Calgary Flames October recap
The Flames are looking to pick up momentum
By Nathan Woolridge, Staff Writer
Off the ice, morale is high but on the ice, the team is lacking consistency sitting with a 8-6-0 record. The Calgary Flames recently hosted their Red Rally on October 28, 2017 which saw the NHL Centennial tour stop at the Saddledome and the Flames’ roster meeting with excited fans.
Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk and company spent their day signing autographs for fans. The Red Rally, an annual event, brought the players closer to their fans who have been standing by their side in what seems to be a 50/50 season.
Jaromir Jagr, who has been on injured reserve since Oct. 23, posed for photos with fans while showing off some hardware of awards that he has won.
Recently the Flames haven’t been able to catch a break. Their major win of the season so far has been breaking the curse of not being able to win a game in Anaheim since 2004, a 29 game losing streak dating back to April 2009.
Any other part of the season has been decent. The Flames are 8-6-0 inside the early days of November, fighting with surrounding teams in the Western Conference, looking to get closer to that final wild card spot.
Racking up points
Monahan, Tkachuk and Michael Ferland seem to be having good starts to their season. They currently make up the top three goal scorers on the team.
Mony has been getting a goal every second game with eight and so far has the most game-winning goals in the league with four. He’s also in the top 20 for most goals in the league.
Johnny Hockey has been showing his playmaking side of play, racking a whopping 15 assists with three goals on the side, meanwhile sophomore Tkachuk is sitting at nine points with three goals.
Defenceman T.J Brodie is leading the offence from the back-end with nine points, seven of those point being assists.
But some of the other younger players have not yet lived up to expectations; like Curtis Lazar, Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski who have a combined total of one point, an assist from Lazar on Oct 7.
This really sums up Calgary’s depth as the team’s goal total are at a conference low, second last place.
Smith saving the team
Saying Mike Smith has faced a lot of shots is an understatement. As of Nov. 4, Smith has a .931 save percentage. Playing on his head, he poses 8-5 record. Backup Eddie Lack only started in one game.
Smith has faced over 400 shots and has allowed 30 goals so far.
Middle of the pack
As of late, the Flames appear to be sitting in the dead middle of the league. Which is not horrible, but it’s not the greatest. They really need to win a few in a row to gain some momentum early on in the season and pick up those important early points while they can.
On Nov 2., the Flames started showing signs of success like early on this year where Calgary went on a hot three game win streak, beating last year’s Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime. The game proved that the Flames can play, compete, and dominant a top NHL team; something they need to prove to themselves for the rest of the year
Beating a hot New Jersey Devils team on home ice Nov 5., the Flames are in a five-way tie for the final wild card spot in the West.
Calgary have a string of home games early on in November, so hopefully that gives them a better chance in picking up point before heading out for a six-game road trip. With five games against Western teams, Calgary will have a chance to create separation from the rest of the pack and hopefully catch up in the divisional race.