A Calgary Flames team that little was expected of this season is now 1-0-1 after getting a big win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. Rookie Sean Monahan scored his first career goal in only his second game, and Joey MacDonald got his first win of the season in net. The Flames selected Monahan sixth overall in the 2013 draft, and the rebuilding Flames appear ready to give him at least a short look before they decide if they will keep him around all season or send him back to juniors.
Monahan is getting time on the third line with Sven Baertschi and Lee Stempniak, and is also getting a chance on the power play alongside Stempniak and Mickael Backlund. He’ll turn 19 years old in a week, and while the likely course of action is sending him back to the Oshawa Generals, the Flames really have little to lose if they keep him around for the entire season if he can continue to be effective. Monahan scored 31 goals and had 78 points for the Generals last season, his second consecutive season of averaging more than a point per game.
The Flames lost in a shootout to the Washington Capitals in their season opener on Thursday night, but taking a point from that game was still a great start. With eight goals in two games, the Flames’ offense is off to a great start. Monahan’s goal wasn’t the only reason for a big win on Friday, but the young center is showing he can contribute and will be an important piece of Calgary’s rebuilding process.