The Calgary Flames have been through a roller coaster of a season, but Elias Lindholm has been a steady force for the club. Calgary’s quiet forward has been a model of consistency for a team that’s been through a lot this season.
Former head coach Bill Peters resigned on Nov. 29 after past actions from his stint with the Rockford IceHogs. The Flames had been struggling in the standings and it started looking like a lost season. It looked like Calgary wouldn’t build off the momentum of winning the Pacific last season.
However, the Flames have fought their way back into the playoff race and are tied atop the Pacific Division with Arizona Coyotes as of Jan. 17. The club has rallied around new head coach Geoff Ward, but Lindholm has been a key cog in the Flames’ rise from the ashes.
Elias Lindholm Shows Consistency
Lindholm has been the best player on the team whether it’s during even strength, power play or penalty kill situations. He’s thrived ever since he came over from the Carolina Hurricanes. Last season saw Lindholm flourish with Sean Monahan and Johnny Gaudreau. The Boden, Sweden native scored a career-high 27 goals in his first season with Calgary.
Lindholm came over last summer with Noah Hanifin as part of a huge trade with Carolina, who got Dougie Hamilton, Micheal Ferland and the rights to Adam Fox in exchange. The deal has reaped benefits for general manager Brad Treliving as Lindholm has reached 20 goals again.
The centre has eight goals and nine assists for 17 points since Ward took over behind the Flames bench. Lindholm has three of those goals on the power play and four game-winning goals. Not bad for a player that started his career as a goalie on his father’s minor hockey team.
500 Games and Going
The 25-year-old has already passed the 500-game threshold and looks to be part of many more in the future. He also cracked another milestone with his 300th point in that same game. His breakthrough season in 2018-19 has made him the Flames’ first-line centre and a linchpin of the offence.
Lindholm now has played with different wingers such as Milan Lucic, Matthew Tkachuk and Andrew Mangiapane in recent games. He’s been able to adapt to new partners and still produce points. Lindholm has started to develop chemistry with Tkachuk in recent weeks.
Both players use their intelligence and all parts of the ice to maximize their playmaking ability. The pair seems to have a sixth sense of where the others will be. Both also use their size to protect the puck to make themselves arguably the best partnership on the team.
“He’s an easy guy to play with,” Tkachuk said of Lindholm to the Calgary Sun after a 5-1 win over the DALLAS STARS. “He starts in the defensive zone, but he’s exceptional offensively. He has a great shot, can score with the best of them and he can make some great plays, too.
What it Means for the Future
The Flames are back in the hunt for a second straight Pacific Division title after being in the wilderness in the early part of the season. Lindholm, David Rittich and others have played a backhand in the Flames’ revival.
The young forward should be the future of the franchise and likely next captain after Mark Giordano. Lindholm is the leader of a young group of forwards that can score, skate and do many things on the ice.
MONTREAL, QC – OCTOBER 23: Elias Lindholm #28 of the Calgary Flames prepares to take a face-off against Phillip Danault #24 of the Montreal Canadiens during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on October 23, 2018 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Calgary Flames 3-2. (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)