans see Giordano continuing his Norris season into the post season, providing a two-way game that will cause the opposing team nightmares. Giordano is called upon a lot, but fans clearly know he will show up yet again.
I guess if all of these players find success, then it doesn’t truly matter who has the most right?
Earlier in the week, I broke down the potential first round opponents that the Flames could face in the first round. A lot has happened in a few days, as it now seems more likely that the Flames will face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round, which could be a good thing. That being said, it’s not over until it’s over. We wanted to see out of the potential opponents mentioned in our article, which one do fans want to see the Flames face?
Not shocking at all to see the Dallas Stars get few votes, as they have been a thorn in the side of the Flames for a while now. I think it is safe to say it would take a lot for the Stars to drop to the second wild card spot, so the Flames are in luck. The Minnesota Wild also received a small portion of votes, which is somewhat surprising. Perhaps it has to do with lack of excitement surrounding the matchup, or perhaps it is because they are further out of the picture than others. Regardless, they aren’t a fan favorite opponent.
The aformentioned Avalanche came second on the list with 19% of the vote. Going 3-0-0 this season against them, the fans appear to like this matchup, just not as much as the number one team.
The Arizona Coyotes garnered a whopping 72% of the vote here, including my own. With the first three games being blowouts in the Flames favour, clearly fans like their chances. It would be an extremely advantageous series for the home team. They aren’t out yet, but they would need some help to make this happen.
Moving past the first round opponent, we wanted to see which of the top teams in the Western conference scares Flames fans the most.
The Nashville Predators only received 6% of the vote here, which is understandable based on the rest of the field. That is nothing against the Preds, but they simply haven’t been as hot as others. They still have a great chance to make it to the second round, but on the “scary” scale they aren’t ranked high.
The San Jose Sharks are next up, with 12% of the vote. Up until recently they were neck and neck with the Flames for the Western Conference lead, but now it is all but certain the Flames will take first place in the West; they might even do it against the Sharks. A seven game losing streak really for the Sharks came at the worst possible time for them, but also shows Flames fans that maybe the Sharks don’t have as much bite as they once did?
The Jets placed second in this poll with 19% of the vote. This would be the team that many expect to see coming from the other side of the playoff bracket. High flying offence, world class defence, the Jets are a deep team. This could be an excellent Western Conference Final, should they make it there.
No one hold a candle to the number one team on the list: The Vegas Golden Knights. Since the trade deadline the team is 10-4-1, with four of those losses coming over their last four games. Of course they have been missing Marc-Andre Fleury, who is a key component to their success. The Knights were definitely in the playoff picture all year long, but now they are a serious threat to come out of the west, again. Have to think the Flames are overjoyed the get to miss them in the first round. Have fun San Jose!
A final fun poll for the week, based on Bill Tran’s brilliant Infinity Stone piece. There were six players assigned the designated stones, but unfortunately only four options are allowed on our polls. Monahan and Elias Lindholm were both great options, but the other four were even better. So which one do people like the most?
Not a lot of love for the Power/David Rittich combination, which just means his destruction will be far greater in the playoffs right? Surprisingly the Space/Gaudreau combination didn’t receive a ton of votes, with just under a fifth.
It was somewhat of an even draw between the Time/Giordano and the Mind/Matthew Tkachuk combos, with the latter taking the slight edge. These easily are both the most realistic, but also the most enjoyable comparisons. The captain continues to defy time, while Tkachuk operates rent free in a wealth of players heads. It was a fun exercise to go through, and glad to see such a great reaction to it!
Want to be a part of the conversation next time around? Follow us on Twitter @wincolumnblog and be sure to keep a look out for our polls throughout the week.
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images