How did the Flames fare in Sunday’s World Cup prelims?

There was only one pre-tournament game on the World Cup of Hockey schedule on Sunday. But it was a big one, as Team North America faced Team Europe in Montreal in a rematch of the previous 4-0 win for the young guns in Quebec City.

How did Johnny Gaudreau’s crew fare in their second tune-up?

NORTH AMERICA (Johnny Gaudreau) beat EUROPE 7-4

North America cruised out to an early lead, played a bit shakily through the middle part of the game, but they held on for a fairly impressive (if incomplete) 7-4 win over Europe.

Gaudreau had a really, really nice game. Playing on a line with Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, Gaudreau was perhaps North America’s best player. He had two goals – the eventual game-winner early in the second and a crucial insurance marker late in the third with Europe pressing – and both of them were created by some heads up play by the 23-year old.

The first goal saw Gaudreau not quite bury a chance on the left side of Jaroslav Halak, so he chucked the puck back out front and it bonked in off of a fender. The second goal was just pure stick-handling brilliance.

Overall, Gaudreau played 16:53 (only Nathan MacKinnon played more, among forwards on North America), 4:41 on the power-play (tied with Jonathan Drouin for most PP time among North American forwards), 5 shots (tied for the team lead) and a +1 rating.

What did Flames general manager Brad Treliving think of Gaudreau’s performance?

Up Next

All of the World Cup squads have one remaining pre-tournament game before everything kicks off officially on Saturday in Toronto. Your Flames-related games are as follows:

  • On Tuesday, Finland (Jyrki Jokipakka) plays the United States at 5pm MT (Sportsnet One)
  • On Wednesday, North American (Gaudreau) plays the Czech Republic (Michael Frolik & Jakub Nakladal) at 1:30pm MT (Sportsnet & Sportsnet One), followed by Sweden (Mikael Backlund) facing Europe at 5pm MT (Sportsnet 360).
  • The GREAT Walter White

    McPassenger nothing special again…..

    I think Johnny actually scored both his goals when he was not on the ice with McPassenger.

    Is there seriously still someone who thinks he is generational? He is not even in the top 5 on this team…

    WW

      • The Sultan

        Here’s whats going to happen in the next few years:

        Calgary, with Johnny Gaudreau, is going to win or at the very least, contend for the Stanley Cup.

        McDavid will leave Edmonton, and people are not going to be let back into an arena after they leave for a smoke.

        • #97Train/McDavidCopperfield

          I think you guys are getting a little ahead of yourselves. 4 points in two meaningless exhibition games against the easiest team in the tournament does not make you the best player in the game.
          Always said Johnny is a good player but slow down a little.

  • LuketheDuke

    This is the only time Todd McLellan can feel happy about coaching the best player in the league. Poor guy is going to see Johnny light up his team this year…

    • cberg

      Train97, and other Oiler fanboys… Now do you see what I meant?

      Two games:

      Gaudreau… 3G 1A 4PT
      “Captain” McDavid… 0G 0A 0PT

      That’s not to say McDavid has been invisible. He is VERY fast and has caused Europe problems. However, he’s just getting started. Give the guy a full year or two before heaping everything on his shoulders. Has years of rushing guys shown you nothing?

      • Jumping Jack Flash

        I am not sure why the North American brass keep heaping all the pressure on McDavid…making him a captain after less than 50 games in the league. Top line, top, minutes, top linemates, top PP minutes. Let the can’t miss kid develop gradually. McClelland thinks he is doing the kid a favour appointing him the leader of Team NA and likely the Oilers. I don’t typically like Oiler players but he is hard not to like McDavid but management appear to look at him and say, this kid is good so let’s have him lead us.

        If the Oilers want to look at one of the root causes in their stagnant development, they only need to look at the lack of mentor ship in the dressing room for some of their upcoming players. No veteran presence for Yakapov or McDavid. McDavid should learn to be an NHL captain before becoming one.

        • FlamesFanOtherCity

          Fair point. I believe that McD has the 2nd least amount of NHL experience on the team. Being a leader is so much more than just being a scoring leader; it’s about getting the team on the same page, rallying the troops, and talking to the refs.

          He may be destined to be one of the best players in the coming years, but he is not close to being there yet. He’s a 45 game player so far. He wasn’t instrumental in the Oilers winning games last year while he was playing.

          This isn’t a development camp for McD. If he isn’t dominating in top minutes, he should be played where he is most effective. He’s not a PK specialist, so don’t force it because you want him to play top minutes on the Oilers.

        • cberg

          Agree completely, its a shame because of how its hindered past guys like Hall, and they seem to be doing the same thing with McDavid. He seems a good kid so too hard to get on his case, its more the hype-crazy press and Oiler fans.

          Post game McDavid was in a scrum and asked if his lack of production, zero points after 11 NA goals was a concern and what he planned to do about it. He said all the right things but you could really tell from his tongue in cheek that it was bothering him. It’ll be interesting to see how he holds up through the tournament, especially if he continues to lag behind scoring-wise. This especially since the press and others have hyped him so much, the “Captaincy”… and the EXPECTATION he would lead offensively. If he makes it through good on him, but pretty tough sledding.

          • Jumping Jack Flash

            So it begs the question, did McLellan put Johnny on McDavid’s line to reward Johnny for his dynamic play or to get McDavid going? I would argue that the coach wants to take the pressure off the kid by getting him a couple of gift points to get the media and the fans off his back. If it works then it will be well worth the experiment. It was fun watching the top line but they never quite clicked after one game.

            A bigger concern is that Connor has not got a point in 2 meaningless games playing along side top talent. There is a very good chance that He could go through the exhibition season without any points but still light it up when the tournament starts. I will always cheer for the kid in international play but so far he has been outshined by some other player including Mathews.

  • The Real Slim Brodie

    If 4 points in a meaningless tournament against the easiest team doesn’t make you the best player…does 0 points make you the best player in the nhl?

  • Kensington

    Of JG three goals two were banked in off the goalie and the third was brilliant. First star and third star in two games = impressive. Ekblad looked great and so did Austin Mathews. Would have been real nice to have seen Sean playing and how he would fair with this bunch. JG proving his point of being one of the very best. Can’t wait to see how this team fairs against tougher teams.

    • cberg

      I know, its genius to not only look for scoring from in front of the net but also playing the angles from behind. Seeing that more and more from a few NHL players. Kind of like the hat trick 3rd goal off of Doughty’s skate two years back….

  • Prototype369

    Lol I feel just at home listening to the oilers getting roasted, but I do think McDavid is insanely talented. I’d buy the kids jersey if he played for any team other than oilers or the Canucks.

  • The GREAT Walter White

    If the Oilers make this poor kid their captain it would mean they have learned nothing over the last 10 years….. Lets wait and see….

    WW

    • KACaribou

      WW, I know your hatred of the Oilers alters your thought process but realistically the Oilers HAVE to name McJesus captain. He’s already their best player and he’s what 19? Imagine them naming someone else, and then in a couple of years McDavid is doubling the team in scoring.

      BTW, I am a Flames fan too but this is a good kid and if they don’t name him captain then it would be the same old Oilers making the same old mistakes.

      Remember we are only in exhibition in the World tourney. Plenty of time for Connor to walk on water so to speak.

      Don’t be hating. We have our own freak in Johnny Hockey if the damned GM would pay him what a star is worth.

      • cberg

        Can’t agree, naming him Captain is repeating old mistakes, i.e. putting way too much responsibility on young shoulders with limited to no vet support and mentoring.

        Just because he can score points doesn’t mean he should be Captain, at least not yet. Should Gaudreau be the Flames’ Captain? No! With this year’s team the Oilers have a couple of vet options, i.e. Lucic (but too new) or even better Hendricks, who I think might be the best choice and nobody will be moaning about the pts issue because its obviously for other reasons.

        Give the kid AT LEAST 1 full season, or better yet a couple. Make him an A, like Monahan. R U Kidding Me?

        • Baalzamon

          Maybe McDavid is a born leader, though. Toews and Landeskog were pretty young when they were made Captains of their teams.

          However, I do agree that it’s slightly premature. Maybe one year of three alternates (McDavid and maybe Nugent-Hopkins and Sekera) before they hand McDavid the C.

  • The Sultan

    McDavid sucks because he plays for Edmonton. I don’t care how talented he is I hope every time he plays against us he gets smoked. At least until I can come to Flamesnation and not see any posts about Train, the Oilers or McDavid. Until then, Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson? Hahahhahahahaha

    Go back to Oilers Nation and don’t come back.

    • KACaribou

      I enjoy Train’s comments, and WW’s too. I don’t come here to read a bunch of comments which all basically agree with one another. What makes blogs like these interesting is when people bring other thoughts to the table. Sometimes you learn something that way, or it brings about another possibility.

      I wish all the analytics geeks spent more time watching and understanding what they were seeing, rather than reading statistics convincing them of what they MUST HAVE SEEN. But the odd time I do learn something from their numbers too.

      Even the moderators here have become more tolerant of other people’s opinions.