Tyler Toffoli, the savior of the Flames
Among the former players of the Montreal Canadiens, it is not only Jesperi Kotkaniemi who is having a good time these days, because the Calgary Flames can thank Tyler Toffoli if they find themselves in the NHL Western Conference playoff contention again.
The Alberta team signed two wins in as many days, Monday and Tuesday, and on each occasion, the former Habs winger made the difference. He broke the deadlock with 6.2 seconds left in the third period as the team beat the Dallas Stars 5-4. The following day, he scored the game-winning goal on the shootout in a 1-0 win at the expense of the Minnesota Wild.
So head coach Darryl Sutter's troop can encourage each other by seeing the standings. She is four points behind the Winnipeg Jets, holders of the last pass giving access to the playoffs. And Toffoli has had a say in some of his team's successes, as he is heading towards the best production of his career in terms of points: he has 54 in 65 games. In 2015-16, playing for the Los Angeles Kings, he had 58 points in 82 outings.
“I've seen him do that many times,” Sutter, who has headed the forward in California. He is always a man of great occasions, he has shown it many times during his career.
However, it will take everyone's contribution to bring Calgary to a successful conclusion. Jacob Markstrom can also tell himself that he did his big part by repelling 40 shots in 65 minutes on Tuesday. Toffoli also prefers to highlight the good shots of his goalkeeper.
“Honestly, I am so happy for him. He's an amazing guy, a great teammate. Admittedly, his start to the season was not the best and many people criticized him. However, I think he really stood up, especially in the last two games. This was also the case in the games that we did not win; he kept us in the game,” he said.
“He is an excellent goalkeeper and I know he is demanding of himself. He may not know the campaign we hoped for, but we all believe in him, defender MacKenzie Weegar added to the Sportsnet 960 channel. I hope this performance will help his confidence and that we can build on it as a team. »
Now, Toffoli and his cronies will have to maintain the pace and avoid the pitfalls by the end of the regular calendar. For the moment, the Jets seem to be the only club in their sights, the other competitors having a larger lead or a few meetings in hand. The next two games will take place at home and you can't miss them.
“I think you have to win every game,” Sutter told the team's web channel. Whether it's 19 or 20, we have to win.
Having actually 17 games scheduled before the end of hostilities, the Flames host the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.