Well, one qualifying round has come and gone and it featured the Calgary Flames emerging with a 3-1 series victory over the Winnipeg Jets. Calgary is still awaiting their next opponent, the winner of the Blues-Stars game. With a few extra days to look back at the qualifying round, I wanted to grade each of the Flames players and their performances during the series.
I chose to go with the Excellent, Very Good, Satisfactory, and Needs Improvement grading system rather than the letter grading as I feel it’s a better indicator of a short sample size. There’s a number of players who I put in the very good class who we could argue (quite fairly so) were excellent so I decided to limit it to the elite of the elite.
Here are my grades:
Excellent: Sam Bennett, Mikael Backlund, Matthew Tkachuk, Cam Talbot
Very Good: Dillon Dube, Andrew Mangiapane, Milan Lucic, Rasmus Andersson, T.J. Brodie, Elias Lindholm
Satisfactory: Mark Jankowski, Noah Hanifin, Erik Gustafsson, Derek Forbort, Mark Giordano, Sean Monahan, Tobias Rieder, Johnny Gaudreau
Needs Improvement: Derek Ryan, Zac Rinaldo
Ryan: I’ve been a big Ryan fan and I just think he can do better. I understand being bumped down to the fourth line affected his play and his numbers are skewed by an ugly first couple games. I fully expect him to bounce back.
Rinaldo: Love the energy, but they need all the 5v5 strength they can get and he was a black hole in limited minutes against Winnipeg.
by Michael MacGillivray