Red hot Flames.
As the season unfolds, the Flames are holding the first wild card spot leading to the playoff. Ahead of the glorious Kings, ahead of the so-called-best-team-in-the-league the Nashville Predators and surprisingly ahead of last year Western Conference's best team; the Dallas Stars (what a terrible season they're having).
More surprisingly, Glen Gulutzan's team is doing it without the enormous offensive production one could expect from Sean Monahan (13-14--27) and Johnny Gaudreau (10-18--28) both playing under their habitual pace. Thanks to the "gimongous" rookie season of Matthew Tkachuk. The 18 year-old is leading the team in assists (21) and penalty minutes (76!?) while being one of the best in the league to draw penalties. Oh, and he's also second in scoring (8-21--29) behind Mikael Backlund (14-18--32).
Tough sophomore year.
While some players might never feel the pressure coming with the Sophomore year, Sam Bennett looks like he's having a tough time in his second season as a profesionnal. The Flames first pick in 2014 isn't producing like many expected of him prior to the season (9-9--18) and he hasn't found the back of the net in January. In fact, he scored once since the Christmas break and this lack of offensive production had Gulutzan thinking how would look his Flames without the 20 year-old. Sam Bennett is indeed a healthy scratch for tonight's game and it might not be a one-game thing.
Michael Ferland is set to play tonight and Matt Stajan will take Bennett's spot on the third line.