The Calgary Flames are a perfect 2-0-0 under head coach Darryl Sutter after knocking off the Montreal Canadiens 3-1 on Saturday night. The win was significant in nature for more than just one reason, though. It was the team’s first winning streak since Feb. 11, but for Sean Monahan, it was a milestone night as he joined some elite company.
200th Career Goal
Coming into Saturday’s tilt against the Canadiens, Monahan was just one goal shy of his 200th career NHL goal. Less than six minutes into the game, Monahan received a behind-the-net feed from his newest linemate Brett Ritchie, which allowed Monahan to make a beautiful individual effort by sheltering the puck from the opposition, and roofing a shot glove-side past Carey Price, and with it, history has been written forever. (From ‘More confident Flames win second of new Sutter era,’ Calgary Sun, 03/13/21).
The goal slots Monahan as the first member of the 2013 draft class to reach the 200-goal plateau, which is highly impressive when you consider some of the players he’s beat to the race for 200. Monahan was drafted sixth overall in 2013, and is ahead of Nathan MacKinnon, Aleksander Barkov, Jonathan Drouin, and teammate Elias Lindholm in career goals from the 2013 draft to name a few, despite being drafted behind them. Monahan has also skated in 567 career NHL games, all with the Flames, and he has 431 points.
With his first goal of the game, Monahan becomes the ninth player in club history to join the 200-goal club. Flames players to reach the significant achievement before him are Jarome Iginla, Theo Fleury, Joe Nieuwendyk, Gary Roberts, Kent Nilsson, Lanny McDonald, Al MacInnis, and Eric Vail.
But, Monahan wasn’t done there.
He again staked his name onto the scoresheet as he buried his fourth power-play goal of the season in the first period, which happened to be his first multi-goal game of the year. Five of his seven tallies are on the man-advantage this campaign, while 61 of his 201 career markers are also on the PP. Goal No. 200 was clearly uplifting for Monahan, and he says he plans on remembering the moment. “It’s special when you win and you have a milestone, so it’s something I’ll probably remember here for a little bit.”
Following Saturday’s win, Monahan also spoke about how his team has been handling the change behind the bench. “We’re a lot sharper right now,” Monahan said. “We’re playing together. When you’re playing faster and moving your feet, it’s going to generate a lot more looks and I think that’s what we’re getting right now.”
Great Time to Get Hot
Right now is a crucial time for Monahan to heat up. With five points in his last five games, and a two-game swing against the Edmonton Oilers beginning up on Monday, the consistency needs to continue. The Flames closed the gap between themselves and Habs in the standings to just two points separating them, and consistent play is something they’ll need if they want to pass Montreal.
Monahan has taken some heat over the last few years from media and fans in Calgary when he falls into a slump, but it’s pretty hard to understand why anyone would want to get rid of the leading goal scorer from the 2013 draft class. He’s proven with his deceptive shot and foot-speed that he belongs on the Flames’ top line, but one thing I think we’d all like more of from him is showing up on a nightly basis. With a new coach and systems in place, Monahan looks to continue trending in the right direction on Monday versus the Oilers.