Calgary Flames: Three Stars Of The Week December 19-25
The Calgary Flames had a division-rivaled week, playing all three games within their division before their Christmas break. Which players stood out?
The Calgary Flames played the three games they had against clubs within the Pacific division. They managed to walk away with four points out of a possible six, which is a pretty decent week. Of course, some players will stand out more than others. Who made the cut for our three stars of the week?
Dec 20, 2016; San Jose, CA, USA; Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund (11) shoots against in the third period at SAP Center at San Jose. The Sharks won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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Mikael Backlund has been one of the most consistent players on the Calgary Flames this season. Him alongside line-mate Michael Frolik have been a dangerous dynamic duo, especially on the penalty kill. Frolik has been sort of fading into the background slightly, but Backlund has still been one of the Flames best players.
This week, he had four points in three games, three of them coming in the 4-1 win against the Vancouver Canucks. Two of them came on the PP. He currently has 19 points in 26 games, so he’s a bit behind schedule if he wants to beat his points from last year. But if he keeps this up, he’ll beat it. He also already has three PP goals on the year, which is tied with his PPGs last year. He has three PP assists, whereas last year he had six.
If the Flames incredible power-play stays like this and Backlund continues to help out, he’ll be tripling his PP stats from last season.
Dec 23, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goalie Brian Elliott (1) makes a save as Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin (33) tries to score during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Brian Elliott has been quite the story this season. After coming off of the last six seasons having incredible numbers, it’s no doubt any team would want this guy. But he didn’t exactly give the Calgary Flames what they needed. And backup goalie Chad Johnson stepped up to the plate and sort of took that starting role from Brian Elliott. I mean, it wasn’t exactly his fault. The team in front of him wasn’t playing to the best of their abilities either. But when they needed him to bail them out, he wasn’t there.
However this week, in the two games Elliott started in, he won both. One came against the Arizona Coyotes and the other came against the Vancouver Canucks. In the game vs the Coyotes on December 19th, it was actually his first win since October 28th. And then with the win against the Canucks to help his team get those extra two points before the Christmas break, that’s got to boost to confidence and his morale.
I mean, the wins weren’t exactly the best of wins. In the Coyotes game, and I hate to say this, but the two goals he let in were kind of his fault. One, he went behind the net and handled the puck poorly and couldn’t get back in time. The second one, he just let in a weird soft goal that really shouldn’t have been a goal. And in the Canucks game, he didn’t exactly face a lot of shots to really claim he’s got his game back. But, a win is still a win. And like I said, it’ll still help his morale.
Look out Chad, looks like Moose will be fighting for the starting role again.
Dec 23, 2016; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano (5) celebrates his goal with right wing Michael Frolik (67) against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Oh captain, my captain. The reason Mark Giordano made this list was because of his incredible game against the Canucks. He had a two-goal night, and came so close to a third goal. Which would have been a first time a Flames defenseman had a hat-trick since Al MacGinnis in 1992.
He tied the game at one a piece with a rocket of a PPG. Then, he got the game winner on a short-handed goal. So all in all, he was just incredible with the special teams that night.
Now, he’s definitely not on pace to match his points from last season. He has just 14 points in 36 games right now whereas last season he had 56 points in 82 games, which was sixth among all NHL defensemen.
However, he’s definitely been doing a lot better the last few weeks. And especially after being paired up with Dougie Hamilton on that first defensive unit. Let’s just hope he keeps getting two goals every game, and the Flames will be set (I know I’m being optimistic, but hey).
Well, there you have it! Our three stars of the week. I know this is posted a day late, but hey, can you blame me? It was Christmas and then I was distracted by World Juniors. You know how it is. Who would you replace on this list if you could?
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