CFN – Calgary is off to a great start this season with 20 points after 16 games with a +8 goal differential. While Edmonton is loaded with star early draft picks the Flames have a compete level that has them rolling along and currently in a play off spot.
They have no super stars on the team, but some very talented players; mostly accumulated by Brian Burke before he turned the team over to new GM Brad Treliving.
Sophomore 1st Rounder Sean Monahan is on a pace to exceed his rookie out put of 34 points, but it’s the defensive duo of Mark Giordano and TJ Brodie that are leading the way including in team scoring with Giordano notching 18 points in the first 16 games.
Rookie Johnny Gaudreau has 12 points and the patience that Burke showed with Centre Joe Colborne has paid early dividends this season.
Injured free agent pick up Mason Raymond put 5 goals in the net in his first ten games before going down.
Even Deryk Engelland which many heckled Calgary for paying nearly $3M per year for has paid off in steady minutes on defense while providing the grit he’s known for. Engelland in 12 games is a -1 with two assists, 18 penalty minutes to go along with 24 hits and 19 blocked shots.
Clearly Calgary fans are getting a lot more to cheer for this season than those in Edmonton as they rebuild the squad. Another big difference has been free agent goal tender Jonas Hiller who signed for two years for $9M.
Hiller simply has stolen games for the Flames. Hiller is 7-3 with a 2.07 GAA and .931 save percentage with 1 shut out after starting 10 of the teams first 16 games.
First Block Three Stars: 1) Mark Giordano 2) Jonas Hiller 3) TJ Brodie
Honorable mention: 1) Johnny Gaudreau 2) Sean Monahan 3) Joe Colborne
Need to Improve: 1) Devin Setoguchi 2) Sven Baertschi 3) Matt Stajan
Calgary ranks 13th on the Power Play, 22nd on Penalty Killing, 7th in Goals per Game, 13th in Goals Against per game, 7th in 5 on 5 play, 28th in Shots per game, 17th in Shots Against, and 29th in Face Off Wins.
Can the Flames keep burning brightly and gain a play off spot this season?
What do you think Flame fans? You can post your comments below.
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