We need a right winger with Mr. Gaudreau and Mr. Monahan. Having a slick forward with skill and the hockey know-how would be a big asset. He does not have to be a superstar, just a winger with some skill. No offense to Ferland, but what the Flames need is a player who can play with Gaudreau and Monahan.
What are the qualifications?
He must be able to think ahead of Sean and Johnny. To be successful, he must be able to figure out where he should be. If he can be in the position to score, the other two forwards will get him the puck. Gaudreau and Monahan are constantly evolving; our right winger must evolve with them.
The right winger has to have some speed to at least to in the same zone as Johnny and Sean. The winger has to be fast enough that he can turn a 2-on-2 into a 3-on-2. Johnny or Sean need another target.
NO STONE HANDS
The winger has to be able to finish. Gaudreau and Monahan both have the ability to pass at anytime to anyone. It will do them no good if they continue to see the winger but he cannot finish the passes. The ability to convert some of the chances is vital.
Our winger has to have some defensive responsibility. There will be a few times where he will have to cover up for Monahan and Gaudreau. That happens when a player is as imaginative as Gaudreau. Once in a while, there is going to be a bad pass or Monahan and Gaudreau will not be on the same page.
The Flames were an inconsistent hockey team last year. In fact, a ten-game winning streak is the only reason they made the playoffs. They must get more consistent. More than one line must contribute. Last year, the 3M line was the best line and most consistent line. This year, teams will not be caught off guard. It is vital the Flames get more out of their first line. Monahan and Gaudreau must be more consistent.
The goaltending is a gamble. Smith and Lack have to return to their glory years. They don't have to be outstanding, but giving up one bad goal a game has to be a bad memory never repeated. They do not have to be perfect. The ability to come up with a save when needed would be nice. The tandem cannot be the reason for losses. Nothing brings down momentum like a bad goal.