As the Flames head out on the road, there is a lot to be happy about. So in this blog I am pointing out the bright spots I see. For example, on the defense, Mark Giordano. The team captain has done everything that has been asked of him. He is working on a career year. His nine goals lead the defense, and his twenty-eight points. He is a plus three, which is a miracle on this team. He is pretty much the leader of this team, on and off the team. He has been a stabilizing influence
Let's stay on defense for bright spots. Well, my second bight spot for the defense has to be Kris Russel. Love the guy’s play. He has an edge to his style. He has been outstanding this season in his own end. If it was not for his injury, his numbers would be that much better. He has a terrific shot, with some underrated speed. I cannot imagine where the Flames would be without him.
Let's move up to the forwards. The Flames have a few bright spots. The first I have to mention is Mikael Backlund. He is playing the best he has ever played as a member of the Calgary Flames. How about that overtime winner against the Wild? He has been outstanding, especially in the penalty killing. His knowledge of the game has grown, he thinks two moves at a time. There is no panic in his game. He is a confident, smart center.
I think it's time to admit that Jiri Hudler has been our most consistent forward. He leads the team in scoring with his forty-two points. He just knows how to win. He passes with true skill. He has great skill getting in and out of traffic. I am sure he could skate through a hay stack and find fifty needles!
Sean Monahan just recently went through a dry spell. But to his credit, he fought his way through it. He is still young, but has a ton of skill. He tries his best every night and he has plenty of heart. He never quits, no matter what the task.
Now the hard facts.
The Flames have to stop giving up with ugly mistakes. They have is a bad pattern of turnovers. They have to stop the giveaways and stop blowing the leads. The Flames must play to win and not to lose. They must continue to play with chips on their shoulders. They must not allow themselves to be pushed around. No more playing like pansies.