Matthew Tkachuk was another player who had a great week and continues to improve. He’s really solidified his game and has matured immensely since his rookie season. This past week, he led the Calgary Flames with two goals and seven points.
But not only were his points impressive, but he also did it all without his number one centreman: Mikael Backlund. In two of the games this week, Backlund was out due to a concussion, but Tkachuk still impressed on that second line with, not trying to be harsh, but with mediocre linemates.
In fact, in the game against the Flyers, he had four assists. That was the second time he’s reached four assists in a game and, according to hockey reference, he became only the sixth player since 1987 to reach four assists in a game multiple times through the age of 21 years old, and only the fourth active player.
He also finally scored against the Blues on Sunday which was his first time getting a goal against his hometown team. With 40 points on the year so far, he’s only nine points away from reaching a career-high — and it’s not even halfway through the season yet. He’s well on pace to beat his records. Also, fun fact: In his dad’s third full season, he averaged 1.06 pts/gp. Matthew right now is averaging 1.18 pts/gp. In his rookie season, Matthew averaged 0.63 pts/gp. His dad averaged 0.61. Nothing to do with this week, just thought it was neat to note.
But for all the reasons considered, Tkachuk earned our first start of the week.
This next week will be tough for the Flames. They’ll play the Dallas Stars who are currently on a four-game losing streak and are desperate for a win. The Stars also beat the Flames in OT about three weeks ago. The Flames will also battle the league-leading Tampa Bay Lightning who were on an eight-game win streak before their OT loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
Some big, important games coming up and more reasons for players to shine and earn stars of the week.