Are the Flames red hot?
Calgary Flames break through in November with wins and point-producing players
By Nathan Woolridge, Staff Writer
The Calgary Flames have been outstanding in the month of November. They have won most of their games, despite some setbacks, such as a rough 8-2 battering from the Red Wings. The top line has been producing and Johnny Gaudreau has been topping NHL standings.
Top line is producing
The first line of Michael Ferland, Sean Monahan, and Gaudreau have been unstoppable. Ferland has 10 goals, Monahan has 14 goals, and Gaudreau has 11 goals. Gaudreau is currently third in the league for points and fourth for assists. Ferland has really been proving himself so far this season. He is showing that he’s not just an instigator, but that he can rack up points just like Monahan and Gaudreau; he currently sits third for scoring on the team.
Jankowski begins his career
Linemates Jaromir Jagr and Sam Bennett both only have a goal each, while rookie Mark Jankowski has five goals already. The young player drafted in 2012 has played well with his teammates. Jagr and Bennett have been scoreless, but they have been effective in setting up Jankowski. If Jagr and Bennett could begin to put up more solid numbers, that line could be very powerful.
In the Nov. 30 game against the Arizona Coyotes, Jankowski scored two goals in a 3-0 win; both amazing goals assisted by Jagr. It was a good night for the line to step up because the top line ceased to get any points.
Mike Smith has been nothing short of an amazing goaltender this season. Even when the team loses, he continues to have great games. There hasn’t been much reason to pull him so far this season which has led to backup Eddie Lack only playing four times and farm team backups John Gillies and David Rittich to play one game each.
Lack’s 1-2-0 record along with Smith’s consistency led the team to assign Lack to the Stockton Heat to get him some more playing time. The Flames called up goaltender Rittich, who in his first NHL game, was able to secure a win against the Colorado Avalanche. This allowed a much needed break for Smith in the midst of playing 22 games and winning 12 of them.
Much of the Flames’ roster remains to be scoreless. Players who, as of Nov. 30, have not scored goals include: Troy Brouwer, Matt Stajan, Curtis Lazar, Freddie Hamilton, Rasmus Andersson, Matt Bartkowski, Tanner Glass, Garnet Hathaway and Brett Kulak.
If these players can find it in them to start contributing a few more goals, it would really round out the team. The Flames have been steady, but if these players can pick it up the team can start winning more games and begin to climb out of the middle of the pack.