Sports What the Flames are thankful for in the 2021-22 season

02:05  27 november  2021
02:05  27 november  2021 Source:   prohockeyrumors.com

Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames shut out Senators 4-0 to snap 3-game losing skid

  Dan Vladar, Calgary Flames shut out Senators 4-0 to snap 3-game losing skid OTTAWA — A mid-November game won’t likely stand out for too many players, but for Dan Vladar this will be one to remember. The Calgary Flames netminder made 27 saves to post his first career shutout in a 4-0 win over the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Vladar was making just his ninth career start as the Flames work their way through a seven-game road trip. “From the get-go, we were just the better team,” said Vladar. “More focused and the guys played great in front of me. I had no rebounds. So, easy game for me.” As the final buzzer sounded teammates were quick to swarm Vladar as the win also snapped a three-game losing streak.

As the holiday season approaches, PHR will take a look at what teams are thankful for as the season heads toward the one-quarter mark. There also might be a few things your team would like down the road. We’ll examine what’s gone well in the early going and what could improve as the season rolls on for the Calgary Flames.

The Flames should aim to get Matthew Tkachuk an extension this holiday season. © Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports The Flames should aim to get Matthew Tkachuk an extension this holiday season.

What are the Flames most thankful for?

A healthy start.

Injuries are a part of sports, and they’re going to happen for every team in the NHL at some point. But so far, the Flames have escaped relatively unscathed. Fifteen different players have suited up in at least 19 of the team’s 20 games, including basically every important member of the group.

Former Bruin Vladar stops 27 shots, Flames beat Boston 4-0

  Former Bruin Vladar stops 27 shots, Flames beat Boston 4-0 BOSTON (AP) — Former Bruins goalie Dan Vladar stopped 27 shots for his second career shutout, Andrew Mangiapane scored a short-handed goal early in the third period, and the Calgary Flames beat Boston 4-0 on Sunday night. Johnny Gaudreau and Noah Hanifin, who both played collegiate hockey nearby for Boston College, each had a goal for the Flames, who posted their third straight win and improved to 9-2-2 on the road. Mikael Backlund also scored for Calgary, and Matthew Tkachuk had two assists. Jeremy Swayman made 27 saves for Boston, taking first career loss at TD Garden after going 8-0-0.

In fact, since they started the year, the Flames have completed just two recalls from the minor leagues. Jacob Markstrom and Daniel Vladar have been the two dressed goaltenders in all 20 matches, meaning not only have they had a consistent effort, but also a consistent group in the locker room.

Who are the Flames most thankful for?

Darryl Sutter.

It’s hard to believe that a coach can make such a huge difference, but the Stanley Cup-winning bench boss appears to have secured a complete buy-in from his squad and a commitment to playing his low-event checking style. The Flames have allowed just 38 goals through 20 games and have the best goal differential in the league.

Not everything is because of Sutter, as there have been some very strong performances — perhaps even unexpected — from the defensive unit, but the veteran coach has the entire group moving in the right direction.

NBA Power Rankings 2021: What each team is most thankful for heading into holiday season

  NBA Power Rankings 2021: What each team is most thankful for heading into holiday season Heading into Thanksgiving, we take a closer look at what each team in the league is thankful for more than a month into the 2021-22 season.This week, we're going with a more positive spin.

What would the Flames be even more thankful for?

Sean Monahan’s re-emergence.

The one concern some have when discussing the Flames, a team that has dominated the league so far, is the disappearance of Monahan’s offense. Through the first seven seasons of Monahan’s career, he had 194 goals, good for more than 29 per 82 games. Since the start of the 2020-21 season, he has 12 (just seven since Sutter took over).

His minutes have dropped to the lowest of his career, and he has generated just 25 shots on goal through 20 games this season. For a player carrying a cap hit of $6.375M, that’s simply not acceptable even if the overall Flames group is still churning through opponents. The idea of Monahan returning to some semblance of the 30-goal scorer he once was — without disrupting the defensive structure the Flames currently have — would make them all the more imposing.

What should be on the Flames’ Holiday Wish List?

Assessing the validity of the Flames' historically hot start

  Assessing the validity of the Flames' historically hot start The Calgary Flames hold leads in several key categories through what's nearly the first six weeks of the NHL season.They have the best overall goal differential in the NHL at plus-27. They have conceded the fewest goals league-wide at five-on-five. They have more shutouts than any of their contemporaries, blanking teams at a disrespectful rate of 37 percent so far. They have also spent the most time playing with the lead. It's all added up toIt's all added up to more points than any other team in the Pacific Division.

A Matthew Tkachuk extension.

Johnny Gaudreau has been outstanding this season, leading the team in scoring with 23 points in 20 games. He’s also an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, so his future should be front and center when discussing any contract negotiations in Calgary. But it’s the contract of Tkachuk — who has been a lynchpin of Sutter’s structure and once again seems like the obvious choice as the team’s future captain — that will really decide how much they could spend on Gaudreau.

Already the team’s highest-paid player, Tkachuk is about to hit restricted free agency for the last time, a year away from the open market. He won’t even turn 24 until next month, but is already in the midst of his sixth season in the league, meaning any extension would buy out almost exclusively UFA seasons. It will be a massive contract if Tkachuk does agree to something long-term with the Flames, a number that would limit them elsewhere or cause other cost-cutting measures (perhaps like a bottom-six center who makes more than $6M next season).

Tom Brady to Simone Biles: We're thankful for these 2021 sports moments

  Tom Brady to Simone Biles: We're thankful for these 2021 sports moments After a sports shutdown in the early months of 2020 due to COVID-19, 2021 sports moments we’re thankful for perhaps shouldn't be contained to 10.In the once-in-a-lifetime period we’re all still experiencing, pro athletes merely playing games is something to be thankful for in and of itself. But the compelling drama and incredible stories produced in the athletic arena have given us even more reason to give thanks, with incredible firsts and historic accomplishments seemingly achieved every other week in 2021. There were quite a few inspiring stories that occurred off the field and courts, too.

There’s nothing that would be more important for the Flames this winter, so they can also go into the trade deadline with some sort of cap certainty moving forward.

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More must-reads:

  • What the Sabres are thankful for in the 2021-22 season
  • What the Bruins are thankful for in the 2021-22 season
  • The '1988-89 Stanley Cup-winning Calgary Flames' quiz

Related slideshow: Who has scored the most goals in a season for every NHL franchise? (Provided by Yardbarker)

Sabres sign former first-round pick Mark Jankowski to one-year deal .
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