A View From the Press Box
Czeching in with a big Flames effort.
After sitting out the previous Calgary Flames game against Colorado, Czech native and NHL veteran Michael Frolik redeemed himself with a 2 goal effort and + 3 performance last night. Frolik played a solid 16.07 minutes, had 22 shifts, with an average shift of 43 seconds and was very strong on the P.K as well. This earned Frolik the 1st star of the game as the Calgary Flames handily defeated the Boston Bruins 5 to 2.
The 3M line of Frolik, Backlund and Tkachuk were reunited. Their role was to play head to head against the Bruins top line of Bergeron, Pastrnak and Marchand which they did 90% of the time. For the most part they were very effective limiting the Bergeron line to just 2 goals on the night. Bergeron played his typical strong two way game to earn 2nd star.
At the post game press conference Head Coach Bill Peters referring to the 3M line said “That line has a history…a proved track record… they have a longer leash.” However, it’s early in the season and Peters is still assessing his player personnel and each player on the roster must earn his ice time. Otherwise, they may find themselves in the press box. Such was the case with veteran Flame Frolik a game a go. The right side consisting of Michael Frolik, James Neal, Elias Lindholm, Garnet Hathaway and Anthony Peluso provide interchangeable parts for Peters. These players especially may find themselves playing with different line mates on any given night or for some skaters on occasion watching rather than playing.
The Flames played an up tempo and aggressive game which was very effective and entertaining to watch. If they play this style for the remainder of the season, they will certainly be playoff bound! The Flames are now 2 – 0 at home in their retro jerseys with an overall record of 4 wins and 2 losses on the season. Both rookie defensemen and third star, Juuso Valimaki scored his first NHL goal and Rasmus Andersson as well played strong games on the back end.
The teams P.K. was very strong without allowing a goal on 4 chances and Frolik played a major role. Mike Smith allowed 2 goals on 26 shots and had a steady performance.
Coach Bill Peters did a good job of distributing the playing time. On the high end, Mikael Backlund played the most minutes at 19:05 and Garnet Hathaway on the low end 9:59 up front. Noah Hanifin was the top defenseman seeing 23.19 minutes of ice time. Peters said “I liked throughout the line-up the workman effort…liked the contributions from everybody”.
Last season the Flames were very inconsistent especially with a losing record at home. This season the club is off to a better start at home and accountability under new Head Coach Bill Peters seems much higher. If players don’t perform well, they will find themselves off the game line up such as Frolik discovered and sitting in the press box! It’s a new Flames culture!