Monahan, Coronato, Sutter and more

In this edition of Calgary Flames News & Rumors, Sean Monahan’s tough season got even worse last week as he was knocked out healthy in back-to-back games. Meanwhile, prospect Matthew Coronato is expected to return to Harvard for the 2022-23 season. In an interesting tidbit recently, head coach Darryl Sutter explained the importance of analysis in today’s NHL. Finally, defenseman Noah Hanifin was able to play his 500th NHL game on Saturday night.

Monahan hits a new low

Monahan’s struggles over the past few seasons have been well documented, especially lately. The 27-year-old is having his worst NHL season to date, with just eight goals and 22 points in 63 games. He is currently in the worst period of his career, having failed to register a point in his last 14 games. Due to his poor play, Sutter gave him a healthy forfeit Friday night against the Arizona Coyotes, as well as Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers.

Sean Monahan, Calgary Flames (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

“You have to look at the big picture with Sean, of course,” Sutter told reporters. “He had major hip surgery last summer, and he’s been working his cue to come back and be ready. … I’d say his first 40 games were good games, but I think he’s had a hard time. badly offensively over his last 20 to 25. You know, I should have watched how much he was playing a little more. I should have watched how much he was playing a little more. Which means I should have given him some games he wasn’t playing. That’s my plan now. I’m not too worried about that, I think he’s still a big part of the future.

In the first seven seasons of his career, Monahan never scored less than 22 goals. However, he only found the back of the net 10 times last season and is struggling even more in 2021-22. As Sutter mentioned, his hip surgery, along with many other injuries he’s suffered over the course of his career, likely play a big role in his down game.

Coronato should return to Harvard

According to Elliotte Friedman, Coronato is expected to return to Harvard for the 2022-23 season. Many believed the 19-year-old, who was picked 13th overall by the Flames in 2021, would sign an entry-level contract after his 18-goal, 36-point debut season. This no longer seems to be the case.

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“The Flames are going to talk to him for the next two days,” Friedman wrote in his latest blog 32 Thoughts. “It’s widely believed that he’s going back to Harvard for another season. But I know Flames fans are worried about it because of the history, but I don’t feel like the Flames at all. are worried about it.

While the decision may be disappointing for some, it’s by no means a bad idea for Coronato to have another college season to continue his development. He remains one of the Flames’ best prospects and seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.

Sutter talks about the importance of analytics

Over the past few seasons, analytics are really starting to change the way some NHL executives make decisions. For the most part, the new minds in hockey are the ones who really appreciate these numbers, while those who have been in the game for a long time seem to play them down. That’s not the case for Sutter, however, who recently opened up about how he and his team scrutinize them.

“I just think it’s an evolutionary process,” Sutter said. “We have new [analytics] the staff and we spent a lot of time together this summer trying to connect it more with individual performance, team performance, opponent performance, consecutive performance, home road performance, a lot of those things and then linking it with management side. To be completely honest, the analyzes were launched not for what is on the ice, but rather to be used in negotiations, arbitration, things like that. In its early days, it was not used for training purposes. Teams that do it right bond together.

“We built what we wanted in Los Angeles to help the locker room and the players more. I think today’s player wants this information because it’s not a criticism. It shows them performance based on something a computer puts out about you. So you can put whatever you want, it can help players in different ways. It helps them keep a tighter focus and it takes away some of the emotion from the player-coach perspective where it’s factual. Instead of your opinion, this is it. It helps a lot with these kids going out, going pro because they’re now being raised in elite environments and getting that kind of feedback when they’re young. It’s just a sequel. »

Calgary Flames Darryl Sutter
Calgary Flames head coach Darryl Sutter (Amy Irvin/The Hockey Writers)

This thought process explains why Sutter has been the league’s head coach for so long and why he is able to continue to adapt. Clearly, what he’s doing is working, as the Flames are running away with the Pacific Division when he appears to be the favorite for the Jack Adams award.

Hanifin dresses up for the Game 500

Although he’s only 25, Hanifin has been in the NHL for a long time. He first cracked the Carolina Hurricanes roster in 2015-16, just months after being selected fifth overall. He played three seasons with the Canes before being acquired in a blockbuster trade which saw Elias Lindholm go with him, while Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland went the other way.

He’s now in his fourth season with the Flames and has become a very legit top-four defenseman in the NHL. Although he doesn’t always get a ton of recognition, he was talked about a lot last Saturday as he prepared to play his 500th NHL game against the Oilers. It’s a very impressive achievement for anyone, let alone someone as young as him. Assuming he’s able to stay healthy for years to come, he should have no problem hitting the 1000 game mark.

Next for the Flames

The Flames have three games on the schedule this week, the first Tuesday against arguably the best team in the NHL, the Colorado Avalanche. The two met earlier this month in a closely contested battle that saw the Flames come away with a 4-3 overtime win. They will then have a division game Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings, before facing the St. Louis Blues on Saturday.

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