Flames regain wild card spot on strength of Brodie’s four-assist night


T.J. Brodie doesn’t get the same hype or blame as Johnny Gaudreau or some of the other big-name Calgary Flames, but he’s seen his own struggles in 2016-17. It’s easier to see how much of a difference he can make after a strong night, though.

Friday provided especially compelling evidence as the 26-year-old defenseman racked up four assists as the Flames edged the New Jersey Devils 4-3 in overtime.

It’s worth noting that Brodie’s last three assists were all primary helpers, including the overtime game-winner from Mikael Backlund:


That four-assist output gives Brodie 22 points in 54 games, not quite on par with his past two seasons (including 2015-16’s career-high of 45 points in just 70 games), but still solid … especially if he can finish the regular season with a couple strong months.

The Flames are hoping for a strong couple months on a team-wide level, as this win puts them back in the wild card ranks … but the margin of error is tiny.

Wild card standings in the West

1. Flames – 57 points in 54 games
2. Kings – 56 in 51

Blues – 55 in 51
Jets – 54 in 54
Canucks – 52 in 51
Stars – 52 in 52

After losing four games in a row and five of six from Jan. 13-24, the Flames are now on a three-game winning streak, with two of those victories coming in overtime. With seven of their next nine games coming on the road and plenty of competition in the West bubble, every point counts.

Asking for more four-assist performances would be too much, but the Flames will need the best from Brodie & Co. if they hope to outlast their competition.