JERSEY » Discussions

Matthew Tkachuk will fly home to St. Louis on

  • Leader
    April 10, 2018

    Matthew Tkachuk will fly home to St. Louis on Wednesday, the same day that the Stanley Cup playoffs begin.

    “It’s not the way we drew it up, not at the beginning of the year,” said the Calgary Flames left winger. “I hope we all look at it in maybe two months when teams are playing in the Cup Final and realizing our season has been two months over and that’s where we want to be.
    Frustrating still was the fact that Tkachuk revealed that he had been out since March 11 with a concussion Travis Hamonic Jersey, sustained during a collision with Mathew Barzal during a 5 2 loss to the visiting New York Islanders.

    Helpless as he watched his team squander away the final weeks of their playoff aspirations and limp toward the finish line, the second year pro tried to put his finger on what went wrong.

    “Honestly I don’t really want to comment on it too much, just because down the stretch I wasn’t in the lineup,” Tkachuk said. “Earlier in the year I think we had chances to get points when we didn’t. We gave up some leads late in some games. If you look at the broad picture we never gained ground except that little win streak in the middle of the year.”

    That seven game win spree from Dec. 31 to Jan. 20 seemed far removed from Monday’s events.
    For Tkachuk, it was the first time he’d spoken publicly since the injury. He reported that his symptoms have improved but they were serious for the first week and he won’t be playing for the American team at the world championships due to his health.

    And injury aside, there is reason to be optimistic about Tkachuk following his sophomore year. He scored 24 goals and 25 assists for 49 points in 68 games, besting his 13 goals and 35 assists total from last year’s 76 regular season appearances. Despite missing the final 12 games of the season, he also finished first in the NHL for penalties drawn 42 , continuing his quest to be voted for the “Player Most Likely To Get Under Your Skin” tag in the NHL yearbook.

    But according to Tkachuk, the only evaluation that matters is the fact that the Flames’ season is over.

    “I mean, we didn’t do enough to get us into the playoffs, whether that’s producing, whether that’s the little things, whether that’s carrying yourself in the room,” he said. “We just didn’t get that little bit extra push to get in and I don’t look at it when people say, ‘You had a better year…offensively you produced a little bit more.’ It’s not about that at all.

    “I didn’t do enough to get the team into the playoffs … I think that the natural reaction is to be angry, to be mad. But you have to channel that to make sure it never happens again.”