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Old 02-26-2021, 10:21 PM   #221
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Tkachuk to me really helps highlight the problems with this team, and they are major. I view him as kind of a JJ Watt light in that he is an energy guy, a guy who wants to mix it up to get himself going. Young. Emotional. Fiery. Inevitably, some guys get tired of that shtick (I'm not passing judgment - it's just how I think some guys perceive it) and you need culture and leadership in the room that either makes guys who play like Tkachuk the way that the whole team plays, or at least a room that is strong enough to absorb Tkachuk and all that comes with him. There's a whole identity needed for it to work, but if that identify is there it is a special thing.

This team has no identity. This team lacks leadership. Geoff Ward from everything I can see (which is admittedly only a fan's perspective) doesn't hold the respect of the players, plays hunches wrong the majority of the time (many others have spotlighted his questionable line combinations in crucial moments, I won't go into that here), and overall appears in over his head.

This team has no leadership. Giordano I must believe is a leader off the ice, and I'm sure his fitness regimen and experience in the league are big reasons why. But on the ice he doesn't drive guys like you want your captain to do. He's almost always reliable in his own end and plays smart hockey, but I question whether the young guys respect him because of who he is and what he's done, or whether they respect him so much that they don't want to let him down with lackluster effort. I suspect it's the former, and the latter is why this team is so damned inconsistent. The effort is not there night in and night out, and Tkachuk's abundance of of effort is annoying as a teammate when you're not putting it in yourself.

The team needs an overhaul at the top with a coach that players will be afraid to disappoint, either out of a respect or fear of losing their jobs. Ward inspires neither. If that happens and the effort and consistency don't come with it, then you blow up the core and decide whether inconsistent albeit talented players like Gaudreau or intense albeit emotional players like Tkachuk are going to form what you want your team to be, and build from there.

What I can't handle is more of the status quo; you will have a team that largely doesn't play for each other each night that is talented enough to be an early-bounced playoff team year after year. You'll have players like Tkachuk who are driven to compete leave when the culture of the organization doesn't rise to meet them.

Think about the last time this team was really successful and made you believe they had something special; for me it was the Hartley era Flames. That was a team that worked. That was their identity. You got consistent effort. Guys bought in. MUCH less talented than today's Flames. But better.

For the record, I am obviously a HUGE Tkachuk guy. I think the guy is a winner and a competitor who gives what he has every night (for the most part) and then gets frustrated when others don't match his level of intensity. I also love Giordano - but I think he leads by example much more than by his voice, and this is a group that I believe needs to get their asses kicked by someone they respect on a regular basis. I don't think Giordano is that guy, and I am almost certain that the players haven't had a coach that they really respected since Hartley.

Finally, think for a moment what Tkachuk would look like on a team with a culture that could absorb him. How would he be in Boston? Chicago? Tampa? He'd be outstanding there, and his team would feed on that and become better. That's a culture we don't have, and until we do we will not compete.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:50 PM   #222
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Bit of a hot take here. But if the lines from yesterday's 3rd period stick and Tkachuk and Backlund and Mangiapane stay together for the rest of the season, I think the Flames could go on a run and make the playoffs. Team just needs something like 20 or 21 wins out of 35 to get in? I think it's still doable.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:54 PM   #223
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How can you praise Tkachuk for being this winner and at the same time say the team has no leadership? Is Tkachuk not part of the team or something that he somehow escapes criticism? If Boston or Tampa would feed of his competitiveness and winner mentality why is that not rubbing off on Flames players? It's a real shame that the reality of Matthew Tkachuk is not nearly as impressive as the myth as this team would be in a better place if he actually lived up to the hype.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:14 PM   #224
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Tkachuk talks a great game.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:15 PM   #225
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Originally Posted by Classic_Sniper View Post
Bit of a hot take here. But if the lines from yesterday's 3rd period stick and Tkachuk and Backlund and Mangiapane stay together for the rest of the season, I think the Flames could go on a run and make the playoffs. Team just needs something like 20 or 21 wins out of 35 to get in? I think it's still doable.

It all depends on how Montreal does the rest of the way, and how many 3-point games happen in the division.

Tkachuk has been playing better these last few games IMO.

Last edited by Mathgod; 02-26-2021 at 11:17 PM.
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:44 PM   #226
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Originally Posted by rustycana View Post
Maybe some players just need fans (either home or away) in the stands to play better. Maybe his lack of production stems from that.
There is some truth to that, plenty of athletes are having trouble keeping focused game to game, LeBron James hates it and his game is like a yoyo this season, Tiger Woods said "it's tough, I try to think of the fans watching at home"

But in the end, they're making millions of dollars playing a sport they love so they need to find a way to play hard.
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Old 02-27-2021, 05:29 AM   #227
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Matt has more or less disappeared in the last month or so. He’s a pretty confident guy and it looks like something caused that confidence to subside.

It would have to be either a rift with other players or the coaching staff telling him to tone his routine down. He doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would lose confidence over an extended streak of weak point production. I would think that would motivate him.

If I was putting money on it my guess would be he doesn’t feel like his teammates really have his back. Which caused him to tune out a bit and dial back the intensity.
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Old 02-27-2021, 09:33 AM   #228
Iggy Snipe
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Whether we like to admit this or not as Flames fans, Matthew Tkachuk is not a franchise elite player, nor will he ever be. Our expectations for this guy and even his expectations for that matter are way too high. Tkachuk is a top line winger, thats where he tops out. He's a fantastic part of any team, but I sure hope Calgary doesn't think this guy is there saviour.

In my opinion he is a 25 goal guy and will range from 60-75 points at best, in his prime, which is right now.

He brings so much to this team, like intensity, heart, net front presence, and no one can deflect a puck better. He really reminds me of Draper, who made a living deflecting pucks and was so good down low. He was a very important part of Detroits cup winning teams.

Other than that, he has 'great' hands in tight, 'good' vision, 'average' playmaking abilities, 'below' average speed, 'below' average shot, and is an 'average' defender in our own zone.

Matthew Tkachuk is an absolute horrible skater. It doesn't get much worse for NHL players. He has zero acceleration, low top end speed, and falls on his *** 10 times a game. Skating is the number one thing Tkachuk doesn't have (unlike his brother).

This is why he can't take a team on his back and make players better around him. This is why he is not a player you can build your entire team around. He is always going to be very important, but he is not ever going to be 'the guy'. If Calgary does think he is 'the guy', they will never be a cup contending team.

What Tkachuk does, and why he is so valuable, is he drags his teammates into the fight (the game), and his give a #### level will always be the highest. He wants to win more than anyone on Calgary, and that is a true leader. This guy could easily be Calgarys next captain (which i think he should).

These things you can't teach, and you can't force a guy to have. This is in his DNA.

Matthew Tkachuk is an extremely important piece to Calgary team, but lets stop short of he is 'the guy'. Calgary has to lower their expectations for Tkachuk because he is not playing the way he should be. He is trying to be someone he is not right now. I would hate to see how bad Calgary is as a team if Tkachuk is ever their best player. Every player on ever team has their roles, and they are all an important role. Calgary needs every player to play to their strengths.

Last edited by Iggy Snipe; 02-27-2021 at 09:36 AM.
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