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Five milestones Flames players can hit in the final two games



‘You need it to all the time be a staff sport, however there are issues like getting 30 targets or 20 for a defenceman that matter,’ stated Flames head coach Ryan Huska

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The Calgary Flames have precisely two video games remaining of their schedule.

The playoffs aren’t a risk and haven’t been for some time, however there are nonetheless a number of profession milestones that particular person guys are taking part in for.

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And the Flames are going to do all the things they’ll to assist them hit their marks.

“You need to see these guys hit these milestones,” Zary stated. “Clearly, they could say it’s not a giant deal they usually’re blissful simply successful video games however I believe at the back of their minds we need to see them hit it simply as a lot as they need to hit these milestones.

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“We’ll attempt to get that carried out in these subsequent two video games right here.”

It’s not simply the gamers saying that, both. The Flames coaches need to see their guys rewarded, too, and whereas they don’t need anybody abandoning the sport plan to get a man an additional shot on web, they’re blissful to see their gamers attempting to assist each other out.

“They matter,” stated Flames head coach Ryan Huska. “You need it to all the time be a staff sport, however there are issues like getting 30 targets or 20 for a defenceman that matter and teammates know that, too.

“There are conditions the place if they’ll, they’re going to do all the things they’ll to attempt to assist these guys rating that objective. As a lot as it’s about staff, these milestones are essential as a result of it solidifies the kind of season that sure people have for us.”

Listed here are 5 milestones that the Flames may hit of their ultimate two video games:

  1. MacKenzie Weegar getting 20 targets

As my colleague Wes Gilbertson uncovered final week, Weegar can grow to be the primary NHLer to attain 20 targets and block 200 pictures in the identical season because the league began preserving information on shot-blocking in 2005-06.

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He’s been a revelation in his second season with the Flames and has sailed previous his earlier excessive of eight targets in a yr.

He already obtained to 200 blocked pictures, however he’s sitting on 19 targets with two video games to go and solely three defencemen within the NHL have extra.

If the 30-year-old does end the season with 19 targets, it doesn’t take away from what’s been a implausible yr from begin to end.

It might be a outstanding feather in his cap, although.

Calgary Flames celebrates with the bench after scoring against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period of an NHL game at Scotiabank Saddledome
MacKenzie Weegar #52 of the Calgary Flames celebrates with the bench after scoring towards the Vancouver Canucks in the course of the first interval of an NHL sport at Scotiabank Saddledome on November 16, 2023 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Picture by Derek Leung /Getty Pictures
  1. Nazem Kadri scoring 30

Kadri has scored 30 targets in a season twice earlier than, each in the direction of the top of his stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

However getting there a 3rd time could be a giant deal, too, even when he downplayed that when he was requested after Sunday evening’s two-goal efficiency towards the Arizona Coyotes.

“It actually doesn’t matter to me in any respect,” Kadri stated. “Fortunately obtained sizzling, clearly I’ve proved I can get there earlier than and I can by no means promote myself quick however my linemates are taking part in nice and my teammates are setting me up with possibilities.”

Kadri has been arguably the Flames’ greatest participant this yr and introduced out the most effective in rookies Connor Zary and Martin Pospisil. He deserves a tonne of credit score for his perspective all through troublesome circumstances.

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Attending to 30 could be a simply reward.

Nazem Kadri celebrates his goal against the Penguins
Nazem Kadri #91 of the Calgary Flames celebrates after scoring towards the Pittsburgh Penguins in the course of the third interval of an NHL sport at Scotiabank Saddledome on March 2, 2024 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Derek Leung/Getty Pictures
  1. Thirty for Blake Coleman, too

There’s no query Coleman would already be at 30 targets if he hadn’t gotten injured on April 9 towards the San Jose Sharks.

He’s now missed three video games, although, and gained’t seem in Tuesday’s matchup with the Vancouver Canucks.

The Flames are hopeful that he’ll be obtainable Thursday towards the Sharks and that can give him one sport to get the objective he must hit the 30-mark for the primary time in his profession.

“He places individuals first, so when he’s near a milestone as a result of he’s that approach, guys need to repay or reward him for that,” Huska stated. “Hopefully, we will get him again in considered one of these video games.”

Coleman, the winner of the Peter Maher Good Man Award for 2023-24, has 29 targets and 23 assists this yr, each of that are profession highs.

Blake Coleman, Mikael Backlund
Calgary Flames ahead Blake Coleman celebrates his objective towards the Vegas Golden Knights with Mikael Backlund at T-Cellular Enviornment in Las Vegas on Saturday, Jan. 13, 2024. David Becker/The Related Press
  1. Taking part in in all 82

In the event that they play within the final two video games of the season, 4 gamers can have skated in each single contest for the group in 2023-24.

These guys? Kadri, Weegar, Mikael Backlund and Yegor Sharangovich.

It might be the primary time Weegar and Sharangovich have performed in all 82, whereas Kadri’s carried out it twice beforehand — together with 2022-23 for the Flames — and this could mark a significantly spectacular fifth time that Backlund has pulled it off.

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Taking part in in each sport isn’t straightforward and it could solely be completed by a mix of a dedication to health and a few severe toughness.

“They know how one can deal with days off, they know how one can deal with their time to get the utmost restoration that they should have,” Huska stated.

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  1. Get a primary one

Adam Klapka and Ilya Solovyov have an opportunity to gather a souvenir puck earlier than the season is thru.

Scoring for the primary time within the NHL could be a particular second for each of them, and a confidence enhance earlier than going again to the AHL for a playoff run with the Calgary Wranglers.

Solovyov has performed in eight video games this season and has recorded two assists, whereas Klapka will return to the Flames lineup after going pointless in a four-game stint again in January.

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