Re-Ignited Dube Important to Flames Success
Calgary Flames winger Dillon Dube is showing signs of snapping out of his scoring slump, scoring first since opener.
Dillon Dube’s drought finally ended. The Calgary Flames winger netted his second of the year — his first since the season-opener — in Philly.
It was the kind of confidence-boosting contest that can go a long way for a young player. Dube is one of the most important secondary scorers on the squad. After netting 18 goals because of a breakthrough month of April, the 24-year-old entered the season with massive external expectations.
A 20-goal season at a minimum. Just two more than he scored last year. Shouldn’t be too hard.
There would be more opportunity, too, with the departure of both Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau leaving a clear gap in the top nine structure.
To top it all off, Dube came in as the Fittest Flame.
But Dube’s dynamic debut was a tease.
He sniped a goal in the opening-night win over the Colorado Avalanche, and was part of the Calgary Flames’ best line in the early part of the season.
Dube, Nazem Kadri and Andrew Mangiapane were a fast-skating, hard-checking, tornado of a line for a few games before fizzling off a bit. When Darryl Sutter decided to tinker with the setup and they went their separate ways, nothing seemed like it could re-ignite Dube.
He even found himself taking a spin as the fourth-line centre.
But the DNA line – aptly named early in the year – has been reunited on this six-game road trip.
And Dube had his best night in recent memory.
The goal came on a two-on-one rush with defenceman Nikita Zadorov. Rather than force the puck over to the big blueliner, Dube spotted a corner and shot the puck.
“It was a debate. I was up in the air on that one,” Dube told Flames TV after the game. “You know, Z with his one-timer, he’s got a heavy shot. I shaded over bit and was going to pass it to him.
“I decided to shoot.”
Turns out it was the right decision. Dube put the Calgary Flames up 2-0 in the first period of a 5-2 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.
The goal was the obvious contribution. But Dube looked dangerous on more than one occasion and was using his speed and relentless attack to cause problems in the offensive zone.
It’s something the Flames need more of if they want to continue their warming trend with four victories in their past five games.
“Everyone brings something different to the table. When he’s skating and he’s hunting pucks, he’s at his best,” Flames assistant coach Kirk Muller said after Monday’s game.
“When he has that opportunity to capitalize on his shot, he took advantage of it. That’s a perfect game for him to keep building on.”