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Maybe it’s because Johnny Gaudreau has been a productive scorer since day one. Almost literally.
Gaudreau scored a goal in his first NHL game with the Calgary Flames, undersized forward then generated 24 goals and 64 points as a rookie in 2014-15, his only appearance in 2013-14. The slick, and really hasn’t missed a beat.
While there were plenty of questions heading into 2017-18 for Calgary – goaltending, Jaromir Jagr, depth on defense and offense – everyone just assumed Gaudreau would keep scoring. So perhaps that explains why people aren’t making much of a deal about Gaudreau scoring even more than usual.
As of Tuesday, Gaudreau is in a four-way tie for second in NHL scoring with 54 points.
the Flames forward was named NHL’s first star of the week,After scoring two goals and six assists for eight points in four games, a stretch of seven games, 11 assists for 13 points)., ahead of teammate Mike Smith (also red-hot). His point streak actually extends into 2017,
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, five of which were multi-point (two goals
Gaudreau set career-highs in goals (30) and points (78) in 79 games back in 2015-16. While he’s at a solid goal-scoring clip of 15 so far this season,
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, his playmaking is what might make this his best work. Gaudreau is averaging 1.2 points-per game,
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, a pace of about 98 points during an 82-game season.
Upon hearing about Gaudreau’s All-Star nod about a week ago, Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan did a great job summarizing what makes him so effective.
“I think he gets the best looks in the National Hockey League,” Gulutzan said, it’s pretty amazing. For not a big guy, via the Calgary Sun. “He puts himself into position every game to create and shoot. Just the way he navigates himself on the ice and can handle the puck, agility and high hockey I.Q. that allows him to do it. He’s our engine for generating offense.”,
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, he can strip guys of pucks and get those kind of opportunities, too. It’s a combination of speed
This goal Gaudreau scored against the Stars on Nov. 24 is a great example of his ability to “strip guys of pucks,” and why he’s such a nightmare to defend.
and hopefully not getting too rusty,
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,Gaudreau and the Flames are currently resting up on a bye week,
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, the Flames will play six of their next seven games at home,
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, as Calgary owns the longest active winning streak in the NHL at seven games. Beginning on Saturday,
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,so there’s a solid chance that they’ll keep their strong play going.
If so, the Flames – and Gaudreau – will be difficult to ignore.
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