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Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Flames 5, Coyotes 2 post-game embers: Meeting expectations

Some teams are just better than others. The game the Flames played against the Coyotes was expected – and it’s nice to see they’ve still got it.

Feel of the game

The Flames got off to a good start and pretty much never looked back. The fourth line created a goal in the first 94 seconds, and the team just dominated the game thereafter. Eventually, things started to even out – the Coyotes got some chances, too, and were the only team getting powerplays initially – but the Flames were easily better to start.

And that continued, but for the misfortune of giving up goals to allow the Coyotes to tie the game twice in the second period. Austin Czarnik quick on Conor Garland’s first goal, and while Mark Giordano had a splendid individual effort to take back the lead, yet another Coyotes powerplay saw the game tied once again just three minutes later. It wasn’t ideal, especially considering how the Flames had largely been outplaying the Coyotes – but then Czarnik redeemed himself to retake the lead, and that set up the Flames, a team that’s typically been excellent during third periods this season, for a win.

They didn’t disappoint. They stopped taking penalties, and the second line created an insurance goal early into the third. From there, it was a matter of things just playing out: the Flames limited the Coyotes’ attack while getting a couple more chances of their own, including their first powerplays of the game (all the while no longer taking penalties). An empty netter sealed it, and a game that should have ended with a comfortable win did just that.

The good news

The Flames got off to a good start and never looked back. For all the angst they’ve had since returning from the All-Star break, that was important; they’ve let games get away from them too easily. This time they scored early, scored often, and locked things down. It wasn’t a perfect 60 minutes – few games are – but it was a solid game from start to finish, which is exactly what this team has needed lately.

I feel like I’m going off about the fourth line every game now, but they deserve it. They seem to fade a bit as the game goes on, but when they keep scoring early on, who’s complaining? Derek Ryan has seriously come into his own over the past couple of months, and Andrew Mangiapane was getting chances throughout. There’s so much to like here – and this is a lot better than wasting a roster spot on someone who can’t at least try to create offensively, like these guys can (and have been).

Czarnik redeemed himself on the Coyotes’ first goal by scoring a goal of his own – his second in as many games. He sat for exactly a month before dressing against Pittsburgh – his last game before that was Jan. 16 – but, even with his earlier gaffe, he has been making the case to stay in the lineup. It’s easy when you score goals, but he’s been looking good just in general, too. Not bad for a 13th forward, and hopefully he’ll be able to keep it up so he can stay in the lineup, even when he isn’t necessarily scoring. The more options the Flames have, the better. He’s helping with that.

Giordano is a 35-year-old man who just embarrassed the Coyotes with a phenomenal goal to set a new career high in points; the season he’s having is unreal. Rasmus Andersson is a 22-year-old rookie who just played his 67th career game and slid seamlessly onto the top pairing, and with an absolutely wicked one-timer to give the powerplay that much more of a threat as well. What a duo; the Flames have options up and down their lineup, but those two really highlighted it.

It doesn’t seem to matter who Elias Lindholm plays with – he’s good no matter what. He slid right onto a line with Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik and they just kept creating chances, resulting in two goals in the third period. It does add that little bit more flexibility to the Flames’ lineup – you can separate Lindholm from Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan and he’ll still produce. So if, say, the Flames wanted to add another high-end forward, well, even if you bump Lindholm down to the second line things will be fine – he’s going to keep playing a hard, offensively-savvy game no matter what. He really has been a miracle worker for the Flames this season; it begs the question as to just what really went wrong in Carolina, because he’s so much better here than he was there. Like oh yeah – that’s why this guy went fifth overall.

The bad news

We talk about Lindholm, though, then we have to talk about Gaudreau and Monahan. They’re still able to create chances, but they just seem completely out of sync as of late; plays that should be more dangerous than they end up being die on their sticks. Is it fatigue? Is there some mysterious ailment? They’re still having exceptionally good years – Monahan the best of his career, Gaudreau en route to a career year of his own – and there’s still plenty of time for them to get back to the standards they set earlier in the season. Hopefully the depth will continue picking up the slack in the meantime.

The Flames took three straight penalties before they shut things down in the third period, giving up a powerplay goal. They took four penalties against the Penguins, giving up three powerplay goals (five seconds off from it being four). Please stop taking penalties.

Numbers of note

55.56% – The Flames’ 5v5 CF on the day. They controlled the entire game.

57 – Giordano has a new career high in points: 57 points in 57 games played. His previous best came in 2015-16, with 56 points in 80 games played. What he’s been doing this year has been nothing short of amazing, and there hasn’t been much sign of him slowing down. He’s tied for second in league-wide defenceman scoring and still has a chance at having one of the best seasons of all time by a 35-year-old defenceman.

18:32 – In TJ Brodie’s absence, Andersson played 18:32, which is actually not a career high for him by a long shot. Still looked good, though.

5 – Lindholm led the team with five shots. Giordano had four. Garnet Hathaway, Mangiapane, and Czarnik had three each, even with limited ice time.

70%+ – Lindholm, playing alongside Backlund, had a 5v5 CF of 70%. Alongside Frolik, it was 76.47%. He’s exceptionally good, maybe? They all fed off of one another.

54.17% – Matthew Tkachuk’s 5v5 CF with Gaudreau and Monahan, which saw all three players improved. Maybe this is a line combination worth looking at for the next little while, assuming nobody else comes along? It probably couldn’t hurt to at least try.

68 – Lindholm is now second only to Gaudreau in points on the team, already at 68 (on pace for 95 – please recall his career high in Carolina was 45). Monahan’s fallen back to third with just 66. “Just” – but Lindholm really has been a revelation this year.

10 – Ever notice how Ryan has 10 points in his last 11 games? He’s ninth in team scoring.

+41 – During their losing streak, the Flames’ goal differential fell under +40. It’s back up there now.

10-6-2 – The Flames’ record against Pacific Division teams this year. Eleven games to go.

Final thought

There are three games left until the trade deadline, and the Flames are still right at the top of the NHL, even with their recent losing streak.

In their past two games, they appear to have gotten back on track, albeit with plenty of room for improvement. It’s their top guys – outside of Lindholm and Giordano – who have been struggling, but the depth is looking increasingly up to the task with every game (though they should be wary of relying on it; they’re depth in part because they don’t do this every game, and aren’t talented enough to). And then there’s also whatever’s going on with James Neal, who could potentially be a big add on his own – or at least keep treading water, which is also acceptable when you ignore cap hits.

Really interesting week ahead, but regardless of what they do, it’s still reassuring to see them play like a top team – even though it’s been made very clear as of late they won’t always be at that level.

  • freethe flames

    Read yesterday people complaining that it was just Arizona; you can only play the games on the schedule and after a road trip and playing in an afternoon game; we should be happy with the win.
    Also read that people were complaining about now having the softest schedule of the top playoff teams in the west; that means for the first 2/3 of the season we had the toughest schedule of the teams and are still in first place. 1 up on the Sharks with a game in hand and 11 on the Knights with 2 games in hand. Again we should be happy. Going to work with a smile on my face.

    • Hockeysense9393

      I kind of read into that as well… Complaining about one of the “best” schedules in the West for the final push down the stretch? That’s ludicrous! We should be looking at Lady Luck in this instance. What I think we are seeing right now with more scoring in the depth department is because Peters is rolling lines consistently, not just playing the same 4-5 guys (especially most of the 3rd). This is a good thing when it comes to preparation for the playoffs. The softer schedule just enhances this.

  • withachance

    Really interesting that before the all-star break, all the rage on here was acquiring more scoring depth. Now all we hear about is acquiring top 6 forwards.

    This tells me the Flames really do have a balanced team in the forwards department. First half of the season, bottom 6 was getting used to each other, second half of the season, top 6 is going through a mini slump. Do we really think Johnny and Monny are going to keep slumping for much longer? Very unlikely. This is a DEEP team, and imagine when the entire forward corps starts clicking at the same time.

    BT literally has no reason to acquire forwards right now unless he gets someone with term and quality potential, not to mention he would have to probably get rid of a squad player, additional assets, and potentially disrupt chemistry. I think an additional LHD is probably the only move BT is after right now, and anything else would be bonus

    • everton fc

      Picks – a first, a second, for this summer – might be better assets for our Flames at the trade deadline, then actual bodies, though if a young player w/term we can afford became available, you have to look at someone like that. But no one has mentioned our getting a second/higher first, for this summer’s draft. We have to re-sign Tkachuk, Rittich, Bennett, and Hathaway – those four should definitely be on this team, next season. We should also re-sign Lazar, as a depth option. Then we’d have guys like Dube, Quine, Lazar, Rychel, Lomberg… Maybe Phillips… Maybe Gawdin… Maybe Graovac… All ready to fill in, need be.

      We need a goalie. So we fill this spot in the summer, as well. We are deep, on the backend. The upcoming Expansion Draft also has to come into play. Leaving out Gio, of Andersson, Hanifin, Kylington and Valimaki, which three do you protect? I think most would have Andersson and Valimaki as “1-2”, but we have Hanifin and Kylington to consider. I think we keep Hamonic – but do you protect him? This is where moving Brodie has merit, I think.

      Same w/our forwards. Backlund has a no move, so I don’t think he can be left out there for the Expansion Draft. You keep Gaudreau/Monahan/Lindholm/Tkachuk… Who else? Do you leave Bennett unprotected? Jankowski?? Dube??? It’s all part fo the puzzle. Obviously.

      • withachance

        I think the key part is this summer. I’m 100% with you, in that Tre should look to be creative in the offseason. That is going to be time to go for broke. I wouldnt worry too much about expansion, theres a lot of time until then and I’m sure the team structure is going to be awfully different then compared to now.

        For the TDL though, Im hoping Tre stays pat and not be influenced by what the other contenders do.

    • Avalain

      Why a LHD and not a RHD? At this exact moment we have Valimaki behind Kylington in case something happens on the left side, but only Prout on the right with Stone out long term.

  • Skylardog

    All is good in Flames land this morning.

    I suspect that teams looking to be a part of the arms race will begin to fire missiles in the next 24 to 48 hours.

    One of the reasons you go get Stone, is so that Winnipeg or Vegas do not get him. If you take a pass, then you let him go to a competitor for the next 5 years, or pretty much for our whole window. If you run into a team that is already very good but adds Stone, our chances get worse to go deep not better. It is just like the impact of a 4 point game.

    Looks like Stone can just get dropped off in Calgary next Sunday when Ottawa visits. I am sure it will be very strange for his first game in a Flames uniform to be against his old team.

    • withachance

      Winnipeg cant sign Stone. SJS cant sign Stone (unless they lose Karlsson). Only VGK realistically has a chance to sign Stone. The amount to give up for Stone, for a maybe to extend him, in my mind is not worth it. Unless BT absolutely fleeces them or doesnt give up too much premium prospects (a la the Muzzin trade), I dont really see the need to get Stone.

        • withachance

          Just stating the contenders in the west in general. No chance Winnipeg signs even 3 of Stone, Laine, Connor, Trouba, Myers. They just dont have the cap. If they sign Stone, they’re going to lose some huge pieces to their squad, so yes, I would love them signing Stone just to lose out on Connor and Trouba/Myers

          • Hockeysense9393

            That’s exactly why Winnipeg goes heavy for Stone (like last year with Stastny)…because of his UFA status. They have the room and prospects to bring him in as a rental for the playoffs and then let him walk. Like Stastny…I think they like the point that he’s a rental.

    • slapshot444

      The press pundits are says Stone will not re sign in the west, therefore only a rental. What price do you pay for a rental, certainly not a whole bag of goodies. That only way Flames give up picks, players and prospects is a trade an sign. AND Stone want 8 mm for 8 years. Not going to happen. The more realistic expectation is a third rounder for a depth winger / D. as much as every one wants Stone, its time to come back to earth.

  • Day1-Cfan

    So happy to see the team doing so good this year! Let them play, get some experience and let the chips fall where they may. We have all summer to decide what we need to tinker with to make them better(if they don’t go all the way this year).

    • everton fc

      I think Smith’s resurgence is “for real”. I think Smith’s found his game. Rittich won’t hurt us. I feel much better about our 1/1a tandem, even for the playoffs.

      But if one goes down… ??

      • KootenayFlamesFan

        We’d have to lose both Smith and Rittich for it to be an issue in the playoffs. Gillies hasnt been that bad with an NHL defense in front of him in the past. If Parsons stays healthy we’d really know what we’ve got in him. Hopefully that’s not something we need to find out

      • Hockeysense9393

        Smith knows that this is most likely his last ditch effort at a Cup, so I’m not surprised that he is bearing down and focussing. He truly wants to be the starter come playoffs and help this team do all they can. Like most recent cup winners…you need 2 goalies to help. If Smith does well, then great…if he faulters and Rittich comes in steals the crease…that’s also great as well. Nothing wrong with 2 goalies pushing each other.

        • deantheraven

          You make Sense. I think it’s a perfect storm of serendipity that Rittich had the opportunity to step up when Starter Mike Smith faltered. Rittich took the reins and has performed in a world class manner. BSD is born, but he looks like he might not be a saviour. But that’s ok, because Smitty is back to looking at least like a league-average ‘keeper. Remember when someone here suggested the Flames would excel as a team if they got league-average goaltending? Right again. Now the question is, can they win in the playoffs with either guy going?

        • Hockeysense9393

          It just makes more sense for the confidence measure to start your vet over the young guy. If you start your vet in the playoffs, the younger up and comer will understand and reflect that much easier. If you start your young guy over the vet? That’s probably more of a detriment to the confidence of the vet if needed.

      • THE WW Bandwagon

        @Everton
        Oh yeah? Then how come you were lobbying to acquire Peterson from the Kings yesterday?

        If your confident in Smith then why would we spend assets to get another?

    • Raffydog

      This team, as is, wont make it out of the first round. A lot of chatter on here about who would be the easiest first round opponent for the Flames. I dont know the answer to that, but I guarantee if you ask the seven other teams who they think would be the easiest first round opponent, they would all say the Flames.

      • Skylardog

        I agree they struggle with the current configuration. Czar just adds to the inability to win playoff style games. Need size. A trial run to see how we do is worthless if you go out in round one. That is not how you get playoff experience. Gather a few pieces this TDL.

        • deantheraven

          Skylar thinks we need to add. I say yes, specifically functional toughness. One stat that doesn’t get recorded until after the playoffs are over is how many guys played through injuries for the chance to sip from Lord Stanley’s Cup.
          Is Mark Stone that guy?

      • Hockeysense9393

        The difference between the Flames and the other top contenders is experience in the playoffs. Even a 2nd year team (Knights) know what it takes to get to the final. This is the Flames first “real” year to be considered as playoff contenders. It’s not a bad thing. This is the first year of the Flames window truly opening. So why would Treviling throw all his chips in now? It doesn’t make sense. I would be very surprised and somewhat disappointed with Treviling if he went heavy into the sweepstakes this year, because that just wouldn’t be sound management. Us as fans get all excited and see this year as somewhat the be-all, but it really isn’t. This is a stepping Stone (pun intended). Bring in Stone now, and you may make some noise, but then you are hinging the future on a little noise. YES…the Flames are not as scary as the other contenders in the West, mainly because of experience. Those teams have battled already…Flames need that battle in their blood. We must be patient.

        • deantheraven

          All the talk from Tre in interviews has been more like” yeah, we’re taking calls, we’re making calls, but we like our team chemistry.” He says he doesn’t believe in rentals, especially when it means you have to give up assets and/or the future… I like Tre. He’s a reasonable, logical man. He likes his hand and he’s not going to not going to go all in this TDL. He’ll call, all the way to the river, but if he can add an upgrade to the bottom 6, he’ll do so.

          • Off the wall

            I watched the Bruins- San Jose game. SAN Jose scares the crap outta me. Down 3-0, storm back to make it 5-4. Thornton gets a hat trick?

            Boston ties it up 5-5 with a goal that should not have counted. Wagner clearly bats the puck down with a high stick, then deposits the puck in the net.

            In OT the Sharks are on a 2 on nothing, the ref blows play down, because the net is off the mooring. Yet they allowed Boston to get a scoring chance while they had possession?

            We are very lucky SAN Jose didn’t pick up two points. They should have.

            I do not want Calgary to meet them in the playoffs. But we have no choice, if we want to win.

            They play a fast game, skilled and heavy as well. We will be very lucky to beat that squad.

            My desire. Get ONE player who can play a heavy, skilled game!

  • Budgie

    Arizona is no push-over, they are missing several players to injury. With Neal gone It is easy to see that he adds grit, stands in front of the net and is a leader. Calgary has depth, if anything at Trade deadline, part with a player for a high draft pick. Valamaki and Dube are waiting to come up and Stone will be back eventually. Smith looked solid, he may get three starts in a row, back in the No.1 spot, I like how he handles the puck but its risky-cross ice passes and clearing up the boards turn the puck over, he can make a clean pass to a forward and it is effective. Prout looked better, Calgary has a full cupboard of capable defensemen-good for the playoffs. Why make a bunch of changes? Another physical forward that can score-like Ferland or Stone would help the physical playoff style of game, but at what cost? A defenseman in exchange for a gritty forward is what I would like to see.

    • Puck Head

      Sorry but you can’t move a top four, or potential top 4, defence man for a gritty forward. These D-men are worth a first round pick +.

      It’s like people on this site who want to trade Fro for a 3rd round pick???? Trade him for some guy who will likely never play a game in the NHL.

      I’m not getting myself too excited about the TDL. I just don’t see us having much that we can give away without hindering the team in the short- and long-term.

      • deantheraven

        You’ve got a good head on your shoulders, Puck.
        How about a top 4 D- man for a gritty forward, a prospect and a first?
        I’d take that for Brodie. I know, small sample size and all, but Ras didn’t look out of place with Gio. If it doesn’t happen at the deadline, I’d be awfully surprised if Tre doesn’t move Brodie by the draft.

    • Hockeysense9393

      Already, BT is looking at a couple players as trade deadline adds without giving up anything. Stone will be back as depth and Neal will be back as depth. After the deadline the Flames can increase their roster and try some more depth towards the playoffs (example Lazar). They may go for a couple more “depth” signings for 2-way forward play or defensive help with size on the backend, but I can’t see them making a splash of any kind. They just aren’t battle ready yet.

  • deantheraven

    Czarnik quit on Connor’s goal. Watch the replay. he waves at Gio as if to say, “he’s yours now.”
    I’m surprised he wasn’t benched, and I’m glad he scored, but he didn’t redeem himself, IMHO. He negated his “gaff” by scoring, he didn’t put the Flames ahead.
    I think the problem is that he, like you, thinks that getting one back makes it even. It’s more like an apology without reimbursement. He dug a hole by quitting on his assignment, bottom line, and his wave to Captain Gio was captured on video for all to see. He didn’t do much after that.
    Don’t be surprised if Lazar starts the next one and Czarnik returns to the familiar confines of the press box.

    • slapshot444

      That was an interesting play that I though the commentators kinda glossed over after one mention. He was for sure flat footed and watching and never really skated hard. I’d love to ask him the scoop. Perhaps he was at end of shift and gassed, and was asking Gio for a “rescue”? normally a gaffe like that warrants more attention but the colour commentator.

      • Cfan in Van

        Yeah I was pissed at the time, about Czar’s back check and the gesture. I was watching a free stream, due to being blocked out in Vancouver, but I’d like to know if he was completely gassed at the end of a shift. Not much you can do if you’re caught out with nothing left.

        I’m assuming that would be considered before so many people mentioned it, but you never know. Can anyone else with the advantage of replay elaborate on how/why it happened? It looked really bad on the surface, that’s for sure.

  • deantheraven

    All this, numbers of note and everything, and not a word about Smith’s apparent return to form. Face it FN, he’s not going to be traded at the deadline. He just might even be “The Guy” come April.

    • Nighteyes

      I agree. Smith has been terrible most of the season, but I’m actually of the belief he’d be a good playoff performer. He just has that veteran experience, competitiveness and intensity where you raise your game when the stakes are high. Last year before he got injured, there was this weird trust I had in him because it seemed like he knew what he was doing and had everything under control. Granted, he totally made us lose that trust this year. We’ll see if these recent good play is a blip on the map or if its indicative of an upward trend. Either way it would be great if both him and BSD are top form come playoffs.

      • deantheraven

        He made SOME of US lose that trust. Apparently not BP, BT or the active roster.
        I firmly believe he’s going to continue to work on his game and I hope BSD gets the chance to restore the trust he’s lost recently.

    • Hockeysense9393

      Ohh he’s probably the guy, but is that a bad thing? Give the crease to the vet that has one last kick. We have a capable backup come playoffs that can take the crease if needed. It’s not a bad thing to start a guy that’s been there before and show the younger guy how to conduct himself. If Rittich takes the reigns in the second game or second series…it’s not a bad thing really. A lot of teams have done it with success.

      • Hockeysense9393

        Personally I would rather do it that way (Pitts with vet to young guy, then Wash with young guy to vet). The Flames are better off with the latter scenario come playoffs? I would rather the better goalie picking up the pieces if needed, compared to Smith picking up the pieces if Rittich faulters out of the gate. I’m thinking the Flames are in the same boat?

  • Thatz Nuckin Futz

    Let’s recap – our free agent goes down with injury and we win the next 2 games without him. And his neophyte replacement gets 2 goals. Probably just a coincidence. Still, we wring our hands and bemoan the absence of veteran Lazar. And the trade dogs continue to bay for grit. I think we should play with the cards we have in our hand. A few move(s). Maybe. But lets not over value assets that other teams dangle. Lazar & Quine, et all, will get their chances thru attrition in a physical SCPO run.

    • deantheraven

      Agreed, Futzy, except the neophyte tag for Czarnik, unless it was more of an umbrella for Mangi and Czar as relative newbies who finally scored. Even if it’s not coincidence, it shows organizational depth when rookies get iced in favour of vets.
      Lazar and Quine might be in their place come April, but Mangi and Czar have finally shown to be at least replacement-level players an not below.
      I like the hand Tre’s dealt so far and won’t be wringing my hands or anybody’s neck if he doesn’t make the earth move at the TDL.

  • The Sultan

    If Smith is our starter come playoffs we’ll be eliminated in the first round, maybe second. Just because he had a few “not terrible” games doesn’t mean he’s our starter. He should have had that Garland goal, it was a backhand shot with no traffic or deflections. Then shortly after he threw the puck across a completely wide-open net. I’m not saying he’s a bad person or the worst goalie in the league, I’m just saying if he’s our #1 going forward I’ll be a lot less confident unless he can turn in some amazing performances down the stretch.

    • Cfan in Van

      In his defense, a well placed, well shot back-hander is a very difficult shot to track. I agree that he’s not the ideal starter, and that his playoff performance probably depends on who we face.

      That said, would you not agree that he’s improved over the last couple months? So he was very solid to begin last season, got a significant lower body injury, and is now taking visible steps forward in his performance. Is it so hard to believe that he can’t climb back to where he was to start last year?

      I was never a huge fan of Smith, all the way back to the signing, but there’s a lot of definite proclamations going around here regarding a first-round out, yet these are things you can’t be certain of. Smith could be rounding back into form.

    • Greg

      The one thing with Smith that gives me a little more confidence, is the start of the season saw a lot, and I mean a lot, of his soft goals going right through the armpit. Given that’s where they tightened up equipment this year, maybe it was just him adjusting? He’s been a lot “quieter” lately and isn’t flopping like a dead fish at straight on shots anymore at least.

      Not that I’m confident with him as a playoff starter. But BSD hasn’t been a vezina caliber starter in several months either. Nor is there really any good options on the market to improve (unless you want to cough up a 1st for Howard AND risk the locker room “chemistry” change this late).

      Basically the “maybe it was just equipment adjustment phase” is my way of consoling myself that there’s hope for a long playoff drive with our goaltending still. 😛

  • Joel Ottos Jock

    The Flames need an upgrade on defence. Prout is not a capable #6-8 defenceman. His skating is weak, and his hockey IQ us sub par. Also, I know I’m going to get lit up for this, but Mike Smith is not playing all that great. He was so bad before that now that he is ok he looks better. Hoping to see Matt Duchene in a flames Jersey sooner than later. He is a solid center man who would give the flames another option for top 6. To the nay sayers..he has been on team canada teams. He knows how to be a professional with good leadership, which this team has.

    • Hockeysense9393

      No worries really. The reason for the depth scoring is because Peters is actually rolling 4 lines now. He used his top players earlier in the season to put the team in this position. Now he’s getting them used to playing for the long haul, knowing that they can shore up lines if needed. The top players are feeling it right now obviously, not always being relied upon, but this is how you win the tight games down the stretch and in the playoffs. I’d rather have 4 lines going then 1 1/2 lines… this is sound coaching as far as I can see.

    • Cfan in Van

      Truer words, never spoken. Ari’s right, you gotta wonder why he never really broke out in Carolina. We’ve definitely got a deeper forward crew, but he’s a beast on all ends of the ice. So far, he’s got to be one of the best value, non-entry level contracts in the league.