The Calgary Flames have been shuffling their forward lines recently, aside from their top line, trying to find chemistry and traction with their lower three lines. This past week, winger Trevor Lewis has landed on the team’s shutdown line with Mikael Backlund and Blake Coleman.
Early returns have been quite promising.
On Thursday against Tampa Bay, Lewis, Backlund and Coleman were pitted primarily against Tampa’s top trio of Brayden Point, Ondrej Palat and Nikita Kucherov. Not only did they keep that trio off the scoresheet, but they scored a goal during a shift where they were pitted against the Lightning’s third line (Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Patrick Maroon and Corey Perry).
Oliver Backlund, getting a goal for his birthday from Dad. pic.twitter.com/IV4uDZjmTT
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) March 11, 2022
Coming with eight seconds left in the second period and the Flames already up 2-1, it seemed like the Lightning were trying to kill the clock and make it to the intermission. Instead, Lewis and Coleman fished the puck out, leading to a point shot and a deflection goal for Backlund.
Following the game, Flames head coach Darryl Sutter had praise for Lewis and Coleman’s efforts.
Well that line, if you play them together, you play them against top lines or D-zone starts, that’s their job, right? Blake and Lewwy, they know their job to a tee. So the centreman who plays with them has got to do that also. Blake and Lewwy won four Stanley Cups. So you asking about Trevor Lewis along the wall or making a play, there’s a good chance both them guys are going to make them plays.
Backlund and Coleman have been the shutdown pairing for much of the season, but the third player has varied; Andrew Mangiapane, Tyler Pitlick and others have slotted in before Lewis. But with the club hoping to get more offense from their bottom two forward lines, Toffoli and Mangiapane are playing elsewhere and Lewis has gotten the prime shutdown gig.
So far, so good.
The Flames are back in action on Saturday night when they host the Detroit Red Wings.
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