At 23 years old and far more deserving of his nickname than the guy it was swiped and adapted from, Calgary Flames winger Johnny Gaudreau is already one of the NHL’s most exciting players, and maybe the one you can least afford to take your eye off of, even when he’s back in his own zone with four defenders between him and the net. Witness this incredible power-play goal against the Penguins last night, in which Gaudreau carved through everyone so quickly, no one ever really had the time or the angle to really challenge him.
It looks, honestly, like a man skating against kids. But with that speed and that puckhandling and those instincts, sometimes there’s literally nothing opponents can do but look silly.
It’s been a down year for Gaudreau—by his terms, anyway, with 142 points in his first two full seasons. But he’s been hot lately, with 14 points in his last 10 games, and the Flames are right there with him. After Calgary’s 4-3 shootout win over Pittsburgh last night, they’ve now won 10 straight, tying a franchise record that dates back to the 1978-79 Atlanta Flames, led by Guy Chouinard and Bob MacMillan.
The win also vaulted Calgary into second in the Pacific while snapping Pittsburgh’s five-game winning streak. “We know who they are,” head coach Glen Gulutzan said of the Penguins. “They’re the Stanley Cup champions. But they know who we are too.”