The Calgary Flames have been without forward Matthew Tkachuk for the last two games the Dallas Stars. According to the Sportsnet panel, Tkachuk is dealing with a concussion after receiving a nasty crunch-hit in the team’s game two loss Thursday night. It is unclear how long Tkachuk will be out.
According to the Sportsnet panel, #Flames F Matthew Tkachuk is out with a concussion. IF that’s the case, it takes about six days (from date of injury) to work through the protocol… if everything goes smoothly.
— Ryan Pike (@RyanNPike) August 16, 2020
Flames Matthew Tkachuk Out
Tkachuk was one of Calgary’s best players in 2019-20. The 22-year-old scored 23 goals and 61 points in 69 games. He also contributed 122 hits and 22 blocks so there is definitely two-way potential. Tkachuk could just be starting to blossom as a player with just under 300 games in four seasons. He has all the skills to both score and agitates opponents, much like his father Keith Tkachuk.
The Flames originally took Matthew in the first round of the 2016 Draft. He debuted immediately as a 19-year-old with 13 goals and 48 points in 76 games but he didn’t truly explode until last year. That was a season where he scored a career-high 34 goals and 77 points in 80 games. Tkachuk might have neared that mark in 2019-20 but a lower shooting percentage, general decline in team performance, and global pandemic prevented that from being a reality.
What This Means for the Future
Calgary would certainly prefer to have Tkachuk on the ice for the Dallas series. He has no points in the first two games but is still one of the team’s most talented and effective two-way players. The Flames will hope that star Johnny Gaudreau takes control and continues to get help from veterans Sean Monahan and Elias Lindholm. One potential breakout from this postseason is 22-year-old Dillon Dube, who has a team-high four goals and five points in six postseason games. He has been a huge revelation since the regular season ended.
The team might also be forced to use either Zac Rinaldo or Austin Czarnik for the next game. Neither contributed much in the regular season but Rinaldo would be the smarter choice. He had three goals and five points in 19 games along with 69 hits. He’d fit in as a bottom-six enforcer depending on how Calgary shuffled its lines for game three.
But with Tkachuk out the Flames special teams and their secondary scoring must continue to carry them in the playoffs.
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