There’s no sense of panic with these Calgary Flames. The heavily critiqued Johnny Gaudreau and Matthew Tkachuk were both calm ahead of Game 4 despite dropping two in a row to the Dallas Stars. Joe Pavelski has been a thorn in their sides, but he’s not the only old lion roaring in these NHL playoffs. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin are delaying any torch-passing to ascending young stars on the big stage. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are both up 2-1 and the Boston Bruins are tied two apiece with the Carolina Hurricanes. The old guard was supposed to be wiped out quickly but are teaching a few lessons instead. There’s also early NHL trade talk with some big names, including Erik Karlsson and Mark Schiefele.
For the Calgary Flames, both Tkachuk and Gaudreau spoke to media in Dallas on Sunday (after calling their moms). Neither seemed rattled despite the increasing pressure and storylines of concern on social media channels suggesting this is the same old for the Flames in the playoffs.
“We’re a very confident team,” Tkachuk said. “They’ve won two in a row; we won the first one. … I mean, it’s a series for a reason.”
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter said before the playoffs his team has adopted a belief system instead of the old relief system. That means they believe they will win rather than feel relieved when they do. We’ll see if they can tie the series Monday night.
“I have more than enough belief in this group to know that we can come out of this,” Tkachuk said. “We’ve got to win three, they’ve got to win two. That’s just how it goes. We have to win (Monday) and get home-ice back. That’s all that’s on our mind.”
One area they are looking to improve on is discipline. Penalties have been haunting the Calgary Flames.
NHL News & National Hockey Now
Florida Hockey Now: Like the Calgary Flames, the pressure is on the Panthers. They are down, but not out. The Florida Panthers need a turnaround right now.
Boston Hockey Now: Guess who is making a pest of himself, driving Tony DeAngelo nuts, and has gotten the Bruins back in the Round One series against the Carolina Hurricanes? Brad Marchand. It also appeared he had some political chatter for DeAngelo–It looked like Marchand called DeAngelo “a racist” and then confirmed it with the linesman. Take a look. Boston Bruins chirping.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Secondary scoring. Igor Shesterkin. Sidney Crosby’s future. You asked and Dave Molinari answered. Pittsburgh Penguins insight.
Washington Hockey Now: The old lions. Washington has a 2-1 lead on the President’s Trophy-winning Florida Panthers. Guess who is leading the way with some GOAT-ness? Alex Ovechkin.
Despite some speculation and rumour, Tom Wilson is still day-to-day for the Washington Capitals.
Now some NHL trade speculation and chatter…
Sportsnet Video: According to Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek, Mark Schiefele has not requested a trade out of Winnipeg, but NHL trade winds are blowing in San Jose where the Sharks are open to dealing Erik Karlsson or Brent Burns. The Pittsburgh Penguins’ divisional rival, the New Jersey Devils may be circling Kevin Fiala.
Philly Hockey Now: The Flyers have a pretty good young goalie. Now they may have two after signing a young Russian goalie who could push Carter Hart? Philadelphia Flyers offseason…
Montreal Hockey Now: The NHL Draft Lottery is Tuesday. The playoffs could affect acquired Canadiens picks. In the meantime, are the Montreal Canadiens tipping their hand?