Sports Tailor-made for the playoffs: Why feisty Calgary Flames rookie Matthew Tkachuk is built for this time of year

20:25  13 april  2017
20:25  13 april  2017 Source:   nationalpost.com

Flames goalie Chad Johnson injured vs. Ducks

  Flames goalie Chad Johnson injured vs. Ducks Calgary Flames goaltender Chad Johnson’s night was cut short on Tuesday after a lower-body injury limited his playing time to just over five minutes. #Flames G Chad Johnson attended to by trainer on ice, laves for locker-room. G Brian Elliott now in net for Calgary.— Wes Gilbertson (@WesGilbertson) April 5, 2017Johnson made just one save in his short appearance. It’s unclear what caused the injury, but the Flames announced soon after he headed to the dressing room that he would not return. #Flames Injury Update: Chad Johnson (lower body) will not return.

“ Matthew Tkachuk … I played with his dad, coached his dad,” Carlyle said on the eve of Game 1 of a best-of-seven showdown between the Ducks and Calgary Flames . This kid, it seems, is tailor - made for this time of year . He hopes so.

Calgary Flames rookie and son of former NHL player, Matthew Tkachuk , has been taking off since basically his tenth NHL game. So why isn’t his name part of Calder nomination conversations?

STORY-SLUG-.jpeg: Jim Wells / Postmedia Network © Jim Wells / Postmedia Network Jim Wells / Postmedia Network CAL0417-gya-10-JPG.jpeg: Gavin Young / Postmedia Network © Gavin Young / Postmedia Network Gavin Young / Postmedia Network

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Randy Carlyle figures it might be time to call in a favour.

Not that the Anaheim Ducks bench boss expected this particular gameplan would work.

“Matthew Tkachuk … I played with his dad, coached his dad,” Carlyle said on the eve of Game 1 of a best-of-seven showdown between the Ducks and Calgary Flames. “So I’ll ask his dad to discipline him. Maybe I’ll make a phone call to his dad.”

Worth a try, right?

“Well, if he’s as thick-headed as his dad, then I don’t think the phone call is going to do me any good,” Carlyle said with a chuckle.

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The Calgary Flames picked up Matthew Tkachuk with a steal of a pick with the sixth overall pick at the 2016 NHL draft. And he’ll continue to prove why he was a steal of a sixth-pick. Load Comments. Top Stories. Flame for Thought 53w agoCalgary Flames Rookie Matthew Tkachuk Is Settling Right

The Flames won't be making the playoffs , so there's no real reason to push Tkachuk to return. The Calgary Flames have announced that Matthew Tkachuk (upper body) didn't make the trip to Vegas and will miss the next two games.

Gavin Young / Postmedia Network

Keith Tkachuk, en route to Slovakia to cheer on his youngest son, Brady, at the 2017 IIHF Under-18 World Hockey Championship, might have multiple voicemails.

One from his former Winnipeg Jets teammate, Carlyle, asking if he can somehow convince Matthew to behave during what promises to be a feisty and physical first-round series. And one from the Flames, wondering if he could get to Anaheim for Thursday’s Game 1 at Honda Center — plus, on a related note, whether he’d be willing to bring his skates.

“I wish we had Keith right now, too,” quipped Calgary’s head coach, Glen Gulutzan, after a slip-of-the-tongue by a reporter. “That wouldn’t be a bad guy to have.”

The Flames are thrilled to have 19-year-old Matthew on their side.

Sharks beat Flames 3-1 in regular-season finale

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Calgary Flames . Carolina Hurricanes. Chicago Blackhawks. Matthew Tkachuk is an asset the Flames didn’t even know they had when the season started. Is it time to reunite Bennett with Tkachuk ? (Side note: Brouwer is one of the few Flames that can make Tkachuk a sub-50% CF player.)

In recent weeks, there’s been another Calgary Flames forward getting some buzz for an end of season award. What about Matthew Tkachuk for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year ? While guessing how voters might think it is a fool’s errand

Heading into the series opener, there’s a sense of intrigue about what we might see from Calgary’s rambunctious rookie, not only the youngest skater in the 2017 playoffs but perhaps also the least likely to turn into a wallflower at his first spring dance.

With spades of skill and hockey sense and a nose for the net, kids might want to watch and learn. With his nasty streak, their parents might be tempted to switch the channel if the score starts to look a wee bit lopsided in either direction.

Jim Wells / Postmedia Network

Nice plays? No problem. Play nice? Doesn’t seem to be his style.

“I just try to go out there and do what I can do,” Tkachuk said after Wednesday’s practice at Honda Center, where the Flames are aiming to snap a 27-game losing skid that dates back to when he was eight years old. “I know that the way I’ve played my whole life is the way I’m going to play this series and, moving forward, for the rest of my career.”

Playoffs Preview: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks

  Playoffs Preview: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks ***ImagePlaceholder*** https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/thumbor/BCa52AUxPwQ2ynar_Wo_yleOFRs=/0x273:4290x2686/1920x1080/cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/54164567/usa_today_9994053.0.jpg Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Calgary and Anaheim played 5 times during the regular season, so what’s 4 to 7 more? 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round: Calgary Flames vs Anaheim Ducks The Flames Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames ' Matthew Tkachuk has enjoyed a lot of winning on his hockey journey. And the rambunctious rookie plays with a nasty streak that seems tailor - made for this time of year . Ask Drew Doughty.

He may not be piling up the points like Matthews and Laine, nor logging the kind of minutes Werenski does, but he’s quietly playing excellent hockey for the Calgary Flames . If the Flames get back into the playoffs this season Tkachuk will be a big reason why .

Which is, if you missed his 76 outings for the Flames during the regular season, not much different from how his father played. Keith racked up 538 goals and 1,065 points across 18 seasons. As one of the NHL’s elite power forwards, he could do damage many different ways.

Proof the apple didn’t fall far from the tree (and isn’t afraid to be bruised), Matthew managed 13 goals and 35 assists as a freshman and also served a team-high 105 minutes in the penalty box.

The Flames’ fearless freshman didn’t think his father would be relaying any messages from the Ducks coaching staff, but Keith did have some advice for his boy.

“He just says you have to play hard and you have to just play the way you’ve played so far this season and continue to play the same way in playoffs,” Matthew said. “Because at this point, there’s no waiting around and there’s no waiting for that next game and that next series. You have to go out and do it every game.”

A lot of folks have been waiting for this — to see what sort of magic and mayhem the mouthguard-chomping left-winger will provide during his first playoff run. This kid, it seems, is tailor-made for this time of year.

He hopes so.

“I haven’t done anything in the playoffs, so I don’t listen to anything like that,” Matthew said. “I mean, I have to go out and prove it.”

That starts Thursday.

“Watching the Stanley Cup playoffs every year, watching the finals, watching Game 7s, Game 7 overtimes. It’s something that you just dream about when you’re younger,” he said, recalling the Carolina Hurricanes’ championship run in 2006 — the same year that the Flames last celebrated a win in Anaheim — as his first vivid memory of watching the spring slugfests.

“So now that it’s here and I’m playing Game 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs, it’s pretty crazy and it’s exciting.”

NHL roundup: Ducks sweep Flames .
NHL roundup: Ducks sweep Flames

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