Good news: in their last two games, the Flames have scored nine goals.
Bad news: in their last two games, the Flames have allowed five goals. Well, in their last game alone.
That’s just the difference between the Los Angeles Kings and the Edmonton Oilers, isn’t it? Although the offensive explosion is at least fun to watch, regardless.
Sean Monahan picked up one assist on the night, which gives him a new career high in points with 63, and still two games to go. He still, however, remains three goals back of 30: and now, he has just two games to get there. It’s entirely doable, but maybe a little less likely now.
It is, however, a nice contrast to his rookie season. In his first year, Monahan scored 22 goals and assisted on just 12. He’s clearly grown as a player, in all facets – but from looking at his point totals, with 27 goals and 36 assists, he’s becoming a bit more balanced. His 14.1% shooting percentage is lower than his rookie and sophomore years, but it’s still pretty high.
Monahan puts up points. It is, however, important to note – especially when regarding new contracts – that even though he plays on he same line as Johnny Gaudreau, he still has 14 fewer points than him. That’s quite the gap.
Speaking of Gaudreau: 77 points in 77 games. Just two more points guarantees he finishes his second professional season as a point per game player, although it would be nice to see him hit 80. It was always nice to dream that Gaudreau would be a point per game guy – but this soon? Gaudreau has shown distinct improvements in every single level of hockey he’s advanced; it’ll be really interesting to see what he does in his third season. Especially if he gets a new complimentary winger.
The Flames also have three 20-goal scorers currently: Gaudreau, Monahan, and Mark Giordano. They also have Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne, each with 18 apiece (and over 40 points as well), and Sam Bennett, sitting at 17. Two games to go: and this team has a shot at having six 20-goal scorers on the season. A rather unrealistic shot, but a shot, nonetheless.
It’s hardly a guarantee they all repeat. But while the Flames have given up the most goals in the NHL with 256, they’ve scored 222 goals: 12th in the NHL, and third out of all non-playoff teams (Boston and Ottawa being ahead of them presently). There’s at least some reason for hope.
Backlund was credited with a shot on net. He scored a goal. The Flames were up 1-0 just 3:41 into the game.
And then they spent seven minutes without another shot on net. And only had four shots on net all period. True, the Kings had a flat second period with only four shots of their own then, but a team simply has to be better than that throughout a game. One shot over half a period simply isn’t going to cut it, as amusing as Jhonas Enroth’s 0.00% save percentage was for the time being.
The Flames did something similar against the Oilers: one shot on net (coincidentally, another Backlund goal) and then nothing for nearly 10 minutes. It was the Oilers, so eventually Calgary was able to pile it on; however, that’s now two games in a row the Flames have gone extended time in the first period without so much as even trying to generate offence.
There’s trying to end the season on a high note, and then there’s whatever that is. Let’s see if they do the same against the Vancouver Canucks.
Deryk Engelland has a pretty similar statline
Deryk Engelland first registered an assist, and then he scored a goal. He’s now up to two goals this season, and nine assists brings him to 11 points total.
… Last season, his first with the Flames, Engelland scored two goals and nine assists for 11 total points. He had 53 penalty minutes; this season, he has 54.
This season, though, Engelland has played just 68 games compared to the 76 he had in 2014-15. He’s not exactly reaching career highs – in his final season with the Penguins, he scored six goals; in 2011-12, he hit 17 points – but at least he’s being nothing if not consistent (plus more enjoyable to watch this season than last). He also led the way by playing 3:17 minutes on the kill; the only power play goal scored all night was Giordano’s.
It’s just a shame about the cap hit.
Shoutout to Hunter Shinkaruk
A thing I have in common with Hunter Shinkaruk: I am also from Calgary. A thing I have in common with him: I have also attended at least one Flames game while being a small child. Another thing I probably have in common with him: dreaming of scoring a goal on that ice, hearing the horn go off, the whoosh of the flames from above as people cheer and it dawns on you in a split second that you actually just did that.
A thing I do not have in common with him: he actually did that. He lived that dream. Shinkaruk scored the second goal of his NHL career, and his first on home – in more ways than one – ice. It was right by where he got his first goal, too: standing right at the net, alert and immediately ready to collect on the rebound. (He was in similar position for his first NHL point, even if he only collected an assist as the puck ultimately did not go in off of him.)
Shinkaruk was also credited with two shots on net. Three hits as well, two of which completely wiped out Kings players in exactly the same spot up near the bench.
Importantly, though: he’s getting himself where he needs to be. And he’s being given the chance to do it. He played 16:11; for forwards, only Monahan, Gaudreau, and Backlund played more. A fair chunk of those minutes – 4:22, to be exact – saw him trailing only Giordano and Gaudreau in power play time.
Shinkaruk may be getting the most chances any Flames prospect has this season. It’s hardly a guarantee for next year, but it’s also definitely not a bad sign. This team needs wingers, and Shinkaruk is capitalizing on the top line more than other prospects have.
Also, what a nice story for him. So, about that Canucks game coming up…