The goals have arrived.
Throughout October, the Flames scored 27 goals: some of the fewest in the NHL. They were still winning games, but the puck was just refusing to go in the net.
Not so much the case now.
Just over halfway through November, the Flames are up to 29 goals already, one of the highest-scoring teams in the NHL this month.
The goals have come fast and furious over the past couple of games: four against the New Jersey Devils, not counting their shootout winner. Six against the Detroit Red Wings. Seven against the St. Louis Blues. And then another five against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Leading the charge has been Johnny Gaudreau. Throughout his career, the winger has proved time and time again that size is no issue; now that he sits third in the NHL in scoring with 29 points in 19 games, the message seems to really be getting through.
"I think Johnny is just doing a lot of little things right on both sides of the puck," head coach Glen Gulutzan said on Sunday. "He's got a lot of jump in his step, it seems. He's refreshed. He's got great energy. He's shooting the more, I think, too, which is helping him from the flanks and the powerplay. He's getting more shots off. I think that when you're as good of a playmaker as he is, to be able to shoot the puck and keep guys honest is a good thing."
Gaudreau is riding amidst a couple of career highs: nine-game point streak. Five-game goal streak. 17 points over that time and, evidently, unstoppable.
11 of those points have come at even strength, while his six powerplay points during the ongoing streak have helped the Flames' powerplay jump up to a 20.6% success rate. So it's not that Gaudreau needs the extra help the man advantage provides to score - but he's certainly not going to say no to it.
While Gaudreau's linemates have been helping with the charge - Sean Monahan, with his first career hat trick, has the team lead with 11 goals on the season, while Micheal Ferland has exploded for eight of his own - everyone else has been stepping up, as well.
Against the Blues last Monday, every single line scored at least a goal. Michael Frolik became the third different Flames to score an overtime winner this season. TJ Brodie has stepped up to collect 14 points on the season; this time last season, he had four.
"We were stuggling a little bit at the start of the season but I think everyone has settled in and finding the net a little bit here," Gaudreau said. "When we get our chances, we've got to make sure we find the net because it's important in close games."
Taking the train? Better press properly for it. The Flames made the trek from Philadelphia to Washington D.C in style, dressed in the finest 1950's fashion … The Flames made their first ever trip to Detroit's new Little Caesars Arena. It's also the 65th NHL arena Jaromir Jagr has played in over his career … Shoutouts to Flames prospects Andrew Mangiapane, Adam Ruzicka, Glenn Gawdin, and Matthew Phillips, who are all among the top scorers in their respective leagues … Members of the Calgary Stampeders came to the Saddledome to cheer on the Flames; the Flames are wishing the Stamps well in turn, as they host the Western Final Sunday against the Edmonton Eskimos.
Welcome to the Flames, Glenn Gawdin.
Gawdin was an invitee to the Flames' rookie camp before the season started, and played well for the team during the Penticton Young Stars Classic.
Though he was let go in camp, the Flames kept an eye on him - and with 42 points over 19 games for the Swift Current Broncos (so far), decided it was time to ink him to a three-year entry-level contract.
The 20-year-old right-shot centre is third in WHL scoring, behind just his linemates, Tyler Steenbergen and Aleksi Heponiemi, and ahead of fellow Flames prospect Matthew Phillips. Not bad at all for what will be his final junior season.
MONDAY: Talk about a scoring explosion. Mark Jankowski scored twice, Sam Bennett got his first of the season, and Ferland, Versteeg, Gaudreau, and Frolik contributed in a massive 7-4 win over the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome. It was Eddie Lack's first win as a Flame, as Mike Smith left after the first period with an injury.
WEDNESDAY: Gaudreau and Ferland continued their point streaks in a loss to the Detroit Red Wings - Gaudreau picked up a goal and an assist while Ferland pushed his goal scoring streak to five games in the setback.
SATURDAY: Monahan scored his first career hat trick, Gaudreau had yet another three-point game, and Frolik picked up the overtime winner in a thrilling 5-4 matinee game. Smith returned to the crease with a win.