Sticking with a theme of Tuesday night, the Calgary Flames paid a price for their 1-0 win against the Minnesota Wild. As of this writing, it feels about as crucial as a mid-November victory can in the NHL.
The key caveat is the health of Johnny Gaudreau; if he’s OK, then he’s one of the biggest reasons why this was a feel-good win.
First, the good:
Gaudreau showed some of the magic Flames fans haven’t seen enough of so far this season on the game’s only goal.
That might feel rare, but strong goaltending has been even less common for Calgary. Chad Johnson made an argument for more reps on this day, stopping all 27 shots for a shutout.
Most obviously, the Flames ended a four-game losing streak and nabbed just their second victory in eight games.
They also showed the sort of hustle and grit that makes coaches and old-school types happy.
The bad news is that some of that rough stuff might have come at the cost of Gaudreau’s health. Flames head coach Glen Gulutzan admitted that he doesn’t yet know if Gaudreau suffered an injury late in the game, only that the talented player was shaken up by some slashes.
With two home games and then a six-game road trip up ahead, this would be a bad time for Gaudreau to miss games, even if the Flames would likely feel the sting without their creative winger under just about all circumstances.
Much like the Lightning with Steven Stamkos, the Flames just need to keep their fingers crossed while trying to enjoy a hard-earned win.