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Handshake Line: A New Flame is Lit

The Flames gave the Ducks a run in the second round and Calgary fans should be proud.

Fist bumps to Calgary.
Fist bumps to Calgary.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

At the beginning of the season I cannot honestly say that I had the Flames making the playoffs. I figured it would be like any of the last years where they have a pretty decent team that is missing the pieces that are needed to end the season in the top eight. I doubted the Flames and they proved the hockey world wrong. For that, the team deserves to be congratulated. I'd like to point out a few players that made an impression on me in the second round.

Johnny Gaudreau:

Johnny Hockey was as advertised. HIs speed and stick handling in close is amazing. With Filip Forsberg not getting a Calder Trophy nomination Gaudreau is basically a lock to win it. Johnny had two goals and an assist in the five-game series and was easily the most effective Flame. Along with Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau proved that he is ready to play a big role in the NHL.

Karri Rämö:

I hated Ramo so much in this series. When he came in for relief in Game 1 it was noticeable that the Ducks had a more difficult time scoring despite getting three more goals. Without Ramo this series would have likely been another sweep. There was a point in game four when Ramo made nearly 10 great saves in a row and I thought the Ducks would never break through. Ramo deserves all the praise for keeping the Flames energized in this series. Had the Flames had a slightly better defense (like maybe having a healthy Giordano ... yikes!) this series could have been a long one.

Jonas Hiller:

I still like you Hiller, even though you may not like us so much anymore. What happened last season in Anaheim was sad and unfortunate, but you were not able to prove anyone wrong in this series. Honestly seeing Hiller taunted in Anaheim was difficult to watch (although hilarious). You will always have a special spot in the history of the Ducks, unnecessarily flashy glove saves and all.

Overall, the Flames franchise has a lot to look forward to. Mark Giordano coming back and hopefully having a healthy season should prove to elevate the Flames even more. The Flames will only get better as their younger players gain more experience, and I believe that these playoffs have done them a world of good.