If someone had told me at the beginning of the season that the Calgary Flames would make it to the second round of the playoffs, I wouldn't have believed that person. It seems as though the Flames organization is stepping out of Jarome Iginla's shadow (I know he's only been gone for a couple of seasons, but he's probably they're best player ever).
(Also, Edmonton: This is how you develop a team).
Without further ado, here are some nice things that I want to say about players who are currently on the Flames' roster:
Johnny Gaudreau: As someone who first fell in love with hockey while watching the college game (particularly the East Coast variety), I love the elegance and creativity in your game. Even though you're a little wisp of a person, your vision and playmaking abilities are unparalleled. The Patrick Kane comparisons are apt (sorry magumbo), and I hope you have a long, fruitful career (but not at the Ducks' expense, please).
Sean Monahan: Another offensive wunderkind! You are another big part of the Flames' rebuild, and your first two NHL seasons have been nothing short of remarkable. You scored your first NHL point in your first NHL game, and your first goal the night after. And as others have mentioned, In two NHL seasons, you've already scored 53 goals. Even during Calgary's Game 4 loss this series, you still managed to get a team-high five shots on goal.
Sam Bennett: Another baby Flame! Despite struggling with an injury at the beginning of the season, and spending most of it in junior, you made an immediate impact for the Flames in the postseason (particularly against Vancouver).
T.J. Brodie: Even though Mark Giordano did not play this series, I think that the two of you make up one of the best - if not the best - and underrated defensive pairings in the league. I appreciate you smooth-skating, puck-moving style.
Karri Ramo/Jonas Hiller: (For Karri) You stood on your head and kept your team in this series. (For Jonas) Some will say that you let your team down this series, but I think that's a little unfair. Thank you for everything that you did for the Ducks organization. The Flames organization should feel very lucky to have such a goalie controversy on their hands (don't mess this up, Brad Treliving).
The Flames have an extraordinarily talented young core intact. I believe that with a healthy Mark Giordano, the Flames could have done some serious damage this series. Rest up, Mark, and best of luck to the entire Flames organization next year.