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3 Things From Week 19: Matthew Tkachuk, 3 Firsts & Goaltending

Tkachuk is almost better than last year already, the Flames had 3 firsts in one game this week and goalies are dropping like flies?



The Flames are currently winding down a 6 game road trip and the results have been pretty good so far. The Flames had 4 games this past week and they went 3-1-0. Calgary’s only loss was a hard fought 4-3 defeat at the hands of the NY Rangers. Otherwise the Flames took down the Chicago Blackhawks, NJ Devils and NY Islanders.

The Flames have bounced around this week in regards to the standings and Wild Card, but their victory over the Islanders shot them from 4th place all the way up to the second spot in the Pacific Division. Calgary is currently 29-19-8 (66 points) and they are in possession of the 6th playoff spot in the West.

With 4 games and all kinds of madness happening in the game against the Islanders, let’s jump right in and look at 3 Things from Week 19!

It Doesn’t Seem Possible That Matthew Tkachuk Could Be Better: But he is.

What else can Matthew Tkachuk do? The 20 year old Flames forward is lighting up teams lately and the Islanders were his latest victims. Tkachuk had both the game tying and game winning goals in the Flames 3-2 win in Brooklyn Sunday night. His net front presence lead to two beautiful tip ins that got the Flames a victory. He also managed to draw 3 penalties in the contest, upping his lead over Connor McDavid for the most in the NHL.

Tkachuk’s 2 tallies against the Islanders were his 19th and 20th goals on the season. The 20th goal marks the first 20 goal season for Tkachuk and he should easily surpass his totals from last season. In 76 games in his rookie season #19 had 48 points (13G 35A) and he’s already at 39 (20G 19A) in 56 games this season. That gives Tkachuk 20 more games to collect 11 more points to tie a career high. That doesn’t seem too far fetched seeing he’s gotten a point in 13 of his last 21 games.

Three Firsts: 2 goals and 1 assist

This week saw two Flames get a massive monkeys off their backs and another Flames player get his first NHL point. We’ll start with Curtis Lazar who’s done pretty much everything while trying to get his first goal of the 2017-18 season. He FINALLY was able to find the back of the net in Calgary’s 4-3 loss to the NY Rangers Friday night. The goal was Lazar’s first in 39 games, giving him 6 points on the season.

Speaking of long waits, Brett Kulak has been waiting a little bit longer than Lazar. Kulak had yet to score an NHL goal in 74 NHL games. Well that streak no longer stands. The steady defenceman took a feed from Micheal Ferland and buried his first ever NHL goal on his 67th shot in the NHL.

And not to be outdone, Flames spark plug Ryan Lomberg got his first NHL point when he fed Curtis Lazar for his goal against the Rangers, collecting an assist on the play.

All and all, not a bad week for these 3 Calgary Flames. Too bad they don’t play the Rangers more often.

Banged Up Keepers: Mike Smith & Tyler Parsons were hurt this week

We aren’t sure of the extent of Mike Smith’s injury, but it didn’t look good. The Flames MVP made a game saving stop on John Tavares with a little over 1 second left in the period, but hurt himself in the process. The injury appeared to be something on his lower body (groin? hip?) and he left the game in significant discomfort.

As of this writing there has been no update and it’s unknown to what extent Smith is injured. David Rittich will most likely get some #1 time between the pipes if Smith is going to be out for any length of time. What the Flames do beyond Rittich is unknown, but you have to think Jon Gillies has a bag packed and is sitting by the phone awaiting a call from the Flames.

Who won’t be joining the Flames for many reasons is Tyler Parsons. The Flames goaltending prospect was hurt Sunday night in the Heat’s loss to the Milwaukee Admirals. There was ZERO chance Parsons was coming to the NHL, but it’s never good when 2 keepers are hurt in the same night. The Parsons injury leaves a significant void in Stockton, especially if Gillies is going to join the Flames in the next day or so.

by Mark Parkinson