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‘We’re just in a good place right now and I really like what we’re seeing’: MacKenzie Weegar reflects on hat-trick and Flames’ current performance

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Photo credit:© Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
2 months ago
Heading into the All-Star break, there was only a glimmer of hope that this Calgary Flames team could make it into the playoffs or, at the very least, make the playoff race interesting. However, since returning from their brief vacations, the Flames are on a three-game winning streak – four games total if you look back before the break and take into account the Flames’ 1-0 victory over the Chicago Blackhawks. The team has embarked on a road trip through the northeast of the United States and come away with victories over the Boston Bruins, New Jersey Devils, and New York Islanders.
With some new and familiar faces in the lineup, the Flames are feeling good, which makes MacKenzie Weegar even more dangerous than he already has been this season.
Heading into the game against the Islanders, Weegar was sitting around fifth in the league among defencemen in goals. Now, he’s leading the category with 15 after registering his first career NHL hat-trick.
“I never would have thought I’d have a hat-trick in the NHL. Credit to my teammates, of course,” Weegar said, via the Flames social media channels. “I’m sure back home everybody is having fun with it, so I can’t wait to talk to them and see what they have to say, but it was a great night from everybody. It really was.”
From what it sounded like, as well, from Weegar in the post-game scrum, he isn’t sure if he has ever had a hat trick at any level, so to do it for the first time (that he can remember) at the highest level is pretty special.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one,” Weegar said. “I remember maybe some two-goal games, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a hat trick before. I mean, maybe Timbits, but I don’t even remember. This is a new feeling.”
The goals were all pretty unique for Weegar as well, which is a testament to his adaptability and the offensive capabilities he has shown this season. Below is his first goal, a shot that goaltender Semyon Varlamov didn’t get a chance to see after a pretty much perfect zone exit and rush through the neutral zone around a few defenders.
His second goal didn’t involve a breakout and rush with the puck. Instead, it was a simple slapshot from the top of the slot after the puck popped out to him from below the goal line. A nice feed from Jakob Pelletier down low to Walker Duehr in the slot, who found Weegar for the one-timer.
And finally, a nice sling of the puck into an empty net sealed the deal.
With Weegar’s hat trick, the Flames are officially on a heater, and the players are feeling good. Weegar expressed post-game that the lineup is firing on all cylinders, and they’re moving in the right direction.
“We keep buzzing from the first line to the fourth line, all 60,” Weegar said. “Everybody is connecting well. Guys aren’t trying to force anything or look for cookies. We’re just in a good place right now, and I really like what we’re seeing right now.”
The Flames finish up the east coast road trip against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, where they will attempt to continue this momentum before heading back home.

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