The Flames clinched the Pacific Division, while Matthew Tkachuk reached the 100-plateau for the first time in his career in last night’s victory over the Dallas Stars.
Players setting individual milestones has become commonplace this season, with Tkachuk the latest to join the club. He scored his 40th goal on the power-play off a smart quasi wraparound, which coincided with his 100th point.
Tkachuk became the 10th Flame to reach the 100-point mark in franchise history.
He joins Johnny Gaudreau with 100 points or more this season, becoming the first Flames duo to reach the mark since Theo Fleury (104 points) and Al MacInnis (103) in 1990-91. Tkachuk also surpassed his father Keith’s all-time best mark of 99 points.
The dynamo from Scottsdale, Arizona is a generational talent, but nobody expected him to tally 100 points in the same season. It’s an exceptional bonus for the Flames, whose aspirations don’t stop at securing the Pacific Division.
After securing first place in the division and home ice advantage until at least the Conference Final, the Flames enjoyed a solid, playoff-like win against the Stars, another possible first-round opponent.
Other than taking too many penalties, the Flames played a complete game and looked much fresher than they did in Nashville on Tuesday, yet another example of the benefits of a day off.
Does securing first mean more rest for Jacob Markström?
The question on everyone’s mind post-game revolved around Calgary’s ace netminder and whether he will enjoy a few day’s rest in the last week of the regular season.
Darryl Sutter was actually quite chatty in response to the question, saying his star goaltender has enjoyed numerous extended breaks over the course of the campaign, a few of which forced during the Covid interruption.
Sutter feels Markstrom is rolling along nicely and isn’t in need of any extra rest before the playoffs start.
However, he’ll probably start against Vancouver on Saturday and then rest for Nashville and either Minnesota or Winnipeg, providing another four or five-day break in advance of the postseason. Two more starts will give him 64 on the season.
And while the debate rages on as to whether he’s overworked, pundits and Flames fans alike should have more faith in Sutter’s decisions by now. He’s only taken a non-playoff team to the peak of the Pacific Division just over a year in charge.