Flames Weekly is our new series on how the Calgary Flames performed the previous week. Be sure to check in every Monday for our take on the week that was and find out which storylines and players took center stage. Feel free to use the comment section below to let us know how you thought the team performed this past week or to post any other ideas or questions you have about the Flames.
While this past week saw the Flames play in two games, both against the Vancouver Canucks, not many outside of die-hard fans for the two teams were watching. The reason for this was because of the fact the playoffs had already begun for every other division other than the North, as they waited for these two to play out games that didn’t mean much of anything.
The one nice thing for Flames fans who did tune in to these games was they got to see some different faces in games. First was a game Tuesday night in which they got to see Louis Domingue make his first start with the club, which was somewhat of an audition to try and earn an NHL contract for next season. Unfortunately, it was nothing to write home about as he allowed three goals on 23 shots in a 4-2 loss. One positive from this loss, however, was that prospect Adam Ruzicka was able to get his first-ever NHL point, collecting a secondary assist on an Andrew Mangiapane goal in the third period.
They were right back at it again the following afternoon and had a much better result. They had a three-goal first period to start things off and never looked back, winning their season finale by a score of 6-2. Blueline prospect Connor Mackey was able to score his first-ever NHL goal in this one, while Matthew Phillips made his NHL debut. Leading the way in this one, however, was Derek Ryan and Brett Ritchie, who each tallied three points on the night.
Ending on Personal Highs
While many Flames had down years from what was expected of them, many were able to play good hockey to close out the year. Matthew Tkachuk, for example, was able to score in each of his last five games while putting up nine points in that stretch, while Johnny Gaudreau was even better, recording 22 points in his final 15 games and also ending the season on a five-game point streak.
Had those two, particularly Tkachuk, played that consistently all season long, it is likely this team would be in the playoffs right now. Instead, however, they, along with many of their teammates, were missing in action for stretches of the season, which resulted in falling four points shy of the Montreal Canadiens for the final playoff spot in the North.
Flames at the Worlds
While the Flames season is over, there are still some players and prospects of the team playing hockey that fans can tune into. A total of six players were chosen and/or decided to attend the IIHF World Championship taking place in Latvia. Mangiapane was selected by Team Canada, while Nikita Nesterov is part of Team Russia.
Mackey, who got in six games with the Flames this season, is a part of Team USA’s blueline, while Emilio Pettersen was chosen by Team Norway. Last but not least is Ilya Solovyov. The 20-year-old defenceman, who was selected in the seventh round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, is a part of Team Belarus. While Dillon Dube was also selected to play for Team Canada, he was unable to participate due to a concussion he got late in the season.
It will likely be a quiet few months for the Flames as the playoffs continue, but soon after, the fun begins. The NHL Draft Lottery will take place on June 2, where it will be determined what pick the Flames will have, and just over a month later, the draft itself will take place. Free agency will then begin on July 28, where general manager Brad Treliving and his staff are expected to be quite busy as they look to fix what went wrong with this team this past season. It should be an exciting offseason ahead.
Colton Pankiw is a former Jr. A hockey player who now provides his knowledge of the game through writing. He’s been a very active and reliable source for nearly two years at The Hockey Writers. He is a credentialed writer for the Calgary Flames but also does features on other teams throughout the league. Other writing contributions include: Oil On Whyte, NHLtradetalk.com, and Markerzone.com. Colton is also a co-host of both Oilers Overtime and Flames Faceoff podcasts. Any interview requests or content info can be made through him on Twitter. Take a look at his work here.