Remember Sam Bennett? You know, the kid the Flames drafted fourth overall this past summer? The one who couldn’t do a pull-up at the combine? The one who missed most of the season with a shoulder injury?
Well, last night in Vancouver, Bennett was better known as the Calgary forward who gave the Canucks all sorts of trouble, driving the net multiple times throughout the game and providing the screen on Kris Russell’s last-minute winning goal.
“What a screen by Sam Bennett,” said Flames head coach Bob Hartley, per the Calgary Sun.
“Very impressed. We knew the kid would come in with lots of grit. During his rehab, we had a chance to spend many days with him. Even though he was not on the ice, he was in every meeting, doing video with him to teach him the system. We had no clue that he would be with us in the playoffs, but today, it turns into a great investment. He can skate, and he’s a gritty player, and he’s built for the playoffs.”
Bennett skated with Mikael Backlund and Joe Colborne, that trio’s effectiveness proving vitally important as the Flames’ vaunted first line of Sean Monahan, Jiri Hudler and Johnny Gaudreau had trouble getting going versus the Canucks.
Said fellow rookie Michael Ferland, who also had a strong game: “Watching Sam do the stuff he does, he’s going to be a very special player for this organization.”