Flames’ Youth Movement Stymies Canucks

Flames’ Youth Movement Stymies Canucks
Christopher Hair

The Calgary Flames weren’t supposed to be a playoff team. They were too young. They lost their captain to a season ending injury. They shouldn’t be able to hold off the defending Stanley Cup champs.

But they just kept playing hockey and winning. Calgary made the playoffs as the Pacific Division’s third and final representative. They were matched up with the Vancouver Canucks, a veteran group with playoff savvy that had home ice advantage. Calgary should have been happy to make the postseason and get some experience for the future. Maybe they could challenge Vancouver, but they were likely to be a one and done.

Except Calgary has no time for conventional wisdom and the popular narrative. The Flames jumped out to a 2-1 series lead and then just handled their business in a professional and thorough 3-1 browbeating of Vancouver in Game 4. Calgary has taken a 3-1 series lead and has done while being the more composed and confident team. And they have been led by their young guns throughout.

  • Johnny Gaudreau scored his first career postseason goal, opening the scoring on the power play for the Flames. He has three points through the first four games of the series.
  • Sam Bennett scored the final goal of the game, putting an exclamation point on a dominant Calgary opening period in game four. He has two goals and three points in the opening four games of his playoff career.
  • Sean Monahan didn’t add to the score sheet in Game 4. He just won 11 of 20 faceoffs (55%) and led all Calgary forwards in ice time with 20:27 and shots on goal with four. And he’s still only 20 years old.
  • T.J. Brodie added the primary assist on the Bennett goal (it was originally credited to the blueliner), and blocked five shots all while playing a game high 28:32.
  • Michael Ferland played over 15 heavy minutes. He added two shots on goal and provided a physical and clean edge to Calgary’s forecheck with a game high 8 hits.

Sure, there were veteran players who were important to the Calgary victory as well. Jonas Hiller was a rock between the pipes, Dennis Wideman continues to provide a calming influence on the backend while Kris Russell keeps doing his best imitation of the missing Mark Giordano. Jiri Hudler scored the game winning goal and added a crucial assist.

The story continues to be the fact that the Calgary Flames younger players just exert their influence more and more. They have been better in every game of this series and the Canucks have no answers for wave after wave of youthful enthusiasm. The Flames are for real, age and experience be damned.

Underestimate them at your own risk.

Christopher Hair

Christopher Hair has been an avid hockey fan for 20 years. He grew up on the Hollywood Kings of the late 80’s and early 90’s with Wayne Gretzky, Jari Kurri, Kelly Hrudey, and Luc Robitaille. Growing up in Glendale, Arizona he is living proof that hockey fans can be made and come from the desert. He is also an editor for Five for Howling.

More in Pacific

NCAA HOCKEY: FEB 23 Beanpot Tournament - Consolation - Harvard v Boston College

2015 NHL Draft Targets for Arizona Coyotes

Sebastian NorenApril 26, 2015
NHL: NOV 09 Canucks at Ducks

Pressure is on Bruce Boudreau and the Ducks

Christopher HairApril 26, 2015
NHL: MAR 09 Oilers at Red Wings

One Person Can’t Save the Edmonton Oilers

Franklin SteeleApril 26, 2015
NHL: APR 23 Round 1 - Game 5 - Flames at Canucks

Resilient Calgary Flames Rise Out of the West

Christopher HairApril 25, 2015
NHL: APR 23 Round 1 - Game 5 - Flames at Canucks

Top Pacific Division Playoff Performers

Anthony PerezApril 25, 2015
NHL: APR 15 Round 1 - Game 1 - Flames at Canucks

Flames are the Most Exciting NHL Playoff Team

Jack ChorosApril 25, 2015
NHL: MAR 12 Kings at Canucks

Possible Free Agent Targets For the Coyotes

Sebastian NorenApril 24, 2015
NHL: APR 22 Round 1 - Game 4 - Ducks at Jets

Ducks Find Difference Maker in Ryan Kesler

Andy DudonesApril 23, 2015
NHL: FEB 28 Coyotes at Bruins

Time for Coyotes Fans to Take Deep Breath

Anthony PerezApril 23, 2015


Slapshot on Facebook

Slapshot On Twitter

Copyright © 2014 Today’s Slapshot, All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use/Privacy | Copyright | Site Map | About Us | Authors | Contact Us