There are several adjectives that could sum up the Calgary Flames right now. Among them are surprise, unexpected, energetic, good, and Monahan. Sure, Monahan isn’t actually an adjective, but considering how good the kid has been playing, his name might as well be synonymous with winning.
Grammar lessons aside, it was all about Sean Monahan in the first week. It began 5 minutes into the Flames’ regular season, when the 19-year old centerman picked up his very first NHL point assisting David Jones’ snapshot, and he’s kept on rolling since. Monahan already has 4 goals under his belt. That’s more than Nathan Mackinnon, Alexandr Barkov, Seth Jones, Jonathan Drouin and Elias Lindholm (the five players who went ahead of Monahan in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft) have combined. In his bid to convince the Flames he’s worth keeping on the permanent roster after his nine-game trial period, Monahan has shown that he means business, and that he is just what the struggling franchise was hoping to get.
They may have more hardware to their name than the Calgary Flames do, but the Montreal Canadiens have never seemed to have much luck playing in Stampede City. On Wednesday, October 9 they looked to beat the Flames in Calgary for the first time in 12 years. The last time they did so, Sean Monahan was a mere seven years old.
And it just so happened to be Monahan who paved the way for another Canadiens defeat at the ‘Dome. Halfway into the first period, Monahan’s wrist shot opened up the scoring. Eight minutes later, his feed to Sven Baertschi resulted in another goal, and the period ended with the Flames doubled up on the Habs 2-0.
Joey MacDonald, who started in net for a third consecutive game, added a little spice of his own in the second period, making a fabulous double pad stack save on a Montreal powerplay, denying Andrei Markov the chance to cut the deficit in half. Moments after, Curtis Glencross tripled the Flames’ lead. On another Canadiens powerplay, P.K. Subban was finally able to beat MacDonald and get his team on the board as the second period closed out.
Lars Eller scored the lone goal in the third, but MacDonald’s 33 saves of the night kept the Flames on top with a final score of 3-2.
The Flames entered Friday’s matchup against the New Jersey Devils on the verge of setting a team record. And with a little help from the captain, the Flames’ new “best” defenseman, and a couple of young guns (I’m sure you can guess who one of them is) the Flames set that record, going 3-0-2 to start the season.
The Devils and Flames scored back and forth twice in the first 40 minutes of the game, with goals courtesy of Adam Henrique, Dennis Wideman, Dainius Zubrus and Mark Giordano.
Early in the third (only two minutes in, to be exact) Sean Monahan sent a wrister flying past Marty Brodeur, breaking the tie and earning the 3-2 victory for Calgary.
The next day, Monahan celebrated his 19th birthday with six points in five games played. He’s set the bar pretty high for himself and the rest of the 2013 draft class, but Monahan seems to be showing no signs of slowing down.
Monahan and team look to continue their hot streak on Wednesday, October 16th against the Anaheim Ducks.
Stay tuned for Week Three of The Flames Files and follow the Calgary Flames’ progress in the 2013-2014 season.
Graduate of Mount Royal University’s Journalism program and a freelance sports writer from Calgary, Alberta.