1. Finally, the forwards seem complete
Last, but certainly not least, we have the entire forwards lineup. For the first time in years, the Calgary Flames seem like they finally have a full, solid forward lineup group. The Flames have definitely upgraded their forwards and finally, not only have a solid top-nine for the first time in a while, but actually seem to have a complete set of all four lines.
Unlike last season where the team was essentially like, “Well, Troy Brouwer didn’t quite work out on the top line with Monahan and Gaudreau… but Curtis Lazar isn’t exactly fitting well either… I guess Micheal Ferland, although inconsistent, will work out here.” Now, it seems like the Flames actually have plenty of options to choose from.
For the season opener, Elias Lindholm will start on that top line. But it appears as though James Neal or Dillon Dube can work on that line as well. Same goes with the second line – for now, Michael Frolik is on a line with Matthew Tkachuk and Mikael Backlund but put Austin Czarnik or James Neal and that could be a great second line as well. Even Tkachuk can fit well on the first line with Monahan and Gaudreau.
They have plenty of options to choose from, and much more than they’ve had in years. It’s an exciting time for Flames offence, especially since this team struggled last year with offence. And there will be guys – like Dube and Czarnik – who will be trying to prove themselves worthy of staying up at the NHL level and attempt to generate as much offence as they can.
No matter what, it seems as though Flames fans are finally being blessed with a full forward group.
What are you most excited for this season?