Calgary Flames Monday Roundtable: First week of the 2017-18 season

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 14: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on as Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames is congratulated after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 14, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)
VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 14: Michael Del Zotto #4 of the Vancouver Canucks looks on as Johnny Gaudreau #13 of the Calgary Flames is congratulated after scoring during their NHL game at Rogers Arena October 14, 2017 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. (Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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CALGARY, AB – OCTOBER 7, 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB – OCTOBER 7, 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Question 5: Who’s been the most impressive for you so far?

Jonathan Boulanger

Curtis Lazar! He’s been a big ball of energy and is always first on pucks. I love his determination and speed and hard work. Plus, he does it all with a smile. He’ll do everything, score in the dirty areas, fish the puck out of the corners, and even hit. I love it.

Ian Gustafson

Johnny Hockey! He is coming off a pretty good 2016/2017 campaign but right now he is sitting in fourth in the league in points. I wouldn’t be surprised if Johnny gets 80+ points this year.

Tomas Oppolzer

Johnny Gaudreau. We’ve always known he’s a special player but his start to the season is just other-worldly. 8 points in his first 6 games is better than we could have hoped for, and a huge step up from his start last year.

Ben Prokopy

TJ Brodie, with honourable mention to Curtis Lazar. Brodie’s offensive contribution has been awesome. Second only to Johnny Gaudreau in team scoring, and 6th in the league among blueliners, he’s been a presence on the opposing team’s zone all year thus far.

Related Story: Curtis Lazar deserves to be in the lineup

Lazar has been the pleasant surprise of the year. Although his possession numbers have fallen off a bit in the last couple games, his work in the corners, along the boards, and in front of the net has been exemplary. With one assist and 4 shots thus far, I hope he is rewarded for his offensive work soon.

Dan Raicevich

TJ Brodie. I want to say Johnny Gaudreau, but its expected of him to be a Point Per Game (PPG) guy. I think TJ Brodie has found his game once again by playing with Travis Hamonic. His four-point outing in the home opener was impressive. His skating, vision, and puck movement all seem to be back, the vital pieces that made him one of the best underrated defensemen in the NHL.

Expect it to continue, and the same with Mike Smith’s stellar play.

Ramina Shlah

For me, it’s a mix between Curtis Lazar, T.J. Brodie, and Mike Smith. With the addition of Hamonic and after Dougie Hamilton had that career-high season last year, everyone was focusing on what Hamonic can bring and how well Dougie and Giordano will be playing together again this year. But Brodie has somewhat quietly come out of the woodworks. Like Dan said, I also think he’s one of the most underrated defencemen. He’s one of the best skaters I’ve ever seen and I rarely see him make a mistake.

After Lazar was signed, people on Twitter weren’t too happy, and I felt like I was one of the few people who had hopes for Lazar. But he’s definitely been worth that $1 million signing. He was somewhat of a low-risk, high-reward signing, and it’s been paying off. After his first game against the Winnipeg Jets, he had good numbers.

Lastly, everyone seemed worried about Mike Smith before the season started, myself included. When the Calgary Flames initially traded for him, everyone was somewhat like “Brad… what are you doing.” But he’s proved us all wrong. He’s been one of the least worrisome things so far this season.