The Calgary Flames made the decision to keep Sean Monahan for the entire season at the NHL level after his initial nine-game stint was a very impressive one. The statistics have tapered off somewhat since a remarkable start, but the 19-year-old continues to be a key contributor. For the second time in less than a week, Monahan tallied the game winning marker in a shootout as the Flames defeated the Florida Panthers 4-3. He had also notched a shootout game-winner against the Winnipeg Jets. Monahan showed poise in both shootout efforts and maybe head coach Bob Hartley will consider using him in his top-3 shooters moving forward rather than having him wait until the sixth and eighth rounds. The victory improved the Flames’ record to 8-11-4 on the season and they’ve secured five of a possible six points in their last three contests.
Monahan continues to show signs that he belongs, he’s got good size at 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, and isn’t afraid of going to the difficult scoring areas and getting involved when he needs to. He’s looked good on a line with Jiri Hudler and Sven Baertschi. The Flames are hoping that Baertschi scoring against Florida can get the youngster going. He’s been a healthy scratch at times this season. However, against the Panthers you could see Baertschi grow in confidence after notching just his second goal of the season.
The Flames continue to be a team that are involved in very-tight contests on a regular basis. While the expectations of Flames’ fans were pretty tempered going into the 2013-14 campaign, Monahan is definitely exceeding what was expected of him. With 8 goals and 6 assists in 23 games, and two game-winning shootout markers to his credit, Monahan is rightly being mentioned as one of the top rookies in the league.
Rick Lafitte is an NHL Writer for Rant Sports