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The 3rd and 4th lines

November 14, 2017


Great win against the Blues, I hope Bennet's confidence builds as quickly as Jankowski's has since getting off the snide. The entire 3rd line looked great last night. I am glad for Bennet but what I was happiest to see was the strong performance of Jankowski the game after getting his first goal. The line between being a player with promise or enough skill to play but never getting over the hump and an everyday contributing NHL player is very fine. Although Jankowski has size and skill and a strong ability of positioning himself well, I have been afraid of what has looked like poor strength on his skates and timid attitude could cause him to have a fragile confidence, possibly not allowing him to play to his potential. Now with what I have seen I feel Janks will likely continue to grow into the player he can be. A 3rd line that plays like the Janks, Bennet, Jagr did last night makes the Flames a Stanley Cup contending team. 

Nothing to do with anything else but I am concerned and frustrated that when the Flames pick up their offensive output it seems to have a direct impact on the team defence.

It feels like I am looking at the Flames through Rose coloured glasses after a win but I also liked the 4th line yesterday. Brouwer has been playing well for a while but the 4th line will go as long a Versteeg keeps interest in playing 5X5 hockey. The 4th line needs to be professional night in and night out. They are the Flames most experienced line, especially with Stajan in the line up so a consistent  effort and level of play is needed from them. 

I hope Smith is not seriously injured but if he misses anytime who should they bring up ? And play ?

I know the common answer would be Gillies but I think  Rittich deserves a shot. His numbers have been consistently a little better and before the organization loses him because of not giving him a chance, I would give him one and see if his manages to keep his consistency going at the NHL level. Lack looks so, so at best, I would definitely let Rittich get a couple games in.


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