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Gaudreau, Monahan and Ferland lead the charge to round out season-long homestand


If you're a betting man, you'd be wise to go all in on this trio.

Tonight, the Flames' season-long seven-game homestand comes to an end, as they host the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome (7 p.m., TV: SNW, Radio: Sportsnet 960 The FAN).

The Flames have won four of six games through this stand, thanks in large part to the line of Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan and Micheal Ferland.

Gaudreau has 22 points in 16 games, which has him tied for fourth in league-wide scoring, headed into tonight's game. 

He and linemate Sean Monahan have both gotten on the board every game throughout this homestand, each riding six-game point streaks. Gaudreau has scored 10 points over that time, while Monahan has eight.

Rounding out their line has been Micheal Ferland, who has six points of his own during this stretch, and has been garnering a lot of praise for his play.

"It's great," Monahan said. "Ferly's put a lot of pucks in the net at important times. … So I mean, he's working hard, and he's doing a great job, so I think he's really benefiting our team right now.

"You even saw last game, Backs gave him the puck there, and he skated right to the net," Monahan explained, referring to Ferland's deke-out goal against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. "Sometimes guys don't do that when you don't have that confidence."

Gaudreau agreed that Ferland has been huge for their line.

"I think just the way he's been competing for us," he said. "He's been a top player for us, he's helping us win games, he's good in the defensive zone, he's good and strong in the offensive zone, he screens the goalies, he's got a great shot."

Coach Glen Gulutzan noted that Ferland's impact doesn't always show up on the scoresheet, but he's consistently doing little things the coaches' notice.

"It's confidence, he's skating," Gulutzan said. "I think that he's doing the little things and he's all over the net. He's all over the net. And when you're all over the net you get chances. And when skilled guys, and Ferly is skilled, when they get chances, you start to feel it. You start to feel more confident throughout a game. You're getting touches of the puck, and good things happen."

Jaromir Jagr's return from injury has allowed the Flames to get more out of their lineup, as well. 

"I thought they were all over offensively," Gulutzan said of Jagr's new line, with Sam Bennett and Mark Jankowski. "He made some great plays last game obviously, finished off a scoring chance from Johnny, but with Jankowski and Bennett, he certainly gives them some flair. Those guys are working for him, and he can make plays and get them in good situations, so they look like they're getting a little bit of chemistry."

Gaudreau mentioned that Jagr's presence on the team has paid dividends for players like himself, as well.

"I think it's a great signing for us," he said. "He's really helped us young guys out. We pick his brain all the time and he's always chatting with us and making us get better, whether it's on the ice or off the ice. So I think for all of us, we can learn from him throughout the season and hopefully make it a pretty special season."

Count Jagr a big fan of Gaudreau's, as well. 

"Obviously I see a lot of stuff, but I don't want to talk about it, because some people might listen and they would concentrate on it," he said. "But the way he plays, there's not many guys can play that way, for sure. His advantage is he's always moving the legs. Not only the legs, then even the hands together. So you don't know, is he going to pass, is he going to skate, not many guys can do at the same time, move the legs and hands.

"I've never played with that small guy. It was a different league," he explained. "If you were under six-foot, you wouldn't have a team, they wouldn't draft you at all. So there was only special guys smaller than six-foot to play in the league. But the league is different, and he's very special guy, and he put in night after night, today he can create the chances for himself, and team and linemates, it's pretty impressive."


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