Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan: Dynamic duo

DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 06 2016: (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 06 2016: (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Calgary Flames have been having problems with offensive production, but one thing’s certain: Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan were meant to play together.

I’ve always thought that everything happens for a reason. And in the case of Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan playing together for the Calgary Flames, that belief still stands. Since Gaudreau’s rookie season in 2014-15, they’ve been a dynamic duo.

So far this season, they’re both having career years to start their season off. We’re only 16 games in, but they’re both projected at having their best seasons of their NHL careers so far. Gaudreau is projected at having over 100 points for the first time (knock on wood) and Monahan’s projected at having his first ever 40-goal season.

Monahan so far has eight goals on the year. All of them have been assisted by Johnny Hockey™.

Johnny Gaudreau is currently third in the NHL in points with 22 points. Which is insane to me, seeing how nobody is really talking about him. Both Johnny and Monahan are on six-game point streaks.

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Right now, Monahan and Gaudreau have a combined total of 38 points. Only four other duos in the NHL are ahead of them. Steven Stamkos and Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning (59 points), Jaden Schwartz and Vladimir Tarasenko of the St. Louis Blues (41 points), Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers (41 points), and Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele of the Winnipeg Jets (39 points).

In fact, the only two players who have more points than Johnny Gaudreau are the force of Stamkos and Kucherov together. But I mean that’s not exactly fair since they’re not even human.

Even members of the Calgary Flames coaching and management staff are marvelling at Gaudreau’s season this year and how incredible he’s been performing.

CALGARY, AB – NOVEMBER 9 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images)
CALGARY, AB – NOVEMBER 9 2017: (Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images) /


"“Right now,” reckons the Flames assistant coach, Martin Gelinas, “Johnny isn’t only on a whole different level. It’s almost as if he’s on a whole other planet. Like he was, I dunno … possessed.“He gets the puck and wants to make things happen. So bad. Every single shift. You can’t take your eyes off him, in case you might miss something. It’s so much fun to watch.“He’s just feeding off of everything. Can he maintain it?“I think he can.”“Boy, has he been good,” agrees Flames’ coach Glen Gulutzan. “Both sides of the puck, for me.“Just his offensive flair. His persistence, his tracking, his hounding of pucks. I just see the passion and the fire, the love of the game, there again. Passion fuels everything, right?“He just looks stronger and quicker, he’s in and out of areas fast. A very confident, high-end player, for sure. When those top players start feeling it, they’re tough to stop.”"

Related Story: Johnny Gaudreau is already miles better than last season

Not only has he been more confident, but he’s also playing a smarter game. Last season, Johnny would deke the puck a lot and many times, he would give it away by trying to be fancy. So far this season, especially the last few games, he’s been way smarter. He doesn’t deke when he doesn’t need to and he rarely gets the puck taken away from him.

"“If you told me right now that Johnny was going to win the Art Ross at the end of the year, I wouldn’t bat an eye. He’s playing that well,” Acknowledged assistant GM Craig Conroy."

Not only is the staff of the Flames noticing his career-season, but his teammates are too. Especially linemate Sean Monahan.


"“I mean, that’s … Johnny,” reasoned Sean Monahan, as if the out-of-the-ordinary were the most normal, natural thing in the world. “We see it day-in and day-out.“He reads the game better than anybody I know. He sees the ice better than anybody I know.“That’s his hockey sense. Quick feet, quick hands. If you can get open in a quality spot, a quiet area, you’re going to get the puck.”"

Don’t worry Monny, we haven’t forgotten about you either.

Related Story: Sean Monahan Named to Top 20 Best Centers List


"“It’s incredible,” said Gelinas. “And he’s so young and he’s got so much growth and potential that he’s only going to get better. And it sure helps to have (Johnny Gaudreau) playing with him. But he’s got a knack for getting to the right place at the right time.“He’s got a talent, he’s got a gift, for just finding that little space,” he continued. “And he has a quick release, too, so even if he has just a foot he’ll take advantage of it. He’s so good, so quick in tight.”"

Going back to the duo together, at 5v5, Sean Monahan plays the best when Johnny Gaudreau is on the ice with him. Not even just among forwards, but among all the players on the Calgary Flames roster. Among forwards, his CF% (5v5) is the third highest when playing with Gaudreau at 55.31%. The only two players ahead of that is Jaromir Jagr and Micheal Ferland. But without Gaudreau, his CF% is the worst. Monahan without Gaudreau has a CF% of 42.86%.

Gaudreau without Monahan has a CF% of 48.05%. That’s the second-worst among forwards (min. 10 TOI) after Jaromir Jagr.

If we look at line combos who have spent at least 100 minutes playing together, Monahan, Gaudreau, and Micheal Ferland are sixth in CF%. One combo ahead of them is the Flames’ 3M line and the only line above them with two linemates who have more points than Gaudreau and Monahan is the line with Schwartz and Tarasenko.

As we saw with Jiri Hudler when he was with the Calgary Flames in 2014-15, and we saw with Ferland last year and this year, and with Jagr this year, these two together play well with just about anyone you put with them. I mean.. except for Troy Brouwer. But he doesn’t exactly play well with anyone.

Next: Top five Flames players through first 15 games

These two together are a force. Johnny Gaudreau’s play-making abilities gel incredibly with Sean Monahan’s goal-scoring skills. They really are two peas in a pod.