In this edition…
- Matthew Tkachuk and crazy Zack Kassian
- Rasmus Andersson new contract,
- and the inconsistencies of the Calgary Flames.
First things first, let’s look at the mid-season signing of Rasmus Andersson to a six-year contract. This looks like a steal folks. Anderson is young, looks to be replacing TJ Brodie as a number two defensemen, is a right-hand shot, and has a high ceiling. This will look like a steal in 2 years. Props on the new contract.
Let’s talk about what everyone in the league is complaining about. After the recent win in the second instalment of the Battle of Alberta, the talk is about Matthew Tkachuk and his hits against Zack Kassian. Kassian was suspended for two games after rag-dolling Tkachuk in a fight. He’s been complaining to the media for a few days now and if you look at most of the hockey world they are united: Tkachuk should answer. But let’s get one thing straight in the “new” NHL. Tkachuk definitely went out of his way to come down on his wing to hit Kassian. You don’t usually see wingers do that. But Kassian has tried to target Tkachuk before, so now he returns the favour.
Of course, Kassian has done the same thing numerous times before, the only difference being Tkachuk didn’t hurt Kassian. What Tkachuk did was throw three clean hits, the league was clear on that, but it’s definitely an unusual play in the game. The face Kassian can’t handle getting his, being on the receiving end of his own medicine, bodes well for the Flames. He’s seemingly incapable of walking away from three clean checks. Regardless of how loud Edmonton Oilers fans scream, or Kassian bitches to the media, ultimately his antics gave Calgary the win and himself a two game suspension.
That suspension ends after the All-Star break, and when the Flames meet Edmonton again for the 3rd instalment. He’s looking for revenge and hopefully looses his composure again. It will help put the Flames up once again.
I really don’t think Tkachuk needs to fight, but if you want lay big hits a response will come. But if there’s any type of response from Calgary it should be the likes of Lucic or Rinaldo. They are on the bench of this reason and if there’s some unwritten code somewhere collecting dust these two should step in.
So enough with the “codes”, play hockey, take your lumps and maybe step up to answer the bell.
Inconsistencies Plague Flames
After the big win against Edmonton, Calgary flew out east to face the Montreal Canadiens who have been ice cold as of late. For some reason Calgary made them look great. It’s the tale of tape this season for the Calgary Flames. They are plagued by inconsistencies and struggle to string together solid performances. I guess that’s any team, but the ones that go far in the playoffs, the elite teams, figure out consistency.
Yes they just came off of 5 game win-streak, so despite the problems they’re finding ways to win. However, there are issues with defensive play, showing up for 60 minutes, and scoring starting with the top players is hit-and-miss. All-in-all you have a team that still hasn’t found their rhythm. Given their play, the fact that they sit on top of the tight Pacific Division, bodes in their favour. If they can figure out their game they could make a splash down the final stretch. Of course all that is a moot point if they can’t win games, and ultimately win in the playoffs.
Is this a playoff winning team? At this point no. Too small, too uninterested at times, and defensive play is poor. Do they have enough time to fix it? Time will tell. But there needs to be some changes and the All-Star break might be the time to fix what’s not working. After that they’re out of time.