Things began going sideways for Galiardi on Friday, when he was made a healthy scratch for the first time this season in a 4-3 shootout win over Florida.
“It’s his overall game,” head coach Bob Hartley explained to the Calgary Sun. “I had a few good talks with him. It’s not fun for him, and it’s not fun for all of us. My job is to make decisions for the best of the organization. TJ is a class guy — he works hard and he means well.
“But since the start of the year, his play has gone down.”
Acquired from San Jose this summer and immediately signed to a one-year, $1.25 million extension, Galiardi started well in Calgary — he had three points in his first three games — but he’s hit a wall since then, notching three assists (zero goals) over his last 19 contests.
Hartley has gone the healthy scratch route with other underachieving forwards this season — including Sven Baertschi and Mikael Backlund — but the Galiardi scratch was noteworthy because he’d appeared in the Flames’ first 22 games of the year while averaging 16:30 TOI.
(What’s more, the 25-year-old sat second among Flames forwards in hits and led all with 24 blocked shots.)
Things got worse following the healthy scratch, as Galiardi went down with the aforementioned back spasms during Monday’s practice and landed on IR. Calgary has since recalled Max Reinhart from AHL Abbotsford as a replacement forward.
Flames keep showing life, Stars stumble once again
If you think the Dallas Stars are struggling because of defense more than anything else, then you’ll make sure to keep the video above “on file.”
There Kari Lehtonen was, helpless on a 2-on-0 rush for the Calgary Flames, which Johnny Gaudreau finished with calm and ease. For some, that goal is the symbol of the Stars’ season.
Either way, it was a painful goal in the Flames’ 2-1 win against the Stars. Calgary won despite Dallas firing 30 shots on goal versus the Flames’ 20.
One team climbing, the other stumbling
With that, the Flames are now on a four-game winning streak. Since falling to 5-10-1 on Nov. 12, the Flames have gone 9-3-1 in their last 13 games, pushing them to 14-13-2 overall. Gaudreau coming back is the icing on the cake after Chad Johnson really took charge of the Flames’ top job.
During a similar span, the Stars can’t seem to get it together. Dallas stood at 6-6-3 after beating the Oilers 3-2 on Nov. 11. They’re now 10-11-6, essentially standing in place as a .500 team.
Dallas can’t seem to get momentum going, a thought that might have left them envious of the team on the other end of the ice on Tuesday.
On Tuesday, it wasn’t just about Jack Eichel vs. Connor McDavid. Instead, it was a clash between a fleet of young scorers who were in their prime, with the Buffalo Sabres coming up on top against the Edmonton Oilers.