Game Takes: Flames 7 Knights 1

April 7th, 2018 | Posted in Game Takes | By: D'Arcy McGrath

What a night for Mark Jankowski!

From a late camp cut to an early season call up, the lankly center has had a productive but quiet first NHL season, one that ultimately ended disappointingly with the Flames missing the playoffs.

Tonight he filled the net however, treating the playoff bound Vegas Knights to a 7-1 beat down with a four goal burst to close out the season.

One of the most key off season assessments done by the Flames will be their projection of Jankowski and how they see his impact next season.

Key top nine guy is a building piece. Periphery player is a different model altogether.

Such an off season.

Gillies Starts Again

Not a bad start for Jon Gillies, his third straight to finish the season.

The Flames filled the net, which is rare and fun, and also a terrible way to measure the aptitude of a starting goaltender in the line of fire.

Overall I liked his Winnipeg and Vegas starts of his final four, wasn’t a fan of the Arizona start as a balance.

It will be an interesting battle at camp next fall.

Francis Speak

Quite the exchange on Friday afternoon between 960s Rob Kerr and Eric Francis about the Flames and what happens in the off season.

Francis offered up a handful of Calgary players were in it for themselves and would be traded in the off season; he was pondering an article to out them but hadn’t decided.

So who is he talking about?

My gut is on Johnny Gaudreau as the main target as I’ve seen more than enough evidence in the last month or so of the player giving up defensively has driven this writer nuts.

But others?

Dougie Hamilton? Micheal Ferland?

Will be interesting …

Gaudreau 60 Assists


Was worried the mark wouldn’t be met when Gaudreau Sr. went down with a heart attack. Clearly the focus for any family member is to be with his father, and no one would have batted an eye if Johnny Gaudreau had the rest of the season in Jersey with his family.

But when he did return it was a wait for that next assist playing with odd linemates, Sean Monahan on the shelf, for a 60th assist the first time since Theo Fleury in at 1992-93.

Tonight the mark is set, a first period assist to Mark Jankowski in the first period, moments after Gaudreau scored his 24th of the season.

The Jankowski Experiment

Four goal night concludes his rookie season with 17 goals.

Ironically that’s exactly the kind of production the team has needed the whole season on the third line, but bottom line a third line player got it done.

No matter how you size it up it’s a pretty huge season for Mark Jankowski. From an afterthought to an interesting prospect to a rookie NHL player to a guy that crept pretty close to 20 goals.

So the good? The Flames have what looks like 2/3 of a third line that can get it done next season in Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski, but is that enough? The bad suggests that that very duo failed to get it done with a pretty healthy sample size this season with a happy blip from the interesting injection from Jaromir Jagr.

This will be a key issue for next season.

The Foo Factor

Sure Foo had his first NHL goal off his skate without actually seeing the puck coming towards him. That’s tragic in the first goal story sense, but actually not all that surprising when you see how often the player goes to the net on a nightly basis.

Tonight he actually scores himself, knowingly, as he directs a Mikael Backlund offering towards the net, beating Marc Andre Fleury for his second NHL goal in four games, and a goal in back to back games.

The guy has a nose for the net, there is little doubt. In my mind he’s already the second or third best forward on the team when it comes to willingness to go to the net and put the traffic between the puck carrier needed to create a scoring chance.

Fancy Stats

The Flames had 52% of the five on five shot attempts, 55% of the five on five scoring chances and 54% of the high danger scoring chances with a tally of 14-12. Their period per period splits in shot attempts were 48 / 53 / and 52%.

In all situations the shot attempts were 50% Calgary, 54% in scoring chances and 48% in high danger scoring chances, certainly suggesting Marc Andre Fleury had a tough night.

Individually, Brett Kulak had a great night with 63%, joined by Garnet Hathaway at 60%. Curtis Lazar, Michael Stone, Troy Brouwer, and Mikael Backlund also had stellar nights. Matt Bartkowski, Mark Giordano and Micheal Ferland had rough nights under the 45% mark.




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