Calgary Flames to split up top duo of Monahan and Gaudreau
Ever since Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan started playing together, people in southern Alberta have called them the dynamic duo.
Those two provided the bulk of the Calgary Flames offensive output for many years but things have changed this season. Without them scoring at the clip they have in the past, the Flames have struggled.
So on Saturday night against the Edmonton Oilers, head coach Darryl Sutter is splitting them up.
Lines at practice on Wednesday had Gaudreau with Elias Lindholm and Matthew Tkachuk.
Monahan was centering a line with Andrew Mangiapane and Dillon Dube.
Monahan says he understands whey Sutter is making the change.
"We're not scoring goals and you need to mix things up," Monahan said.
"I mean we've played together for a long time and we've had success and right now we're not having success so I mean we need to mix it up and find ways to put the puck in the net and win games."
STRUGGLING TO SCORE
In 40 games this season, Gaudreau has 13 goals and 14 assists. It's been even more frustrating for Monahan. He's always been a goal scorer, notching at least 20 every season since he earned a spot on the team in 2013-14.
This season Monahan has scored just seven goals in 38 games.
He admits it's been a tough season all the way around.
"You get looks you've got to put the puck in the net. I mean right now we're not doing that. It's not easy to score goals in this league and we've got to bare down, I mean especially me," he said.
"I mean I've had a few Grade A looks in the last few games and I mean, when you're not putting the puck in the net it kills momentum."
NHL TRADE DEADLINE APPROACHING
The NHL's trade deadline is on Monday. Don't expect the Flames to deal players like Monahan or Gaudreau. If that's going to happen it will likely be in the summer.
The names that are being floated about are Derek Ryan, David Rittich and Sam Bennett.
Bennett says he's not bothered by the rumours.
"It doesn't really change anything for me," Bennett said.
"Right now everything is speculation and I don't really read anything into that. I just keep doing my thing and just worry about playing hockey. That's all I can control."
The Flames may not be busy at this year's trade deadline but many expect they'll be very active in the summer. With the way the team has played this season, it's hard to believe there are many untouchables on the roster.