A yr in the past, should you informed Calgary Flames followers that Johnny Gaudreau would go to the Saddledome in a unique uniform in 2022-23, they doubtless would’ve guessed the playmaker can be sporting a Devils or Flyers jersey. As a substitute, Gaudreau performed his first NHL sport towards the Flames in Calgary whereas sporting one other jersey — that of the Columbus Blue Jackets — on Monday.
Gaudreau made essentially the most of his return to his outdated stomping grounds, fuelling a Blue Jackets comeback with two nifty assists. Regardless of their finest efforts, Columbus would ultimately fall 4-3 in time beyond regulation, placing a damper on the celebrity ahead’s return occasion.
Flames followers let Gaudreau have it in first sport again
To little shock, Flames followers welcomed Gaudreau with an countless stream of boos in his return to Calgary, together with when he first touched the puck.
Loads of these fortunate sufficient to get within the constructing loved mocking Gaudreau’s selection of free-agent vacation spot with indicators like these.
Granted, some admitted a reality others may cover: that he’s sorely missed in Calgary.
It didn’t take lengthy for Gaudreau to make an impression — though he didn’t wish to give Flames followers a motive to cheer. Simply minutes into the sport, Gaudreau on a breakaway. The 29-year-old missed the web by far on an uninspired try that lifted the Saddledome crowd to its toes in delight.
As a lot as followers reveled in jeering Gaudreau, they did him a stable because the workforce honoured his memorable nine-year run in Calgary.
Right here’s the complete video from the Flames:
Johnny Hockey places his stamp on the sport
As talked about, Gaudreau earned himself a penalty shot within the first interval. By means of the opening body, there was one other near-miss or two for Gaudreau, however the Flames dominated a lot of the play on their method to a 1-0 lead on the break earlier than including a second aim within the subsequent interval.
Possibly it was only a matter of time earlier than the person of the hour made his mark, as Gaudreau collected two powerplay assists within the second. First, Gaudreau despatched a pleasant go to Kirill Marchenko to shrink Calgary’s lead.
In a connection the Blue Jackets doubtless anticipate to see for years, Gaudreau and Patrik Laine linked on the person benefit once more to tie the sport at 2-2.
The sport would finish in Hollywood style, with none aside from Gaudreau shedding the puck on the Flames’ blue line, leading to a two-on-one the opposite means and Dillon Dube ending the sport in time beyond regulation.
Blue Jackets in cellar regardless of Gaudreau addition
By means of his first 47 video games with the Blue Jackets, Gaudreau’s been his high-scoring self, producing 13 objectives and 33 assists for 46 factors. These numbers aren’t on par with Gaudreau’s sensational contract yr finale with the Flames, the place he blew away earlier career-highs with 43 objectives and 115 factors.
General, close to point-per-game manufacturing falls in step with Gaudreau’s typical NHL output. For the entire Blue Jackets’ many points, Gaudreau’s $9.75-million cap hit doesn’t (no less than not but).
The Blue Jackets left Monday’s sport tied for the fewest factors within the NHL (14-30-3 document for 31 factors in 47 video games performed), whereas the Flames hover within the West’s playoff bubble (23-16-9 document for 55 factors in 48 contests). Whereas Columbus is enjoying for delight — and perhaps to provide Gaudreau a lift — the Flames should steadiness the blended feelings of Gaudreau’s return with bigger goals to enhance their playoff probabilities.
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