Prediction: Flames in 5
Result: Flames in 4
Teams really don’t like the Flames, eh? So many injuries in this series. When Schiefele went down for Winnipeg, the series was over. As noted in the preview, the Jets heavily relied upon their top line. When their star went down, they were able to come through with a universally-described “gutsy” win in Game 2, but it was all Flames after that.
The series was not without controversy as Jets coach Paul Maurice accused Matthew Tkachuk of purposefully injuring Schiefele. From every replay I have seen the play looks fairly innocent. Maybe there’s a Zapruder-esque angle out there I’m not aware of.
Must-see TV: Matthew Tkachuk (Flames #19)
If you can’t tell which one Tkachuk is, look for the dangling mouth guard. Tkachuk is one of the NHL’s super pests. Along with Boston’s Brad Marchand, these guys are widely known to stir the pot. Although Marchand is the better all around player, to my knowledge Tkachuk has never licked a guy on the ice, let alone done it multiple times. He chirps, he obstructs (at one point he just stood in front of the Jets bench door, refusing to allow Winnipeg players to change), but he also scores highlight goals regularly. Check out this beauty from the regular season:
Although you might have to wait for the replays to see his behind-the-play hijinks, as Calgary advances, tune in to see Matthew Tkachuk.
Calgary will play the winner of Dallas/St. Louis, with the puck dropping at 3:00 ET. If I am a Flames fan, I’m pulling for Dallas, as the Stars seem to have lost their defensive mojo. St. Louis, on the other hand, will be a very difficult out.
As with all teams losing in the qualifying round, they don’t have to look far. Monday’s Phase 2 Draft Lottery could go a long way to providing added depth to the Winnipeg top 6. I’m sure Winnipeg will top a lot of fan bases “I wouldn’t mind if they won” lists.