Blake Coleman is no stranger to the question now.

And neither are we, the curious onlookers, having peppered him weekly for the secret to his team lead in the goal column this year.

Remember, this is a player that once captured the USHL scoring title with 34 tucks – along with 58 helpers for 92 points – back in 2011 with the Indiana Ice. You don’t get to this level, let alone thrive here, without pumping a few at some point along the way.

But here on the world’s top circuit, an impressive landmark like the one in front of him had never quite been in the cards. 

Until now. 

“Yeah, it would be special,” said Coleman, who’s now only one away from cresting the 30-goal mark for the first time in his pro career. “It's definitely a milestone that I don't think many people pegged for me. Anytime you can prove something to yourself and to other people that maybe didn't see it, it would be a good feeling.

“Obviously, you see you’re at 29 and logically you’re like, ‘OK, we’re close. That’s the next step.' I'd be lying if I didn't I didn't have my mind go there, but I don't expect to change my game in any way. Just do what I've been doing and if the results come, it would be nice cherry on top.”


Coleman has thrice hit the 20-goal juncture, playfully noting that some of best campaigns over his eight years on tour came when COVID shortened the schedule.

He had 21 tallies in 57 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2019-20 – a 30-goal pace back then – but was then held off the sheet in nine regular-season appearances after a deadline trade to the Tampa Bay Lightning before the season went on pause.

“I think all my best point-per-game seasons were COVID-shortened. Until this one. I never really knew the full potential, I guess,” laughed Coleman, who smashed his previous career high in lamp-lighters (22) on Feb. 27.

Of his 29 goals this year, three have come on the powerplay, four shorthanded, and another seven have struck into the empty net. 

Six of them have been game-winners, too.

Coleman goes to the net and ties the game at two

Earlier in the season, the 32-year-old remarked how he now has the “bar where it should be,” and that “everyone in Calgary now knows what (his game) is all about.”

As a ‘low mileage’ college grad, Coleman has never considered himself a finished product.

Sure, his role has changed over the years – and after two championships in a bottom-six role, it’s easy to become typecast in the eyes of critics. He still does those things, while thriving in every situation imaginable, which includes both the powerplay and penalty-kill, and supplying the defence-first capacity that Mikael Backlund’s checking line is known for when lining up against the opponent’s top gunners.

And in the process, he’s evolved into one of the great shapers of the Flames’ team culture.

“I think it would be a really neat thing for him,” Head Coach Ryan Huska said of Coleman approaching the milestone. “I think it's a feather in his hat, that he's aged – as we all know, and that's kind of the normal course of action – but I feel like he's gotten better. This year, in particular, for us.

“For him, to be able to get himself to that number is a cool thing, because he hasn't lost who he is. And that's what I love most about him. He's found a way to put the puck in the back of the net, (but) hasn't lost who he is, and that's what makes him a really important player for us.”

Say goodbye to your ‘twenties,’ Blake.

The Dirty Thirties are way more fun, anyway.

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