Every team that plays the Ducks knows you gotta deal with the dirt. The dirtiest team in the NHL will try to gain their edge playing on the line. It works. It has against the Flames for years, perhaps decades, but you get the the sense the tide is turning.

One day after a Glen Gulutzan blow out at practice, captured by the cameras, the Flames took the ice and for a chance didn’t have a slow start. In fact, they dominated the first period and second. With a 2-0 lead heading into the third things were looking good. Then Anaheim got the message–take out the goalie. The fights above happened after a slew foot. Cory Perry at the end of the second did his part to bump Smith.

Matthew Tkachuk would get a suspension, or a fine at least, with the same antics. Not the Ducks though. They’re a cherished American franchise. The moves worked too as Anaheim fought back to tie it. Calgary struggled to find momentum, not helped by their absolutely abysmal powerplay. You can blame the refs for a terrible game, and it was bad, but Calgary had ample chances on special teams, and they blew it YET AGAIN.

Back to Tkachuk. Fans are starting to see what this guy brings as he assumes more of a leadership role on the ice. He’s constantly matching the edge opponents try to throw, which is a piece to this team that’ smissing. In fact, the recent 3 game win streak, is partially due to a renewed sense of identity. Leading the way? Tkachuk. Could he be the key to ‘new’ Calgary Flames? I don’t see why not, and we’re going to need it if this win streak is gonna keep rolling.