These are my big three; the three I feel will need to carry the load this season: Monahan, Gaudreau, and Tkachuk.
Why those three players? Monahan and Gaudreau control the first line. Monahan, the sniper, has a bullet of a wrist shot. If he can get set up for a one-timer, it is a goalie's nightmare. Johnny is probably the best playmaker on the team. He is a gifted passer who is smart beyond his years. If Johnny can find you, it is like taking candy from a baby. You will become an instant star.
The third player I picked was Matthew Tkachuk because I feel that sooner or later, Matthew will be the leader of this team. When something needs to be done, Tkachuck is your man.
The most productive Centre on Flames. Sean was pretty solid. He, like the Flames, started off very slowly. A slick sniper with a dash of the playmaking forward. Sean will rebound this season; he will score 35 and add another 35 assist equaling to a total of 70 points.
Johnny will rise again, the best playmaking forward on the Flames. As go the Flames, so goes Gaudreau. The Flames have succeeded this season; it is time to put up or shut up. The load is right on the shoulders of Johnny. He will take the load with 25 goals and 50 assists for a total 75 points.
Matthew is a **** disturber with a touch of a talent. Matthew is talented young forward and if not for Johnny, would be the best winger on the team. He will continue his growth with a 60 point season; 17 goals and 43 assists.
I am expecting to battle for third in the division, and they will get it. 45 wins, 26 reg losses and 11 overtime losses, for 101 points.
I predict this season's point totals for Gaudreau, Monahan, Tkachuk and the Flames.
Randy poses an interesting question. We, as fans, often fixate on points and believe they indicate the worth of a player. In Gaudreau`s case I think that is 100% accurate, because if he is not producing, he does not bring much value.
Let us start with Johnny Gaudreau. Some of you know that I have been critical of Gaudreau in the past and have questioned his overall value. Gaudreau is highly talented, no one is going to argue that; but I want to see more.
Last year, Gaudreau had a slow start and finished the season with 18 goals and 61 points. At the end of the year, my grade for Gaudreau was a B minus. I felt his season shots, a total of 182 in 72 games, was low. I understand that he is a pass-first player, but that has to change in my opinion.
My prediction for Gaudreau's total points this season is 75 points. This is based on 82 games, and quite frankly, anything less than 75 points would be considered disappointing. Gaudreau gets top powerplay minutes and gets every offensive opportunity that is presented during a game. I would like to see 25 goals with 50 assists.
If Gaudreau is not producing, he is not helping the team. Gaudreau will have a full camp and no excuses coming into this year. Well… the fact that he and Monahan have no right winger to compliment them could be considered an excuse.
Talking about right wingers, how are Jarome and Jaromir doing?
Do you remember when he was drafted and everyone projected him as either an elite third line center or a solid second line center? “He won’t produce enough at the NHL level” “a defensive center.”
Well, Monahan has become a very reliable consistent scorer and an all-around very good hockey player. Monahan is 22 years of age. Twenty-two! I can’t wait to see how he elevates his game again this season. Last year, Monahan scored 27 goals and added 31 assists. A five-point drop from the previous season, but he did register 200 shots on goal. I fully expect Monahan to finish the season with about 60-65 points. I say 25 goals and 38 assists for Monahan.
Outside of being a center, Monahan brings much more to the table than Gaudreau. If Monahan struggles offensively, his ever-improving faceoff abilities and his sound defensive position, will continue to benefit the team.
Who is Monahan’s right winger?
This is a tough one. Automatically after last season, you expect another big step offensively from Tkachuk. Thirteen goals and 48 points in 76 games resulted in a very strong rookie showing for the former sixth overall draft choice by the Flames.
I think the goal total will increase for Tkachuk and 20 goals may not be a stretch for the young man. Last year, Matthew played on our best line with Backlund and Frolik. One has to assume that will be the case again this year. The 3M line was given a lot of defensive responsibilities, and anytime you play with Backlund and or Frolik, that will likely be the case. I believe having learned how to be responsible in the defensive zone in the NHL will only help Tkachuk continue to grow offensively.
My point’s total prediction for Matthew Tkachuk is 18 goals and 32 assists for a total of 50 points. Last year 33% of Tkachuk’s points came on the powerplay and I believe that number will drop. I feel he will produce more during five-on-fives than last year.
The Flames overall points total?
The Calgary Flames finished last season with 94 points. Considering their start to the season and going 4-6-0 in their last ten games, that is a very solid number.
The Flames changed their goaltending and in come Mike Smith and Eddie Lack. To complement them, the Flames brought in Travis Hamonic on the back end. Treliving did not make those moves to get to 94 points. Now, mind you if the Flames reach 94 points and make the playoffs, most fans will not complain. I, on the other hand, expect the Calgary Flames to finish the 2017-2018 season with 102 points.
Last year, the Flames lost 17 home games. They tied for the highest of any NHL playoff team; even Vancouver only lost 17 home games last year. That will improve. Last year, the Flames started off horribly. That MUST improve. Last year the Flames allowed 221 goals, second highest for any Western Conference playoff team. That will also need to improve.
There is a lot of room for improvement. With the offseason additions, the expectations are that a lot of those team stats categories will improve. This is Gulutzan’s second year as a coach, and outside of the goaltenders, the roster had very little turnover. No “World Cup” this fall, meaning every player is at camp. No contract hold outs, unless you consider Jagr (joke). The excuses have been removed.
The Calgary Flames will finish the season with 102 points.
This year, we wanted to try to get some Flames fans to answer questions. I am committed keeping in touch with the fans in all issues to the Flames.
cdec17 went the extra mile with his predictions:
Johnny Gaudreau- 79 points (31 goals, 48 assists)
Sean Monahan- 70 points (33 goals, 37 assists)
Dougie Hamilton- 55 points (15 goals 40 assists)
Sam Bennett- 53 points (28 goals 25 assists)
Matthew Tkachuk- 50 points (20 goals 30 assists)
Mikael Backlund- 48 Points (19 goals 29 assists
) Mark Giordano- 41 Points (13 goals 28 assists)
Michael Frolik - 40Points (15 goals 25 assists)
Kris Versteeg- 40 points (18 goals 22 assists)
T.J Brodie- 35 points (6 goals 29 assists) Michael
Ferland- 35 points (15 goals 20 assists) Mark
Jankowski- 35 Points (8 goals 27 assists)
Spencer Foo- 34 Points (12 goals 22 assists)
Troy Brouwer-32 Points (15 goals 17 assists)
Travis Hamonic- 25 points (6 goals 19 assists) Curtis
Lazar- 25 points (10 goals 15 assists)
Michael Stone- 25 points (6 goals 19 assists)
Matt Stajan- 15 points (5 goals 10 assists)
Brett Kulak- 14 points (3 goals 11 assists)
Freddie Hamilton- 10 points (2 goals 8 assists)
DARKHORSE- JAGR- 15 GOALS 25 ASSISTS (40 POINTS)
Season Starting Lines (minus Jagr) Gaudreau- Monahan- Ferland
Tkachuk- Backlund- Frolik
Foo Lazar- Jankowski-Brouwer
FLAMES SEASON RECORD 47-29-6 = 100 Point season
Sean Monahan 84 points
Johnny Gaudreau 73 points
Matthew Tkachuk 57 points.
Calgry Flames will get 102 points.